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by Bridget Reed Morawski March 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Looks like Virginia Square residents won’t have to wait long for the opening of prix-fixe steakhouse Medium Rare.

The restaurant had signs up as early as November 2017, but co-founder Mark Bucher confirmed via email that the restaurant is targeting to open the first week of April.

Currently, the popular chain has three open locations — two in D.C. and one in Bethesda, Md.

Medium Rare is known for its relatively inexpensive pre-fixe dinner menu of bread, salad, and culotte steak with fries and a “secret sauce” for about $20.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Koch

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 20, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

Signs are up at The Simple Greek, a new restaurant at the Colonial Village shopping plaza near Rosslyn.

Company representatives say they’re hoping to open the eatery, at 1731 Wilson Blvd, in late April.

The Simple Greek serves personalized Greek pitas or bowls, with several protein options and toppings like feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and cucumbers. Four different sauces, including hummus and garlic cream, will be available, and the restaurant has dessert options that includes a baklava cheesecake and Greek yogurt.

Greek beer and wine are also available at select locations, but The Simple Greek’s website did not list if this location was among those with libations. The chain replaces the former Virginia ABC Store, which closed in 2013 and left the storefront vacant ever since.

According to a website location map, The Simple Greek chain has at least nine new locations in the works nationwide, from Massachusetts to Texas. Hours for the Arlington store are not yet listed on the website.

The Simple Greek was featured on the CNBC show The Profit, an appearance that later led to a lawsuit against host Marcus Lemonis and the subsequent closure of a location in suburban Pittsburgh.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

A new Korean bibimbap restaurant has opened in Crystal City.

Rice Bar opened its first Arlington location at 1235 S. Clark Street on Monday, March 5, according to the store’s manager, James Lee. They company’s website lists five additional locations, all in the District.

Bibimbap is a hot rice dish served with meat, egg, sautéed or seasoned vegetables, and other toppings.

Diners can either eat one of seven signature dishes, like the Kalbi Korean BBQ beef rib, or build their own bowl. Toppings include edamame, burdock root, roasted seaweed, and bamboo shoot, and there are seven sauce options listed, like gochujang, a red chili paste.

The restaurant also offers noodle dishes with similar toppings.

Operating hours will be from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with additional hours on Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Rice Bar Crystal City will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays, according to the location’s web page.

File photos.

by ARLnow.com March 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm 0

A trio of new restaurants are coming to the western edge of Clarendon, just across Washington Blvd from Northside Social.

Demolition permits have been issued for “Le Kon,” which is coming to the large restaurant space at 3227 Washington Blvd vacated by the short-lived Park Lane Tavern. It’s unclear what exactly Le Kon will be, though it is listed vaguely as a “Casual Dining, Fine Dining, Bar / Lounge” establishment on the restaurant hiring website Culinary Agents.

Adjacent to the future Le Kon, the awnings and building permits for a “cajun seafood and sushi lounge” called Asiatique are still up, though there’s little sign of additional information on it or an opening date to be found online.

Next door, building permits were issued a year ago for a new Stone Hot Pizza location, though the space’s windows have been frosted, blocking any view of possible construction progress inside.

All three restaurants are located on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building, which is technically located within the boundaries of the Lyon Village Civic Association, according to a county map.

by ARLnow.com March 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm 0

A new coffee shop is coming to Clarendon, according to a building permit application.

The coffee shop will be located at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Garfield Street and, according to the permit application, will be just over 1,000 square feet. Few other details were immediately available.

The cafe will occupy the long-vacant ground floor space that was formerly home to Spice and a procession of other short-lived food businesses. It will face some stiff competition for the wallets of local coffee drinkers; among other nearby options are Starbucks, Peet’sNorthside Social, Dunkin’ DonutsDetour Coffee Co. and Blumen Cafe.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com March 9, 2018 at 10:10 am 0

A new sushi restaurant is coming to East Falls Church.

Yume Sushi is coming to 2121 N. Westmoreland Street, a building that is also home to a South Block “micro juicery” location.

There’s no word on an opening date, though the restaurant was hoping to have opened this past fall. Permit records show that Yume’s two attempts to obtain a building permit thus far have been rejected by county examiners.

Renderings on Yume’s Facebook page show an Instagram-worthy interior design. The page describes Yume as a “sushi Sake bar [with] Japanese food and Omakase fresh ingredients and seasonal fish from Japan and around the world.”

The restaurant is expected to have 100 seats or fewer and will serve beer and wine, according to a Virginia ABC permit application.

Photo via Google Maps

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 8, 2018 at 1:30 pm 0

South African spicy chicken restaurant Nando’s is opening its newest location at Rosslyn’s Central Place on Monday (March 12), the company announced today.

A press release noted that players with a Washington sports team will make an appearance for a grand opening charity event to benefit “local underserved youth,” but a Nando’s representative declined to be more specific. A Ballston Nando’s opening in 2016 featured several Washington Capitals players flipping chickens.

The location is the newest of the chain’s now 41 U.S. restaurants. Decorations inside the new location include a portrait by South African artist Nqabutho Phakathi, colorful lighting and an undulating ceiling.

Beginning Monday, the restaurant at 1800 N. Lynn Street, with an entrance on N. Moore Street, will operate from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on weekdays, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Photos courtesy of Nando’s

by ARLnow.com March 7, 2018 at 8:45 am 0

Wakefield Advances to Championship — The Wakefield High School boys basketball team has advanced to the Virginia Class 5 championship after defeating Edison last night 82-66. The team will face Varina tomorrow at VCU. Meanwhile, Wakefield senior forward A’Mari Cooper has been named Northern Region Class 5 Player of the Year. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Metro Starts Selling Merch — Despite its reliability issues and subsequent image problem, Metro has launched a new line of clothing and gifts, sold online and at a new gift store at Metro Center. The reaction to the merchandise has been mixed. [WMATA, NBC Washington]

General Assembly Passes Car Seat Bill — “Today, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 708… which would change the commonwealth’s law to require that child safety seats remain rear facing until the age of two, or the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. The bill is now on its way to Governor Northam’s office for his signature. If signed, the new law would become effective July 1, 2019.” [AAA Mid-Atlantic]

More Restaurants Considering Ballston Quarter — Fresh off the announcement that Ted’s Bulletin was coming to Ballston Quarter, the owners of trendy D.C. spots Himitsu and Gravitas are said to be considering opening up eateries at the mall. Also in the works: a donut shop, an arepas stand, an oyster bar, and a barbecue joint. [Washington Business Journal]

Nicecream Expanding to D.C. — Liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream shop Nicecream Factory, which first opened in Clarendon, has since expanded to Alexandria and is now planning to open two D.C. locations, in Adams Morgan and Shaw. [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Gun Reform Discussion — Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting victims, will speak at an event called “A Conversation About Gun Safety And The Safety Of American Schools” at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria tonight. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is hosting the event, which will discuss “actions we can take to ensure no other parent has to experience this kind of trauma.” [Eventbrite]

by ARLnow.com March 6, 2018 at 9:35 am 0

Chalk up another name-brand restaurant heading to Ballston Quarter mall.

The renovated mall, which is set to open this fall, has announced an 18-restaurant food hall with the likes of Timber Pizza and Ice Cream Jubilee, plus the entertainment-oriented bar Punch Bowl Social.

This morning, regional restaurant chain Ted’s Bulletin announced that it too would be coming to Ballston Quarter. In the announcement, below, the company — which is under new ownership — says the new location will be a “2.0 version of the beloved Ted’s Bulletin experience.”

Ted’s Bulletin today announced the addition of a new location at Ballston Quarter.  Located within this mixed-use development, near the Ballston metro stop, this expansion of Ted’s Bulletin reflects the vision under the new ownership of Salis Holdings, led by Steve Salis, Founder and CEO.

“Tapping into the unrealized potential of Ted’s Bulletin was a top priority when we acquired the company last fall. We are excited to unveil the 2.0 version of the beloved Ted’s Bulletin experience with a vibrant footprint, thoughtful product enhancements and expansion of product offerings,” said Steve Salis, Founder and CEO of Salis Holdings. “As with all Ted’s Bulletin locations, the new restaurant in Ballston Quarter will serve as both a community anchor and destination for guests in the area.”

Expected for delivery in fall 2018, the restaurant will be part of the mall development led by Forest City.

“Our focus with Ballston Quarter is to curate the most unique, beloved restaurants in the region, and we’re thrilled to have Ted’s Bulletin, an iconic D.C. favorite, join our growing lineup of incredible tenants,” said Will Voegele, Forest City’s senior vice president of development.

About Salis Holdings

Salis Holdings, based in Washington, DC, focuses on ideating and acquiring products and brands across a range of hospitality, leisure, real estate and retail businesses. Founded in late 2015, the holding company currently carries businesses and brands that serve millions of guests annually and generates in excess of $85 million in system-wide revenue.

About Ted’s Bulletin

Ted’s Bulletin is a modern American diner with a 1920s/1930s art deco vibe offering patrons multiple comfort food dishes with breakfast available all day.  Its first location opened in 2010 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC, and the restaurant has expanded to six locations in DC and nearby suburbs including 14th Street (also in Washington DC); Ballston Quarter (fall 2018) Merrifield, Reston, Virginia; and, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Photo via Facebook

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

A new Indian restaurant, Urban Tandoor, is one step closer to opening its doors as it hangs it sign at the Ballston space.

There still isn’t a posted opening date, though construction has been ongoing since at least September 2017. The restaurant, at 801 N. Quincy Street, will replace a series of eateries, like Republic Kitchen & Bar and Leek American Bistro, which have closed in recent years.

The owner, Rajeev Mainali, told ARLnow.com in September 2017 that the food will primarily be Indian, with some subtle differences to “cater to the young crowd.” He called the expanding neighborhood an opportunity to expand the ethnic food options along the corridor. The restaurant, sitting at the intersection of N. Quincy Street and Wilson Boulevard, is directly across from a Bruegger’s Bagels, a Taylor Gourmet, and the recently opened &pizza.

“The area is growing so fast, we feel like it has been underserved as far as restaurants go,” Mainali told ARLnow.com. “We feel like there are not enough good restaurants there. There are some, but not enough to serve the growing clientele there.”

The restaurant will have 95 seats inside, and an outdoor patio will have the capacity to host another 40 guests. The windows are mainly covered in sheets of paper, but a peek through a side window that had not been taped up revealed several chandeliers and dangling, glass lighting fixtures.

by ARLnow.com February 16, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

Damn Good Burger Co. is planning to open tonight in Shirlington, employees said.

The sister restaurant to Ballston’s Big Buns burger shop, Damn Good Burger served some of its first customers Wednesday and Thursday nights as part of a soft opening. As of midnight last night, the restaurant was closed but employees were still working on the finishing touches inside.

Located in the former Johnny Rockets space, Damn Good Burger will serve burgers, shakes and craft beer, among other offerings. The eatery is scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Friday).

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Update at 4:30 p.m. — Reese Gardner, the owner of Dudley’s Sport & Ale and Copperwood Tavern, reached out to ARL now after deadline. The sports bar has a revised projected opening time frame of between May and June 1 this year.

“We’re putting in a steel rooftop with 300 some people on top of a structure never designed to have a rooftop,” said Gardner. “There’s a whole lot of things that go into it.”

An updated construction schedule will be posted soon on the Facebook page, and Gardner says that he believes that they have completed all of the special inspections that were holding them back from opening.

“We’re back in there working, and we think that that is the last hoop that we have to jump through,” said Gardner.

Earlier: Shirlington is still waiting for its sports bar.

Dudley’s Sport & Ale, a sports bar planned for Shirlington, originally had an opening date for set for early 2016. Fast forward to February 2018 and, following numerous delays, the bar — which bills itself as “Est. 2015” — is still under construction.

Replacing the former The Bungalow Sports Grill at 2766 S. Arlington Mills Drive, which closed in June 2015, Dudley’s is bringing a 3,000 square foot rooftop space to Shirlington, the neighborhood’s first such rooftop bar.

According to Dudley’s Facebook page, the owners received a permit to continue construction on the rooftop deck last year. Another post stated that the bar had passed two of six necessary county special inspections.

Calls and emails to Dudley’s and its sister restaurants were not returned.


by Anna Merod February 15, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

A new, casual eatery is coming to Virginia Square.

In a couple months the Atrium Cafe will open in the former Jen’s Kitchen space in Virginia Square, according to cafe owner DJ Lee.

The Asian-fusion style cafe that sells coffee and sandwiches already has 8 locations in D.C., Lee said. The new establishment is currently applying to sell beer and wine, something its D.C. locations do not serve. There will also be more desserts at the Virginia Square location, Lee added.

Jen’s Kitchen closed in late December and posted a sign that it would reopen in late January under new management. Jen’s Kitchen opened in 2015 following the closure of Metro Cafe and Gourmet.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 14, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Delia’s, a mediterranean grill and brick oven pizza parlor with several area locations, is set to open a new location in Arlington Ridge in mid-March.

The location’s general manager, Oliver Garnowski, confirmed the scheduled opening and added that there will be more daily specials than at the Alexandria, Va., location that he currently works at. There will also be a few menu changes.

The restaurant, at 2931 S. Glebe Road, replaces the former Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 7, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) Rosslyn’s Central Place will soon be welcoming another restaurant option to the neighborhood.

Nando’s, a South-African/Portuguese chicken restaurant, is coming to 1800 N. Lynn Street. It is currently expected to open in March, we’re told.

There are already two Nando’s locations in Arlington: one at Pentagon Row and another a recently-opened Ballston location. The chain, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, is most well-known for its peri-peri sauce, a chili-based, lemony sauce.

Nando’s is hiring 35 positions in both the front and back of the house, according to the location’s general manager, Jorge Lemus.

A number of restaurants opened last year as part of the Central Place development, including Little Beet, Sweetgreen and a new McDonald’s. Elsewhere in Rosslyn, Poke Bar and Bibimix are expected to open in the next few months.

Photo courtesy of Annathea Cook

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