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by ARLnow.com — February 10, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Work is underway on a new kabab restaurant in Shirlington.

Moby Dick House of Kabob will be opening later this year in the former Medi space. The fast casual Mediterranean restaurant, which served pitas, salads and rice bowls, closed this past fall.

Moby Dick serves Persian cuisine, including various salads, pita bread sandwiches, rice plates and kabobs. The company has around 20 locations in the D.C. area, including one in Clarendon at 3000 Washington Blvd.

So far, no opening date has been announced. A call Thursday morning to a spokesman for the company has not been returned.

by ARLnow.com — February 7, 2017 at 2:35 pm 0

A Dunkin’ Donuts location appears to be coming to the now-empty building at 70 N. Glebe Road that used to house a KFC.

Building permits for the construction work were approved last month, county records show. The KFC closed just over a year ago, initially claiming that it was “closed due to maintenance” and would “re-open shortly.”

The property on which the stand-alone restaurant building sits is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, which is based nearby at 200 N. Glebe Road. The property includes eight parking spaces and a drive-thru window.

by Tim Regan — February 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) A Manassas-based brewery and coffee roaster has plans to open a new Clarendon brewpub later this month.

Heritage Brewing’s Arlington outpost is scheduled to open its doors at 2900 Wilson Blvd by the end of February, according to Sean Arroyo, the company’s chief executive officer. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign last November to help open the restaurant.

When it opens to the public, the gastropub will serve small-batch beers in addition to a lineup of IPAs, pale ales and wheat beers.

“We’ll have a brew pilot system there,” Arroyo said. “We’ll do small batches and exclusive beers for the Arlington community.”

Though the food menu isn’t yet finalized, it will be more than “your typical pub and grub,” Arroyo said. Dishes from executive chef Donal Crosbie will include roasted chicken, steak, burgers and fish.

“There’s a lot of thought in the menu and in the dishes,” Arroyo said. “Everything is fresh. We’re purchasing local ingredients. You’ll see Virginia chicken and beef.”

Another idea Heritage plans to implement is to serve beef from cattle that were fed some of the brewery’s spent grains.

“It’s the ultimate farm-to-table,” Arroyo joked.

Inside the eatery, repurposed wooden barrels, brick walls and reclaimed wood will help create a style Arroyo calls “barn chic meets industrial rustic.”

“All of the benches and booths that are in there are made from barrels that once aged whiskey and then aged our beer,” he said. “We want you to feel all-encompassed while being comfortable.”

Above all else, Arroyo said he’s just excited to start serving food and beer in Arlington.

“Most of our consumers are from Arlington,” he said. “We know that we will have a great community there.”

by Tim Regan — January 25, 2017 at 2:10 pm 0

(Updated on Friday at 5:06 p.m.) Clarendon restaurant Ambar will open a sister cafe, restaurant and cocktail lounge called Baba next week.

The business, named after the Serbian word for grandmother, is slated to open in the basement level of 2901 Wilson Blvd by Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Owner Ivan Iricanin said the new hangout is meant to conjure the kind of warm, homey feeling one might get when visiting their grandmother’s house.

“You get fed well, you get treated well, you always have a fire,” Iricanin said. “It’s a rustic feel, but very comfortable.”

In the morning, Baba’s chefs will whip up a breakfast and brunch menu that includes pastries, french toast, oatmeal, customizable grain and veggie bowls, sandwiches and La Colombe coffee. Then, later in the day, the lights dim and the spot becomes a spot for cocktails, sliders and music.

“Grandma here is a little bit modern and a little bit edgy,” Iricanin joked. “It’s very transformative.”

One of the eatery’s specialties will be Rakia, a boozy Balkan beverage made from distilled, fermented fruit juice. Patrons can also order cocktails made from various liquors alongside house-made tinctures and infusions and 20 kinds of wine from countries such as Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.

“We want you to come here, drink cocktails, get a few bites of this, a few bites of that,” said Iricanin.

But it’s also the kind of place where patrons might want to hang out, he added. The restaurant will feature free Wi-Fi, and outlets with USB ports under every seat.

The 2,400-square foot interior, which was designed by Iricanin’s wife, Nya Gill, features a mix of vintage and modern materials, eclectic artwork and antique glass chandeliers. Going along with the comfortable theme, the bar also has a real working fireplace flanked by two leather “king chairs,” as Iricanin calls them.

“You won’t want to leave,” said Iricanin. “Again, think grandma.”

by Tim Regan — January 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A D.C. restaurant known for steak frites and “secret sauce” might open a new location in Virginia Square.

Last year, Medium Rare tweeted out a cryptic message that seemed to suggest a new location was in the works for Arlington. Where and when that new restaurant might open remained a mystery, though.

But a tipster may have solved the mystery while touring an apartment building. Medium Rare is looking to open its restaurant in a retail space at the Latitude apartment development at 3601 Fairfax Drive, across from the Virginia Square Metro station, the tipster says he was told during the tour.

Though a visit to the apartment complex yesterday revealed little evidence that a new Medium Rare was on the way, the company seemed to confirm the opening in a brief correspondence.

When asked when a Virginia Square location might open, a representative for the eatery responded “likely early 2018.” The representative didn’t respond to additional requests for comment, however.

Medium Rare currently has two locations on Barracks Row and in Cleveland Park in the District.

Hat tip to Craig Wasilewsky

by ARLnow.com — January 20, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

US Capitol prior to inauguration ceremony (Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin)

Reminder: Inauguration Closures Today — Many Arlington County facilities are closed today, Inauguration Day, and parking meters are not being enforced. Traffic is light around Arlington but drivers should expect closures and delays approaching the District. [ARLnow]

Arlington EOC Open — Arlington’s Emergency Operations Center is open and fully functional today for the inauguration. [Twitter]

Two Local Neighborhoods Among D.C.’s Hottest — Arlington Heights, between Columbia Pike and Route 50, and Yorktown in north Arlington, are No. 2 and 3 respectively on real estate firm Redfin’s list of the hottest Washington, D.C. area neighborhoods for 2017. [Redfin]

Schlow May Open Arlington Restaurant — Restaurateur Michael Schlow, the man behind Tico and The Riggsby in D.C., is “close to a deal” to open a new restaurant in Arlington. [Washington Business Journal]

School Bus Accident — There was a minor collision between two school buses at Randolph Elementary yesterday afternoon. According to initial reports more than a dozen students were evaluated by medics, but ultimately no injuries reported. [Twitter]

Schmuhl Sentenced for Home Invasion — Former lawyer Alecia Schmuhl was sentenced to 45 years in prison for her role in the home invasion attack on her former boss and his wife. Leo Fisher, a shareholder in Arlington law firm Bean, Kinney & Korman, was held captive by Schmuhl’s husband, who shot, stabbed and tased the couple during a three hour torture session. [NBC Washington]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin

by ARLnow.com — January 19, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Mad Rose Tavern closing party flyerAfter six years in business, Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) is shutting its doors.

The Clarendon bar and restaurant did not look like it was going to survive long after it opened in 2011 and within weeks underwent a management change and, later, a menu change.

However, survive it did, as it focused more on nightlife and events. One memorable moment: bringing in Sisqo of “Thong Song” fame to perform in 2013.

Now, Mad Rose is closing after a final blowout party starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday. (It’s also scheduled to host a Democratic brunch on Sunday.)

Replacing Mad Rose will be a new Asian restaurant called Bao Bar, which will specialize in Taiwanese street food. As reported by the Washington City Paper, restaurant owner Social Restaurant Group, which just opened Pamplona restaurant across the plaza from Mad Rose, is planning a “major renovation” of the space but is hoping to open Bao Bar as early as March.

by Samantha Moore — January 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

Signs are up for a new Japanese ramen noodle restaurant in Clarendon.

Hanabi Ramen will be “coming soon” to the former Amsterdam Falafel space at 3024 Wilson Blvd, next to the future G.O.A.T. Sports Bar.

An exact opening date for the restaurant has not been announced. In an earlier Facebook post, the owner and chef, Kenji, described Hanabi as “an authentic Japanese ramen and gyoza restaurant featuring Japanese chefs.”

“We are currently remodeling the venue to make your ramen and gyoza experience in an authentic Japanese ramen shop as great as possible,” the post says.

by ARLnow.com — January 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

"Red-shouldered hawk" by Erinn Shirley

Williamsburg to Implement Block Scheduling — Williamsburg Middle School will, in fact, be implementing a block schedule for classes next year, an Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman tells ARLnow.com. While Kenmore has a modified block schedule for sixth grade, and Gunston is “exploring moving to a flexible schedule for next year,” Jefferson and Swanson are not considering moving to a block schedule, we’re told.

Home Prices Decline in Arlington in 2016 — Per WTOP’s Jeff Clabaugh and listing service MRIS: “The median price in Arlington County last year was down 1.8 percent from 2015. Arlington and Alexandria were the only local jurisdictions to see declines in 2016 prices versus 2015.” [WTOP]

Grand Opening for Pamplona — New Clarendon restaurant Pamplona is holding its grand opening celebration tonight. The Spanish tapas restaurant is set in a self-described “sultry and sophisticated space, featuring colorful Spanish tiled floors, unique murals… and of course, an arsenal of bullheads.” [Facebook]

H-B Photography in Richmond — Work by H-B Woodlawn photography students is on display in the Richmond offices of Del. Patrick Hope. Hope plans to highlight one piece a day during the legislative session. [Twitter]

Multi-Generational Housing Construction — A 1950s ranch home near Bishop O’Connell High School is being torn down to make way for a new multi-generation house for a couple, their daughter and husband, and their grandchildren. [Falls Church News-Press]

When You Don’t Want Someone to Take Your Parking Cone — South Arlington is “so rough you have to lock up your cones,” as a photo apparently taken yesterday demonstrates. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Tim Regan — January 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

There’s a new spot for Irish and Belgian fare, along with beer and whiskey, in Rosslyn.

“Quinn’s on the Corner” opened on the ground floor of the 1776 Wilson Blvd (at the corner of Wilson and N. Quinn Street) office building earlier today, according to owner Reese Gardner, the restaurateur behind other local business like Copperwood TavernDudley’s Sport and Ale and Irish Whiskey in the District.

The eatery, which Gardner describes as a “casual neighborhood pub with a food-first focus,” serves a menu of Belgian and Irish grub that includes mussel pots, fish and chips and several types of savory waffles topped with ingredients like fried lobster and creamed corned beef.

Behind a wraparound oak bar, staffers pour 27 kinds of Irish whiskeys, a selection that is one of the largest in the area, said Gardner.

“Our goal is to get up to where Irish Whiskey is,” Gardner added. “About 50 to 55 whiskeys.”

The bar also serves beer, wine and a small list of cocktails.

Though it originally was pitched as a hangout for Virginia Tech fans, Gardner said that idea was scrapped in favor of a more general sports theme. However, each weekend, the bar’s televisions will show Penn State and Virginia Tech games with sound.

“Rosslyn was a little underserved for a place to come watch the game,” Gardner said. “We’re excited about it.”

by Tim Regan — January 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A new tapas restaurant hopes to attract a stampede of customers when it opens next week.

The new eatery, Pamplona, is slated to start slinging small bites and drinks at 3100 Clarendon Blvd on Tuesday, Jan. 10, according to co-owner Mike Bramson. Pamplona replaced SoBe Bar & Bistro, which closed about a year ago.

When it opens, the tapas joint will bring with it some of the food and fun you might find at the annual Running of the Bulls event in Pamplona, Spain.

“We went to Pamplona and fell in love with the city,” Bramson said. “Every bar was just so vibrant and exciting that we had to bring this back to Clarendon.”

The eatery’s menu includes black squid ink seafood paella, tapas dishes and bite-sized servings of food called pinxtos. Those tiny dishes — which Bramson described as “literally just one bite” — range from $1-5.

At the bar, patrons can order eight types of sangria alongside beer, wine and cocktails.

“We’re really excited to bring our cocktail program,” said Bramson, who co-founded Social Restaurant Group, the company behind Provision No. 14 and The Prospect in the District. “We’re known for our cocktails and our food. We want to bring that vibrant atmosphere to the neighborhood.”

The restaurant, designed by David Anthony Chenault, also features Spanish tiled floors, photo murals of Pamplona’s famous event and a plethora of wall-mounted bull head busts.

by ARLnow.com — January 4, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

GOAT Sports Bar in Clarendon

We now know a bit more about The G.O.A.T., the new sports bar and lounge that’s coming to the former Hard Times Cafe space in Clarendon.

The bar is expected to open in June. The 8,800 square foot space is being completely remodeled and will seat “350 guests between three full bars and full service tables.”

The group behind A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and other popular Arlington hangouts has signed a 20-year lease for the space, at 3028 Wilson Blvd.

A new press release, below, says The G.O.A.T. will “transition from a traditional sports bar to a chic and relaxed evening lounge” and will feature “daily deals, late night menus and live entertainment” among its rotating specials.

Mike Cordero is bringing the “greatest of all time” in food and drinks to Clarendon this summer. Set to open in June 2017, The G.O.A.T. will take over 3028 Wilson Boulevard, which formerly housed the Hard Times Café, and transform the current floor and kitchen layout to maximize the seating in the 8,800-square-foot restaurant space. Cordero’s MacNac Hospitality signed a 20-year lease agreement with property owner VA Properties LLC. will work on the build out and remodeling of the kitchen, ground level and second floor, and Yvette Irene Design will develop the interior décor.

The G.O.A.T. will serve gourmet American comfort food and beverages. All the menu’s recipes will feature locally sourced ingredients and homemade marinades and sauces. There will be an emphasis on craft cocktails and beers supplied from area microbreweries.

“Our mission is to offer simple yet delicious food, a variety of drinks and a relaxing environment to lounge in,” said Mike Cordero, Executive Chef and President of MacNac Hospitality. “The G.O.A.T. will be an inviting sports bar that can be enjoyed beyond game day.”

Designed with extended hours for lounging in mind, The G.O.A.T. will transition from a traditional sports bar to a chic and relaxed evening lounge. Daily deals, late night menus and live entertainment will be a regular part of The G.O.A.T.’s rotating specials.

The redesigned restaurant will seat 350 guests between three full bars and full service tables. The 200-person dining room will have a mix of high tops and long banquette style tables. The bar stools and high top table chairs will feature plush cushions and foot rests to make seating for extended periods most comfortable. To ensure all seats are “the best seat in the house,” The G.O.A.T. will feature three large viewing walls. Each wall will be entirely comprised of individual TV monitors that together display one single televised event to maximize the overall viewing potential from each table. Separate from the main floor, The G.O.A.T. will house a private function room equipped with its own bar, several TV monitors, and seating for 25.

by ARLnow.com — December 21, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Dickey's Barbecue Pit logoA Texas-style barbecue restaurant chain is considering opening an Arlington location next year.

A press release yesterday from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit included an Arlington dateline, but only said that the new restaurant would be opening in “the state of Virginia.”

Asked for clarification, a company spokeswoman told ARLnow.com that the restaurant may open in Arlington.

“The exact location has not been decided yet, but they are looking at locations in Arlington and Alexandria,” said the spokeswoman.

The press release is below.

Arlington, VA — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will be opening its tenth new location in the state of Virginia with a new store slated to begin serving delicious, Texas-style barbecue in 2017. The new store’s owner, Mario Aguilar, is excited to embark on this new adventure by opening his very first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in the community he grew up in.

“The Dickey family congratulates Mario Aguilar on opening his first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in Virginia,” says Roland Dickey, Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is growing rapidly across the nation, and we are always proud when we have the opportunity to add a new Owner/Operator to the Dickey’s family.”

Born and raised in Virginia, Aguilar has been part of this community his entire life and is excited to serve Dickey’s Barbecue to the people whom he considers his family. Aguilar has been a business owner for the past 12 years, owning multiple AT&T locations throughout Virginia. When he decided it was time to get into the restaurant industry he knew Dickey’s was the right place for him because he loves the food and the 75-year-old brand.

“Dickey’s is a great brand that is well-known throughout the nation and I am excited to be a part of it,” says Aguilar. “Dickey’s will do well in this community because there is a large need for slow-smoked barbecue, and I am proud to be the one to provide it.”

by ARLnow.com — December 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

We reported earlier this month that Punch Bowl Social was coming to Arlington. Now we know where it’s coming to: the renovated Ballston Quarter mall.

Punch Bowl Social says it will be opening a 25,000 square foot space at the mall in June 2018.

“Already a hit in other cities and a proven millennial magnet, Punch Bowl Social Ballston will include eight bowling lanes, one bocce court, three private karaoke rooms, a custom built 360 degree bar and various lounging and gathering spots — for groups both large and small — housed in an eclectic space melding mountain lodge, Victorian and modern industrial design themes,” the company said in a press release.

The full press release is below.

Punch Bowl Social, the leader in the “eatertainment” movement, announced today that it will open a 25,000 square-foot restaurant, bar and entertainment concept in Arlington’s Ballston Quarter in June 2018. Punch Bowl Social pairs a Hugh Acheson designed, scratch-made menu and craft beverage program with “old-school” social activities like vintage video games, shuffleboard, private karaoke rooms, bowling, Ping-Pong, bocce and skee-ball.

Already a hit in other cities and a proven millennial magnet, Punch Bowl Social Ballston will include eight bowling lanes, one bocce court, three private karaoke rooms, a custom built 360 degree bar and various lounging and gathering spots – for groups both large and small – housed in an eclectic space melding mountain lodge, Victorian and modern industrial design themes.

Punch Bowl Social founder & CEO Robert Thompson noted that Ballston Quarter is exactly the type of development where Punch Bowl Social flourishes. “The Ballston Quarter is poised to become the urban village for Arlington and the surrounding metro area,” he said. “The team behind the project is curating a unique, elevated experience that emphasizes attention to detail and quality offerings. These are the same considerations that drive Punch Bowl Social.”

The elevated experiences that Thompson references are what have ensured Punch Bowl Social’s singular position atop the “eatertainment” industry’s leadership roster. As noted in a multi-page spread in Inc. Magazine’s December/January issue, Punch Bowl Social has “broken from the pack.” The article pays homage to the brand and to Thompson’s uncanny – one could argue unparalleled – ability to market to the often elusive millennial, now the country’s largest demographic and a group sure to descend upon Ballston Quarter.

Joe Boehm, Executive Vice President, Real Estate at Forest City Realty Trust, the development company behind the Ballson Quarter, notes that it was these very factors that drew Forest City to Punch Bowl Social. “The Ballston Quarter will offer an experience that is purposeful, thoughtful and uncommon,” Boehm said. “We support this goal by partnering with anchor tenants capable of delivering on this promise. Punch Bowl Social is an industry leader with a proven track record. But more importantly, it offers an authentic experience that resonates across demographic groupings, literally offering something for everyone.”

Punch Bowl Social has made a name for itself with its remarkably balanced execution of the eat, drink, play concept. The brand prides itself on its food-forward approach, with an inspired menu created by the company’s culinary partner, celebrity chef Hugh Acheson. Acheson, a restauranteur, cookbook author, Top Chef judge and James Beard award winner, leads the ongoing culinary direction of the growing restaurant concept while underscoring its commitment to a seasonally inspired, scratch kitchen.

Punch Bowl Social Ballston marks the company’s first east coast location. Other cities include, among others, Detroit; Cleveland; Portland, Ore; Austin; and Denver, Colorado, where Punch Bowl Social originated.

PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL

Punch Bowl Social brings classic entertainment and real culinary chops together under the same roof, in an environment that is playful and surprisingly intimate. Punch Bowl Social’s scratch kitchen serves weekend brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks while the in-house mixologists focus on serving up craft beverages. For more information, visit www.punchbowlsocial.com

by ARLnow.com — December 19, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

The Corner Tex-Mix on S. Walter Reed Drive

An Ethiopian restaurant will be coming to the former Corner Tex-Mix space in Nauck.

The now-closed restaurant, near the corner of S. Glebe Road and S. Walter Reed Drive, was poorly reviewed and for much of 2016 the restaurant would only open periodically, keeping “odd hours” that were not immediately discernible to casual patrons.

Replacing The Corner Tex-Mix will be a second location for Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant, an eatery on 14th Street NW in D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood.

Reached by phone, Lalibela owner Taye Wogederes said he’s hoping to open the restaurant as early as January. It will serve traditional Ethiopian cuisine, along with beer and wine, and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, he said.

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