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by Heather Mongilio — September 3, 2015 at 4:30 pm 1,302 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 1,239 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

by ARLnow.com — August 13, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,990 0

Shake Shack (Photo via Wikipedia/Beyond My Ken)A Shake Shack will be coming to Pentagon City mall, according to permit applications filed with Arlington County.

The permits indicate that Shake Shack is planning a restaurant with outdoor patio seating and signage, indicating that it’s likely coming to the mall’s 50,000 square foot expansion along S. Hayes Street, which is currently under construction.

The location could be a boon to the New York-based burger restaurant, serving the legions of U.S. and international tourists who get dropped off at the mall by the busload in order to chow down at the food court and do a bit of shopping.

Rendering of changes to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon CitySo far there has been no official announcement of Shake Shack’s arrival from mall owner Simon. As for an opening date, spring 2016 seems to be the most likely timeframe. Two other restaurants announced for the mall’s addition — Matchbox and Sugar Factory — each have an anticipated spring opening.

While it will likely keep busy with tourists and shoppers, the Shake Shack will be losing some potential customers a year or two after it opens. It was announced yesterday that the Transportation Security Administration headquarters, located across the street, will be moving to Alexandria by 2018.

A Shake Shack in Pentagon City was presaged by Eater.com’s Missy Frederick, who reported last year that the company was looking closely at Bethesda, Reston and Pentagon City for potential future locations.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo (top) via Wikipedia/Beyond My Ken

by Heather Mongilio — August 11, 2015 at 10:05 am 5,269 0

Oz restaurant in Clarendon

Oz, a new Clarendon bar and restaurant with modern Australian cuisine, is planning to open its doors next month.

The restaurant, located at 2950 Clarendon Blvd., is currently under construction, but Oz’s grand opening is planned for Sept. 10 for media and invited guests.

After its grand opening, the restaurant will open to the public, said co-owner Ashley Darby, a former Miss D.C.

The restaurant’s interior is meant to feel like a house on the Australian outback and can seat 150 guests, Darby said.

The back dining area will be decorated like the inside of a house, the bar is meant to feel like a back porch of a house and the front dining area will look a front patio, she said. The restaurant will also have outdoor seating for 50 guests.

Oz's bar (Courtesy of Ashley Darby)

Darby said she wants the Oz to be a place that guests can come to relax with friends, enjoy a beer and taste authentic Australian food. The menu will feature dishes served in Australia, such as rissoles and eggs, a typical Australian brunch dish, and an Australian version of a s’more.

Darby’s husband and Oz co-owner, Michael, is an Australian native.

“It’ll offer a different perspective on some cuts of meat and plates we have in America,” Darby said.

The Darbys have lived in Arlington for four years, and the area’s young and diverse population made it the ideal location for the restaurant, she said.

“We just loved it so much that it seemed to be the natural thing,” Darby said.

Bar photo courtesy of Ashley Darby

by Heather Mongilio — August 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm 1,893 0

secret-chopsticksSecret Chopsticks, a contemporary Chinese restaurant in Rosslyn, may open its doors by the end of September.

The new restaurant, which sits along N. Fort Myer Drive on the lower ground floor of the Turnberry Towers building, is currently under construction, according to general manager Robin Li.

Construction and permit issues caused the restaurant to delay its opening, he said. It was originally planned to open last summer.

Once opened, the restaurant will have 120 seats inside along with outdoor seating. Li said the restaurant is still waiting to get the permit for outdoor seating.

The restaurant will be different than a typical Chinese restaurant that serves “Americanized” Chinese food, Li said. Instead, the restaurant will feature contemporary Chinese cooking.

“Whatever they are cooking in China now, we are going to cook,” he said.

The restaurant will also focus on high quality service, making the restaurant more of a sit down restaurant than a takeout place. It will also have its own wine list, Li said.

“There are a lot of differences between this restaurant and other Chinese restaurants,” he said.

by ARLnow.com — August 4, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,750 0

Evening jog (Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi)

Sweetgreen, Taylor Gourmet Coming to Crystal CityVenture capital-funded salad purveyor Sweetgreen plans to open a 1,700 square foot store in the former Corner Bakery space in Crystal City later this year. And that’s not the only trendy eatery coming to the neighborhood. Sandwich shop Taylor Gourmet is expected to open in a storefront next door. [Bisnow]

Sunglasses Store Closes on Pentagon Row — There’s still more than a month until Labor Day but sunglasses store Specs New York, which opened up three months ago on Pentagon Row, appears to be closing. [Twitter]

New Law Allows Cocktail Pitchers — A new Virginia law that took effect July 1 finally allows restaurants to serve pitchers of cocktails. Previously, it was against the law to serve any mixed drink other than sangria via pitcher. Pepita, which opened last week in Ballston, is taking advantage of the new law by selling margaritas in a skull-shaped pitcher for $40. [Washington Business Journal]

TV Station Profiles Arlington Fugitive — Rosslyn-based WJLA featured an Arlington fugitive as part of an “ABC 7 On Your Side” segment. Police say Jessie Kim, 25, assaulted the new owner of what had formerly been his family’s dry cleaning business. Kim is also accused of destroying the owner’s phone and other property before driving off in a silver BMW. [WJLA]

Bus Accident in Ballston — A minor collision between an ART bus and a Metrobus happened around 5:00 p.m. yesterday in front of the Ballston Metro station. No injuries were reported.

Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi

by Heather Mongilio — August 3, 2015 at 11:15 am 4,619 0

Sehkraft Brewing (Courtesy-of-Devin-Hicks)

Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus, a new brewpub near Clarendon from the owners of the Westover Beer Garden, is looking to open its doors before baseball season is over.

The beer garden’s goal is to open its new location at 925 N. Garfield Street by the end of August, said owner Devin Hicks. The pub will definitely be open by mid-September “in time to watch the Nationals kill it in the playoffs and hopefully watch the Redskins be competitive,” he said.

Sehkraft’s 10-barrel brewing system is currently being installed in the establishment, Hicks said. Once open, the beer garden will have five beers flowing from the tanks and five house brews in kegs. The bar will also feature 30 “guest” beers from other breweries for its taps.

Sehkraft will collaborate with a number of local and national breweries, Hicks said. The first is a collaboration with Adroit Theory, a brewing company based in Purcellville, Virginia. The brew, an Imperial Gose, will be one of the first distributed at the bar.

“We definitely are excited to showcasing the several fantastic local breweries in the area,” Hicks said.

Head brewer John Peters also plans to collaborate with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Growlers will also be a big part of Sehkraft Beer Garden, and customers will receive discounts on growlers if they use the bar’s Portland Growlers, Hicks said.

The establishment will also be home to a butcher shop. Customers will be able to buy cuts of meat to take home from the shop, which will also serve as the bar’s kitchen.

In addition to the beer and food, the venue will be a home for live music. Hicks is working with a booking agent to attract local and regional bands to perform at the bar.

The bar received its entertainment permit from the county last November, but it does not allow the venue to open its windows or doors. Sehkraft plans to have outdoor seating but guests will have to stay indoors if they wish to hear the music.

“We’re gonna give Arlingtonians an unbelievable venue to help celebrate our great community, beer, music and food,” Hicks said.

The company is hiring staff to help it get ready for its opening. Those interested in joining can email joe@sehkraftbrewing for general employment, [email protected] to apply for a kitchen position, [email protected] for the butcher shop and [email protected] to work in the brewery.

Photo courtesy Devin Hicks

by Heather Mongilio — July 31, 2015 at 3:15 pm 5,083 0

(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) District Taco is working with an unlikely contractor for the construction of its new Rosslyn location: a company that once laid the restaurant’s founder off.

In 2008, Osiris Hoil was working as a superintendent for Patriot Contracting, the construction company that is building the new District Taco in Rosslyn and has built locations in Alexandria and Dunn Loring — which is celebrating its grand opening today.

The company originally hired Hoil despite his lack of construction experience because of his “can do” attitude and work ethic, said Jeff McGee, the co-owner of Patriot Contracting. The company struggled during the 2008 financial crisis, however, and Hoil was laid off.

“When I got laid off, I was very sad and I asked if I could stay on payroll, sweeping floors,” Hoil said. His wife was pregnant at the time and he needed the health insurance.

Laying off Hoil was one of the toughest days McGee has experienced on the job.

“I walked away crying,” he said.

Laying Hoil and the other employees left its mark on the company. McGee vowed that the company will stay small in order to avoid ever laying someone off again.

Undaunted by the adversity of losing a job during a major economic downturn, Hoil went on to start his original District Taco cart in 2009. He had a passion for cooking and his family’s recipes — and they turned out to be a hit.

That first cart eventually spawned a second, and then a brick and mortar restaurant followed on Lee Highway. That in turn led to what is now a growing regional chain. And when Hoil started building additional restaurants, he ultimately returned to Patriot Contracting, this time as a client.

“Instead of being angry about what they did, I’m right next to them saying let’s try this again,” Hoil said. He says he signed a multimillion dollar contract with Patriot because the company has good people and the owners get involved in the project.

The construction company has built two new stores and remodeled one of the existing locations, McGee said. It is currently working on the Rosslyn location.

“We really enjoy working with him [Hoil], and we’re proud of what he’s done,” McGee said.

Hoil is also eying Bailey’s Crossroads in Virginia and the Tenleytown neighborhood in D.C. for two more restaurants, he said. Hoil says he also wants to expand into Maryland, possibly in College Park. The company currently has 270 employees.

The new District Taco in Rosslyn will be located at 1500 Wilson Blvd, next to the future TargetExpress store. Both are expected to open this fall.

by Heather Mongilio — July 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm 1,237 0

Potbelly Sandwich Works logoSandwich shop Potbelly is coming to Rosslyn’s International Place building at 1735 N. Lynn Street.

Potbelly has leased a 2,525 square foot space, according to Liz Wainger, a spokeswoman for real estate firm CBRE. An opening date has not been decided, she said.

There’s no word yet on which storefront Potbelly will occupy. There are at least three vacant or soon-to-be-vacant ground floor retail locations in the building:

  • The former FroZenYo frozen yogurt shop, which recently closed
  • The Wilson Florist shop, which had a moving sale sign outside today
  • A retail bay between Chop’t and the building lobby

The new store will be the third Potbelly in Arlington. The company also has a location by the Ballston Metro and in Crystal City.

CBRE’s D.C.-based retail leasing team tweeted out the news about Potbelly’s lease on behalf of Beacon Capitol Partners, a real-estate firm in Arlington.

by Mariah Joyce — July 28, 2015 at 10:00 am 2,101 0

Alexandria Restaurant Partners, a local restaurant management and consulting company, is planning to open new restaurant Palette 22 at the Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) in December.

The restaurant is envisioned as following in the footsteps of ARP-managed restaurant Cafe Tu Tu Tango in Orlando, Florida, a small-plates eatery which boasts the theme of “Food, Art, Fun.” The company describes Palette 22 as Cafe Tu Tu Tango designed “for the local, millennial crowd,” and says the restaurant will emphasize authentic international street food, street art and a creative craft bar program.

According to Paul Beckmann, the architect on the project, the building permits for the restaurant were submitted on July 13 and are currently under review. Beckmann anticipates that construction will start mid to late August and last about three months.

Palette 22 is opening in the space formerly occupied by Italian restaurant Extra Virgin, which closed in 2013.

“The space right now is pretty rough,” said Beckmann. “Much of the equipment has more than lived out its life span. We’re having to clear out the entire space.”

Once completed, the restaurant will be able to seat 168 inside and an additional 34 on an outdoor patio running along Campbell Avenue.

This will be ARP’s first restaurant in Arlington. The company currently owns Old Town Alexandria restaurant The Majestic, manages Virtue Feed & Grain, and has plans to open Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap in Alexandria in September.

Photos via Beckman Architects

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