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Ulta Beauty, Basic Burger Coming to Pentagon Row

A new beauty store is set to move to Pentagon Row, reportedly as early as next spring.

Ulta Beauty is opening a 10,000-square-foot store at 1101 S. Joyce Street, replacing the Vitamin Shoppe and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. The store will be close to Harris Teeter and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Washingtonian magazine reported late last month it will open in spring 2018. As of Thursday, construction crews were hard at work on the space.

Ulta offers a wide range of beauty products, including brands like Urban Decay, Nars and MAC. It also offers services like facials, eyebrow waxing and hair styling.

Already, Ulta has stores nearby in Bailey’s Crossroads, Springfield and Northeast Washington. Its online careers portal notes several open positions at the planned Pentagon Row store.

Ulta is one of a number of businesses that have opened or are opening at Pentagon Row in the coming months. Signs nearby welcome the arrivals of the F45 Training gym, Club Pilates, Aabee Kabob, a Deli and Basic Burger.

Basic Burger, a Shake Shack-eque burger restaurant, opened its first location in Courthouse last year.

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BrickHaus to Open Labor Day on Columbia Pike

After months of delays and regulatory hurdles, new Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is set to open on Labor Day.

The 2900 Columbia Pike restaurant will open its doors at 2 p.m. with full service inside and a range of freshly tapped beers and new food. Reservations are not available, and the patio will not be open until October, owner Tony Wagner said in a Facebook post.

It's time to celebrate! BrickHaus is at long last opening our doors on Columbia Pike on Monday, September 4th. Doors…

Posted by BrickHaus on Thursday, August 31, 2017

Most construction on the space has been finished since May.

BrickHaus will be a beer garden on the first floor, with some 20 beers on tap and an approximately 30-seat outdoor patio. The second floor mezzanine will have upstairs dining with a menu including steaks, German food and other entrees.

It will offer mostly regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers. Wagner said draft wine will also be available.

The aging building has received an extensive renovation after being vacant for years following the departure of Blanca’s Restaurant.

“The oldest building on Columbia Pike will come to life once more, letting it all hang out!” Wagner wrote.

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Roti Modern Mediterranean Opens at Pentagon City

A new Roti Modern Mediterranean opened in Pentagon City today.

Roti is located on the ground floor of the Met Arcadia apartment building, between a Starbucks and an Orangetheory Fitness. It opened at 11 a.m. today (Friday), and will be open 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays.

Staff marked the occasion with balloons and various other decorations, and before 11 a.m. were doing final cleaning tasks ahead of opening the doors.

The fast casual restaurant serves wraps, rite plates and salads, with a variety of protein, topping and sauce options. It focuses on “Food That Loves You Back,” touting high-quality, healthy ingredients. It also offers an option to “try a little of everything,” allowing diners to pick as many sides as they want.

The restaurant is headquartered in Chicago and has other locations around the country, including in Rosslyn (1501 Wilson Blvd), its only other in Arlington.

More from Roti’s press release:

Rōti Modern Mediterranean is excited to announce the opening its newest location in the DC area, in Pentagon City, which opens today. This past January, Roti updated their menu to include a “try a little of everything” approach to entrees, giving customers the option to add as many sides and toppings as they’d like. This past Spring, Spicy Lamb Meatballs were added to the menu at all locations. Packed with flavor and spice, the meatballs are prepared using red quinoa, Sriracha sauce, mint, parsley, red chili, and other spices. This new offering is gluten-free and a great source of protein.

To reinforce their mission of Food That Loves You Back, Roti’s space includes enhanced food presentation, new interior design features, and a hand drawn food story mural scaling the length of the dining room. There is also additional communal seating to accommodate larger lunch and dinner groups.

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New Barbershop Now Open Near Clarendon

(Updated at 3:44 p.m.) The Clarendon area has a new spot for haircuts.

The barbershop, Willy and Habib’s, opened at 3107 10th Street N about three weeks ago, said co-owner Habib Zaki. The shop is a short walk from the Clarendon Metro station.

Customers at the newly opened shop can get haircuts, shaves and stylings. A cut costs just $20, and the shop has flatscreen televisions, leather barber chairs and lots of nearby parking as perks for clients.

Zaki is a veteran of Pete’s Barbershop, the beloved Westover business that attracts customers from across Arlington. So far, business at Willy and Habib’s has been “pretty good,” Zaki said, a claim matched by a recent flurry of positive Yelp reviews.

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Pentagon City Barre Studio to Open With Free Classes Saturday

A new barre studio is slated to offer some free workout sessions this weekend to celebrate its opening in Pentagon City.

Pure Barre will open its doors on the ground floor of the Bartlett apartment building at 520 12th St. South on Saturday, Feb. 18, according to co-owner Lauren Lafaye-Benson.

The new studio offers classes that blend techniques found in yoga, ballet and pilates.

“It’s full strength training,” Lafaye-Benson said. “You use isometric movements to fatigue your muscles and help them become stronger in the long run.”

To help get participants in the mood for moving, all of the workouts are set to music.

“It helps to not only keep you more involved in the workout, but it kind of helps to mentally clear your mind and get you to a good zone for working out,” Lafaye-Benson said.

No past dance experience is required to participate and the workout is suitable for people of all fitness levels, she added. The only requirement to join in is that clients must wear socks on the studio’s carpeted floor.

Pure Barre will offer free community classes this weekend before it begins its regular schedule on Monday, Feb. 20. Those interested in taking advantage of the deal can sign up on the location’s website.

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Advisory Firm Grant Thornton Opens Office in Rosslyn

A national business advisory firm now has a more sizable footprint in the D.C. area.

Chicago-based company Grant Thornton held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last night to celebrate the grand opening of its new Rosslyn outpost. The office is part of a $15.75 million investment that is bringing hundreds of jobs to the Arlington area.

The office, located on the 14th floor of 1000 Wilson Blvd, can hold about 1,500 staffers. Grant Thornton is moving around 1,000 of its employees to the office and will be hiring 348 additional staffers as part of the opening.

Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire, Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette and Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick were among those scheduled to speak during the ceremony.

McGuire stated that the workplace “enables us to connect with each other and our clients, whether they’re here in Arlington or on the other side of the world.”

The space, dubbed the “workplace of the future,” is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, modern conference rooms and complimentary access to a fitness center, according to a press release. The office also has large windows that let in plenty of natural light and a provide a panoramic view of the District.

“We wouldn’t have let just anybody into this space,” Fisette said, referring to Grant Thornton. “You are one of the top professional services firms in the world.”

Burick said that Rosslyn was ready to welcome with open arms the company’s “best and brightest.”

“I think the staff at Grant Thornton will find connections here that will help them grow professionally,” she added.

Rosslyn is projected to have 4,000 new residents, 15,000 new jobs, 2,740 additional residential units and 200,000 additional square feet of retail space by 2030, according to the BID. Large companies like Grant Thornton are expected to help fuel that long-term growth.

Arlington County and Virginia both successfully beat out the District in a bid for Grant Thornton’s new office. Earlier this year, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the opening a “big win for the Commonwealth.”

“Grant Thornton is a valued leader in the business community, and it is a priority to ensure that the company continues to grow in the Commonwealth as we diversity and build the new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said yesterday in a statement. “We are confident that Arlington County and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District will provide the infrastructure, workforce and resources necessary for the company to thrive.”

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Opening Date Set for New Va. Square DMV Office

Entrance of new Virginia Square DMV officeThe Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles is getting ready to open its new Metro-accessible DMV location in Virginia Square.

The office, which will supplement the existing Arlington DMV location on Four Mile Run Drive, is set to open on Monday, Nov. 7. (See update, below.)

Located on the ground floor of an office building at 3434 Washington Blvd, the office will offer all DMV services with the exception of road tests.

Update on 11/7/16 — The DMV is now not expected to open until Wednesday, Nov. 9. From the Virginia DMV’s Twitter account:

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Commonwealth Joe Now Open in Pentagon City

Homegrown independent coffee shop Commonwealth Joe has opened its new flagship cafe in Pentagon City.

Located at 520 12th Street S., near the new Whole Foods, Commonwealth Joe offers hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks, plus baked goods and bags of their own signature roasted coffees. The star of the menu, however, is the five varieties of Commonwealth Joe’s smooth, creamy nitro cold brew coffee which are available on tap.

Commonwealth Joe offers a homey, airy space for the usual legion of laptop tappers to camp out in while sipping their coffee. Wifi is available.

Over the next week Commonwealth Joe will be operating under reduced hours — opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends. The hours will be expanded after employee training wraps up.

This is Commonwealth Joe’s first branded cafe, although the company — founded by four friends in 2012 — also operates the Java Shack in Courthouse. On 12th Street S. Commonwealth Joe will face competition from a familiar foe: Starbucks, which opened a block away earlier this summer.

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Ambar to Open for Dinner Wednesday

Balkan small plate restaurant Ambar is set to open its doors for dinner Wednesday night (Oct. 5).

The restaurant is opening in the former Boulevard Woodgrill space at 2901 Wilson Blvd. It’s location No. 3 for the well-reviewed Ambar; the original is located on Barracks Row on Capitol Hill and a second is located in Belgrade, Serbia.

Ambar will at first be open seven days a week for dinner, but will eventually serve both lunch and weekend brunch as well.

Since Boulevard closed at the end of July, the interior has received mostly decorative changes, helping to modernize a restaurant space that had remained largely the same for a decade and a half. Nya Gill, the wife of Ambar owner Ivan Iricanin, designed the 3,600-square foot interior.

Iricanin told ARLnow.com that he has been looking to open in Arlington for some time.

“I was looking at Arlington County because there are so many young people that fit our demographics but there’s also families… it’s a very healthy mix of people,” he said. “We [also] want a presence here because I really see the future and I really believe in the growth of Virginia.”

He said Boulevard Woodgrill presented an ideal opportunity in terms of layout and location.

“I wanted to have a really great location and interior space, with a nice corner,” Iricanin said. “I think that this place hit it on every single target: location was great, outer patio, a lot of windows, high ceilings, open kitchen, we have a charcoal grill which is crucial for us and which we don’t have in Capitol Hill… those are the elements that made my decision easy.”

While it hasn’t been finalized yet, Ambar’s menu in Clarendon will be substantially different than that of the Capitol Hill location, Iricanin said.

“We want to do everything differently because it’s easy to copy and paste, but I don’t want my chefs to get their guard down and get relaxed,” he said. “I want to push it to the limits and that’s what I’m going showcase here.”

The menu will include dishes made with fresh, organic meats sourced from Amish farms in Pennsylvania. Lest one think that “Amish farm” is a marketing term, an Amish man — complete with beard and straw hat — was at the restaurant, talking with the chefs Tuesday afternoon.

Iricanin said diners should expect high-quality food at affordable prices. There will be all-you-can eat meal options, he said, the most expensive of which is a $35 all-you-can-eat dinner.

“We really, really want to be a neighborhood spot and we are very price-conscious,” said Iricanin. “For $35… you can try 10-15 different flavors, different textures, different things and we can take you to the whole Balkan region in 2-2.5 hours.”

Iricanin wanted to offer an all-you-can-drink option as well — the all-you-can-drink brunch is popular in D.C. — but Virginia ABC laws prohibit it.

Another notable feature of the restaurant is that it has a DJ booth near the bar. But Iricanin was quick to point out that Ambar is not trying to be a danceclub — instead, the DJs are more about sophisticated nighttime ambiance.

“Obviously any time you dine, you have the background music… and I want to control what I’m playing,” he said. “This is not going to be a club, it’s not going to be a restaurant club, it’s just going to be thoughtfulness behind the process. We have a very nice sound system put in place, and what I want to achieve is that you come here like 10:30 and have a nice dinner while the DJ is playing music. Nothing too loud, nothing too abrasive… but you’re going to feel like you’re at a funky, cool vibe restaurant.”

The full press release about Ambar’s opening, after the jump.

Ivan Iricanin is pleased to announce a third location of his popular Balkan concept, Ambar, which is scheduled to open this October in the heart of Clarendon at 2901 Wilson Blvd, 22201. This will be the second Ambar location in the United State with a third sister restaurant in Belgrade, Serbia.

The new Ambar in Clarendon is a 3,600-square foot restaurant, which will serve the best dishes from the Balkan Peninsula with a modern twist.  Ambar’s menu is artfully presented with modern combinations that deliver flavor profiles in a unique way.  Serbian natives Ivan Iricanin and Mihailo Subotic developed the menu with the help of Executive Chef Chris Hawkins who found inspiration from his recent travels throughout the Balkan region.  Hawkins has served as chef de cuisine of the original Capitol Hill location since February 2015, and has traveled to Serbia multiple times, most recently in July 2016.

Ambar will open with dinner service with breakfast, lunch and brunch to be added at a later date.  Approximately 50 percent of the menu in Clarendon will differ from the Ambar Capitol Hill location.  Fans of the Balkan Experience menu, which showcases Ambar’s entire menu for the table with unlimited servings accompanied by featured beverages at the Capitol Hill location will be delighted to find unlimited food in Virginia for $39 per person.

Guests at the new Ambar will enjoy the confident level of friendly and attentive service, a trademark of the existing locations, while savoring the restaurant’s signature dishes such as Balkan Salad with tomato, pepper, cucumber, onion and aged cow cheese; Cheese Pie with crispy phyllo, cucumber yogurt and roasted red pepper sauce; Balkan Kebab, fresh ground beef, veal and aged Kajmak, and Stuffed Sour Cabbage with potato mash, pork belly, rice and yogurt.  Like Ambar Belgrade’s menu, here guests will also find new additions created on the wood-fired grill and rotisserie, along with breads that are made-to-order.  New additions include the Beet Tzatziki SpreadEggplant and Sesame SpreadLamb Pate, rotisserie lamb and dried cherries; Rotisserie Lamb; Suckling PigVeal Roulade with slaw, potatoes and horseradish sorbet; a Wild Boar Burger with pesto, as well as Lamb Skewers, served with a citrus herb yogurt.  Small plates will be priced from $5 to $19 while large platters of mixed grilled items (made for two) will be priced from $28 to $34.

For the perfect pairing, Ambar will offer a highly selective list of wines showcasing the best of the Balkan region.  Over 45 wines will be available by the bottle from Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia.  Prices range from $26 to $90 by the bottle.  16 wines will also be available by the glass with prices ranging from $6 to $13.  A selection of 10 draft beers will also be available.  Ambar will also be home to Virginia’s first Rakia Bar, which will serve several varieties of the rakia, an alcoholic beverage which is produced by the distillation of fermented fruit and brandy.  Rakia is considered to be the national drink of Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

Iricanin partnered with his wife Nya Gill, a recent graduate of the Interior Architecture & Design MFA program at George Washington University, to design the Clarendon restaurant.  Her design scheme will take advantage of the corner location with floor-to-ceiling windows that afford fabulous light throughout the dining room and bar.

“The first location in Capitol Hill was designed by Branimir Lukic of Atelje AL to interpret of the literal meaning of the word “Ambar” in Serbian language, which means a barn for food storage in farm communities,” says Gill.  “The space evokes the Balkan countryside making ample use of reclaimed wood and warm lighting, with a few modern touches such as the glass staircase.  Sanja Stojakovic designed the second Ambar restaurant in Belgrade, Serbia, which showcases a more open, industrial look with modern and reclaimed wood accents and hand painted murals.  It is a representation of modern day Belgrade with a worldly influence.  As the designer of the third location, I was tasked with finding a way to marry the rustic Capitol Hill design with the modern facets of Belgrade’s space.  We spent a lot of time digging through old photos, learning the history of the city of Belgrade, which serves as the central hub of Eastern Europe.  Almost any design or architectural reference would be a reference to Belgrade because of the sheer amount of changes the city went through over the years.  The result is an interior that is polished and modern, but also references different periods in Belgrade’s history.  Photography is a central feature of the Clarendon design with large format, vintage photography scattered throughout the space.”

The 16-seat bar is the focal point of the space and is adorned with handmade tile, custom brass and glass shelving complimented by antiqued mirrors.  The bar top is made of Carrera marble, and the lower portion of the bar is covered in embossed metal tile.  Above the bar there are playful flush mount lights highlighting a scenic photograph of Old Belgrade plastered from floor-to-ceiling.  The bar area also features a wooden plank ceiling, and a custom sound system.  Across from the bar is a seating area that was created just for this space featuring a bar height banquette upholstered in antiqued leather and marble bar tables.  Here, guests can enjoy a full meal during lunch, brunch or dinner hours or cocktails later in the evening.

The open kitchen is framed in reclaimed wood and features custom oak cabinetry, a marble countertop and vintage recycled security glass.  “We used the exact type of ribbed chicken wire glass found in many apartment buildings in 1920s Europe,” says Gill.

The 130-seat main dining room offers wooden banquettes complete with leather upholstery, and wooden tables and chairs.  A heated sidewalk terrace, complete with covered awning, will also be available during the spring and summer months (weather permitting) and can accommodate and additional 50 guests seated.

Hospitality is at the heart of Ambar. Everything at the restaurant is based on tradition and the unique Balkan version of hospitality elevated to the highest possible level. For centuries, every guest that has visited this region has been treated as the most important person in the household. Following this noble tradition of hospitality,Ambar embraces every guest with a warm and friendly atmosphere that feels like home and provides an epicenter of strong Balkan energy. From one’s taste buds to their feet, diners will be energized by the restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere that casts a Balkan spell, which is the reason Ambar has a loyal following of repeat guests.

Ambar Clarendon is located at 2901 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, 22201, just two blocks from the Clarendon Metro station accessible on the Orange and Silver Lines. The restaurant will be open for dinner Sunday through Thursday, from 4 PM to 10 PM and Friday and Saturday, from 4 PM to 12 AM. Breakfast, lunch and brunch will debut at a later date. Breakfast will be served Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 2 PM. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday, from 11 AM to 2 PM and brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. A live DJ will spin music Friday and Saturday, from 11 PM to 1 AM and a late night menu will also be available. Happy Hour will be served Monday through Friday, from 4 PM to 7 PM. For additional information please call (703) 875-9663 or visit http://www.ambarrestaurant.com.

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Matchbox Restaurant to Open in Pentagon City on Thursday

Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit will be opening in Pentagon City on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman.

The restaurant, which is the company’s tenth Matchbox location, will launch with an updated menu.

Located in the newly-expanded portion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, at 1100 S. Hayes Street, it will feature an expansive, 12,000 square foot, multi-level dining space with a second floor patio.

 

More from a press release:

matchboxfoodgroup will roll out new offerings in all of its matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit locations in August, including the company’s tenth and eleventh matchbox locations, scheduled to open in Arlington, VA and Short Pump, VA in late summer.

matchbox will debut in Arlington, VA in the bustling Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S Hayes Street) with a sprawling 12,000 sq. ft. restaurant, set across two levels with an elevated outdoor dining terrace. Deepening the brand’s roots on the east coast, the company will also debut near Richmond with matchbox slated for Short Pump Town Center (11720 W Broad Street) in a freestanding 7,000 sq. ft. multi-level dining space complete with an outdoor patio. Both locations will prominently feature wood-fired masonry ovens as well as reclaimed materials – highlights of the concept’s signature open, energetic design.

Stephen Lyons, Vice President of Culinary Operations, has spent the summer developing original spins for the concept’s updated menu, and will introduce a number of new sandwiches, entrees and salads. The restaurant’s all-day menu will include two grinders, each served on stuffed and baked wood-fired pizza dough, with flavors such as Italian with salami, prosciutto, and capicola or meatball. The sandwiches join a new fried chicken cobb and seared salmon salad, as well as chicken + walnut pesto fettuccine. Longtime favorites like the 3.6.9 mini burgers and artisanal pizzas continue to anchor the revitalized menu, due to roll out progressively in late summer beginning with matchbox 14th street in Washington, DC.

In 2013 matchbox announced a partnership with famed California winemaker Jed Steele, creating its proprietary “matchbox blend” red wine. This month the partnership expands with a white wine blend, which Steele expects to fully roll out in fall with limited availability beginning late summer. matchbox Co-Founder Ty Neal shares, “Outstanding wine does not have to be expensive, and we are so happy with the blend Jed has developed for us. It’s approachable and refined, and we are proud to serve it.”

The brand’s proprietary bottled wines join a focused list of American craft spirits and beers, as well as an innovative draft wine system that is now standard at new locations.

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Tech Education Business to Open Arlington Campus

global assemblyArlington is set to get an outpost of a global company that focuses on tech education.

General Assembly is opening a campus in a yet-to-be-determined location in the county, company spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said today. The outpost is slated to arrive by the end of the year, along with nine other new campuses around the world.

At General Assembly, students can hone their computer skills — including coding, design and digital marketing — through short courses and 12-week “boot camp” classes online and in 15 campuses, including outposts in D.C., New York, London and Hong Kong.

“General Assembly is choosing to open new campuses in less traditional tech hotspots to increase accessibility for those looking to obtain in-demand digital skills,” Roberts said in an email. “Companies outside the Silicon Alleys and Valleys of the world can now leverage GA to hire a more diverse talent as well.”

Before the Arlington campus opens, General Assembly is scheduled to hold classes and workshops throughout Northern Virginia, including in Crystal City and Rosslyn.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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‘Pop-Up’ Rowing Gym Opens in Clarendon

rowvigorIndoor rowing gym RowVigor has opened its first location, a “pop-up” studio in Clarendon.

The studio, located inside the Saffron Dance studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd, will offer free trials and promotional packages through the end of the summer.

One of the company’s three founders, Kevin Allen, was a contestant on the second season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice reality show. He suggested that indoor rowing could be the next big trend in the fitness industry.

“Rowing as fitness has been in the dark for too long and our vision is to bring it to the light starting first with those communities that have known the benefits for years,” said Allen. “Cities like Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland have strong on-water rowing communities and are starving for an organized indoor experience that can connect them with rowing fitness enthusiast around the world. We are excited to be the entity to fill this need.”

The studio will have eight Concept 2 rowing machines and it offers a variety of different classes during the early mornings and late afternoons.

The company’s press release is below.

Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland will have an opportunity to experience the area’s first indoor-rowing fitness studio at the ROWViGOR™ “Pop Up” located in Arlington, Virginia. Starting today and through the end of summer they will be offering free trials and promotional packages.

ROWViGOR™ is building a presence in the DC / Virginia metro area to support the growing need for a fitness experience that builds community through technology and rowing. Top fitness experiences like CrossFit™ already use indoor rowing as an essential part of their mix but ROWViGOR™ believes it deserves it’s own environment. The “Pop Up” will open August 1, just three blocks from the Clarendon metro station inside Saffron Studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd. Open to all skill levels, individuals can choose to row for fitness as an individual or as a team.

Technology and data collection will help drive goal setting and camaraderie. With a small group training philosophy, the studio will have eight Concept 2 Rowers. Coaches are hand selected and trained through an exclusive program developed by rowing and fitness professionals specifically for ROWViGOR™. The experience will include dynamic music, innovative interval training and most important, great fun. The low-impact high efficient cardiovascular workouts strengthen and tone upper and lower body while packing an intense fat burn.

“Rowing as fitness has been in the dark for too long and our vision is to bring it to the light starting first with those communities that have known the benefits for years.  Cities like Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland have strong on-water rowing communities and are starving for an organized indoor experience that can connect them with rowing fitness enthusiast around the world.  We are excited to be the entity to fill this need.” – Kevin Allen ROWViGOR™ Managing Partner

About ROWViGOR™

Founded in 2016 by Kevin Allen (Donald Trump’s Season 2 The Apprentice), Fola Awosika and Moses McCall, The partners realized the fitness benefits of rowing and how data based technology would lead and enhance our fitness choices. With strong support from notable rowing expert Libby Peters, (Founder of Philadelphia CityRowing, University Penn Assistant Rowing Coach and 2nd Coach to the US 2016 Olympic Rowing Team) they plan to break the boundaries of rowing and open it up to new generations and new communities.  #RespectYourVigor

Photo courtesy of RowVigor

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Pentagon City Whole Foods Opening Tomorrow

The new Whole Foods store in Pentagon City will open its doors at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).

Located at the corner of S. Eads Street and 12th Street S., two blocks from the Metro station, the 36,800-square-foot store will serve both those who live and work in the area — Pentagon City is growing with new apartment towers and other planned development — and those driving in from elsewhere. Underground parking is available.

As part of tomorrow’s opening, the store will holding a “bread-breaking ceremony.”

“The public is invited to join team members and community leaders in a bread-breaking ceremony that begins at 8:45 a.m. and will include the presentation of a $2,000 check to the Arlington Food Assistance Center,” said a press release. “Opening day shoppers will experience first-to-market exclusive products and special door buster savings. The first 500 shoppers who spend $50 will receive a limited edition Whole Foods Market Pentagon City canvas tote bag.”

“Those who can’t make the bread-breaking ceremony will want to stop by for the store’s inaugural happy hour from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, when chef, restaurateur, reality TV star and winemaker Fabio Viviani will meet customers and sign bottles of his wine collection – Fabio Viviani Wines,” said the press release.

On Thursday, its second day in business, the store will donate 5 percent of the day’s sales to two local nonprofits — Blue Star Families in Falls Church, which supports D.C. area military families, and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

In Pentagon City, Whole Foods is seeking for be more than a grocery store — there’s a bar, a coffee shop and other features intended to get customers hanging out instead of just shopping.

Among the store’s features are:

  • “A full service coffee and juice bar with nitro dispensed cold brew coffee, hemp milk lattes, cold brew teas, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and acai bowls.”
  • “Farmstand Freeze. Fruits and veggies are frozen overnight, put in a Pacojet machine and shaved while injecting air to create a light, fluffy, fruity frozen dessert. Low sugar, only sweetened with honey and dates, and also non-dairy.”
  • “The Basin Barroom, offering 15 beers and one flavor of kombucha on tap, as well as wine and cocktails.” Plus a seafood-focused food menu that includes “a must-try lobster roll served on local favorite LeoNora Gourmet Bakery’s split top roll.”
  • “Paper Horse, ramen master Erik Brunner-Yang’s latest venue.”
  • “In-house smoked and dry-aged meats.”
  • “Eight varieties of scratch-baked bread daily.”
  • An extensive bulk foods aisle.
  • A barbecue station, featuring smoked meats and sauces.
  • A kitchen that includes a large pizza oven.
  • A dog-friendly outdoor patio.
  • “More than 2,500 organic offerings in the grocery aisles… Every product in the store will be free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated oils.”

Disclosure: Whole Foods is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

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Crystal City Climbing Gym Set to Open Soon

The Earth Treks climbing gym in Crystal City is expected to open soon, perhaps by late July.

ARLnow reported last year that the gym in Crystal City was expected to open in “late spring,” however the opening date has since been pushed back.

“We’re presently targeting the second half of July,” said Earth Treks VP Chris Jenkins. “We’re in the home stretch, but I still don’t have an exact date.”

He said the company may wait a month or two after the gym’s initial opening to hold a grand opening event.

“We are going to have a member’s ‘grand opening’ party, but not immediately after we open,” said Jenkins. “As it would be open to members primarily we like to have a little breathing space between when we open the doors and when we have our first big event celebrating it so we have some time to build the membership base.”

The gym features a 35,000-square-foot climbing area along with training areas, dedicated yoga and group fitness rooms and private climbing teaching areas.

This will be Earth Treks’ first Virginia location. The company has three other gyms in Maryland, located in Rockville, Timonium, and Columbia.

Photos courtesy Earth Treks

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Hula Girl Now Open in Shirlington

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A new Hawaiian-inspired restaurant has opened in Shirlington.

Hula Girl Bar and Grill, a restaurant based on a popular food truck, originally opened last week at 4044 Campbell Avenue. It closed unexpectedly over the weekend due to a power issue, but reopened for dinner last night (Monday).

Hula Girl’s furnishings are unmistakably Hawaiian, down to flip flops on the wall, surf boards hanging from the ceiling, Spam cans on the tables, surf films on the TVs and the Outrigger Canoe Club hat on chef/owner Mikala Brennan’s head.

The food menu includes Poke, a Hawaiian raw fish dish, along with a Hula Girl teriyaki plate, grilled mahi-mahi and barbecue ribs. There are also salads, sides and desserts to choose from, all island inspired.

On the beverage menu, beers from Maui Brewing and Kona Brewing are featured along with local brews. A wine menu has selections from relatively exotic non-Hawaiian locales: Texas, New York, Michigan, New Mexico and Maryland, among other more standard winemaking regions.

The cocktail menu includes plenty of tropical fruit and names like “Hawaii Kai Margarita,” “Blue HI,” “Say Pineapple 5X Fast” and “Never Below 75,” along with a signature Hula Girl Mai Tai.

While overworked, Brennan said she “feels great” about the new brick and mortar extension of her food truck vision.

“I had been looking for a location for 2 years — and we finally found our home here in Shirlington,” she told ARLnow.com. “The community has been so supportive and positive with us opening — feels like the Aloha Spirit is coming alive!”

Hula Girl is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Lunch service is expected to begin “late December.”

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