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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?

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(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.

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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.

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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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Singer and Savage X Fenty founder Rihanna (photo via Facebook)

When Grammy Award winner Rihanna wanted to open the first D.C. area store for her lingerie brand, the choice of location was obvious: Pentagon City.

Savage X Fenty will be opening this weekend at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. It’s the brand’s fifth brick-and-mortar location and the first in the Washington region.

The mall location — a block from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2 — affords it both plenty of local shoppers and a steady stream of out-of-town tourists to check out the e-commerce-oriented brand’s fashionable undergarments in person. It will stock items for both women and men, in an Instagrammable setting.

“Leading with innovation and design, the store boasts five distinct rooms – Ripple, Logo, Swirl, Video, and Evergreen – where shoppers are guided through interactive experiences and photo worthy moments, including a one-of-a-kind mannequin wall,” noted a press release. “The brand will also introduce proprietary chrome and lavender mannequins representative of real bodies that were modeled through 3D technology celebrating all body types and furthering its commitment to inclusivity.”

The store will be opening on Saturday.

The press release is below.

Read More

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(Updated, 4/8) The new, 34,000 square foot Target store in Pentagon City is finally open.

Store employees confirmed to ARLnow that the big box store at the corner of Army Navy Drive and S. Joyce Street at Westpost — the mixed-use retail center formerly known as Pentagon Row — is indeed open to shoppers.

The store had a “soft opening” on Tuesday with an official grand opening set for this Sunday (April 10). A sign on the door still notes the April 10 opening, which was pushed back from what had originally been an announced April 3 opening.

Construction and supply chain delays pushed the opening back by a few days, a store employee said.

https://twitter.com/CartChaos22202/status/1511753287166476291

The store will be open from 7 a.m to 10 p.m., according to the company’s website. This is Arlington’s third Target, joining more locations in Ballston and Rosslyn.

The store takes over the space that was formerly occupied by Bed, Bath, & Beyond, which closed back in September 2020. It had been at that location in Pentagon City for nearly two decades.

Target is not the only highly-anticipated business to open at Westpost over the past several weeks. Nighthawk Pizza, a beer and pizza hall with “90s vibes,” began doing business late last month.

Hat tip to @CartChaos22022

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Jeni’s is coming soon to Shirlington Village (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams location is coming to Shirlington, though only a sprinkling of details are available so far.

Signs are up but the company and its PR reps have given the cold shoulder to ARLnow’s requests for more information.

The new ice cream shop is located in the former storefront of I-CE-NY, a Thai rolled ice cream purveyor which opened in 2018 and closed late last year. The windows of the 4150 Campbell Avenue location, near Signature Theatre and the Shirlington branch library, are now covered in colorful Jeni’s posters that say “Hello, Shirlington” and “Scooping Soon.”

There’s no word of an opening date and the location is not yet listed on the Jeni’s website.

The Columbus, Ohio-based premium ice cream company has existing scoop shops in Alexandria, Tysons, Bethesda and the District.

Hat tip to @DionMitchellVT

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Morning Notes

Clouds over Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

New Football Coach for Wakefield — “For someone who has never previously been a high-school football head coach, Darrell Weeks’ vast and diversified experience in the sport certainly makes him qualified. Now his chance has come. On March 30, the 45-year-old Austin, Texas, native was announced as the Wakefield Warriors’ new head coach during an after-school gathering in the high school’s town-hall area. Weeks, a special-education and math teacher at Wakefield, has been out of coaching since 2010.” [Sun Gazette]

Target Opening Delayed — “The new Target at Pentagon Row didn’t open today. Opening has been pushed back a week to April 10. No carts yet.” [Twitter]

ACPD Looking for Missing Man — “MISSING: ACPD is seeking assistance locating Shaun… [age] 39. Described as a White male, 5’7″ tall and weighing 145 lbs. He was last seen on the afternoon of March 15 in the 1400 block of S. Joyce Street” in Pentagon City. [Twitter]

Honor for Clarendon-Based Axios — “@axios Congrats on being named on @Comparably’s Best Places to Work in Washington, DC Metro Area 2022 list.” [Twitter]

Peter Chang Responds to Award Nod — “‘We were surprised this time it’s the outstanding chef category, not the regional. It’s such an honor to be recognized among all the talented chefs,’ Peter Chang told me in an email through his daughter, Lydia Zhang. When Zhang informed him of his nomination, he says, his response was, ‘OK, what’s next? We have a business to run here.'” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Clarendon Bars Win ‘Fake ID Awards’ — “Last night, @ARIArlington recognized two security guards and management of two restaurants (@dontitova & @BarBaoVA) during ACPD’s sixth annual Fake ID Awards. The recipients were recognized for their excellence in detecting false identifications and preventing underage drinking.” [Twitter, WTOP]

Amazon Pledges Millions More for Housing — “As it seeks county approval for the next phase of new HQ2 construction, Amazon is pledging a $30 million contribution to support affordable housing in Arlington. The figure was revealed in county documents posted online this week, as Amazon’s latest HQ2 development proposal is set to go before the county planning commission on Monday.” [WJLA]

Nearby: Armed Robbery in Falls Church — “City of Falls Church Police seek two men who are suspected of armed robbery. At about 3:30 today, police responded to a tobacco and vaping shop in the 1100 block of W. Broad St. for a report of an armed robbery. Store employees told police that two men entered the store, one showed a handgun, and demanded valuables. There were no injuries. The men seemed to arrive and leave by foot.” [City of Falls Church]

It’s Monday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 57 and low of 37. Sunrise at 6:49 am and sunset at 7:36 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Rainy day at Amazon’s under-construction HQ2 in Pentagon City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Local Chef Now in Poland — “Bayou Bakery’s David Guas started the day the way he starts many days — before dawn with a table full of biscuit dough. This Friday morning, though, the New Orleans-native stood in a kitchen in Poland — far from his Arlington, Virginia, cafe… working with José Andrés’s organization World Central Kitchen (WCK). Guas is spending two weeks volunteering in Poland with WCK, cooking and packaging food for the tens of thousands streaming in from Ukraine.” [Eater]

Cars Collide Multiple Times on Bridge — From Dave Statter: “Caught on camera… this was a pretty wild #crash on the 14th Street Bridge (I-395N) at 2:15 this morning. Looked like bumper cars… You’ll see one car slowing down almost to a stop in VA b4 the bridge waiting for the 2nd car. Was this a #DragRace that went bad or #RoadRage or a little of both?” [Twitter]

Signs Up for New Target — The new Target store in the former Bed, Bath and Beyond space in Pentagon City is set to open on Sunday. New Target signs were just put up in advance of the opening. [Twitter]

Marine Corps Marathon Returns, Sells Out — “You’ve missed your chance if you haven’t already signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year.The 47th-annual running of the famous marathon will be held in person this year, the first time since 2019, and nearly 20,000 runners from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 47 countries are now set to run in the event. ‘We are thrilled to announce that the 47th MCM is officially sold out…’ said Rick Nealis, director of Marine Corps Marathon Organization.” [Potomac Local]

APS Announces Staff Award Winners — “Each year, Arlington Public Schools recognizes the hard work and dedication of our staff through our Principal, Teacher and Support Employee of the Year awards… We will be honoring the winners at our Celebration of Excellence reception and ceremony on May 4, 2022, starting at 5 p.m. at Washington-Liberty High School.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Local Barber Shop Moving — Rosslyn Metro Barber Shop said via social media last month that it will be moving to Foggy Bottom from its location at 1700 N. Moore Street. [Facebook]

It’s Thursday — Chances of rain throughout the day, with storms expected in the afternoon and evening. Some storms may be severe. High of 70 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:55 am and sunset at 7:32 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A 34,000 square foot Target store is opening early April in Pentagon City, filling the space once occupied by Bed Bath & Beyond.

Signs on the building at the corner of Army Navy Drive and S. Joyce Street at Westpost announce the store’s expected Sunday, April 3 opening. There are also signs noting the location is looking to hire employees. Inside, construction is still ongoing but nearing completion.

The location is not yet listed on Target’s website with store hours unknown at this point.

A building permit was first applied for in June 2021 for a Target to replace the Bed Bath & Beyond, which closed in September 2020 and one of nearly 200 locations that has closed over the two years. It had been in that location at Westpost for nearly two decades.

This will be the third Target in Arlington, joining the relatively new store in Ballston and a smaller location in Rosslyn which opened in 2015.

There are also nearby Targets in Falls Church, Potomac Yard, Skyline, and Seven Corners.

This opening is part of a larger transformation of Westpost that dates back to its rebranding in December 2020. The former “Pentagon Row” has seen a plethora of new stores, businesses, and buzzy restaurants come to the shopping center near the Pentagon City Metro station.

Just in the next two months, the development could see a high-end sushi and sake Japanese restaurant, a food and beer hall with a “90s vibe,” and a Baltimore-based “taco temple” all open.

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Specialty athletic shoe store Road Runner Sports is sprinting towards opening next week in Pentagon City.

It will be the first Arlington location for the running shoe retailer, with its next closest store being in Falls Church. It’s filling the 4,500 square-foot space at 1101 S. Joyce Street once occupied by Unleashed. The Petco off-shoot closed more than a year ago.

This is the store’s 42nd U.S. brick and mortar location.

“We’ve enjoyed serving customers in our Falls Church location and know our opening in Arlington will provide us with the opportunity to help even more consumers achieve their running, walking and fitness goals,” the company’s director of customer acquisition Sean Peterson tells ARLnow.

As part of its planned opening on Friday, Feb. 25, the store is partnering with Project Sole, which will donate three dollars to the nonprofit Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA) for every used or unwanted shoe collected. AHA helps provide free adaptive bikes to children with permanent physical disabilities.

The store was first announced in October. Back in November, a spokesperson for Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns Westpost, told ARLnow that Road Runner was on track for May or “possibly earlier.” It appears the shoe store will end up opening several months sooner than expected, a rarity as supply chain woes delay many retail and restaurant openings.

Westpost, formerly known as Pentagon Row, is in the midst of a bit of a transformation, with a number of new businesses, restaurants, and stores moving in.

This includes Nighthawk Pizza, a beer and pizza hall with a “90s vibe,” which is aiming for a late March opening. The Baltimore-based Banditos Bar & Kitchen, at last check, is hoping to open by April.

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