Press Club
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.

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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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Beauty by Society Fair, a “champagne boutique,” is hoping to start serving bubbly in Crystal City within the next month, co-owner Zena Polin tells ARLnow.

The store at 576 23rd Street S., which we first reported about in October, is set to be a combination of retail store, bistro and wine shop. The small, 800-square-foot space will include a front room offering items for sale and a side room with 10 seats. The business’s focus will be selling locally produced gifts, serving fresh cakes and treats, and providing space for a glass of wine or, yes, champagne.

“We want this to be a place where you come at the end of the day for wine and a piece of cake,” Polin says.

Beauty by Society Fair is owned by notable local restaurateurs Zena Polin and Meshelle Armstrong, who are also behind Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen in Old Town Alexandria. Both are associated with Eat Good Food Group, which owns a number of local restaurants including Mattie and Eddie’s in Pentagon City and is helmed by Meshelle’s husband, chef Cathal Armstrong.

This new shop is somewhat of a revival of Alexandria’s Society Fair, a gourmet food market that closed in 2019, and its offshoot location on Columbia Pike, which shuttered in 2014.

“The front [of the shop] will be most reflective of what Society Fair used to look like,” says Polin. “With fresh baked cakes, candy, and treats… and gifts, with a large focus on local and women-owned companies.”

Polin also credits Cheesetique, with locations in Del Ray and Shirlington, as an inspiration.

The residential-looking building is the former home of Agents of Style, a consignment boutique. The look fits the shop’s motif well, notes Polin. The aim is to appeal to the local neighborhood and community, while also being less than a mile from Amazon’s new headquarters in Pentagon City.

The location was scouted out by Armstrong prior to the concept being fully formed.

“We jumped on it before [the concept] was quite ready, but that happens,” says Polin. “We’ve been working on it for about a year.”

The shop is essentially ready to go, with the owners just waiting on inspections. They believe that Beauty by Society Fair could be open by the end of February.

While the store may not be as big as some of its predecessors, Polin thinks this is the perfect size and fit for the moment.

“With the way the world is working now, something smaller and more manageable is the way to go,” she says. “It’s a function of the times.”

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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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