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Morning Notes

An airplane taxis after landing at Reagan National Airport (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Calling 911 Over Leaf Blowers — Writes a former Arlington County 911 dispatcher, regarding a recent ARLnow opinion column about leaf blower noise: “Hard hitting stuff coming out of ArCo, as always. I remember taking a 911 call once where the caller complained about this very issue and, in an effort to get police dispatched, called his neighbour’s leaf-blower a ‘violent weapon.’ This county is truly deranged.” [Twitter]

New Drug Recovery Resource — “For individuals having difficulty with substance use, the first step to a better life involves withdrawing  from alcohol or drugs. The new Arlington Recovery Center – a partnership between the County and National Capital Treatment and Recovery (NCTR) – is ready to help people with that journey. Arlington Recovery Center opened its doors this year and includes both Withdrawal Management and Early Recovery programs.” [Arlington County]

Book About Arlington House’s Builder — “Arlington journalist, historian and author Charles S. (‘Charlie’) Clark recently penned ‘George Washington Parke Custis: A Rarefied Life in America’s First Family.’ The book chronicles the complicated life of Custis (1781-1857), who was raised at Mount Vernon – he was the grandson of Martha Washington and step-grandson of George Washington – and in adulthood was responsible for the construction of the Arlington House estate using both free and enslaved workers.” [Sun Gazette]

VHC Expanding With McLean Building — “Virginia Hospital Center is charging ahead with its campus expansion while growing its ambulatory footprint — starting with a $34.5 million purchase in McLean. The Arlington health system has purchased a building at 1760 Old Meadow Road where it’s setting up an orthopedic outpatient surgery center, according to VHC CEO Jim Cole. The hospital is now renovating a 14,900-square-foot area of existing building in a project expected to cost $6.4 million including construction and equipment.” [Washington Business Journal]

Crossing Guard Spreads Thanksgiving Cheer — From Williamsburg Middle School Principal Bryan Boykin: “Mr. La is bringing a little holiday flavor to his traffic duties,” thanks to a large turkey costume. [Twitter]

New Tech Repair Store in Pentagon City — “Leading tech repair provider uBreakiFix by Asurion has opened its newest location in Pentagon City at 1101 S. Joyce St., Suite B-12 on Pentagon Row. The store offers professional repair services for anything with a power button, from smartphones, tablets, and computers to game consoles, smart speakers, and drones-and everything in between.” [Press Release]

Officials Urge Caution on the Roads — “The American Automobile Association predicts that 1.4 million Virginians will travel for this Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, which equates to 11 percent more motorists than in 2020. Virginia State Police urge patience for motorists planning to hit the roadways. ‘With traffic on the roads increasing and many people anxious to get to their destination, I encourage all Virginians to be patient. Buckle up and take your time,’ said Col. Gary Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Wednesday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 47. Sunrise at 7:01 a.m. and sunset at 4:48 p.m. Thanksgiving day will be mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Showers early Friday morning, then mostly sunny, with a high near 46. We will not be publishing Thursday but will be back with a light publishing schedule on Friday.

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If you were looking for a place to procure a hearty sandwich, a lovely bouquet and a cold beer with the same swipe of a credit card, the wait is almost over.

Poppyseed Rye, a new restaurant and flower shop concept, is opening this week in the former Buzz Bakeshop space at 818 N. Quincy Street in Ballston. It will officially open to the public on Friday (Nov. 19), though a couple of private “soft opening” events are likely earlier in the week.

The shop will specialize in fresh flowers and craft sandwiches, while also featuring home goods, toasts, cold press juice, charcuterie, beer, wine, and champagne. That’s according to co-owner Scott Parker, who’s also a partner in Don Tito and a trio of other Ballston businesses: Bearded Goat BarberBASH Boxing, Bronson Bierhall.

Parker is opening Poppyseed Rye with partners Alex Buc, who formerly ran Jetties sandwich shops in D.C., and Akeda Maerdan, who owns Farida Floral in Fairfax. The opening can be seen as a vote of confidence in Ballston as a place that can support the kind of businesses that one might more commonly see in the city.

(Part of the neighborhood is, in fact, more population-dense than anywhere in the District.)

“Ballston is on fire,” Parker told ARLnow over the weekend. “We’re so excited to open in this buzzing neighborhood, and bring the best sandwiches and fresh flowers you can find in the area.”

Poppyseed Rye will we open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, starting Friday.

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Bakeshop in Clarendon (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington-based Bakeshop is opening up a third location just across the Key Bridge in Georgetown.

It was more than a decade ago, in the middle of Snowmageddon, when the bakery first started satisfying Arlington’s sweet tooth at 1025 N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon. Since then, Bakeshop has expanded to Falls Church, weathered a pandemic, and, now, is once again growing.

Bakeshop is moving into 3210 Grace Street NW in D.C., just about a mile walk from Gateway Park in Rosslyn and only two and a half miles from their original Clarendon shop.

“Georgetown is a charming little slice of DC, it’s both historic, extremely active and has a good bakery scene,” owner Justin Stegall wrote in an email to ARLnow. “It’s going to be great opening up next to South Block — we’ve been neighbors for over 10 years in Arlington and it’s great to be neighbors in DC.”

The plan is to open by the end of the month (October) “as long as inspections etc. are done,” he notes.

The menu will be similar to that of the other locations, offering vegan treats, Vietnamese coffee, and ice cream “cookiewiches.”

In January 2020, Stegall told ARLnow that he had “no immediate plans to open more” shops but would “do it again if the moment feels right.”

Nearly two years later, the moment felt right despite being in the midst of challenging times.

“The last 18 months has been extremely challenging and has felt more like 5 years. The overall uncertainty about what tomorrow will be like and constantly trying to look out for ourselves and our customers,” Stegall writes. “My team has been brave and very professional throughout this whole ordeal and I’m really proud of them.

Stegall also says the shop is fortunate because it’s “in a business that suits take-out ordering and delivery.”

But there’s certainly something about in-person connections.

“We’ve really missed having our community in the shops for their morning routine of newspaper, pastry and coffee, parents bringing their kids in for a treat, and people just convening in general,” he writes. “That aspect of community has always been a big part of us and it has been sorely missed.”

Over the years, the Bakeshop has gotten attention beyond their treats and expansion. In 2012, the shop was featured on the Cooking Channel and, in 2016, there was a viral Facebook post from Stegall’s mom where she showed her love for her son.

When asked if the shop could expand even more so in the future, Stegall said that’s the plan, if all goes well.

“I hope we will expand further because it is very exciting and rewarding to join a new neighborhood and become part of that community,” he said.

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Morning Notes

Running Store Coming to Pentagon City — “Federal Realty Investment Trust has leased the last bit of vacant retail space at Westpost, the 14-acre mixed-use development a short walk from where Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters buildings will stand. The leases put the roughly 297,000-square-foot retail center on course to be fully occupied in the first half of 2022 after a handful of notable vacancies, including the nearly 34,000-square-foot former Bed, Bath & Beyond to be replaced by a Target store, and the roughly 4,500-square-foot space where Road Runner Sports will replace a shuttered Unleashed by Petco.” [Washington Business Journal]

Library Seeking Latino History Donations — “Over the last three decades, Arlington’s Latino community has rapidly grown and stockpiled a wealth of history. And this week, librarians and historians at the Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library are asking for donations of documents to archive the county’s Hispanic history. The project is called Re-Encuentro de Arlington Latinos.” [WTOP]

Rock Climbing Gym Goes Green — “Earth Treks Crystal City prides itself as a rock climbing outlet for people living in a metropolitan area and the business in northern Virginia hopes its roots in rock climbing can bring forward better environmental practices… Earth Treks announced recently its partnership with a Virginia company that allows its climbers to bring in old and rundown equipment — shoes, water bottles and harnesses — which will be reused in a variety of ways, including to make dog harnesses.” [WUSA 9]

Synetic Returns to Theater — “Last night night found me in Crystal City, where Synetic Theater was back in its performance venue for the first time since the pandemic, staging a production of ‘The Madness of Poe…’ Performers were not masked, a nice change after recent experiences with a number of troupes who use Arlington Public Schools facilities and are not allowed to let their actors, though all vaccinated, go without masks.” [Sun Gazette]

New Commuter Bus Service Funded — “The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission plans to fund a new express bus service, part of efforts aimed at reducing congestion connected with Interstate 66 and the Beltway. The commission approved a plan yesterday to fund the bus service with over $5.1 million for two years. Routes would run from the Reston South Park and Ride lot to key destinations in Arlington County that include the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City.” [Reston Now]

More Studies for Route 7 Bus Route — “A regional study of the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) route from Tysons to Alexandria is moving into a new phase that will assess options through the Seven Corners area. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission voted last night (Thursday) to approve a contract for the fourth phase of its Envision Route 7 mobility analysis study.” The bus might also make a stop at the East Falls Church Metro station in Arlington. [Tysons Reporter]

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Morning Notes

Preservation Battle Brewing — “The historic-preservation advocate who launched a community-driven, albeit ultimately unsuccessful, effort to save the Rouse estate on Wilson Boulevard, is on a new quest. Tom Dickinson has filed paperwork with county officials seeking historic-district status for an East Falls Church home, despite the likelihood that the current property owner aims to raze the home and redevelop the 0.29-acre parcel.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Ranks No. 39 Healthiest in U.S.Updated at 9:20 a.m. — “U.S. News and World Report, in its annual assessment of the ‘healthiest communities in the U.S.,’ has given a staggering third place finish to the City of Falls Church in its latest edition. That’s ahead of all other entities in the entire nation, except for Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Douglas County, Colorado. The magazine listed the top 500 entities in the U.S., and others in this area to finish near the top were Loudoun County at No. 4, Fairfax County at No. 14 and Arlington County at No. 39, the City of Alexandria at No. 124 and Fauquier County at No. 195.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Tattoo Shop Opening New Clarendon Location — “Regency’s The Crossing Clarendon is excited to welcome Lady Octopus Tattoos to its second local storefront in the Arlington, VA area later this year. Run by artist Gilda Acosta and co-owner Jonathan Reed, the custom tattoo shop offers high-quality tattoo artistry in addition to selling brand merchandise including t-shirts, enamel pins and more.” [Regency Centers]

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A 34,000 square foot Target store appears to be coming to the former Bed Bath and Beyond space in Pentagon City.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant is beginning the process of building out its third Arlington store. A building permit application says the store at 900 Army Navy Drive will “include retail sales of merchandise and groceries” but “no food or beverage preparation.”

It’s unclear when the new store will open.

Bed Bath and Beyond closed its long-time Pentagon Row location last year, after nearly two decades at the shopping center now known as Westpost. It was one of dozens of locations the struggling retail chain closed last year, out of about 200 store closures planned through 2022.

The new Pentagon City Target will join a 23,000 square foot store in Rosslyn that opened in 2015 and a 41,000 square foot store in Ballston that opened last summer. There are also nearby Target locations in Potomac Yard, Skyline, Seven Corners and Falls Church.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Buzz Bakeshop has closed in Ballston and a new cafe from some familiar local names will be replacing it.

Poppyseed Rye, which describes itself as “a craft sandwich and fresh flower café,” plans to open this fall at 818 N. Quincy Street, a block from Ballston Quarter mall.

“We’ll make tasty sandwiches, salads, toasts, and charcuterie… and serve beer, wine, seltzer, and champagne,” said Scott Parker, a partner in the shop who also co-owns a variety of Ballston businesses, including Bearded Goat Barber, BASH Boxing, and Bronson Bierhall, as well as Don Tito in Clarendon.

Also helming the shop is Alex Buc, who formerly ran Jetties sandwich shops in D.C., and Akeda Maerdan, who owns Farida Floral in Fairfax.

“At our shop Akeda will sell bouquets, vases, candles, and other household goods,” Parker said.

The cafe will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily and will focus on lunch and dinner. The sandwich-focused menu will be offered all day. A weekend brunch is possible down the road, according to Parker, who notes that there will be a small patio area outside.

The space was formerly occupied by Buzz Bakery, which opened in 2011 and offered coffee, baked goods and other treats. Now known as Buzz Bakeshop, the cafe has a location on Slaters Lane in Alexandria that remains open. The Ballston location is listed on the Buzz website as “temporarily closed.”

The ownership group behind Poppyseed Rye includes Parker, Lee Smith, Jon Rennich, and Gary Koh, who co-owns Bronson Bierhall with Parker. The group is also working with chef Johnny Spero and Aslin Beer Company on the forthcoming Pentagon City brewpub Nighthawk Pizza.

More collaborations with notable chefs, artisans and producers may be on the way from the group, Parker hinted. But for now, he’s focused on getting the new venture off the ground.

“As Ballston continues to grow and become more vibrant, we’re excited to bring our unique new sandwich and flower shop to Wilson Boulevard,” said Parker.

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Local women’s clothing store Malena Boutique, a longtime Arlington staple, has opened an online shop to reach more customers.

Store manager Andrea Cecchi said she started developing the online presence when Malena — which has been in business for four decades — had to close its Courthouse storefront last spring during the first wave of COVID-19 shutdowns.

“We’re very excited to offer this convenience to our customers, who can either pick up curbside or have us deliver,” Cecchi said. “Our existing customers already love this new service, and the new clothing lines we’ve added recently are also bringing new customers into the store.”

Cecchi had been considering online sales pre-pandemic to attract new, younger customers. She got to work when she could not keep the boutique open to in-person customers.

“We had no business during the more than three months we were closed, [so] we opened back up offering our customers pickup and delivery service, which evolved into our online store,” Cecchi said.

The store manager said it is hard to gauge the impact COVID-19 had on Malena because the boutique went through another big change six months before. After 40 years of business, Malena moved from Rosslyn Metro Mall to Courthouse in October 2019.

It had to close from March until last summer, Cecchi said.

“We reopened to very little foot traffic, which continues to this day,” she said. “We do still have many repeat customers from our previous location, but traffic to the store has been pretty light.”

The boutique offers a collection of women’s clothing from smaller designers such as Weavz, Parsley and Sage and Lost + Wander. All items that are in-store are also on its new website.

This new option for customers will not affect the physical store’s hours or supplies, Cecchi said.

Malena Boutique is located at 2111 Wilson Blvd and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

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Framebridge in Clarendon is now open with the store also giving away free flowers for Mother’s Day.

The D.C.-based custom framing company, owned by Rosslyn-based Graham Holdings, opened its newest location at 2839 Clarendon Blvd on Thursday. The store is offering free flowers from local florist Holley Simmons, while supplies last, with any in-store purchase throughout the weekend.

In a statement to ARLnow, Framebridge CEO Susan Tynan said she always wanted to bring a store to Clarendon.

We’re so excited to finally have a store in Clarendon — we’ve actually had our eye on this center since we opened our first retail location on 14th Street in 2019. We took a tour then and have been waiting for the perfect spot to open ever since!

We have so many great customers in the Arlington area, and we hope to be introduced to many new customers who are visiting the great shops and restaurants nearby. This is a well-trafficked, central location and it’s an easy place for people to visit. We are thrilled to be part of this community we already love and can’t wait to see everything customers choose to Framebridge on Clarendon Boulevard!

Framebridge initially began as an e-commerce, online-only company, but started expanding to brick and mortar locations in 2019.

This is the company’s fifth physical location in the region and second in Virginia. It has also recently opened retail shops at Union Market in D.C. and in the Mosaic District. Non-D.C.-area locations include Brooklyn and Atlanta.

The store is opening in the newly-renamed The Crossing Clarendon, a stretch of interconnected stores, restaurants, offices and residential space formerly known as Market Common Clarendon. The Crossing has had several notable comings and goings in recent months.

Boston-based Tatte Bakery and Cafe is set to open in July in the former spot of Baja Fresh. Connecticut-based pizza chain Colony Grill also opened in October and has already garnered a good deal of love.

Framebridge is in the former Lou Lou Boutiques location, after that store shuttered this past summer.

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In 2016, Arlington was ranked the third “Healthiest City in America.” In 2021, a tobacco and vape shop is replacing a yoga studio in Virginia Square.

Los Angeles-based YogaWorks closed its location at 3528 Wilson Blvd late last year after declaring bankruptcy during the pandemic. The one-story building next to the Arlington Arts Center was listed for lease and, recently, a sign went up advertising that a store called “Tobacco Hut” is coming soon.

The sign says the store will offer CBD, kratom, and vape products, as well as cigars. Photos of a store in McLean with a similar sign show and array of glass smoking pipes and other marijuana accessories.

No other information about the store, including its opening date, was immediately available.

Other businesses on the block, two blocks from the Virginia Square Metro station, include a 7-Eleven, a dry cleaner, and an HVAC supply wholesaler.

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Morning Notes

Manager: Say No to Rouse Historic Designation — “With much of the physical infrastructure on the site now a pile of rubble, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz wants County Board members to throw in the towel on designating parts of the Rouse estate parcel as a local historic district… While recommending that the County Board reject the historic designation, Schwartz also proposes that staff be directed to come back by October with a report on potential ways the site could be incorporated into Arlington’s historic-preservation and/or affordable-housing efforts.” [Sun Gazette]

Police Looking for Missing ManUpdated at 8:45 a.m. —  The Fairfax County Police helicopter assisted with the search for a missing Arlington man Sunday afternoon. Early his morning, ACPD announced: “[The missing man] has been safely located. Thank you to everyone who assisted by sharing this information.” [Twitter, NBC 4]

DCA Noise Meeting Tonight — “An online public meeting on April 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. will discuss aircraft noise north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Aircraft Noise Mitigation Study meeting, to be hosted by Montgomery County (Md.) Council member Andrew Friedson and Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey, is a follow-up of a meeting held last year by those localities.” [Sun Gazette]

Amazon Cites Va. As Example for Voting Rights — “UPDATE: @Amazon says it opposes state efforts to limit voting rights, urges states to follow Virginia’s lead and make it easier to vote.” [Twitter]

Wakefield Makes Football Playoffs — “For the second straight season and third time in four campaigns, the Wakefield Warriors have qualified for the football region playoffs. Wakefield (4-1, 3-1) clinched a 6D North Region Tournament berth with a 13-0 home victory over the Falls Church Jaguars on April 1 in National District action. It was the team’s final regular-season contest in this condensed high-school schedule.” [Sun Gazette]

Reminder: Water Switch in Effect Today — “It’s… that time of year again: the time when your tap water starts to smell a bit like a swimming pool… On Monday, April 5 the disinfectant used in Arlington County’s drinking water will be temporarily switched from chloramine to chlorine.” [ARLnow]

Nearby: New Store Coming to Bailey’s Xroads — “Five Below is moving into the former Pier One space at the Bailey’s Crossroads Shopping Center. Pier One closed in early 2020. Five Below specializes in items for teens and tweens mostly priced at $5 or less. The stores feature toys, snacks, cosmetics, room décor, sports items, accessories, party supplies, and $5 t-shirts.” [Annandale Blog]

Photo courtesy Christina Schnoor

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