by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2015 at 12:15 pm 653 0

Dudley’s Sport and Ale, a new sports bar that’s coming to the Village at Shirlington, is tentatively aiming to open in March.

Dudley’s owner Reese Gardner, who also owns Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington, told nearby residents via Facebook that Dudley’s will be “huge,” with Shirlington’s first rooftop bar.

“The space is huge and I’m doing a complete rework of the space and adding a rooftop,” Gardner said. “Trust me I live in walking distance also and I’m just as excited.
March will be the soonest.”

In addition to the rooftop bar, Dudley’s will feature more than 40 flat screen TVs and a private party area. So far there are no plans for live music at the bar, Gardner said.

On its website, Dudley’s says it’s starting the hiring process for all positions.

“We’re looking for smart, hard working and passionate people to join our team,” the site says. “Please send your resume if you are interested in any position from Chef to Server to Bartender to Prep Cook and beyond.”

Dudley’s is located at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, in the former Bungalow Sports Grill space.

by Heather Mongilio — October 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm 1,491 0

A new pizza joint has opened on Lee Highway, replacing a Little Caesars franchise location at the corner of Lee Highway and N. George Mason Drive.

Fillmore Pizza opened its second location at 5175 Lee Highway five days ago, said owner Bahruz Ahmadbayli. The Lee Highway location is the restaurant’s second in Arlington — the first is at 923 S. Walter Reed Drive.

The new restaurant sells pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and wings and uses high quality and expensive ingredients, Ahmadbayli said. A small, 10-inch cheese pizza sells for $7.75, while a extra large, 18-inch pizza costs $14.95. Fillmore also sells gourmet pizzas, which start at $11.75 for a small, 10 inch pizza.

“The pizza is totally different from other stores,” he said.

The reason the pizza is better than other places is because of the cheese Fillmore Pizza uses, Ahmadbayli said.

“The main ingredient in this business is cheese,” he said. “Our cheese is the best quality and expensive.”

The restaurant runs daily pick up and delivery specials, and customers can order online. The new Lee Highway restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Little Caesars, which previously occupied the space, opened in 2013. The company has another Arlington location on Columbia Pike.

by Heather Mongilio — October 1, 2015 at 11:05 am 462 0

New Sweet Leaf location on N. Glebe Road in Ballston

Sweet Leaf Café is planning to open another Ballston location.

The new café should open before the end of the year, but the company does not have a set opening date, said Sweet Leaf CEO Andre Matini.

The new Ballston location at 800 N. Glebe Road is about a 10 minute walk from the company’s first café in Ballston (650 N. Quincy Street).

“Our first Ballston location is doing really well. Having another one in the area will reduce some of the load for our team and for customers,” Matini said.

Sweet Leaf — which serves coffee, breakfast, sandwiches and salads — is planning to open a new café at Tysons Corner Center mall, as well. Both the Ballston and Tysons restaurants are set to open in winter 2015, as listed on the company’s website.

“We want to make healthy eating available, we also want people to be able to stop in as conveniently as possible. We think everyone wants to eat healthy,” Matini said. “Unfortunately, it can more more convenient to grab a value meal instead. Opening another location [in Ballston] will help us achieve our goal.”

The company is thinking about expanding into Rosslyn and Clarendon, Matini said, adding that the original Ballston and Courthouse locations have been doing well.

“We have had a great experience opening our first location in Courthouse and our second location in Ballston, the community has a real appreciation for health oriented, natural, tasty and affordable meals in a fast-casual environment,” Matini said.

Sweet Leaf is currently hiring for the Ballston location and is looking for chefs, assistant managers and shift leaders. Job applications can be found on the company’s website.

Hat tip to Rick Williams

by Heather Mongilio — September 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm 2,480 0

Oz, a new Australian restaurant in Clarendon, has started serving traditional dishes like Rissole eggs, meat pies and fish and chips as part of its soft opening.

The restaurant was open for dinner yesterday. The soft opening continues today with dinner from 5-9 p.m. Full service, including lunch and happy hour, will potentially start on Friday, said co-owner Ashley Darby.

Once fully opened, the restaurant will serve dinner seven days a week, with brunch on Saturday and Sundays and lunch on Wednesdays through Fridays.

The restaurant serves authentic Australian cuisine, Darby said, adding that the food is new to many of the restaurant staff, including herself.

“We’re all learning as we go,” said Darby, who was crowned Miss D.C. in 2011.

Darby co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Michael, who is an Australian native and the co-founder of local real estate development firm Monument Realty.

A few waiters and one of the hostesses are also from Australia, Darby said.

The Australian theme extends past the food. The interior of the restaurant is designed to have elements reminiscent of a house on the outback, Darby said.

The main dining room represents the inside of the house that has just seen a brush fire, she said. The back wall is made up of alternating light and dark wood panels to give the impression of “trees scorched by fire,” Darby said. Aboriginal artwork, including painted boomerangs, are hung around the room.

Guest have the option to sit in the covered “porch,” with vines hanging across the walls to make it feel as if the guests are on the front porch of a house.

Customers can grab a traditional Australian drink at the bar and enjoy it under an “open” sky. The bar was designed to look like the back deck of the house, with the ceiling painted like an outback sky. The bar has a small lounge area, with copper tones and a backsplash made to look like sand dunes, Darby said.

In addition to the seating inside, the restaurant offers outdoor seating along its front and side. The Australian theme does not get carried outside, Darby said.

So far, Darby says she has heard good things from customers, adding that there are a few taste adjustments the restaurant will make.

“I think people are curious and willing to try, and [they] come in open-minded,” Darby said.

by ARLnow.com — September 24, 2015 at 10:05 am 403 0

New Taylor Gourmet and Sweetgreen locations in Crystal City

Two new outposts of trendy local chain restaurants — Sweetgreen and Taylor Gourmet — are under construction in Crystal City.

Located in the former Corner Bakery space on the 2100 block of Crystal Drive, the restaurants are both expected this winter.

“The Crystal City location should be opening by the end of the year, though we don’t have a firm date to share just yet,” said a PR rep for Sweetgreen.

“We are thinking early 2016 right now,” Hilary Chattler of Taylor Gourmet told ARLnow.com last week.

This will be the second Arlington location for the two eateries; both have existing locations in Ballston. Corner Bakery closed in June.

by Heather Mongilio — September 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm 1,994 0

(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) A D.C. based shawarma and falafel chain has opened up a new restaurant in Rosslyn.

Shawafel, which opened at 1919 Wilson Blvd on Monday, Sept. 7, is bringing an “Americanized” twist to traditional Lebanese cuisine, said co-owner Ali Amarlooi.

The new Rosslyn location is the third Shawafel location — there is one at Nationals Park and on H Street in northeast D.C. — but it will serve as the flagship as Shawafel becomes a franchise, Amarlooi said.

The new restaurant can currently sit 30 people, but will have a few more seats once their countertop seating opens, he said. Shawafel is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

“It is a fun place. We play good music and everyone seems to have fun working here,” he said.

Shawafel is named after one of the restaurant’s popular sandwiches, the Shawafel, which is chicken or meat shawarma, falafel, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, parsley and tahini, he said. The restaurant also offers a variety of meat, chicken and vegetarian sandwiches, as well as flatbreads, salads, hummus and platters.

“We have a very good vegetarian menu,” Amarlooi said.

For those new to Lebanese cuisine, Amarlooi recommends trying the Shawafel, the meat shawarma sandwich and shish Taouk sandwich, which is a “chunks of grilled chicken.” New customers should also try the cauliflower, falafel and Batinjan, crispy eggplant, sandwiches, as well as the hummus, cauliflower, Tabouleh salad and baba ghanouj, which is an eggplant dish, he said.

“Our meat shawarma is a combination of meat and lamb,” Amarlooi said. “It’s extremely juicy.”

The shawarma is cooked on large roasting sticks behind the checkout counter at the restaurant. It takes about 30-45 minutes to cook the meat and about five minutes to make and sandwich, he said.

Amarlooi and co-owner Alberto Sissi decided to open the restaurant in Rosslyn because of a sizable Middle Eastern population in Arlington, Amarlooi said.

“It fits our food because we’re trying to come as an Americanized version the Lebanese cuisine,” he said.

by Heather Mongilio — September 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm 3,137 0

4000 Wilson Blvd, the future home of Pepita, Kapnos Taverna and Yona

Restaurant entrepreneur and Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella is throwing a “block party” to celebrate the opening of his three Ballston restaurants.

The event will be held at the patio at The View apartment building (4000 Wilson Blvd) on Sept. 12 from 1-4 p.m.

For $65, guests will enjoy food from Isabella’s three Arlington-based restaurants — PepitaKapnos Taverna and Yona, which opens in the fall — while listening to live jazz.

“The event is going to be a big party. It is a great way to experience food from all three of Mike Isabella’s Ballston restaurants, including forthcoming Yona, with live entertainment from the jazz duo The Potash Twins and DJ Toast,” said Madeline Harrington, a public relations rep for the restaurants.

Guests will be able to sample food from each restaurant at the event. There will be crispy cauliflower and barbecue goat tacos and Mexican corn on the cob from Pepita. From Kapnos Taverna, guests will be able to try spit roasted pork, falafel and classic Greek spreads. Yona, Isabella’s newest restaurant, will provide pork and kimchi dumplings, Japanese curry potato croquettes and Korean fried chicken.

“[There will be] great food, great drinks and lively music,” Harrington said. “A great way to say goodbye to the summer.”

Isabella’s first Arlington venture, Kapnos Taverna, opened last January. Pepita opened in the same building at the end of July, and new restaurant Yona is expected to open in late fall, she said.

Yona will be a Japanese noodles and small plates restaurant with new and traditional takes on ramen and other Asian dishes, she said.

“Mike loves the neighborhood. Both Kapnos Taverna and Pepita have been a huge success, and each concept is set up so that it doesn’t compete with the others other,” Harrington said. “Yona will be something fresh and new for Ballston, so it made sense [for him to open another restaurant].”

by Heather Mongilio — September 8, 2015 at 12:10 pm 1,363 0

Grill Kabob, a family-run chain, has opened a new location in Crystal City.

The new store at the corner of 23rd Street S. and S. Eads Street — in the former Cafe Pizzaiolo and Hearthstone Pizza space — opened on Sept. 1, and business has grown steadily each day, said manager David Rasoli.

“The people keep coming since day [one],” Rasoli said.

Grill Kabob (507 23rd Street S.) is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant is also planning to open for 24 hours one day a week, “which is good for Arlington, good for people, good for us,” he said.

The kabob place serves multiple types of kabobs, including ground chicken, ground beef, lamb, chicken and veggie.

“Nobody else has veggie kabobs,” Rasoli said.

The restaurant also sells falafel and gyros, and everything is made fresh. Recipes are a family tradition, and everything is kept the same throughout the 10 Grill Kabob locations, said Rasoli’s daughter Toba.

Rasoli said the most popular dishes are the chicken and ground chicken kabobs. All meals come with two sides of rice, homemade bread and a salad. For the grand opening of the store, Grill Kabob also offered chicken and lentil soup on the house.

The food is healthy, fresh and not made with any additives, Toba said.

“You’re getting the best of the best, basically,” she said.

The new kabob restaurant will have some competition with Kabob Place a couple buildings down on 23rd Street S.

by Heather Mongilio — September 3, 2015 at 4:30 pm 1,717 0

Brixx Woodfire Pizza

Clarendon’s newest pizza joint plans to open its doors in six weeks.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, located at 1119 N. Hudson Street next to Nam Viet restaurant, hopes to start serving pizza and beer mid-October, barring any construction delays, according to Tim Miner, the director of marketing for the company.

The North Carolina-based chain hopes to start training staff in the second week of October, Miner said, with the new restaurant opening a week later.

In addition to regular and gluten-free pizza, Brixx serves sandwiches, pasta, beer, wine and cocktails, according to its website.

Brixx does not plan to have any grand opening specials, but will start “business as usual” on the opening day, he said. The restaurant will have wine specials on Sundays and Thursdays and craft beer specials on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Miner could not elaborate on the deals because of Virginia law, he said.

The pizza joint also features buy one, get one pizza and appetizers after 11 p.m.

The Clarendon location will be Brixx’s third Virginia restaurant — there is another location in Charlottesville and Woodbridge. The chain came to Clarendon because of its exciting neighborhood, Miner said.

“It’s a thriving community, and we feel the folks that live in the area are a perfect fit,” he said.

by Heather Mongilio — September 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm 1,394 0

Rolls By URolls By U, a new sushi restaurant coming to the Colonial Village Shopping Center on Wilson Blvd, is hoping to open its doors mid-September.

There is no target date for the new restaurant, according to one of its employees. Rolls By U announced the mid-September opening on its Facebook page on Aug. 26.

The sushi restaurant’s slogan is “where you create,” implying that it may be a make-your-own sushi concept. On social media, the restaurant says it will offer “organic, healthy, and flavorful sushi for your senses and your soul.”

Brown paper still covers the window, but construction crews could be seen inside this afternoon.

Rolls by U will be at least the fourth sushi restaurant in Rosslyn, with Kona Grill, Kanpai and Cafe Asia all nearby, along Wilson Blvd.

by Eleanor Greene — August 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm 2,099 0

Ammanisahan flyerThe area’s first Uyghur restaurant will be opening this fall in Crystal City, according to one of its owners, Emam Maimaiti.

The restaurant will open in the space of the recently closed Charlie Chiang’s (320 23rd Street S.).

The new restaurant will be called Queen Ammanisa and feature Uyghur food from province Xinjiang in Northwest China, a place formerly known as Turkestan, Maimaiti explained. Uygur cuisine is being discovered in other parts of the United States, Maimaiti said, but he and his partner Fatima Baikeli are anxious to bring it to the D.C. area.

Uyghur cooking is a product of its geography and therefore is a mix of Persian and Chinese cuisines. It has kebabs and noodles “like you’ve never had before,” Maimaiti said. Lamb, mutton and beef are common in Uyghur food, as are carrots, raisins and lots of vegetables, he wrote in an email. Uyghur food is often halal too, due to the ethnic group’s predominantly Muslim culture.

As for the name, the partners had planned to name the restaurant Amannisahan, as posted on the window of the building now, which was the name of their previous restaurant in Beijing, where the suffix “han” means queen. They have decided to change it to the English translation, “Queen Ammanisa.” Queen Ammanisa was a queen and musician from the region who lived in the sixteenth century.

The owner would not reveal a specific opening date but hopes that the restaurant will be able to open mid to late fall.

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm 3,770 0

Charlie Chiang’s has closed in Crystal City.

The Chinese restaurant, at 320 23rd Street S., has posted signs on the doors directing customers to its Shirlington location at 4060 Campbell Avenue..

“Thank you for your years of patronage!” the signs say. “We have consolidated our operations with our Village at Shirlington location — Ping by Charlie Chiang’s… Please visit us there!”

Another sign on the door says that a new restaurant will be replacing Charlie Chiang’s and will be “opening soon.”

The new restaurant will be called Amannisahan and will serve Uyghur cuisine, according to the sign. In an indication that a quick reopening may indeed be in the works, Amannisahan says it’s currently hiring restaurant managers and waiters.

Uyghur food is a blend of Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Chinese cuisines, serving dishes like kebabs and noodle soups.

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 10:30 am 5,238 0

The Bungalow Sports Grill in ShirlingtonShirlington won’t have to go too long without a sport bar.

The Bungalow Sports Grill closed in June but a replacement is already in the works. The owners of Copperwood Tavern, another Shirlington restaurant, are planning a new sports bar called “Dudley’s Sport and Ale.”

Dudley’s will open in the 12,000 square foot Bungalow space at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive), but amazingly the owners also planning a big addition. The sports bar will have a 3,000 square foot rooftop bar — a first for Shirlington.

Dudley's Sports and Ale logo“I’ve called the Shirlington Village home for about 12 years,” co-owner Reese Gardner said in a Facebook post. “Shirlington not only needs a sports bar it also needs a rooftop bar.”

In a separate post, Gardner said Washingtion Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo has joined his ownership team. Gardner’s company also owns a trio of D.C. bars: Irish Whiskey Public House, Orange Anchor and the soon-to-open Union Social.

Dudley’s is hoping to open early next year, according to its Facebook page.

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 9:05 am 2,299 0

Bird on a bridge (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Arlington Inmate Dies — A 48-year-old convict died early Saturday morning in the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse. The man, who had a “history of medical issues,” was found unresponsive in his cell and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. [Arlington County]

More Sequestration Could Hit Virginia Hard — Virginia, and in particular Northern Virginia, is bracing for more sequestration cuts to the Defense Department, which are set to take effect in five weeks. Virginia’s two U.S. Senators are pushing for new budget legislation to replace the sequester. [Washington Post]

Cemetery Superintendent Removed — One year after taking the position, Arlington National Cemetery superintendent Jack E. Lechner has been given the boot. The Army says Lechner’s job performance was unsatisfactory. [Washington Post]

DAK Chicken Opens in Shirlington — DAK Chicken, a Korean-style chicken restaurant, welcomed customers on Friday for its soft opening. In addition to chicken wings the new Shirlington eatery offers other Korean and Asian-fusion dishes like kimchi, bulgogi and ramen. [Northern Virginia Magazine, Facebook]

Arlington Company Makes Fortune List — Courthouse-based Opower has made Fortune Magazine’s inaugural “Change The World” list. Opower is ranked No. 45 on the list of 51 companies “that have made a sizable impact on major global social or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy.” How long Opower remains in Arlington remains a question: the company is currently considering a move to the District. [Fortune]

by ARLnow.com — August 18, 2015 at 8:45 am 3,571 0

August wildflowers (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Woman Takes Stage to Find Bathroom — An apparently intoxicated woman climbed on stage during a recent Signature Theatre production in Shirlington, made her way backstage and asked a cast member for directions to the bathroom. [Playbill]

Spout Run Closure — The eastbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway will be completely closed from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today for road paving. No detours will be in place and “alternative routes should be used,” according to the National Park Service.

Arlington Murder to Be Featured on TV Show — This coming Sunday, at 10 p.m., the show “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery will feature the 2012 homicide of Mack L. Woods Sr. in Arlington. [Patch]

Charleys Now Open in Pentagon City — A Charleys Philly Steaks restaurant is now open in the food court of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall food court. “Charleys brings a unique experience to the food court with its grilled-fresh-in-front-of-you flavor,” the company said in a press release.

Food Truck Stops Taking Cash — The Lemongrass food truck, which frequents Arlington, has decided to stop accepting cash. The truck now only takes credit and debit cards. [Washington Post]

Why Arlington Went to Paper Ballots — Arlington reintroduced paper ballots this year after dumping its electronic voting machines. Why did it get rid of the more modern tech? The WINVote system was found to be grossly insecure and the touchscreen devices were dubbed the “worst voting machines” in America. [Wired]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley


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