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.
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.
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.
Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza has opened its new location at 2931 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Ridge.
The pizzeria, which also features Mediterranean dishes other than pizza, replaces Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016. It first opened this past Wednesday, we’re told.
Delia’s has several Northern Virginia locations, including in Alexandria and Springfield. The Delia’s website does not yet list the Arlington Ridge location.
However, the menu for other locations includes smaller, appetizer-sized options like halloumi crostini, Greek avgolemono soup, and “pizza knuckles.” Entrees include grilled lamb chops and swordfish, in addition to the signature pizzas.
Bethesda Bagels is aiming to open a new location later in the year at Rosslyn’s Central Place.
Danny Fleishman, one of the bagel chain’s owners, told ARLnow that they intend to open in five or six months, pending permitting, but are “shooting for August.” The shop will be adjacent to the recently opened Nando’s Peri Peri.
The bagel shop has been around since 1982, and currently has two D.C. locations and one in their namesake town of Bethesda, Md. Closing hours vary among the locations, but all of the current locations open at 6:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday.
At least 25 handmade, New-York style bagel flavors are on offer, from orange cranberry to pumpernickel to more traditional selections like plain and everything bagels.
Bagel schmears include peanut butter and jelly, honey butter, cinnamon butter, and many varieties of cream cheese from blueberry and strawberry to olive and roasted red pepper.
The chain also offers a number of sandwiches and special items, like bagel bites stuffed with hot dogs.
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Alt’s, a vegetarian restaurant in Lyon Park, might soon be opening.
Though Alt’s signed a lease at 2300 N. Pershing Drive in May 2015, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, and filed permits to renovate later that year, the restaurant has only recently revealed signs of life.
Signs and a business hours card are up on the restaurant’s storefront. A company representative arrived unannounced at ARLnow’s office yesterday with laminated menus in hand, saying that it was opening this week. (Note to other businesses: please email information to us instead.)
No one from the restaurant answered calls or emails today and it was not open during lunchtime.
The restaurant’s business signs indicate it will be closed on Mondays and open from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 12-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. on Saturday to Sunday.
The restaurant sells basic vegan and vegetarian “Altburgers” for $4.50 and a vegetarian “altbacon” cheeseburger for $6.20 — “the true pinnacle of meat alternative burgers.” Customers can sub out the bun for a “delicious gluten free rice tortilla” if desired, according to the menu.
On Alt’s website, it claims people can’t tell the difference between a regular burger and its meatless burgers.
“Come to Alt’s, where your perception of a meatless burger will be forever changed,” the site writes.
Lebanese cuisine fast-casual restaurant Badaro opened late Friday evening (March 23).
Though a worker at the location said that the shop is considering the first weeks a “soft opening” to smooth things out, the restaurant is open and ready for customers. Badaro replaces Ballston’s NKD Pizza location at 933 N. Quincy Street.
Badaro is the latest Chipotle-style, build-your-own restaurant in the county. Customers can choose between 27 different toppings and sauces, including fried cauliflower with pomegranate molasses, several hummus varieties, and pitted olives.
Seven protein options, like kefta and lamb kabob, are available, but Badaro charges one dollar less per bowl if it’s built without protein. A number of sides are available, like baba ghanoush with pita, from between $1.69 to $4.95.
There are also several fresh juice and drink options, as well as rice pudding and baklava for dessert.
Looks like Virginia Square residents won’t have to wait long for the opening of prix-fixe steakhouse Medium Rare.
The restaurant had signs up as early as November 2017, but co-founder Mark Bucher confirmed via email that the restaurant is targeting to open the first week of April.
Currently, the popular chain has three open locations — two in D.C. and one in Bethesda, Md.
Medium Rare is known for its relatively inexpensive pre-fixe dinner menu of bread, salad, and culotte steak with fries and a “secret sauce” for about $20.
Photo courtesy of Leslie Koch
(Updated at 5 p.m.) With Arlington schools, county facilities and the federal government closed for the snow day, it might be worth asking: just what is open today?
Below is a partial list of some restaurants, bars and other businesses that are still open or closed in the county.
- Pamplona in Clarendon, including a snow day party that started at 1 p.m.
- Circa in Clarendon
- Mister Days in Clarendon, including snow day drink specials
- Silver Diner in Clarendon
- Liberty Tavern in Clarendon
- Hunan Number One Restaurant in Clarendon
- Rustico in Ballston, including food and drink specials all day
- Big Buns in Ballston, opened at noon
- Pupatella in Ballston
- SER in Ballston
- Saigon Saigon in Pentagon City
- Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant in Pentagon City
- Zen Bistro & Wine Bar in Pentagon City
- Jaleo in Crystal City
- MOM’s Organic Market
- BrickHaus on Columbia Pike, opened at noon
- Basic Play in Courthouse
- Heavy Seas Alehouse in Rosslyn
- Rhodeside Grill, William Jeffrey’s Tavern and Ragtime
- Rockland’s BBQ in Virginia Square is closing early at 4 p.m.
- Animal Welfare League of Arlington
- Arlington Independent Media
- Bistro 360 Wine Bar, Market & Restaurant in Rosslyn
ARLnow reporter Bridget Reed Morawski was live on Facebook earlier this afternoon giving a walking snow tour of roads, sidewalks and businesses from Clarendon to Rosslyn. The video replay of that is below.
Join our reporter as she makes her way back to her home in Rosslyn from our Clarendon newsroom in the snow.
Posted by Arlington Now on Wednesday, March 21, 2018
South African spicy chicken restaurant Nando’s is opening its newest location at Rosslyn’s Central Place on Monday (March 12), the company announced today.
A press release noted that players with a Washington sports team will make an appearance for a grand opening charity event to benefit “local underserved youth,” but a Nando’s representative declined to be more specific. A Ballston Nando’s opening in 2016 featured several Washington Capitals players flipping chickens.
The location is the newest of the chain’s now 41 U.S. restaurants. Decorations inside the new location include a portrait by South African artist Nqabutho Phakathi, colorful lighting and an undulating ceiling.
Beginning Monday, the restaurant at 1800 N. Lynn Street, with an entrance on N. Moore Street, will operate from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on weekdays, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Photos courtesy of Nando’s
Clarendon’s new Barre3 studio was set to start its first classes today (March 5), but has postponed its opening day.
The hold up is due to “the unexpected surprises that come with construction, permits and inspections,” according to an email sent on Friday to those who had signed up for the first week of classes.
The email didn’t specify a revised opening date for the barre studio to open at Market Common, and emails to the location were not returned over the weekend. A later email from the chain to customers noted that at least one additional free class would be held before opening their doors “this month.”
Many of the first week’s classes were free for locals to try out the studio, but anyone who had signed up was removed from the class list and had an extra free class added to their accounts for any of the local locations.
The chain also has a nearby location in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, but this would be the first Arlington addition.
The new location of Bread & Water had a “soft opening” the past weekend on Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street).
The eatery, the original location of which is in the Belle View section of Fairfax County, sells pastries like fruit bars, danish, muffins, key lime pie, plus sandwiches, salads, and more.
The artisan bakery regularly sells at local farmer’s markets in Ballston, Crystal City, and Columbia Pike. Additional farmer’s market stops are as far apart as Dale City, Va., and Silver Spring, Md.
Signs for the bakery initially went up in January. It is located at Pentagon Row’s central plaza, in a space formerly occupied by a sunglasses store and a Capital Teas shop.
The store’s Facebook page lists hours of operation between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The company also caters.
A 10,000 square foot Ulta Beauty location is set to open its doors at Pentagon Row later this week.
The opening of the 1101 S. Joyce Street location is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, February 23. The store “will feature 20,000 beauty products across 500 brands, as well as a full-service salon.”
The first 100 shoppers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be given beauty products and makeovers. Gift recipients will be given a “beauty treat” valued between $5 and $100, and can choose between a discounted first hair or facial appointment voucher at the in-store salon or skincare bar.
Ulta Beauty currently runs 1,058 locations across the country, according to a company press release.
The just-opened Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is already looking to ramp up its weekend offerings after a successful first few weeks.
Open since earlier this month at 2915 Wilson Blvd, co-owner Faris Ghareeb told ARLnow this afternoon they are looking to experiment with opening at 11 a.m. this Sunday (October 1), then start doing the same on future Saturdays too. Then, Ghareeb said, the successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub would look to start serving brunch in addition to its usual evening offerings.
The new spot has several distinct areas: a main dining area, a mezzanine above it with lounge seating, a rooftop deck, a small dining and lounge area next to the deck and a first-floor patio. The rooftop deck has a full bar, and overlooks the first-floor patio.
In the main dining area are six custom-made metal chandeliers, while a mural stretches across the main wall and up into the mezzanine area. Just inside the bar’s entrance off Wilson Blvd, another mural hints at the building’s history as the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005.
Wilson Hardware’s soft opening at 2915 Wilson Blvd will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, with happy hour from 5-7 p.m., according to an event listing. It will open at the same time on Saturday as well, with a DJ to perform on both nights from 10 p.m. until close.
Anyone wanting to make dinner reservations for Friday or Saturday can now do so online.
“The team has been working hard create a beautiful, multi-level space for everyone’s enjoyment,” an invite to the soft opening reads. “Guests can anticipate bold fixtures, textured artwork and a unique experience in the new eclectic venue.”
The new 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge has three distinct bar areas, including one on the roof. Inside and outside are motifs and murals.
Food to be served will include Hardware fritters, crab dip and panzerotti, which is crisp-fried pizza dough stuffed with cheeses and marinara sauce. The menu will also feature avocado burgers with grass-fed beef, duck confit with roasted vegetables, steak frites and pan-seared salmon with saffron mashed potatoes.
Many of the drinks will reference the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005. The cocktail menu will feature signature drinks such as the “Blueprint,” a mix of rosé, vodka, cantaloupe, lemon, ancho chile and mint; the “Adjustable Wrench” made with bourbon, rum, vanilla and chocolate bitters and the “Bright Idea,” a shareable cocktail for two.
Work to renovate and build out the space began last year.
“We’re so excited for everyone to finally see our vision for Wilson Hardware to come to life,” co-owner Jad Bouchebel said in a statement. “We know Arlingtonians will be pleasantly surprised when they see how we’ve revamped the space into an elegant new restaurant and bar.”
Photos No. 2, 4-6 via Instagram.