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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.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2015 at 11:35 am 0

3400 Columbia Pike(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) Two popular restaurants will be joining Chipotle on the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road.

Sugar Shack Donuts, a Richmond-based eatery serving fresh donuts and coffee, and 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, a quickly-expanding New Jersey-based pizza chain, are coming to the ground floor of the Pike 3400 apartment building, according to building permits.

Built on the former Rosenthal car dealershipPike 3400 is currently home to the only Chipotle location on the Arlington stretch of Columbia Pike.

Sugar Shack attracted plenty of cult-like buzz — and actor Kevin Bacon — when it opened in Alexandria earlier this year. The location is owned by former Virginia delegate Rob Krupicka and makes its donuts in-house, without the help of machines.

The new Sugar Shack on the Pike will also be owned by Krupicka. He told ARLnow.com that the store should be open in “early 2016.”

1000 Degrees has been opening hundreds of new locations nationwide, building a business based around $7.99 personalized pizzas which are cooked in two minutes — similar to existing local fast-casual eateries like Spinfire. 1000 Degrees also offers breadsticks, build-your-own salads and fire roasted wings.

So far there’s no word on when 1000 Degrees will open.

Another building permit application indicates that a Supercuts hair salon is also planning to open at 3400 Columbia Pike.

Hat tip to Joe M.

by ARLnow.com — October 13, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,051 0

Bike team in Bluemont Park (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Potomac Yard Station Delayed Again — The new $268 million Potomac Yard Metro station in Alexandria is now not expected to be complete until 2020. The City of Alexandria is paying the project’s costs with a combination of local funds, developer contributions, state grants and federal funding. [Washington Post]

New Target Fills Niche — The new Target store in Rosslyn “fills an urban retail niche” as a type of “21st century general store.” Expect to see more such stores around, writes transportation planner Dan Malouff. [Greater Greater Washington]

Kudos for ‘Horrors’ — The Arlington Players production of “Little Shop of Horrors” is worth seeing, says a reviewer. The production “retains its quirky charms and benefits from strong performances and production values.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm 3,217 0

Despite signs on the door and statements to the press to the contrary, the new TargetExpress store in Rosslyn is now open.

Even at mid-afternoon today the store wasn’t lacking for intrepid customers who figured out that they could just walk right past the “Opens October 11” sign on the door. An employee described it as a “soft opening.”

The 23,000 square foot store, at 1500 Wilson Blvd, stocks a selection of groceries, beer, wine, personal care items, clothing, tech gadgets and other sundry goods. It also boasts the area’s third Starbucks store within a one block radius.

by Heather Mongilio — September 24, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

Conte's Bike Shop logo (via David Conte)Arlington is getting another bicycle store.

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.

The store sells bicycles and cycling accessories, like clothing, helmets, tires and bike pumps. The new Virginia Square location will also offer a full service department for bicycle repairs.

“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.”

by Heather Mongilio — September 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

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.

by Heather Mongilio — August 21, 2015 at 11:30 am 1,594 0

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.

by Mariah Joyce — August 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm 2,975 0

(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.

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