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by Chris Teale — March 28, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The former home of Sehkraft Brewery will not be vacant for long, as The Board Room looks set to move in.

Sehkraft closed its doors at 925 N. Garfield Street in the Garfield Park apartment complex in January.

But in an email to residents on Sunday obtained by ARLnow, Garfield Park property manager Christin D’Amato said The Board Room will take over the first-floor retail space in Clarendon.

It currently has a location in Dupont Circle and, according to the email, shares some ownership with Carpool in Ballston, which is set to shutter next month after staying open for months on borrowed time.

The Board Room combines an extensive drinks menu with board games, available for rent for a flat fee of $2. The D.C. location does not have its own kitchen, but it encourages visitors to bring their own food if they wish.

The new location, The Board Room’s first in Virginia, also looks set to include a champagne lounge.

More from D’Amato’s email:

The Board Room D.C. location serves 21 draft lines and offers more than 50 different board games for customers to enjoy. Board Room VA will also feature a number of private party spaces and will offer a full menu and happy hour specials. Board Room VA will partner with a local brewer to keep the microbrewery operating and offer a number of in-house products. In addition, Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge will offer a wide variety of champagnes and craft cocktails.

Representatives with The Board Room have thus far not responded to a request for comment.

by Chris Teale — March 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A Baltimore-based fast casual noodle bar will arrive next year at the redeveloped Ballston Quarter mall.

Mi and Yu Noodle Bar announced earlier this week on Facebook it has signed a lease to open a location in Ballston around September 2018, once redevelopment is complete.

With locations already open in the Federal Hill and Mount Vernon neighborhoods of Baltimore and another set for Hampden in September, owner Edward Kim said he expects the new spot in Arlington to continue the success he’s found in Charm City.

“The deal is right, I think the area is really good,” Kim said. “It’s very dense with good foot traffic, energy and good demographics.”

Kim said Mi and Yu is different from other Asian eateries, as customers can build their own noodle bowls, choosing from a variety of broths, noodles and proteins. The menu of Chinese steam bun sandwiches — known as bao — is extensive too, and customers can again customize.

“It’s basically a build your own concept, like you would do at Panera Bread or Chipotle,” Kim said. “It’s definitely not a traditional place.”

Mi and Yu has joined the likes of Punch Bowl Social in leasing space at the mall, where renovations are currently underway.

by Chris Teale — March 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

(Updated 8:50 p.m.) Columbia Pike’s first beer garden appears to be almost ready for its first customers.

Work has been underway at BrickHaus at 2900 Columbia Pike for almost a year, and now seems to be approaching the closing stages.

A Facebook post last month said construction is finishing soon and that the opening is “getting closer,” while another earlier this month said there are “only weeks to go until opening.”

In an email, owner Tony Wagner said the joint across the street from the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse should be open “by the end of April.”

The outdoor patio and fire pit facing the street now appear to be mostly complete, while photos posted on Facebook show the 24-tap draught beer tower has been delivered.

Construction crews found the original marble tile from the building’s former life as a bank earlier this year, and light fixtures are hanging from the original rafters.

BrickHaus will be a beer garden on the first floor, with some 20 beers on tap and an approximately 30-seat outdoor patio. The second floor mezzanine will be a sit-down steakhouse. Previous plans for rooftop seating fell through.

It will offer mostly regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers. Wagner said draft wine will also be available.

The aging building has received an extensive renovation after being vacant for years following the departure of Blanca’s Restaurant.

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

Clarendon appears to be getting its first dedicated outdoor beer garden.

Alternately called “The Lot,” “The Beer Lot” or “Lot 10” in filings and online posts, the beer garden is coming to what’s currently a used car lot on the corner of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N., at the western tip of Clarendon, according to sources and a Virginia ABC filing.

We’re told the beer garden will feature an expansive outdoor seating area, some indoor or tented space, food — perhaps provided by a rotating cohort of food trucks — and a focus on local beers. It’s expected to open by this summer.

Social Restaurant Group, which recently opened Pamplona and is opening Bar Bao, both in Clarendon, is the company behind The Lot. A company representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Beer gardens, which have popped up all over the District in the past couple of years, are also coming soon to Rosslyn and Columbia Pike.

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Puddle at Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road (Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards)

Big Changes Coming to DCA — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has revealed updated designs of the coming changes at Reagan National Airport. Among the changes are a new commuter terminal, replacing the outdoor commuter gate 35X, and a new structure to house security checkpoints, which will be positioned before travelers enter the airport’s main terminal B/C hallway. [WTOP, WTOP]

Ethiopian Restaurant Coming to Courthouse — Chercher Ethiopian restaurant is expanding from the District to a new location at 2000 14th Street N. in Courthouse. It will be the first Virginia outpost for the acclaimed Ethiopian restaurant. Its owner says he chose Courthouse because the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor lacks Ethiopian dining options. [Washington Business Journal]

Tornado Drill Today — Yesterday was the first day of spring and today, at 9:45 a.m., Virginia is holding its annual statewide tornado drill. The drill is “a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies and to test public warning systems.” [Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management]

Va. Pols Speaking at Arlington Dems Dinner — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello and state Attorney General Mark Herring will be the headline speakers at the Arlington Democrats’ annual “Blue Victory Dinner,” formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, on April 8. The other Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, “had a conflict and will not be able to make it.” [InsideNova]

School 5K to Close Streets — Roads will be closed in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood Saturday morning for the second annual Discovery/Nottingham Friendship 5K. [Arlington County, Discovery Elementary School]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm 0

A Roti Mediterranean Grill restaurant is opening in Pentagon City, permits show.

The fast casual rotisserie eatery is coming to the ground floor of the Met Arcadia apartment building, at 1211 S. Fern Street, between two recently opened businesses: a Starbucks and an Orangetheory Fitness.

Interior construction appears to be underway inside. So far there’s no word as to when the restaurant is expected to open.

This will be Roti’s second location in Arlington County. The first is located at 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

by Chris Teale — March 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Four clothing stores, two eateries and a coffee store will be open before the end of spring at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Women’s clothing store ELOQUII is now open in a pop-up location near Kate Spade New York, in the space once occupied by its parent company, the Limited, on the mall’s second level. ELOQUII offers clothing for women in dress sizes 14 and up, and also provides wide width footwear and accessories.

On the same level, Ministry of Fashion has opened its first mall location, having started in 2014 in Georgetown. It looks to provide quality menswear as well as clothing for women, and supports local businesses and talents.

Just two spaces down from Ministry of Fashion and near Macy’s is New York & Company, a specialty retailer of women’s apparel and accessories.

On the edge of the mall’s food court, Indian eatery Naan & Beyond opened earlier this month. The fast casual restaurant offers a variety of Indian staples.

The coming months will bring several new options at Pentagon City. Sugar Factory is slated to open April 1 on S. Hayes Street next to honeygrow as the mall continues to expand. The candy shop and restaurant is famed for its celebrity-endorsed Couture Pops.

The Nespresso boutique is now expected to open May 1 on the ground level at the S. Hayes Street entrance. The store will sell Nespresso coffee and other products and accessories, as well as offer complimentary tastings. The spot was once occupied by Belmont Jewelers.

Finally, The Shoe Box will debut at the Fashion Centre later this spring on the mall’s first level near Nordstrom. It brings more than 50 years of experience in footwear, and contains more than 30 luxury brands as well as its own self-titled house line.

by Tim Regan — March 3, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

There’s a new coffee shop and eatery in the former Mother’s Macaroons space, but it might not open in time for your early morning caffeine dose.

The cafe, Chill Zone, opened at 2442 N. Harrison Street several weeks ago. The business replaced the former Mother’s Macaroons Bakery, which abruptly closed in 2015.

Chill Zone serves bubble tea, Vietnamese coffee and a signature “Volcano Mango Frap,” among other beverages, but not until it opens at 10 a.m. each day, according to its Yelp page. The cafe also serves snacks such as pan-fried rice cakes and chicken wings.

The coffee shop wasn’t open when an ARLnow reporter visited the spot just before 9 a.m. this morning, but a peek through the window revealed an interior bedecked with modern decor and colorful furniture.

Reached via Facebook messenger, a representative for Chill Zone declined to comment on the opening.

by Chris Teale — March 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

A new Japanese ramen noodle restaurant opened its doors this week in Clarendon.

Hanabi Ramen celebrated its first day February 28 at the former Amsterdam Falafel space at 3024 Wilson Blvd, next to the future G.O.A.T. Sports Bar.

The restaurant has room for 35 people to eat, including on a long shared table in the middle of the dining area.

“You end up sitting with someone you have never met,” said the restaurant’s owner and chef Kenji. “We are hoping people can start conversations over ramen.”

There are plenty of other reminders of the owner’s Japanese heritage. Several norens — Japanese fabric dividers — hang to separate the back rooms from the dining area, while the kitchen is fully open for customers to see their food being made.

And above customers’ heads, a light fixture is made from several ramen boilers.

Kenji said the menu has many homemade ramen dishes, including tsukemen, a ramen dish with noodles that are dipped in a separate bowl of soup or broth. Kenji said he has heard from several people that Hanabi Ramen could be one of the first in the local area to serve the dish.

Pricing is on the lower end for a sit-down restaurant in Clarendon — around $14 for an entree, both for lunch and dinner, according to a menu posted on Facebook.

So far, Kenji said he has looked to make customers happy from “when they have the first sip of soup,” and he wishes to create a culture of teamwork among his staff.

Hanabi Ramen is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., then for dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. daily.

by ARLnow.com — March 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm 0

Pete's New Haven Apizza in Clarendon

Pete’s New Haven Apizza is preparing to downsize its space in Clarendon, and Dunkin’ Donuts is considering filling it.

Multiple sources tell ARLnow.com that Dunkin’ reps have taken a close look at the space at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street. A leasing chart for the building, however, still lists the space as unfilled.

There are existing Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Ballston and Courthouse but not in Clarendon.

Permits have been issued to alter the existing Pete’s dining room and kitchen, reducing the overall size of the restaurant. Co-owner Joel Mehr says the pizzeria remain open during the process.

“We plan to stay open during construction,” he said. “We may have to close for a lunch here and there.”

by Tim Regan — February 28, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

Rosslyn is slated to get a new 180-seat indoor and outdoor beer garden this April.

Or at least, that’s the plan, said owner Curt Large, who also owns nearby Continental Pool Lounge. Large is working to open a new hangout dubbed the Continental Beer Garden in a space currently used as a pop-up urban park with tables, chairs, potted plants and a mural at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street.

“Everything still has to come together,” Large said. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but all the finishes need to occur.”

As ARLnow.com originally reported last August, the work includes a full renovation of the former service station located under the office building at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive. That indoor area will be transformed into a bar and small seating area with a kitchen and bathrooms. But the real action happens outside, Large said. When it opens, the 4,000 square foot outdoor beer garden will have two bocce courts, picnic tables, outdoor sofas and comfy chairs.

“We hope that the seats fill up just because there’s demand for it,” he said. “As soon as the weather gets nice, people who are in offices all day will want to spend some time outside.”

At the bar, patrons can order beers from Virginia breweries such as Port City and Lost Rhino, Large said. The beer garden will also serve a couple German beers, a selection of wines on tap and happy hour mainstays such as sausage platters, meat skewers and pretzels with beer cheese.

Large started working on the former service station in 2013, when it was occupied by cars and two dumpsters.

“I walked past the space one day and had an epiphany,” he said. “This should be a beer garden.”

The space sat vacant for about two decades before being converted to an outdoor seating area by property owner JBG and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in 2014. In the past, the lot has seen a number of events, including a pop-up beer garden organized by the Continental two years ago.

by Tim Regan — February 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

A new restaurant and bar dedicated to steamed buns and creative cocktails is coming soon to Clarendon.

The business, dubbed “Bar Bao,” is slated to open in the former Mad Rose Tavern space at 3100 Clarendon Blvd, according to co-owner Mike Bramson, who also co-owns Spanish tapas joint Pamplona down the street.

As the name implies, Bar Bao will serve steamed buns, dumplings and other small bites inspired by Chinese and Taiwanese street food.

“We’re going to have a heavy focus on the bao bun program,” Bramson told ARLnow.com. “We’re going to do a lot of creative takes on it.”

One example is a steamed bun filled with southern fried chicken, Bramson said. Though the rest of the menu isn’t yet finalized, he added that diners can expect lots of similarly “unique twists on street food.”

Bar Bao will also serve a long list of cocktails, Bramson said. And like the food, the drink list is to-be-determined.

“We call it Bar Bao because we’re also going to have a really nice cocktail program,” he said. “We’re going to do some creative things that nobody in the area has seen yet.”

When it opens, the new eatery’s interior will feature murals from a local graffiti artist. The interior will also showcase materials such as steel, zinc, lumber and leather “to express an architectural moment reflective of the food itself: pedestrian, flavorful, and comfortable,” a design document given to ARLnow reads.

If all goes according to plan, the new hangout will open in a little more than a month.

“We’re expecting to open in April,” Bramson said. “We’re going really quickly. We already ordered the furniture.”

by Tim Regan — February 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

Pulp Juice and Smoothie opening soon(Updated at 6:58 p.m.) Virginia Square will soon have a new outpost for fruit smoothies, juices and wraps.

A Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar is moving into the storefront at the Virginia Square Towers at 3444 Fairfax Drive. Signs advertising the new eatery went up recently.

A look through the Ohio-based company’s menu reveals a long list of smoothies in flavors such as “pulp fusion,” “peach beach” and “orange chill.” The cafe also sells wraps, which can be filled with ingredients like spicy turkey, tuna and peanut butter.

The business is slated to open within weeks, according Pulp Juice and Smoothie founder Tom Knepp.

“We are hoping to open in the first or second week of March,” he said. “We are just waiting on some of our proprietary products to get in.”

This is the first Pulp Juice and Smoothie in Virginia.

Photo by Buzz McClain

by ARLnow.com — February 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm 0

A restaurant serving “adapted versions of Indian classics” will be opening in the Pentagon City mall food court area, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Located between Haagen-Dazs and the Garrett Popcorn Shop, Naan & Beyond will serve dishes like Tandoori chicken, biryani, meat or veggie rice plates, roti rolls, naan sandwiches, salads and other various specialties.

The restaurant is hoping to open either tomorrow or Thursday, a company rep said today at the mall.

Naan & Beyond has three existing locations in the District listed on its website,

by ARLnow.com — February 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm 0

There’s a new sandwich and salad spot on Pentagon Row.

A Deli” opened recently at 1301 S. Joyce Street, in the former Subway storefront, next to Rite Aid. The interior is relatively spacious, for a deli, and includes a number of tables for dining in and a TV for those in line, in addition to the large deli counter.

The menu includes breakfast options, hot subs, deli sandwiches and hoagies, specialty Italian sandwiches, cheesesteaks, salads, party platters, sides and desserts. Free lunch box delivery, with a five box minimum, is offered. Wine is also available for sale.

The deli’s hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday.

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