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by Chris Teale May 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The long-awaited and long-delayed Dudley’s Sport & Ale in Shirlington appears to still be far from ready to open.

Owner Reese Gardner had hoped the sports bar would be open in either June or July, but in a brief email he said the planned sports bar at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive is still plagued by the same permitting problems “as before, unfortunately.”

Gardner said the county has still not approved all of its necessary permits. A 28-seat bar, a 125-seat dining area, and a “stadium style” viewing area are planned, as well as a rooftop bar — Shirlington’s first — with a game area, a 15-seat bar, and patio seating for about 114 people.

The original plan was to open Dudley’s last March, but work associated with the planned rooftop deck greatly delayed that timeline.

A spokeswoman for the county’s department of community, planning, housing and development confirmed the project has been going through the administrative change process. The spokeswoman referred further questions to the county’s lead planner on the project, who did not respond to requests for more information.

Gardner, who also owns the nearby Copperwood TavernQuinn’s on the Corner in Rosslyn and Irish Whiskey in the District, said he would have further information on an opening date once permits are approved.

by Chris Teale May 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Just months after Sehkraft Brewing closed in Clarendon, its successor is preparing to make its mark.

According to license applications filed with Virginia ABC, The Board Room will look to continue Sehkraft’s in-house brewing in its former space at 925 N. Garfield Street. The old restaurant had a 10-barrel system for making its own beer. A permit application indicates that The Board Room hopes to brew up to 500 barrels per year.

Mark Handwerger, owner of The Board Room’s parent company Bedrock Bars, confirmed in an email that the bar will look to continue the in-house brewing program, but there is “nothing concrete” regarding operations or if they will partner with anyone.

The Board Room, which has another location currently open in Dupont Circle, combines an extensive drinks menu with board games, available for rent for a flat fee of $2.

The bar has applied for a liquor license and intends to seat more than 150 people. Sehkraft had seating for 210, including 66 on two outdoor patios. Handwerger said the adjoining butcher shop will be transformed into “Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge.”

Demolition on the inside should begin soon based on building permits filed with the county. Handwerger said he hopes to open before Labor Day.

by ARLnow.com May 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A new McDonald’s, sporting shiny gadgets and screens throughout, has opened in Rosslyn.

Located in the base of the new Central Place apartment tower at 1800 N. Moore Street, near where a standalone McDonald’s once stood, the fast food eatery was open for business and bustling around mid-afternoon Wednesday.

The restaurant is among the chain’s most modern, with large flat-screen ordering kiosks, flat-screen soda dispensers, a display case for McCafe pastries and sleek decor. There are also flat-screen menus above the manned ordering counter, for those who prefer to place an order with a human. Patio seating in a plaza just outside allows for outdoor dining.

The opening was not without its hiccups. At one point this afternoon an irate customer started loudly complaining about the wait for his order, which was apparently lost to cyberspace after being placed on one of the kiosks.

“Oh, here we go,” said one of the other dozen or so people also waiting around, watching for their order number to appear on a flat-screen display above the pick-up counter. The irate man’s order eventually appeared.

Hat tip to Eric LeKuch

by Chris Teale May 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm 0

The Social Restaurant Group‘s newest addition to the local dining scene is just days away from its official opening in Clarendon.

Bar Bao at 3100 Clarendon Blvd will throw open its doors for the first time Thursday after several soft openings, including one tonight with 20 percent off all food.

The new restaurant, the successor to the Mad Rose Tavern, will serve steamed buns, dumplings and other small bites inspired by Chinese and Taiwanese street food.

There will be space for 197 seats inside, including the bars, with room for approximately 70 outdoors on the back patio and a soon-to-open front patio facing Clarendon Blvd next to the State Department Federal Credit Union.

Inside, murals designed by local graffiti artists Mike Pacheco and Rodrigo Pradel are inspired by Tang Sai’er, a female rebel leader who protested the Ming Dynasty’s unfair treatment of the people in China in the 15th century and led a peasant uprising.

The murals flow throughout the restaurant, showing her as the self-styled Godmother of the White Lotus Cult until her death.

“We just wanted a cool mural that told a story,” said SRG co-founder Mike Bramson.

The eatery’s menu includes a number of Asian-inspired cocktails, like the Hiddel Leaf Swizzle, referred to as the “Ninja Cocktail” and drunk out of a cup that looks like a ninja. Executive chef Donn Souliyadeth is behind the menu offerings.

“We told him, ‘Here’s some parameters, create some stuff on your own,’ and together with the chef we were able to create some stuff,” Bramson said. “We had a lot of tastings and tried to get as creative as we possibly could, but with food that was still approachable.”

Bar Bao joins Pamplona next door, another SRG property open since mid-January. Bramson said it was always the group’s intention to have both restaurant spaces, but to have differences between the two in terms of design.

“Everyone loves the design of Pamplona, but we wanted it to feel completely different,” Bramson said. “We wanted it to feel different from anywhere in Clarendon. Our initial walk-through, we knew we needed to go with concrete floors, graffiti artists and do that real edgy vibe.”

by Chris Teale May 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm 0

Those in charge at Stageplate Bistro in Ballston say the new restaurant’s opening is just days away, now all its required permits are approved.

The eatery at 900 N. Glebe Road, on the first floor of the Virginia Tech Research Center, is the successor to Backstage Bistro Cafe near Dulles International Airport that closed last October. Backstage also hosted a catering company that specialized in events and providing food for touring entertainment acts.

With its certificates of occupancy finalized and having hosted some small functions for investors to give its food a test-run, general manager Mary Marchetti said a full opening is just days away.

The menu will feature mostly American cuisine, with some subtle differences. Instead of serving pizza, Stageplate will serve Turkish pide, a street food version of pizza that can be filled with various different ingredients.

“Pide is one of those things that you can do really fun ingredients, like fill it up with fun and interesting things,” Marchetti said. “It’s almost like a cross between a Stromboli and an artisanal pizza. You can do roasted butternut squash, red onion, delicious cheeses and stuff like that.”

In addition, Marchetti said guests can expect pasta, sandwiches, soups and salads. In the evenings, she said the menu will likely have other rotating options in its bistro entrees.

The restaurant will have around 125 seats indoors, 28 outside on the patio and nine at the bar, while a back room can be hired out for small events and functions of no more than about 50.

Stageplate joins a crowded area of Ballston, with an Applebee’s nearby as well as World of Beer and P.F. Chang’s. Marchetti said the newcomer has put some thought into how it will fit in with the rest of its neighbors.

“We’re so lucky to be in the middle of all these great restaurants,” she said. “With everybody that’s on the street, we tried to say, ‘Okay, what can we do that will complement and help hopefully bring more people to the area?’ We were really cognizant of the beers we put on tap, the wines we’re going to serve and the food we’re going to serve.”

by ARLnow.com May 8, 2017 at 11:10 am 0

A Japanese barbecue restaurant is coming to the former Brixx Pizza space in Clarendon.

Signs are now up in the windows of 1119 N. Hudson Street for Gyu-Kaku restaurant. It’s the first D.C. area outpost of the chain, which is based in Japan.

Gyu-Kaku, which translates to “Horn of the Bull,” serves Yakiniku cuisine — barbecued meats and veggies that are cooked by diners on a charcoal grill in the center of the table. The chain has hundreds of locations in Japan and existing U.S. locations in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and elsewhere.

Brixx, a small chain of wood-fired pizza restaurants, closed its Clarendon location in April 2016 after just six months in business. Brixx was housed in a newly-constructed restaurant space on N. Hudson Street, an off-the-beaten-path location between longtime restaurant Nam-Viet and a CVS Pharmacy.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 4, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

A beer release of epic proportions is coming to Arlington.

In celebration of the opening of their new Clarendon location, the Heritage Brewing Co. team is releasing four new packaged beers, and 10 draft only releases on May 13 at their Market Common Brewpub & Roastery.

The primary release for Heritage Brewing’s Grand Opening event will be their three-year anniversary ale. A massive beer, and yet another rich entry into Heritage Brewing Co.’s barrel series. This beer is the product of the time and patience of

master blenders, taking an artful approach to combining seven different barrel series beers aged up to 33 months. It consumes the palate with flavors of deep molasses, dark cherries, and toasted oak, finishing with tart citrus notes. The result is an extremely complex beer that drinks more like a fine spirit than an ale. Only 600 22-ounce bottles will available in the Arlington brewpub on the day of the release.

Heritage Brewing Co. will also be kicking off its new Lincoln’s Hat beer series with

two packaged releases: Double Taxation, a double India Pale Ale, and Sovereign Stout, a nitro imperial stout. Double Taxation is a complex and unfiltered imperial IPA that is juicy, resinous, and loaded with tropical citrus notes from its generous hop additions. Sovereign Stout is a dangerously smooth and velvety imperial stout with bold flavors of honey, chocolate, and dark-roasted coffee. Heritage will be releasing 150 four-packs of 16-ounce cans of each Lincoln’s Hat beer during the Grand Opening. Supplies aren’t anticipated to last long.

The third and final packaged beer release available on May 13 will be Heritage Brewing Co.’s first ever wild fermented beer release and the start of their new Wilderness Series bottle releases. A collection of rare and wild aged beers that take on sour and tart flavors from their naturally occurring fermentation. Each beer is aged in a mix of barrels from vineyards and distilleries. This first Wilderness Series release is a wild-fermented Belgian strong ale; only a few hundred of these will be available in 375 ml bottles. This ale features a mix of spices, giving it a refreshing tart fruit flavor like no other beer in their lineup to date.

The doors at Heritage Brewing Co. Market Common Brewpub & Roastery will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, and the releases will kick off immediately. Guests can also dine-in at their location and enjoy their chef-driven, locally sourced menu, created to pair perfectly with their long lineup of brews. Simultaneously, the main production brewery in Manassas will also be selling the new releases upon opening at 12:00 p.m.

For additional information on the grand opening event to include draft beer release descriptions and information as well as package photography and merchandise photography, visit the event page.

by Chris Teale May 2, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

More details are filtering out about Clarendon’s first dedicated outdoor beer garden, which hopes to open this summer.

“The Lot” beer garden, at 3217 10th Street N., will replace the used car lot once operated by the Prime Auto Group. Signs remain up for the car seller, but its telephone number and website have been deactivated.

Inside, work appears to be in the early stages on The Lot, which, according to a permit application filed with the county, intends to add a small kitchen and enclosed deck to an existing building, in addition to the outdoor seating. A license application filed with Virginia ABC indicates it wishes to have over 150 seats.

The site is currently zoned for a general commercial district and is close to other beverage-serving establishments like Northside Social and cold-pressed juice bar JRINK.

Owned by the Social Restaurant Group, The Lot is listed as one of six upcoming ventures for the group, alongside Bar Bao in the former Mad Rose Tavern space in Clarendon, which appears close to opening. SRG already operates Pamplona, also in Clarendon.

Staff with the Social Restaurant Group referred all requests for additional information to their media relations representatives. Those representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

by ARLnow.com May 2, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

McDonald’s to Open Next Week in Rosslyn — The new McDonald’s restaurant in Rosslyn is expected to open on Monday, May 8. It will feature “mobile and kiosk ordering, with six touch-screen kiosks,” as well as “table service, with servers bringing customers their food after orders are placed using the screens.” [Washington Business Journal]

Petition Against Proposed APS Policy — Among those signing a petition against a proposed new school enrollment and transfer policy is former U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra. He writes: “We need to be expanding, not restricting access to Arlington’s award-winning, integrated elementary school science curriculum! Counter to the data-driven ‘Arlington Way,’ this proposal is inappropriately rushed with debate or impact analysis. Sad!” [Change.org]

ACPD Officer to Be Added to Memorial — Arlington County Police Cpl. Harvey Snook is being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C. Snook died last year of cancer caused by his service during the recovery effort at the Pentagon following the 9/11 attack. Snook will also be added to Arlington’s Peace Officers Memorial on May 10, the first name added since 2005. [WTOP, Arlington County]

Arlington Woman, 109, Still Stays Up Late — Viola Graham, a 109-year-old resident of Arlington, says she still feels young and still doesn’t go to bed until midnight. Graham also “takes no medicine, besides the occasional Tylenol.” [WUSA 9]

Britt McHenry Goes Off the Air — Arlington’s own Britt McHenry is among the mass layoffs at ESPN. Though the sportscaster is going off the air, she said last week via Twitter that her fans would see her again on TV “soon.” McHenry formerly worked for WJLA (ABC 7) in Rosslyn. [Florida Today, Twitter]

Gubernatorial Candidates in Arlington — Democratic candidates for governor in Virginia, Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello, will be debating at a progressive forum in Ballston tonight. [Facebook]

Flickr pool photo by GM and MB

by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The new lounge and restaurant coming to the former Ri Ra space in Clarendon is shooting for a June opening.

Crews working on Wilson Hardware at 2915 Wilson Blvd recently removed the black wooden façade erected to obscure construction. The forthcoming bar’s co-owners previously said it would be removed once work is nearly done, then said last week they are confident that they will be able to open in June.

A license application filed with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control indicates that the new spot will have over 150 seats. And permitting applications filed with the county show the restaurant will have outdoor and rooftop seating.

Construction on the work-in-progress rooftop deck at the rear of the venue can be seen from N. Garfield Street. Inside, the venue is more expansive than its front entrance would suggest, with two levels, high ceilings and a brand new interior taking shape.

The bar’s name is an homage to Virginia Hardware, the hardware shop that occupied the storefront until 2005.

Representatives with Wilson Hardware declined to comment further with a more concrete opening date or with more details about the new restaurant.

by Chris Teale April 28, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Columbia Pike’s first beer garden is preparing to its open doors next month as crews put the finishing touches on the building.

BrickHaus at 2900 Columbia Pike has been under construction for almost a year. It now has all of its outside signs up and furniture on its outdoor patio.

In an interview with the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, owner Tony Wagner — who also owns Twisted Vines across the street — said he expects BrickHaus to open in May. Wagner did not respond to requests for further comment.

The inside brick on the walls is nearly finished, while the outdoor fire pit has been successfully tested.

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 have upstairs dining with a menu including steaks, German food and other entrees.

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 Chris Teale April 28, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

A new wine bar and restaurant is coming to Courthouse.

The new spot, Verre Wine Bar and Restaurant, is located at 2415 Wilson Blvd, on the first floor of the Hyatt Place hotel. It is set to open this spring, according to developer Schupp Cos.

According to permit applications filed with the county, its 1,300 square feet of space will include 50 indoor bar and restaurant seats and space for 37 outdoor seats.

The 168-room Hyatt Place opened ahead of schedule last year.

by Chris Teale April 18, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

(Updated 4:10 p.m.) A new McDonald’s in Rosslyn appears close to opening in the new Central Place building.

External signage is up for the fast food restaurant, and on Tuesday morning construction crews were installing signs inside the windows too. Preparations continue inside the ground-floor space, while the sidewalks around the property appear largely complete.

Rosslyn’s previous McDonald’s at 1823 N. Moore Street closed in 2014 to make way for the Central Place development. At that time, a sign in the McDonald’s window stated it would be closed “indefinitely,” which left open the possibility that the eatery would return to Rosslyn in the future.

A company spokeswoman said the eatery is set to open this spring, although an exact date is to be determined.

by Chris Teale April 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The former KFC on N. Glebe Road in Buckingham has a new tenant: coffee and doughnut shop Dunkin’ Donuts.

KFC closed last year for what was described at the time as “maintenance,” but the new occupier has now opened its doors.

Dunkin’ Donuts serves a variety of doughnuts and coffee, as well as other offerings like teas, sandwiches and soft drinks.

This location, the 10th in the county, has space for 29 seats inside and a drive-through option. No major alterations appear to have been made to the exterior of the building.

by Chris Teale April 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

An Afghan restaurant in Crystal City is applying for a major revamp, including a name-change and the ability to host live entertainment.

Planning documents filed with the county indicate that Grill Kabob at 507 23rd Street S. hopes to be renamed Sin & Saint. It also would like to add a dance floor on the second level for use on Friday and Saturday nights, in addition to live entertainment from a DJ.

In the application, the owners said the DJ will use speakers and subwoofers, most likely the Electro-Voice brand. The live entertainment would be provided from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurant is located among other bars and eateries along the 23rd Street corridor.

The applicant and county staff discussed the project last night at the Aurora Highlands Civic Association’s monthly meeting.

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