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by ARLnow.com — March 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm 0

Arlington-based coffee startup Commonwealth Joe says its planned coffee shop in Pentagon City will be the company’s flagship location — and will offer something beyond just a morning pick-me-up.

“Arlington deserves great coffee,” Commonwealth Joe co-founder and CEO Robert Peck said Monday. “We aim to deliver powerful experiences built around that cup of coffee, and also to provide an environment that makes you feel at home and gives you a sense of place — somewhere where you want to bring your friends and family and can also have chance encounters with others in the community.”

The new Commonwealth Joe store will be located on the ground floor of The Bartlett, a new 22-story luxury apartment building that’s currently wrapping up construction at the corner of S. Eads and 12th Streets, two blocks from the Metro station.

An experience and a sense of community is a key goal for the building and developer Vornado. Thus the reason the coffee shop is planning to make “experience” a cornerstone of its offerings and is working with a top-shelf local design firm for its build-out.

From a press release: “Although they are not revealing details just yet, they say that the new space will be the first of its kind in the entire D.C. metro area, and will offer some exciting amenities for Bartlett residents and customers, including coffee cuppings and brewing classes.”

The shop’s coffee offerings include single-origin coffees, pour-overs and nitro cold brew coffee.

Commonwealth Joe is planning to open on an unspecified date “this summer,” as is the next-door Whole Foods Market. Some residents have been told that the Whole Foods is eyeing a late June opening.

The press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — March 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm 0

NOVA Armory, the controversial planned gun store in Lyon Park, says it will hold a grand opening at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 26.

The store, at 2300 N. Pershing Drive, says it has all applicable permits needed to open. The grand opening will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony with “several VIPs,” the store’s website says.

The Lyon Park Citizens Association, however, is still discussing the store and has planned a membership vote on whether the association should take an official stance on NOVA Armory. It’s unclear what stance the association would take, though many residents have expressed concerns about the store and its proximity to a nearby preschool.

John Goldener, president of the civic association, confirmed the vote was to take place at some point this week. It comes after NOVA Armory, in a press release issued Friday, threatened to sue opponents and “local crazies.”

“The Association will not… respond favorably to any threats to our residents or to free speech in our meetings, our online forums, or on individual members’ social media pages, as appeared in NOVA Armory’s own March 4 press release to this and other media outlets,” Goldener said Monday. “We assume that the business owner is a proud and responsible gun owner, as are many residents of Lyon Park and members of the LPCA. He should understand better than most that the Constitution is not a buffet, and your cannot infringe upon individuals’ First Amendment rights in order to defend those in the Second.”

“We remain wholly committed to productive and constructive dialogue on this any any other issue of interest or concern to our residents,” Goldener added.

On Friday NOVA Armory said on its website — in a post that has since been removed — that is cancelled a planned private meeting with the citizens association and would only meet with residents at the store. Since then, the stance of NOVA Armory’s owner appears to have softened a bit.

“Dennis Pratte and I have been in touch today, and we are working together to find a new time for him to meet with the Association,” Goldener told ARLnow.com Tuesday.

Pratte, meanwhile says his business is legal and wants Lyon Park residents to stop by the store to clear up “misinformation floating around the internet” before voting.

“NOVA Armory’s application for zoning was approved and all the inspections were passed by the county,” Pratte wrote. “The business received an occupancy permit. And, every inspector, and every law enforcement official that has visited the shop has left confident knowing that they have met all the requirements to operate this business, and to operate it safely from this location. So, before the committee votes, I would hope they take this information into account, or at least stop by the business before casting their vote so they can make an informed decision.”

by ARLnow.com — February 24, 2016 at 5:35 pm 0

A gun store offering “the largest selection of firearms inside the D.C. Beltway” is planning to open next month in Lyon Park.

NOVA Armory is coming to the ground floor of 2300 N. Pershing Drive, near Route 50 and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Much of the store’s interior appears to already be built, based on a photo on NOVA Armory’s website.

The store says it expects to open in March, pending final licensing.

“NOVA Armory will provide D.C., Maryland and Virginia residents the lowest priced firearms guaranteed,” said a recorded announcement that plays when you call the store’s phone number. “With our one-of-a-kind showroom, you will be able to handle hundreds of firearms without the need for a salesperson.”

A county permit application indicates that the store has been granted a local business license and the land use go-ahead from Arlington’s planning department

“RETAIL-FIREARMS SHOP,” says the county staff comment on the permit application online. “PER ZA AND G. ACURIO IN COUNTY MANAGERS OFFICE TREAT AS ANY OTHER RETAIL SHOP.”

Last year an effort by a store called NOVA Firearms to open a location in Cherrydale resulted in a community outcry and national media attention. Eventually the store’s would-be landlord, facing community pressure and protests, cancelled the lease.

While similar in name, a Yelp listing for NOVA Armory (below) states that it’s not affiliated with Nova Firearms. The permit holder for the business, however, is listed as Dennis Pratte, a McLean gun dealer who at one point was reported to be the owner of Nova Firearms. A different man was said to be the owner of Nova Firearms during last year’s Cherrydale controversy.

From Yelp:

The owners of NOVA Armory have been in the firearms industry for 20 years. They are active hunters and sporting arms enthusiasts that have decided to open a state-of-the-art showroom that allows customers to view and handle secured arms without the need of a sales person, thereby allowing you to shop in peace. While we will have consultants available to address your questions, we want to offer you a new and unique way to shop for your next firearm.

We will also offer free firearms transfers if we cannot provide you the same firearm for a cheaper price. We hope to be your go-to firearms resource.

Finally, while similar in name, we are not affiliated with any other firearms shops in the VA, DC or MD areas.

by ARLnow.com — February 24, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Future Garrett Popcorn Shop in Pentagon City mall (courtesy photo)

A Garrett Popcorn Shop is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The store will be located in the former Johnny Rockets space, between the Pentagon City Metro station and the mall’s food court. The retro burger-and-shake eatery closed earlier this month.

Chicago-based Garrett lists the store simply as “coming soon” on its website. In addition to its home base of Chicago, Garrett has stores in U.S. cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and New York. This is the company’s first D.C. area shop.

Founded in 1949, Garrett is best known for its orange-colored “CheeseCorn.” It also offers plain, butter and caramel flavors, in addition to varieties with nuts mixed in.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com — February 24, 2016 at 8:55 am 0

Rainy February commute (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Cheesetique to Open in Ballston — Cheese-and-wine shop Cheesetique has signed a lease for the former Pizza Vinoteca space at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston. It’s Alexandria-based Cheesetique’s third location and its second in Arlington. Cheesetique opened in Shirlington in 2011. [Washington Business Journal]

Snow Forum Tonight — Amid a driving rainstorm, Arlington County will hold a public forum to gather feedback on its post-blizzard snow removal efforts. The forum is taking place starting at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Key Elementary (2300 Key Blvd). Arlington received more than 3,000 responses to an online questionnaire about snow removal, most from the 22207 ZIP code and 46 percent saying they were dissatisfied. [Arlington County]

More on Snow Feedback — At the County Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, County Manager Mark Schwartz said many residents expected to see a plow on their neighborhood street within a day or two of the historic storm. “There seems to be a disconnect between people’s expectations and our resources,” he said. “We simply don’t have the resources to do that.”

Palette 22 Up and Running in Shirlington — Art-themed street food restaurant Palette 22 opened its doors on Monday. Defying those dubious about its theme and small plate offerings, Palette 22 was busy when ARLnow.com walked by Monday night. (The other two busy Shirlington restaurants Monday: Busboys and Poets and Guapo’s.) At 6,000 square feet, Palette 22 will have to keep packing them in even after the opening hype dies down. [Washington Post]

Hillary Clinton Event in Courthouse Tonight — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will be holding an event in Courthouse tonight with women’s health advocate Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Richards will talk about what’s at stake for women in this election and highlight Hillary Clinton’s proven record of standing up for women’s access to affordable reproductive health care regardless of income, race, or ZIP code,” said a press release. The event is taking place at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill (2424 Wilson Blvd) starting at 7 p.m.

Changes to Library Fines Proposed — Under a proposed change, Arlington Public Library’s daily fine structure for overdue materials would change — from 20 cents for children’s materials, 30 cents for adult written books and $1 for DVDs — to a flat 30 cents per day for everything. The flat rate structure would be similar to that of Fairfax County’s libraries and is expected to be a wash financially. [InsideNova]

Baseball Teams Joust at Barcroft Field — During a rain delay yesterday at Barcroft Field, the George Washington University baseball team and their opponents from Delaware State had a bit of a jousting duel, video of which was posted online. [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Sign at 'The Pink Palm' in McLean noting its move to Clarendon (photo courtesy Lindsey W.)Clarendon will be getting a new clothing and accessory store later this year.

The Pink Palm will be moving from Old Dominion Drive in McLean to the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, as soon as mid-to-late spring. The store will be located at 2871 Clarendon Blvd, in the former Knightsbridge Trading Co. space.

The Pink Palm stocks clothes, accessories and gifts for well-heeled customers from brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Barbour, Lifeguard Press and Natty Beau.

Aside from McLean, the company has existing locations in Alexandria, Bethesda, Charlottesville and Richmond. Its employees are known as the Pink Palmettes and its website lists four small, fluffy dogs as “store mascots.”

Photo courtesy Lindsey W.

by ARLnow.com — February 1, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Traffic in Rosslyn (photo by Bruce Majors)

It’s February — Today is the first day of February. As happens every four years, this year February will have an extra leap day — Monday, Feb. 29.

New Beer Store Now Open — The Brew Shop, a new craft beer store near Courthouse, opened its doors on Friday. The store is located at 2004 Wilson Blvd. [Instagram]

Top Colleges for Class of 2015 — In terms of applications sent, the top three colleges to which Arlington’s high school class of 2015 applied are: 3. University of Virginia, 2. Virginia Commonwealth University and 1. James Madison University. Arlington students sent a total of 321 applications to JMU. [Arlington Magazine]

Tomorrow: Celebrating Stratford’s Integration — On Tuesday evening Arlington County will hold a special event honoring the four African American seventh-graders who integrated Stratford Junior High — the current home of H-B Woodlawn — in 1959. [Twitter, Arlington County]

There Are Still Snow Boulders in Arlington — A number of Arlington residents are frustrated that some sidewalks, streets and parking lots are still obstructed by large piles of snow. [WJLA]

Scott Walker Owes Shirlington Company $60K — The campaign of former GOP presidential candidate (and Wisconsin governor) Scott Walker owes Shirlington-based Lukens Company $59,140 for direct mail, printing and postage services. It’s the fourth-largest debt listed by the campaign in public documents. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

Win: District Taco Makes ‘Cheap Eats’ List — District Taco has made a BuzzFeed list of “21 Delicious D.C. Eats That Won’t Break The Bank.” Amsterdam Falafel, which has a location in Clarendon, is also on the list. [BuzzFeed]

Fireball Spotted Saturday Night — A very bright meteor that streaked across the sky in the Northeastern U.S. Saturday night was captured on a dash cam in the Skyline section of Fairfax County. [Capital Weather Gang]

Photo by Bruce Majors

by Jennifer Currier — January 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

A Total Wine store is coming to Ballston.

The chain booze outlet, to be located at 800 N. Glebe Road near Mussel Bar, has applied for a Virginia ABC license to offer wine and beer for sale along with beer keg sales and delivery.

Though the Bethesda-based national retailer has locations in surrounding Alexandria, McLean, Fairfax and Springfield, this will be the first Total Wine location to open in Arlington.

A representative from the company — known as “America’s Wine Superstore” — confirmed the Glebe storefront is in the early stages of opening.

There appears to be no activity yet inside the space, and the representative could not provide an approximate date of when they hope to open the store.

Hat tip to ARLnow commenter Dean

by ARLnow.com — December 30, 2015 at 10:15 am 0

Starbucks logo(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Another Starbucks is coming to the 22202 ZIP code.

The new Starbucks will be located in the Acadia at Metropolitan Park apartment building, on the same block as the future Whole Foods on 12th Street S., according to a building permit application.

This will be the eighth Starbucks store in Pentagon City and Crystal City. That excludes Starbucks locations in the Pentagon and Reagan National Airport, which have at least two apiece.

Within biking distance of the new cafe are Starbucks stores on Columbia Pike, in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center, at Potomac Yard and in Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. In other words, the new Starbucks will face competition from at least 15 other Starbucks locations within a two mile radius. That’s not to mention a sprinkling of Dunkin’ Donuts stores and independent coffee shops.

No word yet on when the new Starbucks may open.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com — December 29, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Altar'd State clothing (photo via Facebook)Christian clothing store Altar’d State is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, according to building permit applications filed just before Christmas.

The retailer offers women’s clothing and accessories with a God-centric mission statement. Founded in 2009, the company has about 60 stores nationwide and donates one percent of all sales to local and international charities.

At Pentagon City mall, Altar’d State will serve both local customers and the throngs who visit the mall by the busload during school and church trips.

The permit application says the store will be 4,700 square feet and on the second floor of the mall.

Here’s how fashion website Racked described the retailer:

Altar’d State does not sell Christian apparel. The company sells feminine and flirty womenswear that taps into boho-chic trends for the Instagram set. Its stores push both in-house brands and external labels, all showcasing looks that are big on antiqued lace, soft tulle, and crochet detailing, with plenty of flowy layers in muted colors.

Which is to say that for a self-described Christian fashion company, there’s a surprising dearth of religious iconography when it comes to its clothes. Instead, there are graphic tees best worn by weekend warriors sipping on mimosas that read “Will Work for Brunch” and “I Hate Mondays.”

But Altar’d State’s faith is never far from view. Stores pipe in contemporary Christian music and the dressing rooms feature those aforementioned prayer request books. There are plenty of wood-block wall hangings with snappy messages like, “Just Sayin’,” “Be Nice or Leave,” and “I Totally Agree with Myself” — but the larger blocks displayed in-store include text like, “Be Patient. Our prayers are always answered but not always on the exact day we’d like them to be,” and “Don’t tell God that you have a big problem. Tell your problem that you have a big God.” A display near the front entrance of the Austin store features hand towels with Philippians 4:13 alongside joke linens (all stitched in the same distressed Courier font) that define a calorie as, “A tiny creature that lives in your closet and sews your clothes a little tighter every night.”

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo via Facebook.

by ARLnow.com — December 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm 0

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Jane, an Arlington resident who works in Cherrydale.

It is in response to our article on the opening of a pop-up vintage gift shop in the Cherrydale storefront that was once slated to become a gun store.

My coworkers and myself are very disappointed by your coverage of the Pop Vintage store in Cherrydale.

Was it really necessary to drag up all the gun store dirt? All that did was get your regulars stirred up and writing their usual insane comments.

I was there when Olympia, the owner of the store, was reading their responses.

If you could have seen the look on her face when she read what passes for witticisms among the commenters, it would have broken your collective hearts.

Today there is another mass shooting in California.

The world is getting scarier day by day.

Responsible journalism has a responsibility to report the news as it is happening good and bad, I realize this.

And if it hadn’t been for your breaking news on the gun store it might be our neighbor today.

But to to unnecessarily dig up the dirt on days gone by? Did you think Arlington residents wouldn’t be happy to hear of a new fun business without a splash of controversy?

Maybe in the spirit of the season and humanity you could focus on the positive things that are happening around us.

Jane

ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity.

by Jennifer Currier — December 1, 2015 at 11:30 am 0

A long-vacant Cherrydale strip mall storefront, once slated to become a gun store, has been brought to life as a pop-up vintage gift shop.

NOVA Firearms cancelled its lease and its plans to add a location at 2105 N. Pollard Street this summer, following an uproar that pitted concerned residents against both local and national gun enthusiasts.

This holiday season, however, what was once an ideological battleground is now a temporary shop.

POP Vintage opened this past Friday as a vintage shop, featuring collected, donated, estate sale and consigned items, ranging in price from $2 to $20,000. It will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. now until Christmas Eve.

“This is a place where people can sell, barter and trade their items openly and safely, they just have to do it by Christmas,” owner Olympia Hantzopoulos said.

The store is the Rosslyn resident’s first time operating a pop-up. It’s also her first time dealing with a space with such a heated history.

Hantzopoulos said she doesn’t go a day without hearing about what the store could’ve been.

“It was such a difficult issue for both sides,” she said. “Just this Saturday two women got in an argument in the store, which was full of customers, disagreeing over whether this space should be a gun store or not.”

Despite some leftover bitterness from the gun store debate, it hasn’t stopped customers from shopping. Hantzopoulos said her first weekend open was quite busy and the experience has been a positive one so far.

“I’m overwhelmed by the community support,” she said. “I think being here and having something here is doing a lot of good for the neighborhood.”

This also isn’t Hantzopoulos’ first time working with vintage and collectible items. She also owns Miracles in the City, a hair salon in Rosslyn that’s been open for nearly 20 years. The salon also has a small boutique where Hantzopoulos sells vintage jewelry, and all profits from jewelry sales are donated to charity.

She’s adopted the same charitable model for POP Vintage — any proceeds taken in beyond what’s needed to pay the lease will be donated to charities that support women and children in the United States and around the world.

One organization Hantzopoulos plans to support sends donations to an orphanage in Afghanistan, and another provides school supplies for local students. Hantzopoulos said helping in any way she can has always been a priority.

“Thinking about the reality of how little some people have just makes me miserable,” she said. “But you can’t dwell on that, you have to just do what you can do and trust it’s helping.”

From jewelry, to paintings by D.C. artists, to chandeliers, to one-of-a-kind rugs handmade in the Middle East, to tea sets and much more, Hantzopoulos has collected enough items to offer a little bit of everything for holiday shoppers. She knows where they came from, who they belonged to and why, in her opinion, they’re valuable.

“That’s the thing about vintage,” she said. “Everything has a story. It just so happens this space does, too.”

by ARLnow.com — December 1, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Public Shoe Store, at 3137 Wilson Blvd, will be closing soonUpdate at 4:35 p.m. — Public Shoe Store is still open, says owner S.H. “Doc” Friedman’s daughter. “Public Shoe is still operating and will continue to do so for another few months,” Karen Friedman Widmayer said this afternoon. In April, Friedman told ARLnow.com that the store would close by the end of the summer.

A new 7-Eleven store is coming to the heart of the Clarendon business district.

Permits have been filed for a 7-Eleven at 3137 Wilson Blvd, the former Public Shoe Store, which closed earlier this year is preparing to close after 78 years in business.

So far, it’s early in the permitting process and there’s no word as to when the store might open.

This will be the sixth 7-Eleven store within a half mile or so. The nearest store is a couple of blocks away, at 3000 Washington Blvd. Another is located at 2704 Washington Blvd, and three are clustered around the Virginia Square Metro station.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com — November 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm 0

Duck Donuts is now open at 2511 N. Harrison Street, in the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.

The store opened earlier this week to big crowds. As of 4 p.m. today, the store was jammed with school-aged kids and a few parents.

The well-reviewed Outer Banks, N.C.-based chain has been expanding quickly, with several new locations in Virginia in addition to the Lee-Harrison store, which replaced a former Baskin-Robbins.

Duck Donuts specializes in made-to-order donuts coated in toppings like peanut butter icing, maple icing, bacon, and rainbow sprinkles. The low-frills menu also includes breakfast foods, orange juice, coffee and bottled beverages.

The humble donut, once most closely associated with midnight shift cops, is one of the top food industry trends of 2015. Some bloggers have opined that donuts are “the new cupcake.”

by ARLnow.com — November 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm 0

MOM’s Organic Market founder and CEO Scott Nash was pleased with what he saw at the grand opening of the company’s first Arlington store today.

Shoppers — mostly the regional chain’s target customer: moms — lined the aisles, picking out organic goods and trying free samples. Not bad for 11:30 a.m. on the store’s first official day in business.

Nash explained that MOM’s, which has 13 other locations in the Mid-Atlantic region (the closest of which is in Alexandria), typically targets more suburban locales than Arlington.

“Something that has kept us from opening in more dense urban areas is the parking,” he said. “We are for a walkable community, but we have 5,000 customers a week and most of them are mothers, with kids. They need to drive, they can’t carry six bags of groceries to their apartment across the street. They are the bread and butter of our customer base and we won’t open a store unless we have ample parking for our true best customers.”

The new store is located at 1901 N. Veitch Street, in the Verde Pointe development along Lee Highway and within walking distance to the Courthouse Metro station. It has 100 spaces of free parking for customers, though the traffic pattern to get to the 50 lower level garage spaces seemed to be challenging for first-time shoppers.

Other than the parking issue, Nash said Arlington is an ideal location for MOM’s, thanks to the eco-minded population.

“It’s very dense and we are sure this demographic has a lot of ‘lifestylers,'” he said. “The lifestylers are people who don’t just like organic food, but they have the same moral view that we have.”

That moral view was on prominent display, with signs explaining that the store only carries “green rated” seafood, that none of its cereals market to children with cartoon characters, and that it doesn’t sell conventionally grown produce because of the use of pesticides.

At 12,500 square feet, the new Arlington MOM’s is about the same size of most of the company’s newer stores. Asked about competition from the nearby Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s stores in Clarendon, Nash said that the presence of those stores was actually encouraging, pointing to the kind of market in which MOM’s thrives.

“We feel like where’s there’s a successful Trader Joe’s and a successful Whole Foods, there will be successful MOM’s,” he said. “What sets us apart is Trader Joe’s has about 4,000 items, we have 14,000, and Whole Foods has about 28,000. We’re kind of in between, we’re cheaper than Whole Foods, we have only organic produce, we don’t mix, plus we have great customer service and a very unique, incredible selection of products.”

MOM’s is open seven days a week. Its grand opening celebration will continue through Sunday.

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