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by Adrian Cruz — July 1, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Pentagon City mallWith the new expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City nearly finished, a number of new restaurants are preparing to open.

According to the mall’s website, D.C.-based Matchbox is set to open its first Arlington location in August and candy-shop-slash-restaurant Sugar Factory is slated for an October opening of what will be its first D.C. area location.

A mall spokesman confirmed that the openings are nearing, but couldn’t confirm any dates.

“Matchbox is slated to open later this summer and Sugar Shack is said to open in October, however the exact date is not yet confirmed,” said the spokesman.

Also opening as part of the expansion is Philadelphia-based stir-fry chain Honeygrow, which will be launching its first D.C. area location.

“Slated to open in early August, honeygrow will contribute to the mall’s extensive dining selection by providing shoppers with a variety of fully customizable stir-fry and salad options,” said a recent press release. “Located in the new Hayes Street expansion, the eatery will feature locally and seasonally sourced ingredients, noodles freshly prepared by ramen chefs, house-made dressings and sauces and proteins sourced from providers including Creekstone Farms and Freebird.”

The first tenant to open its doors in the new expansion was Shake Shack, which opened in May to large crowds.

by ARLnow.com — June 30, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

It’s being billed as Columbia Pike’s first beer garden.

BrickHaus, a new beer-centric watering hole and restaurant, is coming to the former Blanca’s Restaurant space at 2900 Columbia Pike, at the corner of S. Walter Reed Drive.

News of the opening comes a year after ARLnow first reported that the long-vacant Spanish Revival-style building was perhaps getting a renovation to accommodate a restaurant with a rooftop seating area. A look inside the window reveals that some work has been performed, but there’s a long way to go before it will look anything like a beer garden.

The building was once briefly considered for a “southside” version of the popular Clarendon cafe Northside Social. But prospective tenants worried about the poor condition of the interior and other challenges, not the least of which is the age and relatively small size of the building and the challenge of setting up any substantial level of outdoor seating on the small adjacent lot or roof.

The potential downsides were not enough to deter Tony Wagner, the owner of BrickHaus, who’s also the owner of Twisted Vines Bottleshop and Bistro, which is located across the street at 2803 Columbia Pike.

“Columbia Pike is such a thriving and growing community, we want to make sure there are great [dining and drink] options out there,” he said. “We’re going to make BrickHaus a great gathering spot for the community… It’s very exciting, this is going to be a fun one.”

Wagner said 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 — the mezzanine — will be a sit-down steakhouse.

Wagner said extensive renovations will be getting underway on the “beautiful, historic property,” which was once a bank before becoming a restaurant and then, most recently, serving as the construction office for the next-door Halstead apartment building. The interior will be pretty much all new and the exterior will be rehabilitated. Plans for rooftop seating fell through after it failed to receive Arlington County’s approval, he said.

Beer-wise, BrickHaus will offer almost all regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers, Wagner said. Just as Twisted Vines offers wine for sale and a special wine club, BrickHaus plans to offer beer for retail sale and, eventually, a beer club. BrickHaus’ ABC permit application would also allow the business to sell kegs of beer.

Wagner said he got the idea for BrickHaus after listening to feedback from customers at Twisted Vines, who said they wanted an outdoor option on the Pike and were also looking for better beer options. Staring out the front window at the vacant building on the other side of the intersection also sparked his interest.

It’s because of the success of Twisted Vines that Wagner is looking to expand on the Pike. Since taking over ownership last summer, Wagner says Twisted Vines has “had a really fantastic year.” An anniversary celebration is being planned for Aug. 10.

Whereas Twisted Vines has “one of the best wine-by-the-glass and whiskey selections” in Arlington, in Wagner’s estimation, he’s hoping BrickHaus can be its beer counterpart, filling a void in the community.

“We wanted to keep it local,” he said. “We said, let’s give Columbia Pike another great option with great beer.”

BrickHaus is hoping to open by late summer, in time for Oktoberfest.

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm 0

A new Sweetgreen in Clarendon will open on Friday, July 8, a company rep tells ARLnow.com.

The restaurant is currently under construction on the ground floor of the 3100 Clarendon Blvd office building, near Pacers.

Salad purveyor Sweetgreen has been expanding quickly in Arlington. The company is also working to open a new location in Pentagon City.

by Jackie Friedman — June 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

A new Applebee’s restaurant has opened in Ballston.

The chain eatery opened its doors on Wednesday (June 15). It’s located at 900 N. Glebe Road, in the former Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille space. The Greene Turtle closed in April.

While some locals were skeptical of Applebee’s ability to find success in an urban neighborhood like Ballston, it was packed with customers around dinnertime Thursday, when ARLnow.com visited.

Applebee’s has an outdoor patio, over 200 seats indoors and a bar. Business hours are from 11 a.m.-11 p.m every day except on Saturdays, when it’s open 11 a.m.-10 p.m., according to the Applebee’s website.

by Jackie Friedman — June 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm 0

Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine has opened in Rosslyn.

The restaurant is located at 1850 N. Fort Myer Drive, former home to the short-lived Secret Chopsticks restaurant. The space is largely unchanged, save the new purple paint job.

Pancho Villa had its soft opening this past Thursday. According to district manager Marta Hernandez, there was a big turnout.

“So many customers came into the restaurant and we received so many compliments about the food and service, it was a big success,” said Hernandez.

The Mexican cuisine served at Pancho Villa is made from scratch, said Hernandez, and the chips and salsa are made fresh everyday. “The food here is made with lots of love,” she said.

Pancho Villa has other locations around Virginia and one in North Carolina. While the restaurant expects to have its official grand opening celebration in 3-4 weeks.

by ARLnow.com — June 9, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) A new neighborhood bar and restaurant is coming to Rosslyn.

“Quinn’s on the Corner” is billing itself as “a perfect destination for amazing food and drink in a cool neighborhood setting.” It will be located on the ground floor of the 1776 Wilson Blvd office building, at the corner of Wilson and N. Quinn Street.

There’s no word on an opening date yet. Restaurateur Reese Gardner, who’s also behind Copperwood Tavern and the forthcoming Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington, said lease negotiations are not yet finalized.

Quinn’s will feature an outdoor patio, Irish and Belgian beers on draft and, for college football fans, will be a Virginia Tech Hokies bar. From the restaurant’s Facebook page:

Welcome to Quinn’s “on the corner.” Rossyln’s perfect destination for amazing food and drink in a cool neighborhood setting. Come enjoy a snack, burger or house specialty from our European inspired menu featuring a fusion of Irish & Belgium favorites.

Our 22 foot Oak bar will be serving up traditional Irish and Belgium drafts, seasonal cocktails and a huge selection of Irish Whiskeys. The dining room will feature comfortable pub style seating amidst over-sized windows, roll up garage doors and warm wood decor.

The spacious 48 seat wrap around patio is a perfect setting for dining Al fresco.

For your entertainment pleasure, Quinn’s has multiple large HD TV’s and we will be featuring sound for all of the Virginia Tech Hokie football games, local team sports, and all special sporting events.

The Quinn’s concept is inspired by the vibrant corner of Quinn and Wilson Blvd., and the amazing feats of Saint Edel Quinn, an Irish woman with a great zest for life who was selflessly dedicated to helping children. Rumor has it, that Edel enjoyed a pint of beer each night for every child that she helped that day.

by Jackie Friedman — June 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

Local wine and cheese retailer and restaurant Cheesetique opened its third location today in Ballston, at 800 N. Glebe Road.

“This is our biggest physical location, so I am very hopeful the model will work for us,” said store owner Jill Erber. The original location opened 12 years ago in Del Ray and the second location opened in Shirlington, at 4056 Campbell Avenue, five years ago.

The Ballston menu is identical to the other two locations. The cheese shop carries cheeses and charcuteries from all over the world, for retail sale or for dining in. Dine-in menu items include mac and cheese, grilled cheese, salads and hearty sandwiches.

“Everything on the menu is intended to feature the cheeses,” said Erber.

The wine and beer list is selected to pair with the cheeses. One unique feature about the new location is that there will be a full bar, which will be opening later this year.

For this week only, Cheesetique will only be serving lunch from 11-3 p.m. Next week, the restaurant will start its normal hours, serving lunch and dinner from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — May 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

No official opening date has been set yet, but signs are up outside the new Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine restaurant in Rosslyn.

The eatery is located at 1850 N. Fort Myer Drive, the former home to the short-lived Secret Chopsticks restaurant, at the bottom of the Turnberry Tower luxury condo building.

A manager today told ARLnow.com that the restaurant would be opening “soon” but said the opening date is still in flux. Virginia ABC recently approved a liquor license for the restaurant.

Only a few changes have been made to the interior of the restaurant — a new purple paint job being the most notable difference, compared to Secret Chopsticks’ more muted tones.

Pancho Villa’s website is still under construction. The company has a number of existing locations around Virginia, including in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Dahlgren and Culpeper. There’s also a Pancho Villa location in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2016 at 11:10 am 0

The Spirits of ’76, a new Revolutionary War-themed restaurant and bar from the general manager of Georgetown’s former Rhino Bar, is hoping to open in July.

Signs are now up outside the restaurant at 3211 Washington Blvd, in the former Taste of Morocco space, across the street from Northside Social.

Restaurant managers have been mum about their plans, at least when contacted by ARLnow.com, but said on Facebook this week that they were “shooting for a July opening.”

There will undoubtedly be opportunities for a fun thematic rivalry with its next door neighbor, the European-inspired Park Lane Tavern, especially if it opens on July 4.

Photos by Jackie Friedman

by ARLnow.com — May 6, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Mannequins displayed in the window at Pacers Running Store in Clarendon

Two Add’l Endorsements for Gutshall — Democratic County Board Erik Gutshall has picked up two more endorsements. The campaign announced this week that Gutshall was endorsed by Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson and former county treasurer Frank O’Leary. [InsideNova]

Garvey’s Idea for I-66 — In an interview with the urbanist blog Greater Greater Washington, County Board Chair Libby Garvey, who is running for reelection, talked about her belief in more Bus Rapid Transit service as a transit solution and her plans for making Arlington a “great” place to live. Among her ideas: building large decks over I-66 to provide more parkland, more bus parking and to “knit our community back together.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Barley Mac Grand OpeningBarley Mac in Rosslyn is holding its grand opening celebration this weekend: “The party will kick off each night at 8:00 p.m. and go until 2:00 a.m., and we’ll serve [complimentary] passed appetizers and light bites in the bar from 8:00-10:00 p.m.” [Facebook, Rosslyn BID]

Native Species Returning to Arlington — The removal of invasive species from Arlington’s parkland is paying off. A number of plant and animal species once thought to be gone for good have started returning to the county, including certain frogs, otters, foxes and turkeys. The county announced this in a press release with the alliterative headline “Nurtured Nature Nets New Natives.” [Arlington County]

Inexpensive Local Art on Sale — The Arlington Artists Alliance is holding an art show and sale later this month where every work of art is priced at $95 or less. [Patch]

Real Housewives Filming in Clarendon? — An episode of the Real Housewives of Potomac was reportedly being filmed at Oz restaurant in Clarendon last night. The restaurants is owned by cast member Ashley Darby and her husband. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — May 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Construction on the Pentagon City mall’s expansion is still happening all around it, but Shake Shack is nonetheless planning to open its doors Wednesday.

The trendy burger-and-shake restaurant is serving patrons today as part of an invite-only “friends and family” event, allowing staff to work out the kinks before opening to the general public. Tomorrow, at 11 a.m., it’s expected to open to an inevitable crush of local workers, residents, tourists and mall shoppers.

Shake Shack’s wedge-like storefront in the mall’s expanded wing along S. Hayes Street, near the Pentagon City Metro entrance, includes a small-ish order counter but a more open, airy indoor seating area. There’s also what looks like a future outdoor seating area in front.

Shake Shack’s menu includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, shakes, custard-based “concretes,” soda, coffee and beer. There are even a couple of options specifically for dogs.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2016 at 10:35 am 0

Taylor Gourmet in Crystal City (Photo credit @shootjoec)

The new Taylor Gourmet restaurant in Crystal City is opening today.

The sandwich shop, at 2200 Crystal Drive, will open at 11 a.m., a PR rep says. Taylor will be open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

The new location will feature some unique decorations, including a new neon sign, recycled bike tire wall paneling, a Philadelphia-inspired mural, shipping palette wood screens, and a glass garage door front window.

This is the second Taylor Gourmet to open in Arlington, excluding the location at Reagan National Airport.

Photo credit @shootjoec

by ARLnow.com — April 26, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Rosslyn is getting a new bourbon bar and neighborhood hangout.

Barley Mac, located in the former Red, Hot & Blue space at 1600 Wilson Blvd, is set to open later this week. An official opening date has not been announced yet, but a safe bet is to expect a couple of quiet, “soft opening” periods, followed by a more official opening later this week, perhaps Thursday or Friday.

The ownership group behind Barley Mac is a familiar one — you’ve heard of some of their other, highly successful bar/restaurant ventures, notably A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston and Don Tito in Clarendon. Barley Mac, says partner Scott Parker, will be the group’s most mature, food-centric establishment yet.

Case in point: the pedigree of some of the team members behind the restaurant. Executive chef Jeremy Magnanelli got his culinary start at the prestigious Inn at Little Washington, and most recently was sous chef at Lincoln Restaurant in D.C. Beverage program manager Mitch Johnson comes by way of the Robert Wiedmaier Group.

(Other team members include executive chef Mike Cordero, who is creating the menu, and interior designer Yvette Irene.)

The food menu, still a work in progress, is billed as “American tavern cuisine with an Italian twist.” In terms of drinks there will of course be draft beer and craft cocktails, but the star of the show will be the whiskey selection. Parker says to expect more than 100 whiskeys, half of which are bourbons.

Among the whiskeys on the menu: Elijah Craig 18 year, Hudson Baby Bourbon, A. Smith Bowman whiskey from Fredericksburg, Old Rip Van Winkle, Whistle Pig Rye, plus Yamazaki and Hibiki Japanese whiskeys.

Barley Mac has been more than a year in the making but Parker says the wait will be worth it. He and his partners are expecting Barley Mac to be another smashing success, thanks to pent up demand for a go-to after-work spot for those who live and work in Rosslyn.

The Rosslyn market, he said, is “underserved” by existing restaurants, particularly when it comes to happy hour and late night options.

“We expect to be really busy from day one,” Parker said. “We think Rosslyn has a lot of good spots but it doesn’t have that neighborhood gathering place. That’s what we’re aiming to be, the go-to spot… the place in Rosslyn everybody knows.”

Barley Mac plans to remain open until 2 a.m. seven days a week. It expects to serve only dinner this week, with lunch service added next week. After about a month, Barley Mac will offer a “huge brunch buffet” on weekends and will also add outdoor, patio dining options.

by ARLnow.com — April 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

A slick new burger restaurant and bar has opened in Courthouse.

Basic Burger pairs a relatively straightforward menu — burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes — with a clean, modern interior and a bar offering beer, cider and wine.

It’s a bit Shake Shack-esque, with some unique touches, including sweet potato fries, onion rings, fried pickles and fizzy beverages from “craft soda” brand Stubborn Soda.

Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, just down from the now-closed Wendy’s and up from Ray’s Hell Burger, Basic Burger opened for business on Monday. Its hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

by ARLnow.com — April 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

A Sweetgreen restaurant is coming to Clarendon, according to construction permits.

Sweetgreen will be located in a restaurant space next to Bronx Pizza, on the ground floor of the recently renovated 3100 Clarendon Blvd office building. The space appears to be in the early stages of interior construction.

This will be the fourth Sweetgreen in Arlington. The salad purveyor also has locations in Ballston, Crystal City and another on the way in Pentagon City.

Thus far there is no opening date announced for the Clarendon Sweetgreen. The new location does not currently appear on the company’s website.

A previous effort at selling fancy, fast casual salads to the Clarendon masses, Rabbit, closed in 2013 after two years in business. It was located one block away from the future Sweetgreen.

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