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New Bar and Lounge Could Replace Chester’s Billiards

Chester’s Billiards, currently a gutted husk after it was closed one year ago, may soon have a new tenant.

Sydney’s Bar and Lounge has filed for a license to operate a mixed beverage restaurant at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, formerly Chester’s Billiards.

Chester’s was closed in 2017 after a prolonged battle over the facility’s elevator, compounded by the County Board denying the bar a renewal of its entertainment permit.

Little is known so far about Syndey’s Bar and Lounge, whose owners could not be reached for comment.

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New Casual Italian Restaurant Coming to Columbia Pike

Josephines Italian Kitchen, a new casual Italian restaurant, is coming to Columbia Pike (2501 9th Rd S).

The restaurant comes from Tony Wagner, owner of the nearby Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro and BrickHausWagner said the idea came from discussions with neighbors and customers, and repeatedly hearing customers reference a need for a casual Italian option in the area.

Josephines Italian Kitchen will have a wood-fired oven, and Wagner said customers can look for a lot of fresh seafood and other classic Italian cuisine options at the restaurant.

Josephines Italian Kitchen will fill the space vacated by Marble & Rye, which closed last December. Wagner said the restaurant is currently in the permitting process but that the aim is to open sometime in October.

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Pop-Up Gorilla Taco Opens in Pentagon Row

Gorilla Taco is officially open in Pentagon Row.

The pop-up taco restaurant will be open Wednesdays through Sundays until December. The restaurant is located at 1201 S. Joyce Street alongside its sister restaurant, Basic Burger, which moved to Pentagon Row from Courthouse in June

When Gorilla Taco was first announced, Basic Burger co-owner Jamie Mansy said that the restaurant was based on food truck the company had for special and private events.

Like the food truck, the restaurant has a rotating menu of five to seven taco types each day. Gorilla Taco also serves alcohol, with a selection of beers like Modelo Negro and Pacifico, as well as house-made margaritas on tap. 

“We are excited to announce that Gorilla Taco will be joining Pentagon Row and its sister restaurant, Basic Burger, at this location,” said Kari Glinski, Director of Asset Management for Federal Realty Investment Trust, in a press release. “The addition of a Mexican-style pop up restaurant certainly builds upon the strength of the Center’s dining options.”

Photos via Gorilla Taco

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‘Experiential’ Art Venue, Spanish Restaurant Headed to Ballston Quarter

(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) A Spanish restaurant and an “experiential” art venue with a bar are among the new Ballston Quarter mall tenants announced today.

The occupants will join a first group of restaurants and retail announced for Ballston Quarter earlier this year. The redeveloped shopping center is planning to hold is grand re-opening this fall.

 

The new Ballston Quarter occupants are:

  • Copa: Developed by the team behind Bethesda neighborhood favorites Butchers Alley and Pescadeli, Copa is a new casual neighborhood bar and kitchen, offering a place for friends and family to gather around fresh Spanish flavors and small plates. The restaurant will feature craft cocktails and Spanish beers, along with Spanish flatbreads and tizona skewers. It will also boast a sangria garden featuring homemade sangria.
  • DC Lash Bar: DC Lash Bar is a renowned eyelash extension bar specializing in eyelash extensions, eyelash perming and eyelash tinting. Owner and CEO Josie Philippe, created a beauty retreat that delivers the best quality services and promises old school hospitality. The Ballston Quarter location – the first outside of DC – will occupy 1,300 square feet.
  • WHINO: WHINO is a new experiential venue by the founder of Art Whino, an organization geared toward cultural community service for the arts. The 6000 square-foot space at Ballston Quarter will feature a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen with seating for 35, full service bar, art gallery, retail space and full immersion murals, providing a multi-dimensional experience unlike any other.

Bash Boxing, a boxing-focused workout studio, also announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it will be opening a second location in the development.

The finished Ballston Quarter project will be a 850,000 square foot development, including a 360,000 square feet of retail, a 25,000 square foot food hall, 176,000 of office space and a new 406-unit apartment building.

“With Ballston Quarter, we are fostering a true community in which people can live, work, shop and be entertained by dynamic and homegrown concepts alongside some of the most exciting national brands to come to this area in a decade,” Will Voegele, Forest City Senior Vice President of Development, wrote in a statement. “We are proud to partner with unique businesses across many industries, whose inspiring spirit form the heart of Ballston Quarter that will give Ballston and the surrounding Arlington County an undeniable pulse.”

Photo courtesy of Forest City

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Compass Coffee Caffeinates Rosslyn

Compass Coffee is open and brewing in Rosslyn.

The location at 1201 Wilson Boulevard officially opened on June 29 and has been busy nearly every morning since.

The Rosslyn location is the latest for the chain was started in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood by two former marines. The beans are imported seasonally and roasted locally in D.C. During the summer months, the shop has put a special emphasis on their nitro cold brews.

The industrial-chic coffee chain isn’t alone in making the move across the Potomac; D.C. based Italian restaurant Sfoglina is also on schedule to move in just down the street at 1100 Wilson Boulevard sometime later this year or early 2019.

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El Fuego Food Truck to Open Restaurant in Lyon Park

Today, if you want the El Fuego food truck’s unique fusion of Peruvian cuisine with international flavors, you’ll have to track it down first. But this fall, El Fuego will find a permanent brick-and-mortar home in Lyon Park.

El Fuego mixes traditional Peruvian food with influences from other cultures, with a particular favoritism towards Chinese and Japanese dishes. Freedom to pursue his own types of cuisine was what drew Manuel Alfaro to leave the restaurant industry and start his food truck eight years ago. Now, that same freedom is what’s bringing him back to starting his own restaurant.

“We’re going to have our own restaurant, so we’ll be able to do things that have been constantly requested,” said Alfaro. “On a food truck, you’re dealing with a kitchen that’s four feet by eight feet. You have to have a menu selected and limited.”

Alfaro says many of their dishes are broken up into summer and winter menus. Some foods, like a Peruvian pulled chicken and yellow pepper dish with the fusion twist of added cheese and wrapped in an eggroll, just don’t keep in a food truck during summer months.

“This is an item that needs to be cooked from frozen,” said Alfaro. “During the summer we tried to have that on the food truck, but it doesn’t hold up to the temperatures in the kitchen. Even though we have a freezer on truck, they still start sticking together. Having a [restaurant] location will enable us to have all of these dishes.”

For the past year, Alfaro says he’s been looking for a location to put his restaurant. But Alfaro said his options were slim. He was trying to find a location that had partially been built out as a restaurant or had previously been a restaurant to cut down on the immense initial costs of installing a hood in the kitchen.

But when Alfaro found the location on the 2300 block of N. Pershing Drive, it was perfect. The space was built as a restaurant, complete with a hood in the kitchen, back when it was originally envisioned as vegetarian restaurant Alt’s — the space only opened briefly due to family troubles among its owners, culminating in founder Bryan Morrell’s death last month.

When he first came to the area, Alfaro said he sat outside the restaurant around lunchtime and watched the traffic. There are several other restaurants in the nearby area, all of which were active around lunch. The street is a major cut-through when I-66 is backed up, and Alfaro said the nearby apartments and Fort Myer were promising for a steady dinner crowd.

Alfaro said the goal is for an opening in the middle of September, but experience in the restaurant industry tells him a grand opening sometime in early October is more likely. Alfaro said his vision for the opening day is to have the restaurant operational with the food truck serving more customers outside.

“We are serving something we are proud of,” said Alfaro. “This is our food. It’s not someone else’s menu dictating we serve this or that. This is food we are proud of… It gives us a drive to succeed and provide something any American can come in, try, and say ‘wow, this is awesome.'”

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Morning Notes

Top Chef Alum Opening Clarendon Restaurant — “Former ‘Top Chef’ contestant Katsuji Tanabe, best known for his kosher taco spot MexiKosher in New York, will open his first restaurant in the D.C. area in Clarendon in September. Le Kon, whose name comes from the Japanese word for corn, is taking over the space previously occupied by Park Lane Tavern at 3227 Washington Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]

Progress on Child Care Initiative — “The county government’s child-care initiative has been under way for a little over a year, focusing in large part on the existing barriers to increasing the supply of day-care providers in the county. Hurdles run the gamut from zoning and parking issues to qualifications and pay of teachers and other staff… Using the most recent data available, county officials estimate there were about 13,500 children under age 5 in Arlington in 2015, but only about half that number of available slots in day care.” [InsideNova]

Flyover Planned Today — A flyover of Arlington National Cemetery is planned to take place at 9:15 a.m. today. [Twitter]

White Supremacist Train Runs Through Arlington — A small group of white supremacists rode Metro from the Vienna station, through Arlington, before arriving in D.C. for a rally. Police tried to keep the group separated from a much larger group of anti-hate protesters, prompting some complaints about the white supremacists having their own “private” Metrorail car, though a reporter was able to board their train car at Clarendon without issue. [Twitter, Twitter]

W&OD Railroad Stopped Running 50 Years Ago — The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad stopped running 50 years ago this month, after 130 years of service. The former rail line was later acquired by the regional park authority and converted into the current W&OD Trail, which runs from Arlington to rural Loudoun County. [InsideNova]

Reminder: Major Metro Work — “Starting Saturday (Aug. 11) and running through Aug. 26, Metro will shut down the Blue Line completely starting at the Arlington Cemetery station, and single-track between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. Officials expect that will result in 20-minute headways on the Orange and Silver lines ‘at all times,’ and it’s urging riders to ‘only use Metrorail if you have no other option.'” [ARLnow, Twitter]

County Twitter Account Pokes Fun at Metro — Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted yesterday: “As a courtesy, the C&O Canal-Alexandria Canal system will be reopen to traffic. Note: two-mule minimum per team.” [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani

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‘Maya Bistro’ Could Replace Nook Play Space on Lee Highway

A new restaurant could be on the way along Lee Highway, taking the place of the Nook Play Space.

The indoor play area, once located at 5649 Lee Highway in the Leeway-Overlee neighborhood, is picking up and moving to the new Ballston Quarter development.

The space currently sits empty, but it’s unlikely to remain that way for long — a chef at a Turkish restaurant in East Falls Church appears to be eyeing the location for an expansion.

Imam Gozubuyuk has applied for a permit at the location, using the business name “Maya Bistro,” county records show. Gozubuyuk currently cooks up food at the Yayla Bistro, located at 2201 N. Westmoreland Street, with his brother, Abuzer.

Managers at Yayla Bistro did not immediately respond to a request for comment on plans for the Lee Highway space. Maria Vogelei, Nook’s owner, said she didn’t have any information on what might take her business’s place in the small shopping center.

Nook is set to re-open in Ballston Quarter sometime this fall.

H/t Chris Slatt

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Burger District Opens Its Doors in Courthouse

A new burger restaurant in Courthouse has now opened its doors.

Burger District, located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, held its grand opening on Friday (Aug. 3), taking the place of Basic Burger, which closed up shop at the location last month in order to expand elsewhere.

The new burger eatery is offering a free drink with any meal, through next Monday (Aug. 13) to lure in customers. The restaurant’s menu includes wings, shakes and hot dogs, in addition to burgers.

Burger District also currently has a state license to sell beer and wine, according to restaurant staff, with plans to eventually offer a full bar.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days.

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Construction on Dudley’s Picks Up Steam, As Opening Nears

Work on a long-awaited Shirlington sports bar seems to be picking up steam.

Dudley’s Sport and Ale, set to be located at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive in the Village at Shirlington, could be open in time for football season to kick off, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Owner Reese Gardner has worked for years now to open up a new pub in the space formerly occupied by The Bungalow Sports Grill, which closed in June 2015.

Construction Update! We are making a push for the start of regular season. Depending on county inspections we should make it.

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Gardner told ARLnow that he still doesn’t have a firm opening date ready, though he hopes to have “a solid date after a big round of inspections next week.” As of late May, he was eyeing a grand opening sometime this month for the restaurant.

Most of the delays have been driven by wrangling with county inspectors over the bar’s planned steel rooftop, Gardner’s stressed in the past. He’s hoping to have 3,000 square feet of rooftop bar space to sit atop the 12,000-square-foot restaurant.

Gardner’s company also owns Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington and Irish Whiskey Public House in D.C.

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We, The Pizza Set to Open Ballston Location This Fall

We, The Pizza is gearing up to open a new location in Ballston this fall.

The restaurant is set to be part of the Ballston Exchange building at 4201 Wilson Blvd currently undergoing some big renovations, following the departure of the National Science Foundation.

The Ballston store, located between a Dunkin Donuts and a UPS Store, will be We, The Pizza’s second restaurant in Arlington, with another location open in Crystal City. The chain serves up gourmet pizzas, chicken wings and beer, and was launched by former “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn.

The building’s owner, Jamestown LLP, is still in the midst of recruiting new tenants for the property, with plans to wrap up construction by the end of the year.

Shake Shack, Cava and Philz Coffee plan to set up shop as retailers, while the coworking space Industrious recently committed to become the first new tenant in the building’s offices.

Photo courtesy of John Borowiec

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Medina Opens Its Doors in Former Earl’s Ballston Space

The Middle Eastern restaurant Medina has now opened its doors in Ballston.

The eatery first posted signs at the space last month, located at 4215 Fairfax Drive, across from the Ballston Metro station.

The restaurant still doesn’t have an online presence of any kind, but signs promise “shawarma, falafel and beyond” for its menu.

The location was once home to Earl’s Sandwiches, which shuttered back in June. Earl’s still operates a restaurant near Clarendon.

H/t Peter Golkin

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Morning Notes

Amazon Hiring Local ‘Economic Development Manager’ — Amazon is hiring for a new position of economic development manager in the D.C. area, though the company says the position is not connected to its HQ2 search. Per the Business Journal: “Responsibilities would include working on site selection, ‘new corporate initiatives, site expansion plans and requirements,’ and working with ‘state and community economic development, workforce and labor, taxation, and other key government agency officials, as well as chambers of commerce, utilities, and other key public/private stakeholder groups.'” [Washington Business Journal, Amazon]

New Food Hall Coming to Rosslyn — The team behind Chasin’ Tails seafood restaurant in East Falls Church is planning a new 5,000-square-foot Asian food hall, dubbed “Happy Endings Eatery,” at Rosslyn’s Central Place complex. Among the expected offerings will be Vietnamese food like summer rolls, noodle bowls and banh mi sandwiches; bubble teas; and Vietnamese coffee. [Washington Business Journal]

GW Parkway Traffic Woes — The kickoff of a new construction project caused bumper-to-bumper traffic on the GW Parkway yesterday. The project to repair the bridge over Windy Run is taking away one lane in each direction. Work is expected to last through early fall. [WJLA]

Free Food in Rosslyn Today — To celebrate the opening of its new U.S. headquarters in Rosslyn, Nestlé is planning to give away free food, drinks and ice cream at Central Place Plaza from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. today. [Twitter]

Dying Dog Becomes Internet Star — “The saying goes: ‘Every dog has his day.’ That day has come for Smoke the hound, now featured in a viral video as he scratches off items on his bucket list. Smoke recently arrived at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington with terminal cancer. Now, the animal shelter is making every moment count.” [WJLA]

Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani

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Morning Notes

County Raises $40,000 for Citizenship Fund, Urges Donors to Give Elsewhere — Arlington officials say they have more than enough money in a newly created fund to help immigrants afford fees associated with the naturalization process. Only four people have applied for the money so far, and the county is recommending residents save their money for other nonprofits instead. [Washington Post]

Flooding Hits Arlington… Again — Last night’s intense storms prompted yet more flooding, including some scary conditions on Lee Highway. Some indoor flooding was even on tap for SER Restaurant in Ballston. [Twitter, Twitter]

A Soft Opening for New Japanese Barbecue Restaurant in Clarendon — Gyu-Kaku, on N. Hudson Street just across from Don Tito, is now accepting customers by reservation only. The first D.C.-area location for the chain previously ran into some permit problems, but is now back on track. [Washington City Paper]

Dockless Scooters Vex Local Policymakers — Just as Arlington officials were caught a bit off guard by the arrival of Bird’s electric scooters last month, other localities are mulling the best way to craft policies for the vehicles. Alexandria has started to see some scooters from both the county and D.C. pop up in its borders, but leaders are taking a “wait and see” approach. [Washington Business Journal]

Police Target Solo Drivers on I-66 Inside the Beltway — Virginia officials want to crack down on anyone violating the HOV policies on I-66 in the morning and evening rush hours, in a bid to make sure the new tolls are working as intended. [WTOP]

County Volunteers Get a Round of Applause — Volunteer Arlington held its second annual “Arlington Cares” event in Ballston to laud people giving back around the county. [InsideNova]

Photo via @thelastfc

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New Coffee and Juice Bar Set to Open in Clarendon

A new restaurant offering coffee, smoothies and “superfood” is gearing up to open in Clarendon.

Signs promising that Waterhouse Coffee and Juice Bar is “coming soon” recently appeared on an office building at 3033 Wilson Blvd, near the road’s intersection with N. Garfield Street.

Though the restaurant doesn’t have any online presence to speak of just yet, the signs say the eatery will offer Lavazza coffee and espresso, “freshly pressed juices” and smoothies. The store is also set to serve “powerful superfood” including acai bowls and avocado mash.

The signs do not, however, offer any clarity on when the restaurant might open its doors.

Waterhouse is located around the corner from Casal’s Spa and Salon and Hunan Number One.

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