Arlington, VA

Two new Ballston eateries are reportedly opening over the next two weeks.

Sidekick — a new bakery and “confectionary concept” — is scheduled to open on Monday, June 10 at Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd), according to a press release.

A spokeswoman described the bakery as the “hybrid intersection of the whimsical and playful with the familiar,” like offering cereal or candy flavors for standard bakery items.

The restaurant is also planned to offer frozen drinks, like milkshakes.

Sidekick owner Salis Holdings is also opening a new location of its Ted’s Bulletin restaurant chain next door. While both restaurants are separate concepts, they do share a head pastry chef.

Ted’s Bulletin, known for its nostalgic desserts, was one of the restaurants that won approval for patio dining last year from the Arlington County Board.

Staff at another Ted’s Bulletin location said the Ballston location is planning to open late next week.

The press release about Sidekick is below, after the jump.

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One month after it served its last beer in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, Meridian Pint is planning to open its new location in the Dominion Hills shopping plaza tomorrow.

For owner John Andrade, the move brings his new bar — at 6035 Wilson Blvd — a little closer to home. Andrade is from the neighborhood and many of the wait staff are hired from the nearby neighborhoods.

“I live a quarter-mile away and my daughter goes to Ashlawn,” Andrade said. “I know the neighborhood, and I’ve gotten to understand the void for folks here for craft beer.”

Andrade said oversaturation and competition with a new wave of breweries having their own bars forced Meridian Pint out of D.C., but added that the move is also an opportunity to rebuild the small community bar scene.

“There is a focus on D.C. or even Clarendon or Ballston for beers, but the neighborhoods are neglected,” Andrade said.

A sign at the front says the restaurant will be called Dominion Pint, but Andrade said there was a legal challenge to the name so the bar is sticking with Meridian Pint. The restaurant has been holding a series of soft openings for neighbors and other invitees this week, but the official public opening is Thursday.

It will be the sixth restaurant Andrade has opened, including those no longer operating. Andrade also runs three other D.C. restaurants: Brookland PintRosario’s Tacos & Tequila in Adams Morgan, and Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgan.

Andrade said the focus of Meridian Pint will be on American grilled food and craft beer — both local and national brands. In addition to beers, Andrade said he’s focusing on the restaurant’s homemade ice cream.

Jace Gonnerman, the beer program director for Meridian Pint, said his goal is to maintain a careful balance of obscure and approachable beers.

In addition to the obscure and higher-end craft beers, Gonnerman said he’s happy to have two more affordable brews for the opening: Narragansett Lager and Genesee Cream Ale.

“We want to have a beer for everyone,” Gonnerman said. “We want something for the community, but also the latest and greatest for aficionados.”

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UNTUCKit, a clothing brand focused on untucked, professional shirts, has just launched a new store in Pentagon City.

The new store opened late last week on the second floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

According to a press release:

UNTUCKit was created in 2011 to solve the problem of the long, sloppy look of untucked and ill-fitting dress shirts, by designing shirts that are meant to be worn untucked. They’ve since introduced categories ranging from t-shirts and polos to sports jackets and performance wear — plus, the launch of women’s and boys’ lines in 2017.

UNTUCKit at Pentagon City was the brand’s 61st store nationwide and the third in the region.

“We’re excited to be here, even closer to the District,” said Tomas Kurtz, assistant manager at the Pentagon City location. “It’s a new brand and we’re excited to see it grow.”

Kurtz said the store stands out for the way staff works closely with customers to find the right cut and style for them.

“It’s interesting because it’s not at all like a department store,” said Kurtz. “If you come in, you get fitted and staff will help walk you through it. It’s very personalized.”

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CorePower Yoga may be opening its third Arlington location soon in Ballston.

Black wrapping paper behind the new Ballston Exchange studio’s front doors reads “Coming Soon.” The announcement comes a month after the county approved a building permit for the new studio.

“The Ballston studio is set to open late this summer,” a company spokeswoman told ARLnow, adding that she was unable to share more details.

Construction crews could be seen today (Monday) working between the metal framing inside the space. The construction will include  “non-structural partitions” and hanging new doors, according to the building permit.

The studio is located at 4201 Wilson Blvd and joins CorePower Yoga’s Pentagon City studio, which opened in 2016, and the company’s Courthouse location, which opened in 2015.

The Denver-based CorePower Yoga specializes in “high intensity” classes offered in heated rooms designed to make participants sweat, according to its website.

CorePower Yoga is the latest addition to Ballston Exchange, which also recently welcomed health-food eatery Dirt and the Bearded Goat Barber Shop.

Hat tip to Craig W.

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(Updated 12 p.m.) True Food Kitchen — a health-food chain — is planning to open its new Ballston Quarter location next Wednesday (May 8) at 11 a.m.

The restaurant has a seasonal menu that includes a variety of vegan and vegetarian choices, like tofu bowls and cheese-less pizzas, in addition to a selection of burgers, sandwiches and entrees with and without meat.

The Arlington restaurant will have an opening dining area, an outdoor patio, and two private dining rooms for special occasions. A bar at the location includes fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, seasonal cocktails, local beer and wine, according to the restaurant website.

The restaurant is also currently hiring staff, including bartenders, servers, and a butcher.

If you want to try True Food before then, the next closest location is the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave.) in Fairfax County.

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Morning Notes

Flash Flood Watch Issued — Arlington and the region is under a Flash Flood Watch starting at noon today. Heavy rain and storms, some of which may be severe, are expected this afternoon and evening. [Twitter, Twitter]

Anytime Fitness Opening TodayAnytime Fitness, a new 24/7 gym, is set to open today in Rosslyn. “New member specials will be available through the end of April and free community workouts will be held every Saturday in May,” said a PR rep.

Protest Yesterday in Ballston — “A protest against power company AES is happening this morning in Ballston outside the company’s HQ. ACPD is on the scene watching over the protest, which is peaceful and includes speeches and signs against AES’ activities in Puerto Rico.” [Twitter]

Bike Recycling Event Next Month — “Bikes for the World will be collecting unneeded bicycles, bike parts and accessories on Saturday, May 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the Arlington E-CARE (Environmental Collection and Recycling Event) at 1425 North Quincy St.” [InsideNova]

Carbeque on I-395 — A car caught fire on southbound I-395 near Glebe Road just before Thursday’s evening rush hour. Several lanes were closed as a result of the vehicular inferno, but firefighters eventually extinguished the raging flames. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]

Good Friday in Arlington — “On Friday, April 19, several parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington will offer Living Stations of the Cross (or Via Crucis en Vivo). The Living Stations consist of a visual portrayal of Jesus on the way to his crucifixion.” [Diocese of Arlington]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

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Ice Cream Jubilee has opened its new location in Ballston Quarter’s food hall.

The ice cream store, on the mall’s concourse level, is serving 16 unique flavors of ice cream, ranging from Thai Iced Tea to Honey Lemon Lavender to Banana Bourbon Caramel.

Owner Victoria Lai told ARLnow that she’s been pleasantly surprised by the number of customers they’ve had on their first day. She added that she’s excited to be among Ballston Quarter’s bevy of local food vendors.

“Every single day there’s something new down here,” she said. “There’s so much to look forward to.”

The opening comes at the same time as some other Ballston businesses were experiencing a power outage, across the street from the mall.

Dominion Energy spokesman Chuck Penn said the outage was caused by a nearby car accident and that Dominion crews were on the scene performing repairs.

“We expect to have all that done in about an hour,” Penn said at 2 p.m.

At 12:45 p.m. Dominion’s live outage map showed three customers affected by the outage.

Cava and Philz Coffee, which are both located at 4121 Wilson Blvd, posted signs on their front doors at noon Friday alerting customers they had closed due to the lack of power.

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Morning Notes

More on Seven Corners Death Investigation — “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are investigating after a body was found… in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church. Officers found a 49-year-old Hispanic man lying unresponsive in an alley near the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive.” [Fairfax County Police]

D.C. Area Adds Fewer Jobs Than Expected — “The Washington region added 35,300 jobs in 2018 based on data released yesterday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 16,800 fewer jobs than indicated by the preliminary releases.” [George Mason University]

Home Sales Continue Trend — “Year-over-year home sales across the Washington region have now tumbled each of the first two months of 2019, but the median sales price rose for the 29th consecutive month, according to new data, while inventory levels tightened slightly as the winter market segued into spring.” [InsideNova]

Dudley’s Opening at Last — Nearly four years after it was first announced that a new sports bar called Dudley’s Sport and Ale was coming to the former Bungalow space in Shirlington, the long-delayed sports bar is finally planning to open to the public on Friday. [Facebook]

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Ballston Quarter could open to customers as soon as this week, marking an unofficial end to the years-long redevelopment of the old Ballston Common mall.

Signs posted around the development’s elevator banks list Thursday (Nov. 15) as the site’s opening day. Specifically, the signs advertise that the two main floors of Ballston Quarter — including the first floor with “street-level access” and the second floor with an area dubbed “Instagram alley” — will open this week.

Meanwhile, the third level of the development, which includes Regal Cinemas and the newly rechristened Onelife Fitness, is now open to pedestrian traffic. However, many of the stores on the level remain under construction. The new “Quarter Market,” a 25,000-square-foot food hall, won’t open until February 2019, the signs say.

A spokeswoman for Forest City, the developer spearheading Ballston Quarter, did not respond to a request for comment to confirm those dates.

Forest City initially hoped to open at least some of the stores in the development by the end of September. But delays convinced the developer to aim for late October instead, yet Ballston Quarter has remained closed to public access since then, and Forest City has been conspicuously silent on the matter. The developer has also had to push back plans to open a refurbished pedestrian bridge over Wilson Blvd to next year.

However, Onelife Fitness, once known as the Sport&Health fitness club, has a grand opening event scheduled for tonight (Tuesday) following its $2 million renovation work and rebranding. Punch Bowl Social, a combination bar and entertainment venue, has also now formally announced plans for a Dec. 8 grand opening event, after posting signs around Ballston advertising the night earlier this month.

Forest City has previously announced a bevy of other shops, restaurants and other businesses set to move into the former mall. The development had roughly 75 percent of its space leased as of the end of September, and the mall has begun maintaining a full list of retailers on its website.

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A new Bethesda Bagels location opened its doors yesterday (Nov. 6) across from the Rosslyn Metro station.

Located at 1851 N. Moore Street, this is the first location in Arlington for Bethesda Bagels, which has two shops in D.C. to go along with the original in Bethesda, Md., founded in 1982.

About 15 customers showed up for the store’s 6:30 a.m. opening, and “long lines” formed throughout the rainy morning, Danny Fleishman, president of Bethesda Bagels, told ARLnow.

Sandwiched between Nando’s and McDonald’s, Bethesda Bagels offers passersby a glimpse into the bagel-making process with a storefront window near the kitchen. Fleishman said he plans to put a counter by the window for seating.

The menu centers around its two dozen varieties of handmade, New York-style bagels. The shop offers an all-day breakfast menu of egg sandwiches and smoked fish sandwiches and “lunch goodies” including pizza bagels and “bagel dogs.”

For first-time customers, Fleishman recommends the egg sandwiches or the smoked salmon sandwich, which uses smoked fish from Ivy City Smokehouse in D.C.

“Everything we do is homemade and true New York-deli style and is delicious,” he said.

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Core Allegro, a studio that will offer group pilates and ballet classes along with private and semi-private sessions, is about a week away from finishing construction.

Waiting to receive final permits, they hope to open by the end of the month at 4001 Fairfax Drive, business manager Steve Roberts said.

Located between the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations, the studio will be led by Olga Roberts and Elena Ovchinnikova.

Ovchinnikova’s experience includes studies at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Russian State Medical University, according to her bio on Core Allegro’s website. Roberts graduated from London’s Rambert School of Ballet, and began training in pilates at age 11.

“They’re two amazing kind of world class teachers that have come together to really lead this studio,” said Steve Roberts, who is married to Olga Roberts. “It’s not related to any franchise… this is purely from their own professional history and training.”

The roughly 3,000-square-foot facility is being converted from office space to feature reclaimed wood, vinyl flooring and LED lighting. It has been in development for the past year, Steve Roberts said.

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