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by Chris Teale December 19, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Update December 21 at 1:45 p.m. — &pizza will open on Wednesday, December 27 after a spokesman said the eatery hit “a few last-minute details that needed to be addressed and the team simply ran up against the Christmas break.” Multiple tipsters said that staff at the restaurant said it had run into permitting issues with the county.

Earlier: The new fast-casual pizzeria &pizza will open to the public on Thursday in Ballston.

The build-your-own-pizza restaurant will move into 3924 Wilson Blvd, next to Freshbikes near the intersection with N. Quincy Street. It will occupy more than 2,000 square feet of space in the building, facing Wilson Blvd and across the parking lot from Gold’s Gym.

Ahead of the full opening, &pizza is hosting a now-sold-out soft opening today and tomorrow (Wednesday). Each attendee will receive a complimentary pizza so that employees can practice.

“&pizza is a different kind of pizza shop — one where experience is the focal point, and every shop reflects the culture and people who visit most,” the invite reads. “With the opening our Ballston shop, we want to invite you to join us for a lunch or dinner on us.”

Guests can expect &pizza’s signature customizable oblong pizzas with unlimited toppings using local ingredients and no artificial flavors.

More from a press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale December 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A Mediterranean and pizza restaurant with locations in Alexandria, Springfield and Sterling will replace the former Tazza Kitchen in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

Signs at the storefront at 2931 S. Glebe Road, near the county’s border with Alexandria, show Delia’s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza will move in soon. Tazza Kitchen closed last year in the space next door to the sweetfrog frozen yogurt store.

And permitting applications filed with the county show it is looking to remove a half wall in the dining area and bring in new cooking equipment.

Delia’s serves Mediterranean-inspired food, and has a full bar with cocktails, wine and craft beer, as well as catering services based in Falls Church. It describes its Springfield and Sterling locations as family-style restaurants, which offer a “more casual experience.”

Hat-tip to Thomas N.

by Chris Teale December 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A Japanese restaurant is now open at the Westmont Shopping Center on Columbia Pike.

Takohachi opened last Monday (December 11) at 3249 Columbia Pike, near its intersection with S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights.

It replaced the Sports House Grill, a sports bar that ran into some controversy in recent years, between a State Farm agent and a Mattress Firm store.

The restaurant has a sushi bar, as well as traditional Japanese food like noodles, ramen, tempura and several types of saki — a Japanese rice wine — on the menu.

It is open for lunch every day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On Sundays through Thursdays, it is open 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-10:30 p.m.

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A Ballston-based burger restaurant hopes to open its second location in Shirlington early next year.

According to its website, Big Buns Damn Good Burgers & Bar will open at 4251 Campbell Ave in January. In the build-up to its opening, Big Buns is offering various gift cards to its new location, including a year-long membership for $150.

For $5,000, someone can buy free burgers for life and burger naming rights on an “epic new Designer Burger for Shirlington.”

“Oh it gets better, every time you visit Big Buns Shirlington to see your name and in the bright big burger lights, you eat for free, forever,” the website reads.

Big Buns — not to be confused with existing Shirlington bakery Best Buns — serves customizable burgers, “designer” burgers with pre-chosen ingredients and burger bowls, where the meat and toppings are served without buns.

Elsewhere in Shirlington, Dudley’s Sport and Ale (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive) continues to move steadily towards an opening.

Yesterday (Wednesday), owner Reese Gardner posted on the sports bar’s Facebook page that the steel columns and beams have been installed, and that it passed two of six county inspections.

“Once the rest of the structure is assembled and inspected we will be able to have a very clear timeline,” Gardner wrote. “Thanks for hanging with us.”

Construction Update:The steel columns & beams have been delivered and partially installed. We passed two of the six…

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

An establishment called “Miso Men” will replace the Asian Kitchen restaurant on Lee Highway, but few other details are available about the new spot.

A sign on the front of the eatery at 5731 Lee Highway shows the new restaurant’s name, but no permitting applications have been filed with the county yet, nor with Virginia ABC.

Inside, some work appears to be underway, although the building was empty when an ARLnow reporter stopped by Tuesday. Other signs for Asian Kitchen are still up, including in its parking spaces.

“We are currently remodeling,” reads a sign on the door. “Coming back soon.”

The restaurant is close to a now-closed car repair center, which shuttered after more than 30 years. It is also near the original District Taco.

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The renovated Ballston Quarter Mall will have a 25,000-square-foot food hall, developer Forest City announced today (Tuesday).

Called Quarter Market, the food hall will feature 18 restaurants, and officials hope it will serve as the anchor for the revamped mall.

The food hall will be centered around a 5,000-square-foot public plaza, accessible via a walkway from Wilson Blvd. The plaza will include outdoor seating for two restaurants, as well as communal seating and space for other activities.

The first nine restaurants to be announced as food hall tenants include hot dog food truck Swizzler, which will open its first brick-and-mortar location; and fast-casual noodle bar Mi & Yu.

Other restaurants will include locally-owned Asian eatery Buredo, Ice Cream Jubilee’s first Virginia location and Pinch Dumplings, which already operates a stand at Nationals Park. More food hall restaurants will be announced at a later date.

“Quarter Market will bring together some of the District’s most original, best-in-class food operators, giving them the opportunity to tap into the incredible market already established in Arlington,” Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington, said in a statement. “Once opened, the food hall will truly reenergize Northern Virginia’s food scene, allowing residents to enjoy the region’s most beloved restaurants.”

Construction on the entire mall project, which will include a high-rise apartment complex with more than 400 units, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018.

Full details from a press release on the first nine restaurants to be announced are after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale December 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A national pizza chain is adding another location in Arlington, this time in Virginia Square.

Extreme Pizza is set to move into 3444 Fairfax Drive, according to permits filed with the county and its website. It already has a location in Arlington at 1419 S. Fern Street in Pentagon City, which opened in 2013.

The fast-casual eatery offers customizable pizzas as well as some signature offerings with names like “Ghost Wave,” “Wham, Bam, Thank You Mammoth” and “Poultry Geist.” The menu also includes calzones, sub sandwiches, salads, sides and desserts.

It will be the fifth Virginia location for Extreme Pizza, and the second inside the Beltway. The other Virginia locations are in Vienna, Henrico and Richmond, while it has stores in nine other states.

Photos via Craig W.

by Chris Teale November 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A bar that combines an extensive drinks menu with board games is now open in Clarendon.

The Board Room opened yesterday (Tuesday) at 925 N. Garfield Street, in the space formerly occupied by Sehkraft Brewing. This is The Board Room’s second location — it already has one in Dupont Circle.

It has space for around 140 people in the main bar area, as well as the adjoining “Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge,” which was the butcher shop. Mark Handwerger, owner of The Board Room’s parent company Bedrock Bars, said this morning that he expects that section to be open on Friday, depending on construction.

The Board Room will look to continue Sehkraft’s in-house brewing, and Handwerger said it will start to have its own beer available for purchase on Monday, made initially at a commercial brewer. It also has an extensive cocktail and food menu.

Board games are available for rent, with various box tops from other board games added to the walls as art throughout. Even the entrances to the restrooms have references to board games on their doors.

Handwerger had planned to open The Board Room earlier, but construction issues caused delays.

by Chris Teale November 17, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts is now open in Clarendon.

The combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd celebrated its grand opening this morning (Friday). The celebrations include free doughnuts for all customers and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles and cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.

Tomorrow (Saturday), customers can get a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase, while there will be a chance to decorate some doughnuts too. On both days, a prize wheel offers discount vouchers for various menu offerings.

It is the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts in the county, after one opened in September in Virginia Square. And at around 8:30 a.m., business was already brisk at the store located at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Plans to bring a Japanese barbecue restaurant to the former Brixx Pizza space in Clarendon could move forward soon.

The first D.C. area outpost of the Japan-based Gyu-Kaku restaurant is looking to move into 1119 N. Hudson Street, but months after first putting signs in the window, little progress is apparent on the inside.

But county staff approved a permit application for a new tenant layout late last month after several rejections for mechanical, plumbing and electrical issues, so construction could begin soon. The application was originally submitted in mid-August.

Gyu-Kaku 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.

Representatives of Gyu-Kaku did not respond to requests for additional comment.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A new coffee shop opened last month in Virginia Square.

Detour Coffee Co. is located at 946 N. Jackson Street, in the same building as the Darna Restaurant and Lounge, next to a Jiffy Lube.

On its website, Detour said it is owned by the same group that owns Darna. According to posts from its Facebook account, it opened late last month.

“Detour Coffee Co. combines tradition and innovation to create a delicious product that leaves customers satisfied every time,” it reads. “Located just blocks from the Clarendon Metro Station, our local coffee shop prides itself on maintaining the highest quality of product and service — all of our drinks are hand-crafted and pastries are made in-house from scratch.”

Detour serves various types of coffee including drip, espresso, chai and iced. It also has hot chocolate, and hot and iced tea, as well as sandwiches, pastries, empanadas and other food items. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

It is located about two blocks from local independent coffee shop stalwart Northside Social.

Photos 1-5 via Facebook, photo No. 6 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale November 13, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A fast-casual sushi restaurant appears to be moving into Virginia Square, but details are sparse.

An application filed with Virginia ABC indicates that Snap-A-Roll will be arriving at 3811 Fairfax Drive, in the same building as a Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the now-closed Water & Wall restaurant.

The space occupied by Water & Wall is still vacant, while another first-floor retail space is listed as being for lease.

In a brief interview this morning with ARLnow.com, the person whose phone number is listed with the ABC application declined to go into details about the new restaurant, or give his name.

“We’re still in the process of getting set up, so I have no specific information to give you,” he said.

The eatery shares a name with the Williamsburg, Va.-based Snap-A-Roll. On its Facebook page, it describes itself as “a revolutionary way to enjoy fresh, healthy and affordable sushi, hibachi and Asian cuisine.”

The restaurant became embroiled in controversy last month after it closed, with disagreement over whether it was for good or for a few weeks to carry out renovations.

In announcing its closure, the company’s Facebook page published a since-deleted post criticizing management and saying that employees did not know when it would reopen.

But the man who answered the phone declined to say much on whether this Virginia Square outpost is connected to that existing restaurant.

“There are some connections, but I do not have any specific information on that,” he said.

Photo No. 3 via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com November 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm 0

The whispers appear to be true: Medium Rare is coming to a building across from the Virginia Square Metro station.

Virginia ABC license application signs are up on the ground floor of the Latitude apartments at 3601 Fairfax Drive, with “Medium Rare” and co-owner Mark Bucher listed as the applicant.

Bucher responded to a resident’s tweet about the signs with an exclamation: “Coming soon!”

https://twitter.com/MediumRareDC/status/928811726216290304

Last year a company representative told ARLnow.com that the restaurant would likely open in “early 2018,” though so far the storefront is completely empty. Construction for a restaurant’s interior usually takes at least a few months, often extended further by permitting issues.

Medium Rare is known for its steak frites, “secret sauce,” simple prix fixe menu and its relatively bargain prices — just over $20 for bread, salad, steak and fries.

by Chris Teale November 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A store selling safe-to-eat cookie dough is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City later this month.

Sophie’s Dough Gourmet Cookie Dough is set to open on Friday, November 24 — Black Friday — (update: the opening has been delayed) at a permanent kiosk on the third floor of the mall, near the soon-to-open Superdry clothing store.

Co-owner Sophia Fellers said that right now, they have 12 flavors of cookie dough to sell and may add more in the future. That includes flavors like pumpkin pie, and the signature called “Cookie Monster,” which has blue cookie dough with chocolate chips, cookie cereal, Oreo cookies and chocolate sprinkles.

“We’ll be doing all different types of cookie dough, cookie dough and ice cream, cookie dough milkshakes and cookie dough ice cream sandwiches,” Fellers said. “It’ll be everything cookie dough.”

Fellers said those flavor combinations have come mostly from trial and error, although her background and experience in cooking have helped them figure out what works and what doesn’t.

“I think that gives me an edge because I do cook all the time, so I have a niche for that,” she said. “It’s definitely a little bit trial and error. You put some things together and you’re like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t taste good,’ or it tastes good but it doesn’t look too appealing to the eye, because you want the combination of it tasting good and looking good.”

And while it is not normally recommended to eat cookie dough, as it contains raw egg and flour and so can result in salmonella, Fellers said they will do things differently to prevent anyone getting sick.

“Our cookie dough is safe,” she said. “That’s the big concern. For decades, people have been taking the risk and licking the spatula after Mom makes the cookies… Now, we don’t use eggs. I use an egg substitute, so there’s no eggs whatsoever in our products, and we also use a heat-treated flour to ensure that no one gets sick. So it’s completely safe and edible.”

The new store will make its cookie dough creations on site at its 10-foot by 15-foot kiosk. Fellers said it should be in place by the end of next week, ahead of final county inspections and permitting.

Photos via Facebook

by Chris Teale November 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

(Updated 4:45 p.m.) A fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant is set to open in Ballston.

According to permits filed with the county, Cava Mezze Grill is set to move into 4121 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the Stafford Place II building, the former headquarters of the National Science Foundation.

It will replace the Matsutake Steak and Sushi restaurant at the location, which closed in 2014. Cava Mezze Grill is not to be confused with Cava, which already has a location in Arlington: a full-service restaurant at 2940 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon.

A reader sent a photo of construction showing the space has been more or less stripped out, ready for the build-out.

Photos via ConciergeTim R.

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