The owners of Conte’s Bike Shop are planning to open a new location at 3449 Wilson Blvd in Virginia Square by March 2016, said co-owner David Conte.
“We have always wanted to open up company owned stores in this market. My wife Angela is a graduate of George Mason University and we have many great friends in the area,” Conte said.
“We are opening in Northern Virginia because the market is still underserved,” Conte said. “There is some really good bicycle retailers in the market and then [there] are not, we believe that we will not only succeed but thrive in these markets.”
Conte’s will be the third cycling shop near the Virginia Square-Ballston area. Hybrid Pedals is located at 822 N. Kenmore Street, and Freshbikes is just down the road at 3924 Wilson Blvd. Freshbikes had been a Conte’s franchise until it changed its name in 2011.
The new store offers services for all cyclists, from those who ride competitively to the everyday recreational cyclist, Conte said. The shop sells top of the line road bikes, including from manufacturer S-Works, Giant and Specialized, as well as kids bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and electric bikes.
“We are a cycling store for everybody, not just enthusiasts but mostly for the recreation cyclist in particular,” he said.
Conte plans to get involved with local Arlington cycling events once the store is open in the spring, he said.
“We do ride support for charity rides and all kinds of cycling related events, and if it has two wheels and needs the help from Conte’s we will be there,” he said. “Bike race events are another animal in its own and with a lot of events that happen in a great cycling city like Arlington, if we can be involved we will do our best to help.”
A D.C. tea chain is planning to open a new store at the Pentagon Row shopping center in Pentagon City later this year.
Capital Teas, a store selling over 60 types of tea, plans to open a new location at 1201 S. Joyce Street, near Hudson Trail Outfitters, by early November, CEO Peter Martino said. It will be the company’s 16th store and will occupy the stand-alone space previously held by sunglasses store Specs, which was open for only about three months.
The store will sell a variety of loose teas, tea infusers, teacups, teapots and other tea accessories. It’s tentatively expected to open by the end of fall.
“Our Pentagon Row location will have the exact same tea selection of 60 specialty teas and infusions as we have at our other stores, and the same collection of modern and exciting tea-ware, but Pentagon Row will also have a somewhat expanded tea beverage menu to serve our patrons who may be ice skating on the adjacent rink this winter, or who are just enjoying time outdoors,” he said.
The Pentagon Row location will be the first Capital Teas store to add matcha shots to the beverage menu. Customers will be able to buy matcha shots or add it to other drinks, Martino said.
For those new to loose tea, Martino recommends buying a selection of black, green, white and other teas sold in the store. The store will also have a rotating selection of samples for customers to try.
“There’s a tea for every taste,” he said, “and a taste for every tea.”
Tea is the most widely-consumed beveral in the world, next to water, and the United States is beginning to embrace it, Martino said.
Capital Teas will have some competition in Pentagon City and elsewhere in Arlington. Teavana at the nearby Pentagon City mall and House of Steep (3800 Lee Hwy) in Cherrydale also sell loose leaf teas.
A fashion accessories store, Lou Lou, has opened its doors near the Market Commons in Clarendon.
The new store at 2839 Clarendon Blvd opened this past Wednesday with a soft opening. It will have a grand opening next Wednesday, Aug. 26.
The company is excited about the new location, and it is selling many new accessories at the Clarendon store, according to a Lou Lou sales associate. Lou Lou sells accessories, such as scarves, necklaces, purses and bracelets. The Clarendon store also sells some clothing items.
The store is hiring part-time employees who are “fun, fashionable, talkative with a passion for accessories,” according to a sign posted outside.
Lou Lou has existing locations in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Bethesda, Alexandria and Reston, among other D.C. area stores. It also has boutiques in other East Coast cities from Boston to Atlanta.
(Updated Aug. 11 at 2 p.m.) The TargetExpress store coming to 1500 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn is now hiring.
Earlier this summer Target confirmed that a 23,000-square-foot store would be coming to Rosslyn, and the company now says the store will open this October.
In addition to a sign outside the new location that announces the company is now hiring, Target will hold a job fair this week from Aug. 13-15 at Hyatt Arlington (1325 Wilson Blvd).
The job fair will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Target says they are looking to hire roughly 60 new employees.
The store is slated to include an in-house Starbucks and a pharmacy, and will also carry groceries, prepared foods and clothing.
The coffee shop plans to open its doors at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 14. Located in the former Bar TNT and Society Fair space at Penrose Square, the store will be the first Starbucks along the Pike in Arlington.
In addition to the normal menu of coffee, espresso drinks, teas, pastries and sandwiches, the new Pike Starbucks will offer Starbucks Reserve, “a special collection of unique, small-lot coffees.”
“Customers will be able to order their Starbucks Reserve coffee brewed on The Clover Brewing System, which lets you discover new layers and dimensions within a coffee’s familiar aroma, flavor, body and acidity, brewed fresh by the cup,” said a spokeswoman.
Asked why the company chose to finally open a location on Columbia Pike, the spokeswoman said “Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers.”
This isn’t the only Starbucks to open in Arlington this month. Yesterday a new Starbucks opened its doors at the Fort Myer Exchange on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
East Falls Church residents can now grab an energizing cold-pressed juice before heading off to work in the morning, following the opening of a new South Block Juice Company store at 2121 N Westmoreland Street.
The micro juicery’s factory and test kitchen had been located in the neighborhood since last summer, according to company owner Amir Mostafavi. When the cafe next door to his factory closed down, Mostafavi took the opportunity to expand.
The East Falls Church store will be able to seat 30 people inside and up to 15 outside, significantly more than either of South Block’s other locations, on 11th Street N. in Clarendon and at George Washington University. Mostafavi hopes this extra space will allow the store to expand its repertoire to include fundraisers, neighborhood events and maybe even some tours of the factory next door.
A grand opening celebration is planned for this Saturday (July 18) from 9-11 a.m. If the lure of a brand new micro juicery isn’t enough, the store will be offering free half pints of juice and $25 gift cards to the first 25 people to come out.
Although business is booming now, Mostafavi says his juices weren’t always so popular. He opened his first smoothie and health food shop at GW in 2004, when he was three years out of college, but the store just didn’t kick off the way he expected it to. It wasn’t until 2011, when Mostafavi opened his Clarendon location and bought his first cold pressed juicer, that things finally began to take off.
“I took a big risk when I changed to all cold press because no one in this area had heard of it — we tried to educate them on why it was better. It was a risk, but I really thought it was a better product,” said Mostafavi. “At first, people would say, no, I don’t want bottled juice, I want fresh juice, but we tried to educate them on why it was better and better for you. Six months later, that’s all anybody wanted.”
Mostafavi says he believes South Block has been successful partially because it is such a small company.
“I try to have things that people want, that are good for you, and I try to have it before anybody else and do it better than anybody else. I think that’s a benefit of being a smaller company — the bigger corporations catch on a little bit late, and they cut corners to cut cost, and it just isn’t the same quality product.”
In addition to their juices and smoothies, the East Falls Church store has trendy products like nitrogen-infused cold-brew coffee. Mostafavi tries to keep South Block ahead of the curve by paying attention to the products being introduced in California and New York, and then bringing those products to the D.C. area.
“I try to continue to evolve the products and the menu,” said Mostafavi. “I think that’s one thing that’s made South Block successful.”
Mostafavi says the business is still expanding, with plans for future stores in both Vienna and Georgetown.
Construction has started for a new pie store planned near the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Lee Highway.
Owners Heather Sheire and Wendy MacCallum hope to open the new store by the end of the year, Sheire said. It will be located at 2166 N. Glebe Road.
Once the store is open, customers will be able to watch the pies being made while getting to enjoy a slice of their favorite pie with friends on a new outdoor patio. The store, while still in a design phase, is planned to be a place for people to relax with friends, Sheire and MacCallum said.
“The whole shop is just going to smell delicious because we’ll be baking there and serving there,” Sheire said. “We want it to be a comfortable place where people can hang out.”
The two also want the shop to be convenient for their customers and plan to provide parking, allowing people to be able to run in and grab a take out pie.
Sheire and MacCallum currently sell pies at the Clarendon and Westover farmer’s market, and customers can also order pies online. The two also have a partnership with House of Steep at 3800 Lee Highway, where customers can pick up pre-ordered pies from 2-7 p.m. on Fridays. On Saturday, the two will also be doing a pie and tea pairing at House of Steep. For $7, people will be able to get a couple pieces of pie with teas that pair well.
The two decided to open a store after the business expanded past their current business model of delivering and selling at farmer’s markets.
“So we were like, let’s do it,” Sheire said. “Let’s do a store.”
At the new store, Sheire and MacCallum will bake classic pie recipes, including customer favorites Apple Pie, Apple Caramel Crumb Pie, S’mores Pie and Boozy Pecan Pie. The two bakers will also be able to bake more savory, cold and cream pies.
“People will be able to come in for something for breakfast, for something for lunch and for something for dinner,” Sheire said.
For the savory pies, the pair plans to include their Mac and Cheese pie, their Tomato pie and their Thanksgiving pie. While popular, these pies are harder to bake for the current setup of delivery or a farmer’s market sale, Sheire said. But having a store means the bakers can make the pies and sell them in the same place, ensuring the pies maintain their quality.
Sheire and MacCallum say quality is a key ingredient; they only use fresh materials and plan to have their own small organic garden at the store.
A pie like theirs cannot be found in a supermarket, Sheire said. Good pie is meant to be fresh and only last a couple of days. That’s why there aren’t many good national pie companies, she said.
“Because pie something done by hand and on a small scale,” Sheire said. The bakers try to make everything themselves, including making their own marshmallow for the S’mores Pie.
Until the store opens, customers can continue to order pies online or stop by Livin’ the Pie Life at the Clarendon and Westover farmers market. The pair is not able to attend the markets every week, but customers can sign up for their mailing list or follow them on Facebook to find out when Sheire and MacCallum will be at the markets and what pies they will have.
“We are living the pie life,” Sheire said.
Those looking for Eastern European food should look no further than Ballston restaurant Rus Uz, which is now offering a specialty market right next door.
According to general manager Abraham Rakhmapullaev, the restaurant owners had been looking to open a specialty Russian/Uzbek market in the area for some time. Opportunity knocked when Cigar Connection — Rus Uz’s next-door neighbor — closed.
After some renovations to the space, Rus Uz Market opened for the first time earlier this week. (The restaurant opened in 2012.)
The market offers a wide range of goods ranging from pasta to deli items to imported Uzbek honey and Russian chocolate. The owners have also applied for a liquor license which they hope will come through within the next couple of months.
Rus Uz Market is located on 1000 N. Randolph Street near the Ballston Metro. Store hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Rakhmapullaev said that an opening ceremony is being planned for sometime in the next two weeks.
The Olive Oil Boom, a new store specializing in oils and vinegars, recently opened in Courthouse.
Located at 2016 Wilson Blvd, the store offers a variety of balsamic vinegars, olive oils and red wine vinegars, which customers can taste before purchasing. It aims to help Arlington residents lead healthy lifestyles by switching butter with olive oil, said owner Judith Westfall.
Various varieties of specialty olive oils from around the world, including oils infused with spices or fused with citrus flavors, line the walls while the balsamic vinegars and traditional olive oils sit on two center tables. Customers can also peruse through Westfall’s homemade recipe books for different savory or sweet recipes that use olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The store provides free copies of the recipes for shoppers to take home.
The idea is to create a community store, where Arlington residents can gather and share different recipes while chatting with each other, Westfall said.
“It’s become really popular. We have a lot of fun talking to people and suggesting things,” Westfall said.
Customers have already shared their ideas with her, she said. One customer recommended that she use the aged pure Vermont maple balsamic on bacon and bake it in the oven, a recipe Westfall plans to try.
The store has been open for approximately three weeks, Westfall said, and she is already seeing customers return. One of her goals with the store is to help educate about the healthy uses of olive oil, which fits with the health-conscious population of Arlington, she said.
So far popular flavors include the Tuscan herb olive oil and traditional balsamic vinegar, but Westfall has also noticed that Arlington residents like the spice-infused olive oils, include the chipotle and fused Baklouti green chili flavors. She plans to also add cayenne pepper-infused and harissa-infused flavors “because it’s all about what the community really likes,” Westfall said.
Westfall and her husband, Lynn, also experiment with different flavors in order to create new ones, she said. “So we have fun coming up with new combinations, new pairings.”
For those new to using olive oil, Westfall recommends starting with the basic extra virgin olive oil flavors, rather than the more exotic infusions. Westfall suggests customers replace butter or canola oil with butter-flavored olive oil.
“Any time you can substitute olive oil for canola oil or butter or anything of that matter you are adding antioxidants to your diet,” she said. “And it tastes so much better. Once you’ve tasted a good olive oil and used it, I don’t think you want to go back to your other oils.”
In addition to its core products, The Olive Oil Boom — the name reflects Westfall’s former career in the petroleum industry in Texas — also offers wine, cheeses, breads and various gourmet items.
It may seem pretty specialized, but The Olive Oil Boom isn’t the only retailer in Arlington with a primary focus on olive oils and vinegars. Ah Love Oil & Vinegar, in Shirlington Village, is celebrating its fourth anniversary this weekend.
The debate over a gun store that’s opening in Cherrydale shows no sign of stopping as concerned residents and County Board candidates face off against the National Rifle Association and gun rights supporters.
On one side is a Change.org petition, started by a local resident, which has already amassed more than 2,400 signers who are urging the store’s landlord, Kostas Kapasouris, to cancel its lease. There’s also now a “Cherrydale Gun Store Opposition” Facebook page, which counts all six Democratic candidates for Arlington County Board as being opposed to the store.
On the other side is the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, which has started its own petition in support of the gun store. The NRA-ILA has also produced a video (above) and an article, calling residents who oppose the store “bigots” who are “ignorant” and employing “bullying tactics.”
“To the intolerant residents of Cherrydale who are raising a fuss, we thank you for portraying for the rest of the country the unreasonable and small-minded attitudes that permeate anti-gun culture,” the NRA article says. “It certainly is a telling display you’re putting on for everyone else. Nevertheless, were you to decide to put down your pitchforks and torches and sample the wares from NOVA Firearms, we would welcome you into the fold of gun owners without judgment or reservation.”
The petition against the gun store says it represents the true voice of the community. It lists a phone number for NOVA Firearms and encourages those who oppose it to “call and voice your view.”
“We have 2,350+ supporters of the petition, and more than 80% are from Arlington,” the petition says. “Support for this petition shows our community does not believe a gun shop is the right fit for the former Curves location in Cherrydale. Opposition has formed to our petition, but I wonder if they can claim 80% are from our community?”
Despite the opposition, and reports that Kapasouris may be trying to break the lease, NOVA Firearms says it’s still planning on opening later this summer.
(Kapasouris could not be reached for comment.)
Rachel Dresser, co-owner of the McLean-based store, said they have not heard from Kapasouris recently and have received no documents indicating that their lease is being canceled. She said the store has been working with the community to find some sort of a compromise, but they’ve invested too much in the new store to back out now.
“At this point we’re trying to move forward, but the community really wants us to leave but that’s not an option given the money we’ve already invested,” she said. “It’s not an ATM, I can’t just say cash out and move somewhere else. We did not expect this level of resistance so we’re really just trying to work with the community and take things one day at a time.”
The fashion retailer Zara is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
The Spanish company plans to open a 27,000 square foot store inside the mall’s new 50,000 square foot expansion along S. Hayes Street, which is part of a larger $70 million renovation of the busy shopping center.
Zara is expected to open in the spring of 2016, offering “European-style clothing, outerwear, shoes and accessories for men and women, as well as children’s clothing.”
Also announced today: Kiko Milano Cosmetics, an Italian makeup brand, will be opening a 1,100 square foot store on the mall’s ground level.
“The additions of Zara to the mall’s 50,000 square-foot expansion area and Kiko Milano Cosmetics to our general store inventory allows us to continue to provide Fashion Centre at Pentagon City shoppers with the best, most diverse experience possible,” Laurie Van Dalen, general manager of the Fashion Centre, said in a press release. “We can’t wait to share more updates to the mall’s renovation progress as well as our ever-expanding store offerings.”
Mall owner Simon announced in March that restaurants Matchbox and The Sugar Factory will be opening in the mall’s Hayes Street expansion in the spring of 2016.
The Italian Store opened its new Westover Village location to large crowds of hungry fans Monday.
The store, at 5837 Washington Blvd, represents an expansion for the company in more ways than one. At 6,000 square feet, the new store is more than twice the size of the original, beloved Italian Store in Lyon Village.
The Westover location features an espresso coffee bar, a gelato station, a sandwich counter, a pizza station and retail shelves of wine, pasta and sauce. There’s also a small private dining room in the back, an outdoor cafe area and a dedicated customer parking lot. Owner Robert Tramonte termed it an “Italian Store on steroids.”
Customers at the store Monday evening seemed unperturbed by the long lines and upbeat about the opening.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Amy Penchuk, who walked 10 minutes from her home to visit the new store. “I grew up in New York so I was used to getting great Italian food, and this makes me feel at home. It’s about as good as it gets around here.”
Tramonte enlisted his entire family to try to serve customers as quickly as possible.
His sons, Michael, Vincent and Joseph, were all working alongside him Monday night. Also working: Tramonte’s wife, Laura, who was celebrating her birthday.
Michael, a newly-minted college grad who’s managing the front of the store, said that despite continued delays and challenges, his dad was determined to open on his mom’s birthday.
“It’s her birthday present,” the elder Tramonte said, with a smile, when asked about the date. In the end, it paid off: Tramonte said the first day of business exceeded even his optimistic expectations.
Nova Firearms is planning to open in the former Curves storefront in Cherrydale, the company confirmed Tuesday night.
In a statement, the McLean-based company said it will open its new Arlington location this summer. The store will sell firearms to police departments and civilians, and will offer gun safety classes.
Rumors have been flying around neighborhood listservs about the store, which is currently under construction. Some residents have said that such a store raises concerns about safety and even local property values.
The full statement from Nova Firearms is below.
McLean-based Nova Firearms have announced the opening of its new store in Arlington, Virginia scheduled for Summer 2015.
The grand opening of the Arlington location will coincide with the first anniversary of owner James “JB” Gates’ purchase of Nova Firearms. Nova first opened its doors in Falls Church in 2012 under previous ownership, then moved to its current location in McLean where it has enjoyed a warm reception.
“We want to thank the communities of Falls Church and McLean who welcomed Nova Firearms with open arms, and we believe Arlington will be an equally good location for our small, family-run business,” Gates said.
Nova supplies police departments as well as civilians. “Because of our proximity to the nation’s capital, the Pentagon, and CIA Headquarters, our customers understand security on a professional and personal level,” Gates explained.
When Gates isn’t behind the counter serving customers at Nova’s Mclean store, the US Marine Corps veteran provides personal protection and IT security services to a wide clientele, in and around the Metropolitan area.
The customers of Nova Firearms are equally diverse. According to Gates, their clients include many first time gun owners, longtime sportsmen, and the occasional celebrity. “You might be surprised by the number of well-known government leaders who did their Christmas shopping at Nova Firearms,” he remarked.
Gates is a proud sponsor of local charities, including the conservation efforts of local Ducks Unlimited chapters and programs supporting veterans and their families. He plans to offer expanded firearms safety training to the community at the new Arlington location of Nova Firearms.
Update on 5/20/15 — Nova Firearms has confirmed that it is indeed opening a store in Cherrydale.
The Maywood and Cherrydale neighborhood email listservs are abuzz today with talk of a gun store coming to the neighborhood.
The rumors surround the former Curves storefront at 2105 N. Pollard Street, in a small strip mall along Lee Highway. In a widely-circulated email, a neighbor says she’s spoken with the shopping center’s owner and he confirmed that a gun store will open there.
The property owner, Kostas Kapasouris, told ARLnow.com last week that an “expensive sporting goods” store has leased the space. He would not say who owns the store was or whether it would sell guns.
Listserv users have said they believe that the store may be linked with NOVA Firearms, a gun store in McLean. A man who answered the phone this afternoon said the owner of NOVA Firearms would call an ARLnow.com reporter back — but then quickly hung up before asking for a phone number.
Owners and employees of other stores in the shopping center said they heard the same rumors of a gun store or a high-end sporting goods store selling guns, but said they had not heard anything definitive from Kapasouris. Some expressed concerns about a gun store moving in, particularly given that there are several schools in the area.
Residents on the listservs expressed similar concerns.
“Wow! Was hoping for something a bit more family friendly,” one said. “I’m sure ‘walkable to gun shop’ will do wonders for our real estate values.”
“I am adamantly opposed to this!” another said. “If others feel the same way, can we petition the County to prevent this business in our neighborhood?”
It’s unlikely the county government has any legal standing to prevent a gun store that’s otherwise following Virginia law from opening. At least one resident privately told ARLnow.com that he’s not sure why there’s such an uproar.
“Note that the pawnshop on Lee Highway and Kirkwood (which used to go by National Pawnbrokers) also sells firearms, so I’m not sure what the big deal is,” he said.
Interior construction could be heard inside the store last week and workers could be seen coming and going. County officials told ARLnow.com that construction permits were not necessary because the work was minor. Inspectors responded to the location and found no code violations.
As of Tuesday afternoon, opaque plastic sheets covered the store’s windows and no other activity could be seen.
TargetExpress Coming to Rosslyn — A new 23,000-square-foot TargetExpress store is coming to Rosslyn. Located at 1500 Wilson Blvd, the store will have an in-house Starbucks, a pharmacy, a technology and mobile phone section and will carry clothing, groceries and prepared foods. Also coming to 1500 Wilson Blvd: a District Taco restaurant and a Wells Fargo bank branch. [Washington Post, Washington Business Journal]
Little Saigon Remembered — A master’s student at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia campus recounts Clarendon’s former identity as “Little Saigon,” thanks to the immigration of Vietnamese refugees following the end of the Vietnam War. As a project, the student has created a self-guided walking tour of Clarendon in connection with the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. [Preservation Arlington]
Victory for Yorktown Coding Team — The Yorktown High School Coding Club celebrated a big win at the Microsoft Imagine Cup U.S. National Finals in San Francisco last month. The team placed first in the competition’s “World Citizenship” category. [Arlington Connection]
Photo courtesy Peter Rof / Alt Globo MediaWorks LLC