Skimmers Found on Gas Pumps — Arlington County Police are investigating credit card skimmers that were found on gas pumps at the Shell station on S. Four Mile Run Drive. [NBC Washington]
‘Project DAPS’ Now Online — An Arlington Public Library project to digitize records, photos and oral histories of the effort to desegregate schools in Arlington County went online last month. Arlington “defied the state” when the first black students began attending Stratford Junior High in January 1959, though it would take another 12 years before county schools were fully integrated. [WAMU]
Candidate Withdraws from Delegate Race — It’s the shortest local primary challenge in recent memory. Alexandria City School Board member Karen Graf, who announced on Feb. 6 that she was challenging Del. Mark Levine (D-45) for the Democratic nomination, has withdrawn from the race. Levine’s 45th House of Delegates district includes part of Arlington. [Alexandria News]
Some Still Skeptical of High Water Bills — “Ridiculous” is how one local civic association president described Arlington County’s conclusion that big spikes in water bills charged to some homeowners last year were not the result of systematic errors. [InsideNova]
New Vape Store in Ballston — “House of Vape, one of the fastest growing retail vape chains in the Mid-Atlantic region, has opened a new brick and mortar store in Arlington, Virginia, near the Ballston Metro station.” [PR Rocket]
Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak
A new women’s clothing and accessories store opened December at the Lee Heights Shops, replacing the recently-shuttered Lemon Twist Arlington.
Lemoncello Boutique at 4518 Lee Highway is a family-owned store that sells clothes for women of all ages, including young children and babies. It opened under different ownership from the previous store.
It also sells gifts and other items, including photo frames, jewelry and beauty products. Brands sold include Vineyard Vines, Scout and local jewelry designer Second Daughter, owned by Jessica Speckhard.
Lemoncello replaced Lemon Twist, which sold similar items and brands from the time it opened on Lee Highway in the late 1980s until it closed last year.
The store was part of a small retail fashion chain.
As of yet, the other Lee Heights Shops store to close recently, Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes, appears not to have been replaced. It shuttered last year due to the owners’ retirement, after the store had served Northern Virginia since 1834.
A Nespresso boutique is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
The store is located adjacent to the mall’s main entrance off of S. Hayes Street, in the former Belmont Jewelers space. Demolition of the store’s interior started last month.
Belmont is relocating to a different storefront on the first level of the mall and is expected to reopen March 1.
The Nespresso store is scheduled to open at some point this spring, offering “a world of unique coffee experiences.” There are four existing Nespresso boutiques in the Washington area, according to the brand’s website: two in Tysons, one at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, and another in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of D.C.
Before it was Belmont Jewelers, the storefront was home to the Tourneau high-end watch store, which was robbed by four hammer-wielding men in 2013.
Update on 1/5/17 — “Barring construction delays (fingers crossed) we plan to open on Saturday 1/28,” co-owner Will Bartlett tells ARLnow.com. “For the first month we will be offering $9.99 haircuts to all customers as part of our grand opening. After that first month the regular adult haircut price will be $19 (men and women) and seniors (65+), children (10 and under) and active duty military (with an ID) will be charged $17.”
A Great Clips salon will be opening in a vacant retail space on Pentagon Row, near the Harris Teeter.
A build-out of the space is currently in progress. No other details about the business or its opening date were immediately available.
Athleisure retailer Lululemon has quietly opened a “seasonal” store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The Canadian yoga pants purveyor’s new, apparently temporary location is on the second level of the mall, above the food court. The store will be holding a grand opening celebration this weekend.
“The window wraps are down and we are thrilled to be joining the Pentagon City community for the holidays,” says a Facebook page for the grand opening. “Whether you need advice on the best wear to support your winter adventures and sweaty pursuits, or simply need to take a few deep breathes during your holiday shopping, our doors are O P E N.”
Lululemon has an existing, permanent location in Clarendon.
Hat tip to @AlexWestEndRes
A new vape and cigar store is coming to Clarendon, according to a sign in the window.
Lansdowne Vapes and Cigars, which has existing locations in Leesburg, is coming to the former Grateful Red Wine and Gifts store space at 2727 Wilson Blvd, across from the Whole Foods.
Grateful Red closed in March after about four years in business.
Cold-pressed juice bar JRINK is now open in the Clarendon area.
The store, at 3260 Wilson Blvd, held its grand opening on Sunday. It offers 100 percent cold-pressed, all-natural juice that’s produced locally, at a price of $9-10 per bottle.
JRINK is competing with nearby South Block Juice Co. in the high-end juice space, which has found a market thanks in part to the popularity of so-called juice cleanses. JRINK — like South Block — also offers coffee, smoothies and superfood bowls.
This is the second Virginia store for JRINK, which has four existing locations in the District and a fifth in Falls Church, where its juices are made. The company says the new Clarendon store is the first of its kind in the region with a drive-thru window.
“JRINK’s newest location allows customers to enjoy a drive-thru experience that keeps your health in check, as well as a full storefront offering their signature juices, warm beverages, and superfoods,” notes a press release.
“Each JRINK flavor (ranging from $9-$10 each or $155 for a full, three-day reboot) contains up to five pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables… completely free of added sugar, preservatives and chemicals,” the press release adds.
Total Wine and More opened in Ballston this morning, a day later than first anticipated.
An “occupancy permit issue” prevented the store from opening on Thursday, as scheduled.
About 15-20 customers were already perusing the aisles of wine, beer, food and accessories shortly after Total Wine opened the doors Friday morning.
Located at 800 N. Glebe Road, the store includes special features like a cigar humidor, a growler fill station, a classroom and meeting space and free Wifi.
The store’s hours are 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.
(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Blumen Cafe, a new independent coffee, tea and pastry shop in the Clarendon-Courthouse area, has opened for business in the former CD Cellar space (2607 Wilson Blvd).
The cafe has quietly opened this week — customers are discovering it by walking by — ahead of a planned grand opening event on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Blumen Cafe reflects European and Mediterranean influences. It serves Illy coffee and espresso, from Italy, and offers 27 different types of teas, imported from Germany. Half of its pastries — cakes, baklava, etc. — are homemade from scratch, we’re told.
Owner Andira Jabbari says she started the first Blumen Cafe in Germany, after graduating from a university there, before selling it and moving to Doha, Qatar, where she started a tea shop. Jabbari moved here last year and lives in Courthouse.
The cafe is a family affair — staffed by Jabbari and her daughters. Jabbari’s brother was in the cafe this afternoon, helping out.
Asked about competition from Starbucks, Jabbari brushed it off and said the quality of her offerings will stand out. The relaxed, airy atmosphere — including a large accordion-style door up front that remains open during nice weather — will also provide a welcome alternative to the green-logoed coffee giant, she said.
Blumen Cafe is currently open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Located in the former Hudson Trail Outfitters space, the off-price retailer will offer “high-quality and on-trend merchandise from top designers at amazing prices,” plus “jewelry, home, beauty, pet products, toys and more.”
As part of its Oct. 29 grand opening and 7:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony, T.J. Maxx says it is donating $5,000 to local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families.
More from a company press release:
T.J.Maxx, one of the nation’s leading off-price retailers with more than 1,000 stores currently operating in 49 states and Puerto Rico, will open a new store in Arlington on October 29, 2016. From fashion and accessories to jewelry, home, beauty, pet products, toys and more, the latest T.J.Maxx store will have something for the entire family.
“We are pleased to provide a new store in Arlington, delivering value and an exciting selection of merchandise to serve the needs of customers,” said Richard Sherr, President of T.J.Maxx. “With thousands of new items from top designers and brands arriving in stores weekly from around the world, shoppers will discover a new store full of amazing values every time they visit.”
Local shoppers can celebrate our new store opening on October 29th starting at 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and experience the thrill of off-price shopping. Reusable bags will be given to the first 1,000 customers.
STORE FACTS & FEATURES
- New Location: Pentagon Plaza
- 20,721 square feet
- Regular hours: 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sundays
- Easy to shop layout
- Bright and spacious dressing rooms
- Single line queue for faster checkout
T.J.Maxx offers high-quality and on-trend merchandise from top designers at amazing prices. What’s our secret? Our T.J.Maxx buyers work with thousands of brands and designers from around the world to score the most coveted pieces at prices that work for shoppers. Our buyers shop year-round, not just seasonally to take advantage of merchandise opportunities as they arise, allowing us to be smarter about trends. Because we buy closer to need, we can negotiate better prices to pass along to our customers!
In addition to providing a new shopping option for local residents, the new store plans to add approximately 60 full and part-time jobs to the area.
In celebration of its new Arlington location, T.J.Maxx will contribute to the surrounding community by presenting a $5,000 donation to Doorways for Women and Children at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 29th at 7:30 a.m. The new store will also join all other stores nationwide in sponsoring Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. T.J.Maxx also supports Save the Children, Autism Speaks and Joslin Diabetes Center with annual in-store fundraising campaigns.
Located at 520 12th Street S., near the new Whole Foods, Commonwealth Joe offers hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks, plus baked goods and bags of their own signature roasted coffees. The star of the menu, however, is the five varieties of Commonwealth Joe’s smooth, creamy nitro cold brew coffee which are available on tap.
Commonwealth Joe offers a homey, airy space for the usual legion of laptop tappers to camp out in while sipping their coffee. Wifi is available.
Over the next week Commonwealth Joe will be operating under reduced hours — opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends. The hours will be expanded after employee training wraps up.
This is Commonwealth Joe’s first branded cafe, although the company — founded by four friends in 2012 — also operates the Java Shack in Courthouse. On 12th Street S. Commonwealth Joe will face competition from a familiar foe: Starbucks, which opened a block away earlier this summer.
A retail store for your Halloween costume and decoration needs recently opened in Crystal City.
Total Fright — or Total Party, during other times of the year — is open in the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive, near the Metro station. It was formerly located in the now under-renovation Ballston Common Mall.
The store is usually open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, but will have extended hours leading up to Halloween (Monday, Oct. 31).
There are a couple of other dedicated Halloween stores in Northern Virginia, including two Spirit Halloween locations in Falls Church and Springfield.
The only major hardware store (as opposed to a ‘Hardware’ bar) in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is getting ready to open.
The Twins Ace Hardware at 2001 Clarendon Blvd in the Courthouse area is expected to open in mid-to-late October, we’re told. The store is now hiring and recently put up a large sign on the outside of the building.
This is the second Northern Virginia hardware store for owners Jeff and Craig Smith. The brothers’ first Twins Ace Hardware store is located in Fairfax.
Parking for the 5,560 square foot store will be available, with validation, in the building’s parking garage.
Food Star Not Responding to Pleas to Stay — The Food Star grocery store apparently doesn’t have much interest in staying in Arlington after the store, at the corner of Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive, closes to make way for a redevelopment. Despite resident interest in keeping the Food Star, county officials say their efforts to reach out to the company and help them relocate to another location in Arlington have not yet yielded a “substantive” response. [InsideNova]
LEGO Store Grand Opening — The new LEGO Store in the Pentagon City mall is holding its grand opening celebration starting today. The store will be hosting a LEGO Master Builder who will construct a huge LEGO model for display. The first 400 customers Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive free gifts with qualifying purchases. [LEGO]
Olympic Athletes at Elementary School — A group of Olympic athletes will talk with students at Carlin Springs Elementary this morning. Among the group are shot put gold medalist Michelle Carter, gold medal-winning sprinter Natasha Hastings and long jump gold medalist Jeff Henderson. The athletes will be at the school as part of the Let’s Move! Healthy Schools campaign.
Notable Tree Nominations — It’s that time of the year — if you think you have a truly exceptional tree in your yard that deserves recognition, you can now nominate it for Arlington County’s annual Notable Tree awards. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 15. [Arlington County]
October Is Affordable Housing Month — Tomorrow is Oct. 1 and October is Affordable Housing Month in Arlington, “a month-long celebration of the County’s long-term commitment to preserving and creating housing opportunities that benefit the whole community.” [Arlington County]
Robbie Peck has the kind of founding story for his company that reinforces the artisanal cred that is fueling its growth.
Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters, which owns Java Shack in Courthouse and is opening a new flagship cafe in Pentagon City, started as a mom-and-son operation in Culpeper, Va., a coffee shop where Peck was the barista and his mother was the chief coffee roaster.
From those beginnings Peck founded Commonwealth Joe with one coffee roasting machine and three friends from college. A few years later, and now he’s just a week or two away the culmination of a lot of hard work and investment: the opening of the first Commonwealth Joe-branded coffee shop.
Located next to a new Whole Foods on 12th Street S., just two blocks from the Pentagon City Metro, the cafe will feature the company’s most popular product: nitro cold brew coffee, which is smooth, dark and served out of a keg — the Guinness beer of coffees.
In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we learned that Commonwealth Joe’s nitro cold brew was the result of keeping a close eye on coffee culture in New York and other trend-setting coffee cities, in addition to a lot of experimentation.
We also learned:
- It takes quite a bit of effort to pedal a tricycle outfitted with a coffee keg up a hill
- Though Peck is competing with Starbucks, he credits the company for paving the way for smaller coffee companies like his
- Contrary to the experience of other small businesses, Peck says he hasn’t encountered much trouble from Arlington County on regulatory and permitting issues so far
Our podcast sponsor is Crystal City, which is hosting its annual Pups and Pilsners beer tasting event this Sunday from 2-6 p.m.