Arlington, VA

Mike Bloomberg’s former Arlington campaign office at Pentagon Row might soon become a liquor store.

A notice posted in the window says Virginia ABC is “considering establishing a retail store at this location,” on the 1300 block of S. Joyce Street. The sign first went up last month, before Bloomberg dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.

“As is customary when a new store location is under consideration, we post a sign for two weeks indicating a potential new store to gather local input before moving forward to secure a lease,” said Dawn Eischen, Public Relations Manager for Virginia ABC.

“Virginia ABC strategically chooses store locations to meet market demands and to better serve its customers,” she added.

There are currently eight state-run liquor stores in Arlington, according to the Virginia ABC website. The closest to the proposed Pentagon Row location are at the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2955A S. Glebe Road) and in Crystal City (320 23rd Street S.)

Eischen told ARLnow this morning that Virginia ABC “is currently going through the leasing process” at Pentagon Row, though an opening date is uncertain given the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are still planning to place a store at that location,” she said. “Due to adjustments ABC and others are making to business processes as a result of the coronavirus, we’re uncertain when the leasing process will be completed or when the store will be open to the public.”

Photo courtesy anonymous

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An Ohio-based company that offers boozy, candy-covered gifts is planning to open at Pentagon City mall, according to a permit filing.

Bliss in a Bottle, which previously opened a kiosk at Tysons Corner Center, sells beer and wine bottles covered in chocolate, sprinkles and other candies.

“In the perfect pairing, flavors from different families collide, creating a taste explosion that sends a wake-up call from your mouth to your brain. It’s not just delicious. It’s a truly novel experience,” says the company’s Facebook page. “Our fine Belgian chocolate, hand-painted on to a wine bottle covered with a removable food grade sleeve, is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.”

The company, which also has a location at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, has been expanding via franchising. So far there’s no word on an opening date for the Pentagon City location.

A video, below, shows how customers can peel the chocolate off the bottle before opening.

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A new premium cigar store is open in the Ballston neighborhood.

Cigar Unlimited (4215 Fairfax Drive) sells a wide range of premium cigars, which are handmade and rolled in dried tobacco leaves. The cigars are manufactured in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and the U.S., some of which are made specifically for the shop, Mo Fakhro, the owner, told ARLnow.

The store is the only cigar shop that has a personal relationship with their manufacturers in the D.C. area, Fakhro claimed.

“You’re not going to find [these cigars] anywhere else, except to come visit us in the store,” Fakhro said.

Fakhro also owned Cigar Connection, a shop previously located nearby, at the corner of N. Randolph and Fairfax streets in Ballston. The shop opened in 2004 but was forced to close in 2014 after the lease expired, Fakhro said.

The new store will include house blend cigars, which were not sold at the old store.

Cigar Unlimited is not fully stocked yet, Fakhro said, adding that the store plans to hold its grand opening sometime next month.

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Morning Notes

For Families, $100K Doesn’t Cut it Here — “An analysis by personal finance site MagnifyMoney found that in some pricey cities it’s particularly hard to make it on $100,000. ‘The worst metro area for a family earning $100,000 includes Washington, D.C. and neighboring cities Arlington and Alexandria, Va. After factoring in monthly expenses, families would be $315 in the red.'” [MarketWatch]

AWLA Helps Kitty with Gruesome Injury — “Today we urgently need your support for a young orange tabby with a horrific injury. On Valentine’s Day, we received a call from one of our rescue partners in West Virginia who had just taken in a cat who had been shot in the head with an arrow.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington, WJLA]

YHS Athletes Prepare for Collegiate Competition — “On Feb. 5, I watched the ceremony in the cafeteria of Yorktown High School, where 20 male and female seniors announced plans to play collegiate-level football, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, baseball, tennis and track. Only 1 in 50 high school athletes play at competitive colleges, said activities director Mike Krulfeld.” [Falls Church News-Press]

New Head of School for DJO — “After an extensive national search, and at the recommendation of the search committee, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, has named Mr. William Crittenberger the new Head of School at Bishop O’Connell High School, effective July 1, 2020.” [Press Release]

Nearby: Opening and Closing in Seven Corners — A new Food Star store has opened in Seven Corners, following the 2017 closure of the Food Star on Columbia Pike. Meanwhile, the Gold’s Gym in Seven Corners is reportedly closing on March 13. [Annandale Blog, Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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Construction is starting to wrap up at “The Waycroft,” a new apartment-and-retail development at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Wilson Blvd.

The development is notably set to include a nearly 500-unit apartment building, private-entrance townhomes, a rooftop pool and fitness center, a new 41,000 square foot Target store and a new Silver Diner, but there are a handful of other retail tenants that are also on the way.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Visual Health Optometry recently filed construction permits for retail spaces at the development. Visual Health has an existing location nearby, at 3012 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.

Also signed to fill the new retail spaces, according to a leasing plan, are a 2,200 square foot Grill Kabob restaurant and Mint Nail Salon. The former will be located along Wilson Blvd, next to the future Silver Diner. Additional storefronts on either end of the development are still listed as available.

As of mid-2019, construction the apartment building was expected to wrap up in the first three months of 2020. The storefronts will likely take longer to build out.

While Target and Silver Diner are expected to be major draws, small retailers and restaurants have often struggled on the western side of Glebe Road, which is separated by six busy lanes from most of Ballston.

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Morning Notes

Amazon ‘Excited’ for HQ2 Construction — “As we look ahead to 2020, we’re excited to start construction on our first buildings and hear more from our neighbors on how our investments can benefit the entire community — and continue to hire… Today we have more than 400 employees working from our leased office space on Crystal Drive, 18th Street S and South Bell Street in Arlington.” [Amazon]

Nearly 400 Amazon Job Openings in Arlington — Amazon currently lists just shy of 400 open positions in Arlington, from systems engineers to advertising account executives to event managers. [Amazon]

APS May Bring Back Paper Report Cards — “The effort by Arlington Public Schools to go high-tech with the distribution of student report cards appears to have hit a major snag. Two School Board members on Dec. 19 expressed significant concerns, and a third offered a milder form of disquiet, with the school system’s decision to scrap printed report cards in favor of online reporting.” [InsideNova]

Yorktown Boys Basketball Still Undefeated — Yorktown High School’s boys basketball team has extended its winning ways by winning the annual Bulldog Bash holiday tournament. The team’s 10-0 run included a 24-point comeback win on Dec. 20. [InsideNova, InsideNova, Twitter]

Q&A With New Economic Development DirectorIncoming Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker, in a Q&A: “I really want to first start with listening and learning about priorities and interests from all of those different entities to figure out a way to massage them into working toward common goals.” [Arlington Magazine]

Charitable Clothing Store Opens in Arlington — “There is a new option in Arlington that’s already helping hundreds of kids in need… Clothesline for Arlington Kids isn’t exactly a store. There are no price tags, and no money is exchanged. Instead, low-income children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches can come here for clothing, free of charge.” [WJLA]

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The Made in Arlington store in Courthouse has begun its weekly holiday pop-up series.

The shop, which is open year-round in the Plaza Branch Library at county government headquarters (2100 Clarendon Blvd), features locally-made wares and Arlington-themed products.

Its holiday pop-ups will be held every Thursday through December 19, during lunchtime hours from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., save for Thanksgiving.

“The Made in Arlington pop-up shop is a great place to find those one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays while supporting local businesses at the same time,” said Cara O’Donnell of Arlington Economic Development. “From ceramics to chocolates and much more, the artistry and craftsmanship demonstrated by these Arlington vendors is truly outstanding. This pop-up shop is a wonderful way to celebrate that artistry while finishing your holiday shopping list.”

The list of pop-up vendors includes:

Artisan Confections owner Jason Andelman, who has sold chocolates in the area for over 13 years, said the pop-up is a way “to showcase our products for the holidays to a local crowd.”

On Thursday, November 21, Andelman says he’ll be selling a collection of Thanksgiving pie-flavored chocolates, made exclusively for the pop-up, featuring flavors such as apple, cherry, pumpkin and blackberry.

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The women’s clothing boutique Malena has reopened in Courthouse (2111 Wilson Blvd) after a 40-year run on the second level of the Rosslyn Metro Mall.

Malena shuttered its Rosslyn location in mid-August. Store employee Laura Nickle cited the move as a result of the $35 million redevelopment project at the Rosslyn Metro Center building.

The boutique specializes in women’s clothing, featuring smaller designers such as Parsley and Sage and Clara Sun Woo.

This past Tuesday, October 8, the boutique opened its doors and celebrated its relocation with a grand opening party.

“All of our old customers are overjoyed that we didn’t move far,” said Nickle. “But we’re hoping the move to Courthouse brings in more foot traffic and people from the immediate area.”

The new Malena has kept the same ownership under longtime Washington resident Mercedes Cecchi. Cecchi’s husband, Guiseppe Cecchi, was one of the original developers of the Watergate complex.

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A new women’s luxury consignment boutique is now open in Crystal City.

Agents in Style (576 23rd Street S.) features curated collections of designer clothing in sizes 0-3X, offered for a third of the normal retail price.

Customers walking into the house-turned-shop alongside S. Fern Street are immediately met with a hand-drawn greeting that says, “You Look Beautiful.”

“I wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome,” said owner Rhoda Wheeler.

Wheeler, who worked for years as an English teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools before moving into real estate marketing, always wanted to take her love of fashion to the next step.

“I live in this neighborhood,” said Wheeler, “And as I was walking to dinner with my husband one night, I saw the ‘For Rent’ sign, and the rest was history.”

The store accepts upscale brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes, along with clothing consigned from department labels Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, among others.

“I’ve always had a passion for thrifting and thinking about how we can reuse things,” she said. “I think fashion and style are fun, but I understand the need to make things last for a very long time.”

Agents in Style also features an affordable selection from the LA-based clothing company Ellison Apparel. Items such as a green suede jacket and a leopard-print skirt might not appeal to the same audience as those shopping for say, Chanel, but it’s a part of Wheeler’s vision for a more accessible store.

Wheeler hopes the store can be used as a space for all kinds of community events, from fundraisers to book clubs. For example, on Thursday, October 17, all proceeds from the store will go towards the American Cancer Society.

As for staff?

“It’s just me,” said Wheeler with a laugh. “I’m tired, but it’s a good kind of tired. It’s worth it.”

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A new trendy clothing and accessories store is now joining the ranks of businesses opening up in the Ballston Quarter mall.

Called Francesca’s, the new store opened today (Friday) and sells women’s apparel as well as shoes, hats, jewelry, and hair accessories.

Ballston is one of several D.C. area locations for the chain, which also has opened up shop in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, as well as in D.C, Tysons, Springfield, and Alexandria. Despite the local expansion, the company has also faced some recent struggles.

The new store occupies a 1,600 square foot space on the second story of the mall, across from another women’s clothing store, Gossip Boutique, and watch retailer Bering.

A PR rep told ARLnow that the store is offering a buy one, get one 60% off deal through Wednesday, August 21.

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Update at 5:15 p.m. — The store is actually expected to open next week, a PR rep says, correcting an error in an earlier press release.

Earlier: Hot on the heels of UNTUCKit’s Pentagon City opening, fellow trendy clothing store and caps-lock enthusiast G-Star RAW is set to open a location this fall.

The “eco-friendly, luxury denim brand,” as a press release describes it, is expected to open in October next to the Victoria’s Secret on the first level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The Dutch fashion brand is a destination for Canadian tuxedo enthusiasts, in addition to celebrities and race car drivers. G-Star RAW sells jeans, denim shirts and jackets, in both men’s and women’s varieties, in addition to an array of non-denim clothing and accessories.

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