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Arlingtonians have a new destination for Arlington and ARLnow merch.

Today ARLnow is officially launching our new online store. Whereas we used to only sell items on Amazon — the best-selling Gondola Now shirt for instance — now we have our own storefront for a wider variety of items, designs and colors.

Brown flip flops? Check. Fresh gondola designs? Check.

More items are in progress and we’re also happy to take requests. Let us know what you want to see in the comments, and you might soon see it added.

A portion of all purchases support ARLnow’s local reporting.

Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream is now open in Pentagon City (photo via Toby’s/Instagram)

Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream has started serving scoops at its new Amazon HQ2 location.

The local ice cream shop held a “soft opening” this past weekend at its newest spot at 510 14th Street S. in Pentagon City. On both Saturday and Sunday, Toby’s served up scoops to hungry and hot locals from noon until 3 p.m. at the storefront facing Met Park.

There’s no word yet on when or if there’s an official grand opening being planned.

A number of the new businesses at Amazon HQ2 have opened or are planning to open in the coming weeks. District Dogs and Conte’s Bike Shop started rolling earlier this summer followed by Good Company Doughnuts in July. Peruvian Brothers is aiming for a soft opening later this month. Mae’s Market and Taqueria Xochi have yet to announce their plans.

An outpost of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Arlington will also be opening its doors at Amazon HQ2. That opening may be delayed until the fall, a source told ARLnow.

It was back in April when Toby’s Ice Cream announced it was expanding to a third location. The original opened in Westover in 2008, while a second location started serving over a year ago in Vienna.


A new small-format Ikea location is ready to open in Pentagon City.

The Scandinavian furniture and homegoods giant just announced that the storefront at the Pentagon Centre shopping center (1201 S. Hayes Street) will open tomorrow — Wednesday, Aug. 16.

The 5,000-square-foot “Plan and Order” location was first announced in March.

Unlike Ikea’s traditional large-format warehouse stores in College Park and Woodbridge, Plan and Order points only allow customers to order items — like kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture and fixtures — for delivery. There are currently no other Ikea small-format stores open in the D.C. area.

More, below, from an Ikea press release.

IKEA U.S. is excited to announce that on August 16, the IKEA Arlington Plan and order point, located in the Pentagon Centre shopping center, will open to the public. This is the first Plan and order point to open in the DC market, which will provide inspiration and ideas for the home and offer one-on-one consultation services for kitchen design, bedroom and bathroom solutions, small space living solutions and so much more. Metro DC customers can now begin scheduling their in-person appointments through the IKEA Arlington local store page.

“The IKEA Arlington Plan and order point is a new kind of IKEA store for Metro DC residents. Whether planning a big project or simply looking for inspiration, we hope to provide a more convenient way to shop. Our goal is to continually transform to better meet the needs of our customers in Virginia and beyond,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S.

IKEA Arlington will be open for all visitors to browse the showroom to get inspiration Monday-Sunday 11 am – 7 pm. Customers may also book an appointment and sit down with an IKEA expert planner while they design, quote, and order IKEA products. There’s no need to lug furniture home as the IKEA team will conveniently arrange all items to be transported to a customer’s home or to another pick up point. To schedule an appointment at IKEA Arlington to plan a kitchen, wardrobe, or another room of the home (bedroom, living room, etc.) and for IKEA Business planning, visit the IKEA Arlington local store page and use the appointment booking tool.

“The all-new IKEA Arlington Plan and order point will allow customers to meet with professional consultants who can help them optimize their living and working spaces,” said Raquel Ely, Market Manager, IKEA U.S. “With full-service delivery, this is a new, intimate experience that’s uniquely IKEA. It’s where design expertise meets convenience. We are thrilled to be opening the first IKEA Plan & order point in our area, continuing to create customer meeting points that are more accessible and convenient to the many people in the DMV market while offering sustainable and affordable home furnishings solutions.”

IKEA has been on the outskirts of the DC area for more than 35 years with large-format IKEA stores in Woodbridge, VA and College Park, MD. The IKEA Arlington Plan and order point will be located in the Pentagon Centre shopping center at 1201 S. Hayes Street, Pentagon City, Arlington, VA in 5,012 square feet of leased space. It will be easily accessible by Metro via the Yellow or Blue line, Metrobus or car.

“L.A. Leaf” coming to Cherrydale (staff photo)

Retail businesses have struggled to make a go of it at 3800 Langston Blvd, but another looks set to give it a try.

The condo building in Cherrydale has seen several homegrown businesses open on the ground floor and garner good reviews, only to close a few years later. Six years ago it was tea house and foot soaking “sanctuary” House of Steep. This past September it was Gaijin Ramen Shop.

But signs are up for a new store is up. “L.A. Leaf” will offer CBD and vape products, the signage suggests.

There’s no word yet on when the store might open. The interior still appears mostly bare and the shop’s website, listed on a sign, is not yet functional.

The shop will join an existing ATM-only Chase Bank vestibule, which remains open, in the building’s street-facing retail bays.

The Old Bike Shop on N. Pershing Drive is closing (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Old Bike Shop closed earlier this year in Lyon Park, after a decade in business, but a new bike shop is moving in.

Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative, based at 2111 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, announced today that it plans to open at the 2647 N. Pershing Drive storefront — down the road from Clarendon — in the next couple of weeks.

“Thanks to Larry Behery and the Old Bike Shop for providing a home for quality used bike service and sales,” Vélocity co-founder Christian Myers said in a statement. “Vélocity will build on this legacy and make safe, reliable bicycles more affordable to everyone.”

“Vélocity plans to open the Arlington shop in early April,” a post on the nonprofit organization’s website says. “Until then, come see us at our location in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, where you can find a refurbished used bike for the spring season!”

More from the organization’s post, below.

Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative is expanding efforts to build a strong biking community by opening a second location at 2647 North Pershing Drive, in the Lyon Park neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, the same location where the Old Bike Shop operated for more than 10 years.

Vélocity is a non-profit cycling shop, run by volunteers. Since 2009, Velocity has empowered kids, beginners, and cycle enthusiasts in acquiring, building, and maintaining bicycles. Vélocity fosters a diverse cycling community, offers cycling education, and provides free bicycles and related equipment to those in need (in 2022, Vélocity refurbished 459 bikes and got 64 bikes to kids and scholarship recipients).

Joe Davison, Board Chair and long-serving volunteer, is excited about the days ahead: “Opening our second location provides a unique opportunity to realize our mission to grow and empower an inclusive biking community through education and affordability. We are honored to carry on and serve the local biking community at this location while seeking continued synergy among the area’s cycling organizations, including Phoenix Bikes.”

Arlington-based Phoenix Bikes, located just off of Columbia Pike, has a similar education and bike refurbishment mission.


(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Ikea is planning to open a small-format “Plan and Order” location in Pentagon City this summer.

The company made the announcement this morning. The 5,000 square foot location will be opening at the Pentagon Centre shopping center at 1201 S. Hayes Street, home to Costco and across the street the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

Unlike the traditional large-format warehouse stores that Ikea currently has in College Park and Woodbridge, the Plan and Order points only allow customers to order items — like kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture and fixtures — for delivery.

There are currently no other Ikea small-format stores open in the D.C. area. When ARLnow checked with the company last month about a rumor of its impending arrival in Arlington, the company declined to confirm the news.

The new location will have a “similar look and feel” to one that recently opened in Melbourne, Australia — pictured above — a company media rep said. Somewhat larger “Planning Studio” Ikea locations have opened recently in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York City, Paris and Moscow, part of a more than $3 billion investment in new and existing stores, ModernRetail reported.

Pentagon Centre owner Kimco is updating its existing plans to redevelop large parts of the shopping center, including the Costco, ARLnow reported earlier this week. The developer is still signing 10-year leases with retailers, however, in anticipation of this being a long term project.

More on Ikea from a press release, below.

Today, IKEA U.S. announced plans for a new Plan & order point located in Arlington, VA, which is set to open in summer 2023. This new customer meeting point, located in the Pentagon Centre shopping center, is more conveniently located to better meet the needs of Metro DC customers and will focus on providing interior design planning with IKEA specialists.

The IKEA Arlington Plan & order point is different from the traditional large-format IKEA stores and will only offer items for delivery. Customers will have the opportunity to meet with the IKEA store team to plan and order home furnishing solutions that require a bit more help, such as kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Arrangements will be made to have all items conveniently transported to a customer’s home or to another convenient point of delivery.

“We are on a journey to bring the IKEA experience closer to our customers in city centers. We’re excited to introduce the IKEA Arlington Plan & order point, giving customers a more convenient way to shop our affordable home furnishing products and solutions,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S.

IKEA has been on the outskirts of the DC market for more than 20 years with large-format IKEA stores in Woodbridge, VA and College Park, MD. IKEA Arlington will be located in the Pentagon Centre at 1201 S. Hayes Street, Pentagon City, Arlington, VA in 5,012 square feet of leased space. It will be easily accessible by Metro via the Yellow or Blue line, Metrobus or car.

“We’re excited to welcome customers living in the DC Metro area or the DMV to a new IKEA location this summer, with more to come in the future. The Plan & order point concept has been created with the unique needs of local consumers in mind, from the proximity to public transportation and delivery and assembly options, to the opportunity for affordable design services,” said Raquel Ely, Market Manager, IKEA U.S.

In addition to opening new Plan & order points in city centers, IKEA U.S. has made significant investments to enhance its e-commerce experience and service offerings, including new IKEA Family benefits, lower priced shipping and delivery, Click & collect, and TaskRabbit assembly services.

Photo by Jueun Song on Unsplash


Just one month after both Loyal Companion stores in Arlington closed amid the chain’s bankruptcy, both locations are back as new pet stores.

In the Lee Harrison Shopping Center, Loyal Companion is still the sign above the storefront, but inside it has been converted into Wag N’ Wash, a pet store with a focus on pet hygiene.

Wag N’ Wash is a national chain with a few locations in the region, including one in Vienna.

As far as conversions go, the changes inside are fairly minor. Staff at the store, located at 2501A N. Harrison Street, said “it’s mostly the same stuff” with the same dog washing services Loyal Companion offered, just under a new name.

One of the few notable changes, staff said, is that eventually Wags N’ Wash will have a self-serve dog wash.

Meanwhile, a store manager at Dogma Bakery & Boutique said the new location near Clarendon — at 2509 Franklin Road — will have a soft opening later this week, perhaps on Wednesday, March 15, depending on when the shelves get set up. The store expects to be fully open next week.


Gun store Nova Armory is now open in Clarendon, after moving from its previous Lyon Park location.

The store at 2607 Wilson Blvd opened on the same day that ARLnow reported on the move, according to a Facebook post.

So far, the storefront is not marked from the outside, though there is a sign on the door instructing delivery drivers not to leave boxes outside. Opposition to Nova Armory’s opening in Clarendon was more muted than its original opening in Lyon Park, which was subject to community meetings, a letter from local lawmakers and a lawsuit (filed by Nova Armory against its critics).

The store’s actual time in business has seen considerably less drama, save for several burglaries and large crowds of customers at the outset of the pandemic.

That all said, what do you think of a gun store operating in the Clarendon neighborhood? Does the Metro corridor location change youe opinion compared to the store’s current location near Route 50?


(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) You might soon be able to buy a Beretta where you could previously sip a bumble.

Gun store Nova Armory appears poised to open in the former This Is Fine Coffee and Kino Coffee space at 2607 Wilson Blvd. Boxes outside the storefront are addressed to Nova Armory and its parent company, while the store has the address listed on a “contact us” page on its website.

Nova Armory has an existing location on N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park that opened amid considerable local controversy in 2016. A representative of the store told ARLnow via email Monday afternoon that the Pershing Drive location will close.

“We [will] only have one location at Wilson Blvd,” the store rep said. “The old location is being shut down.”

Already, early word of the potential opening is causing its own controversy. One of several tips sent to ARLnow called it an “unacceptable, reckless addition to the neighborhood.”

Despite drawing the ire of some neighbors and experiencing several burglaries, the local gun store is seemingly popular with customers given its online reviews while reporting growing business a couple of years after opening. Like many gun stores, Nova Armory also experienced a boom in business at the outset of the pandemic.

Kino Coffee, which was noted for serving a unique (at least for the United States) orange juice-espresso blend called bumble coffee, closed late last year, citing Covid-related business challenges.


The first medical cannabis dispensary in Arlington is set to open in Clarendon by the end of the year, coming as state restrictions loosen for medical cannabis.

Beyond/Hello, one of four companies allowed to sell cannabis in Virginia, is opening a dispensary along Clarendon’s main drag of Wilson Blvd. The plan is to open by the end of the year, pending approval from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, Chief Commercial Director Trent Woloveck told ARLnow.

The company, which is owned by Florida-based Jushi, bought the building at 2701 Wilson Blvd in late 2021, which is located across the street from Whole Foods as well as the parking lot that may be turned into a new development called “Courthouse West“.

The dispensary will move into the space that was formerly a Comcast service center. Construction is in its early stages, Wolveck said, starting with cleaning up the shell of the building.

Arlington Independent Media also occupies space in the building, operating FM station WERA 96.7. Wolveck said the plan is to allow AIM to stay both during and after construction.

This Wilson Blvd building was specifically chosen because of its central location and dedicated parking spots.

“Most properties we looked at in Arlington had zero dedicated parking spaces — this property provides 45,” said Wolveck. “It is also well positioned across the street from a high grossing Whole Foods and in the heart of the Clarendon restaurant and nightlife scene.”

The Clarendon location is part of Beyond/Hello’s larger Northern Virginia expansion. The company already has two dispensaries open in Manassas and Sterling. Two locations in Fairfax County are both set to open this summer, as FFXnow reports, while a Woodbridge one is aiming for early next year. Legally, the company is allowed to operate six dispensaries in Virginia.

All of this is coming on the heels of the state making it easier for patients to obtain medical cannabis. On July 1, a new state law went into effect removing the requirement that patients had to register with the Commonwealth in order to purchase medical cannabis. Now, patients simply need written certification from a licensed practitioner.

Despite partisan rancor on other state issues, the bill had overwhelming bipartisan support.

This loosening of regulations is expected to accelerate Virginia’s medical cannabis industry. Prior to the law going into effect, only about 0.5% of Virginia’s 8.6 million residents were registered medical cannabis patients. Meanwhile, Maryland is at 2.5% and the national average is 2%.

While it is now legal for adults to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana in Virginia, recreational sales remain illegal. A legislative effort to create infrastructure for retail sales and make it legal this year failed in the General Assembly several months ago.

For now, general retail cannabis sales won’t be allowed in Virginia until Jan. 1, 2024.

New signage for the Amazon Fresh store on Crystal Drive (courtesy of David Johnston)

An exact date has yet to be announced, but the Amazon Fresh grocery store that’s coming to Crystal City is expected to open soon.

A PR rep for the company said this morning that its forthcoming store at 1550 Crystal Drive “will open in the coming weeks.”

The company also announced dates for two other Amazon Fresh openings in Northern Virginia: today (Thursday) in Manassas and Thursday, June 23 in Lorton.

“We’re thrilled to continue our expansion into Northern Virginia, bringing new, low-priced grocery stores to these communities,” said the spokesperson. The openings will create “hundreds” of jobs paying a starting wage of $15.50/hour and the stores will donate surplus food to local food banks, the rep added.

Additionally, each store will have technology that allows customers to skip the checkout line.

“All three locations will offer Just Walk Out Shopping, which adds convenience to customers’ shopping experience,” said the spokesperson.

More on how that works:

Customers who opt for Just Walk Out Shopping can enter the store by scanning the In-Store QR code in their Amazon app, using Amazon One, or inserting a credit or debit card to open the Just Walk Out gates. Once inside the store, customers can shop like normal. Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. At the end of their trip, customers shopping with the Just Walk Out experience simply scan or insert their entry method again to exit and they’re good to go.

This will be the first Amazon Fresh store in Arlington, though there are rumors of another planned location on Columbia Pike.

Located just a few blocks from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2, Amazon Fresh will also be the only grocery store in Crystal City, which has long been without one despite a sizable local population.


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