The Westover beer garden will again be a topic of conversation before the Arlington County Board this weekend.
In the latest installment of the Westover Market’s saga to operate their outdoor beer garden as they see fit, County Manager Mark Schwartz has recommended that the County Board advertise a public hearing which will consider new use permits for the market and beer garden.
Westover Market wants to expand the current 29 outdoor cafe seats, as permitted by current county code, to 102. It also wants to be able to host live music more often, expand the days in which it can use amplifiers during live music performances and play background music when live music isn’t taking place.
Outdoor live entertainment is presently permitted at these times:
From April 1 through October 31
Wednesdays: 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.
Fridays: 6 p.m. through 10 p.m.
Saturdays: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The market has proposed the following hours to the county:
From April 1 through October 31
Wednesdays: 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.
Thursdays: 6 p.m. through 9 p.m.
Fridays: 6 p.m. through 10 p.m.
Saturdays: 5 p.m. through 9 p.m.
Sundays which precede a federal holiday: 5 p.m. through 9 p.m.
Zoning issues have dogged the business, which at one point had a two year amplified musical hiatus as it waited for county permission. Noise complaints have also weighed down the market’s efforts to expand its live music entertainment in the past.
Typically permit amendments cannot be reviewed by the County Board within 360 days of its last consideration. The exception is for the County Board to review the use permit application “on its own motion,” as the County Manager has recommended has recommended in this case.
Westover Market, originally a smaller grocery store that has evolved into a more drinking and entertainment focused establishment, is located at 5863 Washington Boulevard.
A just-opened beer garden on Columbia Pike is applying to keep its patio in part of the sidewalk on S. Walter Reed Drive.
BrickHaus (2900 Columbia Pike) opened in September after months of delays. It is applying to keep its outdoor patio, which encroaches on the public right-of-way on S. Walter Reed Drive, near the intersection with Columbia Pike. The sidewalk is still approximately six feet wide in the area.
If the Arlington County Board approves the plan at its meeting Saturday (January 27), the encroachment would be permitted to continue “until the structures encroaching into the right-of-way are destroyed, removed, no longer in use, or not continuously and promptly maintained by the Applicant,” per a staff report.
The restaurant agreed to pay $429.54 to the county as compensation for the encroachment, and will be required to maintain its patio.
BrickHaus could also be forced to remove its fire pit from the same area. Under the terms of its Use Permit from the county, it must remove the fire pit and either remove or abandon the attached gas line before receiving a Certificate of Occupancy for safety reasons.
Staff recommended the Board allow the patio encroachment.
After the recent fight over the Westover Beer Garden’s outdoor seating, the Arlington County Board will consider some changes at its meeting next month.
Under a plan put forward by staff, the County Board could review the seating capacity and hours of piped-in music in outdoor seats governed by a use permit, like the Westover Beer Garden, on a case-by-case basis. It would mean the Board can approve exceptions to the rules of a use permit individually.
Standards that cannot be modified under a use permit include parking requirements, the use of portable lights and furniture and tying their opening hours to the attached restaurant’s.
The beer garden at 5863 Washington Blvd ran into difficulties earlier this year when it tried to add to its outdoor seating as county use permits expressly forbid having more outdoor seats than indoor seats.
That stands in contrast to the just-open Continental Beer Garden in Rosslyn, which has many more seats outside than inside and can do so because it went through a site plan process, which requires County Board approval and is much more involved than a standard administrative permit process.
Similarly, the proposed beer garden known as “The Lot” in Clarendon would need to go through a site plan process to ensure it can have more seats outside than inside under the current rules.
Staff said outdoor seating cannot be considered as permanent seating for a restaurant, and must continue to be treated as an optional extra.
“Because it is an accessory use, an outdoor café is not considered a permanent expansion of a restaurant’s seating capacity, as it is a transitory use which provides patrons with additional seating options on days with pleasant weather,” staff wrote. “The accessory outdoor café also goes largely unused during periods of cold, snow, and rain.”
The County Board voted unanimously Saturday to hold a public hearing on the subject at its November meeting. Staff will make a recommendation on whether the Board should adopt the changes beforehand, with the Planning Commission also set to weigh in.
Photo via Facebook.
A new beer garden in Rosslyn will open tomorrow afternoon, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday celebrations.
The Continental Beer Garden at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive will open to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Its regular hours will be 3:30-11 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. It will have space to seat 180 people: 150 outside and 30 inside.
Also outside are two full-sized bocce courts, with picnic tables and other seating dotted around the space. Work included a full renovation of the former service station located under the office building.
As of Thursday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the outdoor seating area and bringing in barrels of beer and other drinks.
Beers from Virginia and Germany will be served by the pint or pitcher, while wine can be ordered by glass or carafe from kegs. A slushy machine will also be among the drink offerings.
On the food menu is a selection of sausages including bratwurst with sauerkraut and a classic D.C. halfsmoke with grilled onions and cheese. There will also be other snacks, entree salads, a selection of skewers served over basil quinoa salad and hot sandwiches like grilled cheese and pulled pork.
The beer garden is owned by Curt Large, who also owns the nearby Continental Pool Lounge. The project received support from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and landlord JBG.
Advocates for the Westover Beer Garden helped convince the County Board to try to change the local law governing outdoor seating at restaurants and bars.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Board directed County Manager Mark Schwartz to suggest revisions to County Code to provide more flexibility to those who wish to add more seats outside than inside.
Under current law, the beer garden at 5863 Washington Blvd cannot add to its outdoor seating, as county use permits expressly forbid having more outdoor seats than indoor seats.
That stands in contrast to the soon-to-open Continental Beer Garden in Rosslyn, which has many more seats outside than inside and can do so because it went through a site plan process, which requires County Board approval and is much more involved than a standard administrative permit process.
“We have recently heard from the owner and many patrons that they would like the opportunity to expand the outdoor seating at the Westover Beer Garden beyond the number currently permitted by law,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said. “As it turns out, the long-standing County Code places significant restrictions on outdoor seating for retail establishments – and specifically prohibits flexibility if governed through a use permit, while allowing more flexibility if sought through a site plan amendment.”
Supporters of the Westover Beer Garden showed up to Tuesday’s meeting to testify on the Continental Beer Garden and highlight the differences between the two. Westover has faced an ongoing battle with the county over its outdoor seating, as it applied recently to expand its currently-allowed 24 seats and its live music offerings.
Having exceeded that total and received a citation from the county, Westover must comply with its use permit by June 1. But owner Dave Hicks said sticking to 24 seats will cause problems for the business.
“If required on June 1 to reduce seating to 24 seats (a third of what we have now), Westover Market is not a viable business,” Hicks wrote on the “Save the Westover Beer Garden” Facebook page. “June is one of our busiest months. We have 22 employees and would have to reduce that number by half. But even that wouldn’t pay the rent, taxes, electricity and other fixed expenses.”
Fisette set the goal of the County Board taking action by October, after a review process that will involve the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee of the Planning Commission. Planning director Robert Duffy said staff will work “aggressively” to meet that goal.
Board member John Vihstadt said revising the County Code will mean “equitability in terms of our planning,” while Fisette said it is important to protect places like the Westover Beer Garden.
“Part of Arlington’s success has been in creating active public spaces and a vibrant pedestrian realm,” Fisette said. “We recognize the value of lively and safe community gathering spaces which bring people together and help knit the fabric of our various neighborhoods — places such as the Westover Beer Garden.”
Kalina Newman contributed reporting.
Stock up on discounted drink tickets to use at Crystal City’s popular outdoor beer and wine garden.
Open every Friday starting in June, Fridays at the Fountain not only features a new name (formerly Wine in the Water Park), but also a vastly expanded schedule stretching all the way through October and an upgraded line-up of live music.
The bar serves delicious offerings of beer and wine, all of which are available for take-home purchases at the Crystal City Wine Shop down the street from the event.
Drink tickets, normally $5 each on site, are available for 50 percent off their online price in this exclusive pack of 5 tickets available for $10 (normally $20 online). Only a limited supply is available so act fast!
As an added bonus, the Crystal City drink cards are redeemable at any Crystal City BID event that features a cash/credit bar including the upcoming Father’s Day Auto Festival.
Purchase Today’s Deal Now
Discount Code: FridaysFountainDeal17
WHEN: Every Friday June through October from 5-9 p.m.
WHERE: The Fountain (aka Crystal City Water Park) at 1751 Crystal Drive
WHAT: Crystal City’s popular outdoor beer and wine garden returns with a new name and a vastly expanded season stretching from June all the way through October. Open for business immediately after work at 5 p.m., ease into the weekend with a delicious beverage, live music, or even a discounted painting session with ArtJamz. All beverages are also available for take-home purchases at the Crystal City Wine Shop.
Rosslyn’s new 180-seat indoor and outdoor beer garden is slated to open next month.
The Continental Beer Garden at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive transforms what was once a service station under an office building.
Continental’s outdoor space is equipped with bocce courts, patio sofas and lounge chairs, picnic tables and a long communal high top table for 150 people. Workers also added lights, flower boxes, tree planters and a mural.
Inside, reconditioned garage doors open to an indoor bar and kitchen with seating for another 30 people. The beer garden is owned by Curt Large, who also owns the nearby Continental Pool Lounge. The project received support from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and landlord JBG.
Beers from Virginia and Germany will be served by the pint or pitcher, while wine can be ordered by glass or carafe from kegs. A slushy machine will also be among the drink offerings.
On the food menu, chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley has introduced a selection of sausages including bratwurst with sauerkraut and a classic D.C. halfsmoke with grilled onions and cheese.
Meek-Bradley, who was a finalist on the 13th season of the Food Network’s “Top Chef,” has added other snacks, entree salads, a selection of skewers served over basil quinoa salad and hot sandwiches like grilled cheese and pulled pork.
Once open, Continental’s hours will be 3-11 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. A firm opening date has not been set yet.
Westover Market — which combines a grocery store, restaurant and beer garden — went before the County Board late last month in a bid to add live indoor entertainment, expand its outdoor entertainment hours and have furniture on its patio year-round.
But that plan was scuttled in part by county staff finding the business at 5863 Washington Blvd violated several county rules. Some of the violations came to light the week before Westover Market went before the County Board and were included in the staff report on the plan.
In addition to alleged noise violations, Westover Market was accused of having more seats than it is allowed outside. The county states it can have a maximum of 29 outdoor seats, but in the April 25 meeting, CEO Devin Hicks admitted there are more than that.
According to a “Save the Beer Westover Garden” Facebook page, which has been active for several years through Westover Market’s issues with the county and a few neighbors, the owners of the market are scheduled to meet with county staff this Friday.
They will reportedly ask the county to suspend enforcement of the limit on seating on the patio, and have asked the fire marshall’s office for its opinion on a safe capacity. The market said it will also do the sound testing as required, and will comply with decibel limits and the hours that music is allowed.
Owner David Hicks wrote in a Facebook post that the business needs the extra seating to keep revenue up and survive.
“Here is the bottom line regarding Westover Market,” he wrote. “The business is not viable without the beer garden revenue. The beer garden is not viable without additional seating/occupancy. Every other problem can be overcome — including limits on music noise and restrictions on live music. But the outdoor seating is existential for the Market.”
“This would be devastating to the employees, the community, and not a good outcome for the county,” the Save the Westover Beer Garden said in another post. “We want the county to work with us to develop a plan that allows the beer garden’s continued existence and supports small businesses across the county.”
Representatives with Westover Market tried in vain to just add extra seating during the County Board meeting, only to be rebuffed as members said they wanted to see compliance with the rules already in place.
“This is actually fairly easy for me,” said Board member Christian Dorsey. “Let’s establish a record of continuing to move forward with compliance before considering other alternatives. That’s all I see to this issue.”
County Board chair Jay Fisette said he was open to considering expanding the outdoor seating in the future if the market complies.
“I understand it’s a violation. But I also sit here and go almost everybody loves this place,” he said. “It’s a really popular neighborhood place. We’re talking about sound, we’re talking about nights and all the rest, but they’ve obviously got more interest than the condition allows them to have seats outside under the permit.”
Photo via Facebook
Rosslyn is slated to get a new 180-seat indoor and outdoor beer garden this April.
Or at least, that’s the plan, said owner Curt Large, who also owns nearby Continental Pool Lounge. Large is working to open a new hangout dubbed the Continental Beer Garden in a space currently used as a pop-up urban park with tables, chairs, potted plants and a mural at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street.
“Everything still has to come together,” Large said. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but all the finishes need to occur.”
As ARLnow.com originally reported last August, the work includes a full renovation of the former service station located under the office building at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive. That indoor area will be transformed into a bar and small seating area with a kitchen and bathrooms. But the real action happens outside, Large said. When it opens, the 4,000 square foot outdoor beer garden will have two bocce courts, picnic tables, outdoor sofas and comfy chairs.
“We hope that the seats fill up just because there’s demand for it,” he said. “As soon as the weather gets nice, people who are in offices all day will want to spend some time outside.”
At the bar, patrons can order beers from Virginia breweries such as Port City and Lost Rhino, Large said. The beer garden will also serve a couple German beers, a selection of wines on tap and happy hour mainstays such as sausage platters, meat skewers and pretzels with beer cheese.
Large started working on the former service station in 2013, when it was occupied by cars and two dumpsters.
“I walked past the space one day and had an epiphany,” he said. “This should be a beer garden.”
The space sat vacant for about two decades before being converted to an outdoor seating area by property owner JBG and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in 2014. In the past, the lot has seen a number of events, including a pop-up beer garden organized by the Continental two years ago.
New Restaurants Coming to Rosslyn — A bunch of new restaurants and a cafe are coming to Rosslyn as part of the under-construction Central Place project. Fast casual eateries Sweetgreen, Nando’s Peri-Peri and The Little Beet are signing deals with developer JBG. A Compass Coffee is also set to open and negotiations are reportedly underway with Cava Grill. [Washington Business Journal]
Sidewalk Cafe for Pike Beer Garden — The Arlington County Board last night approved a use permit that will allow the future beer garden at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive to operate a 32-seat outdoor cafe. The outdoor seating will “enliven the restaurant space and provide greater activity on this corner” of Columbia Pike, county staff wrote. County Board members expressed enthusiasm for the business, from the owner of nearby Twisted Vines, with Jay Fisette calling it “a fabulous use for this site.” [Arlington County]
Neighborhood Conservation Projects Approved — Last night the County Board approved $4.7 million in funding for six neighborhood conservation projects. The projects include a neighborhood sign for the recently-renamed Arlington Mill neighborhood; street improvement projects in Yorktown, Waverly Hills and Lyon Park; new LED streetlights in Arlington Heights; and a vegetation and sidewalk project in Boulevard Manor. [Arlington County]
Guas Appears on ‘Chopped Junior’ — Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Courthouse was back on national TV last night, starring as a judge on the Food Network show “Chopped Junior.” [Patch]
WERA Anniversary Nears — Arlington’s own community radio station WERA will be celebrating its first anniversary in just over two months. The low-power FM station is “having an impact,” with some ninety producers generating local programming. Fundraising for the station, however, has been sluggish. [InsideNova]
Fmr. Sen. Warner to Endorse Clinton — At an event in Alexandria this morning, five-term former U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) is expected to endorse the presidential ticket of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). It will be the first time Warner has endorsed a Democrat for president. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Continental Pool Lounge is expanding with a new, 180-seat indoor/outdoor beer garden.
The new Continental Beer Garden will be located in what’s currently a pop-up urban park with tables, chairs, potted plants and a mural, at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street. Despite being a block from the Metro station, in the bustling, bus-clogged heart of Rosslyn, the 4,000 square foot outdoor beer garden will be a relaxing place to eat, drink and have fun with friends, says Continental owner Curt Large.
“The seating will include a large communal table, picnic tables, outdoor sofas and Adirondack chairs,” Large told ARLnow.com. “Our menu will feature foods meant for sharing, including sausages, appetizers, and other light fare. The beer garden will showcase local Virginia craft beer along with a couple of German brews. Continental will also build outdoor bocce courts for beer garden patrons and will host bocce tournaments and leagues.”
The space, which is just steps away from the Continental Pool Lounge, was formerly the parking lot of a service station. It sat vacant for some two decades, Large said, before being converted to an outdoor seating area by property owner JBG and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in 2014. The space has hosted a number of events, including a pop-up beer garden organized by the Continental two years ago.
Large says the inside of the service station will be incorporated into the beer garden.
“We will also renovate the interior service station area, located under the office building at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive,” he said. “The approximately 1,000 foot area will have a bar and small seating area, along with a kitchen and bathrooms. The interior will embrace the industrial grit of the former service station, showcasing some great 1970s vintage garage cabinets and signs behind the bar area.”
Mary-Claire Burick, head of the Rosslyn BID, said the beer garden will be a welcome new amenity for the area, building upon the “pop-up” events that have been held there over the past two years.
“This is a big part of what we do as a BID,” she said. “We saw this underutilized, industrial open space with a ton of foot traffic and made it a priority to reclaim and activate it with our partners, Continental Pool Lounge and JBG. ”
Large has applied for building permits and a liquor permit. He hopes to open the beer garden in the spring of 2017.
The beer garden, which is located in the back patio of the Clarendon watering hole, first started serving customers last Thursday. With the sun finally shining after some not-so-nice weather this month, hopes are high for big crowds.
“We are really happy it’s here and our hope is that it will be something that our customers want,” said co-owner Nick Freshman.
“The goal in building it was to create a new outdoor space sort of supplemental to the space that we have inside,” Freshman said. “We kept a lot of the theme from the inside to the outside.”
A local graffiti artist, Andrew Funk, was hired to do a custom graffiti mural to add color to the space and to match the graffiti art inside.
The casual outdoor space offers seating for small and large groups. There is a combination of communal style seating with picnic benches and seating around two fire pits. There is also hightop seating at the bar. The large space offers a capacity of up to 300 people.
Beers, sangrias and ciders are served in the beer garden, and the beer list has been substantially expanded. There are 30 offered cans and 16 tap lines. There are also three homemade sangrias: red, white and sparkling.
For those arriving after work, there is a $4 happy hour drink special. The entire food menu is offered outside.
It’s being billed as a beer garden — arguably the first or one of the first in Clarendon — and within about a month it will start serving Clarendon bar-goers who want to want to enjoy their brews outside.
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd) is currently putting the finishing touches on a new, 2,500 square foot outdoor patio. It’s located to the right of the Clarendon watering hole’s back door, behind Don Tito and across N. Hudson Street from Brixx Pizza.
No opening date has been set yet, but co-owner Nick Freshman says he’s hoping planning to open “sometime before Memorial Day weekend.”
“It’s an extension of existing SK with same style and atmosphere,” Freshman tells ARLnow.com. The beer garden will feature:
- Capacity for 300
- 20+ foot concrete bar with canvas awning
- Two fire pits
- Bar tables, communal picnic style tables, benches and other types of seating
- A large, commissioned graffiti-style mural
- Six-foot fence around the patio
- Lots of beer: 16 taps, 30 cans, ciders, sangrias, etc.
- Large, telescoping umbrellas for shade
- Tivoli-style string lighting
Freshman said Spider Kelly’s is also adding new bathrooms inside, doubling the existing restroom capacity.
The outside patio Copperwood Tavern, the farm-focused restaurant at 4021 Campbell Ave. in Shirlington, is going to have a campfire-esque feel this winter.
The restaurant, which opened last fall, has installed two propane-powered fire pits, which it will turn on every day starting at 5:00 p.m. The tables surrounding the fire pits will be first come, first served and there will be complimentary fleece blankets available, according to director of operations Jon Gardiner.
“Nobody else in the area is doing it,” Gardiner told ARLnow.com yesterday. “It looks nice and it distinguishes us even more from the surrounding businesses.”
In addition to the blankets, Copperwood is also rolling out a hot cocktail menu with outdoor patrons in mind. On the menu will be “Moonshine with coco syrup, coffee and crème; Spiced Rum with apple cider redux, lemon and nutmeg; Apple Brandy with port-vanilla syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange; and Bourbon with lemon, honey syrup, orange and clove.”
Copperwood is also offering s’mores kits for customers to roast over the flames, Gardiner said.
In December, county staff recommended that Velocity 5’s popular outdoor patio be forced to stop serving food and drink at 11:00 p.m., in response to “community concerns about noise.” That’s despite a report from the police department saying that noise complaints were down by 50 percent.
The owners of Velocity 5’s Courthouse location, which changed hands in early 2013, rallied supporters via social media after learning of the staff recommendation. Dozens showed up at the Dec. 17 County Board meeting where the proposal — part of the renewal of Velocity 5’s live entertainment permit — was under consideration. The Board ended up deferring the proposal until January to allow staff more time to work with the owners.
Co-owner Matt Rofougaran says the early serving cut-off could have put the restaurant, which employs about 30 people, out of business. Some 30-40 percent of Velocity 5’s revenue comes from the patio, he said.
“I would be shocked if we would be able to stay open… if they close that patio,” Rofougaran told ARLnow.com in December. “It’s not fair, they’re trying to punish us for something that we improved on.”
Rofougaran contended that the majority of the noise complaints came from one or two residents of the next-door Archstone Courthouse Plaza apartments.
“Most of the complaints were from one guy… who had problems with the previous owner,” he said. “A lot of customers live in the building and say they don’t hear anything from their apartments.”
Rofougaran said one complaint was for a barking dog on the patio, another was for a group of people singing “happy birthday,” and yet another was for boisterous people — who weren’t customers — walking by the patio.
After making their case, Rofougaran said the Board was “actually helping us” sort through the issues.
As a result, at its upcoming meeting on Saturday, the Board is slated to consider a new live entertainment permit renewal that does not place restrictions on Velocity 5’s outdoor serving hours. The patio will still be allowed to stay open and serve customers until 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday and until midnight Sunday through Thursday.
Velocity 5 will, however, face some new restrictions. It will need to hire a security guard to monitor the patio after 8:00 p.m. when it’s at capacity. Also, it will need to turn off any outdoor music at 10:00 p.m. and will have to turn off outdoor televisions at 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
“Staff is not recommending that the outdoor seating area be closed at any specific time; instead, it is expected that the additional security presence outdoors will mitigate the impacts of the use,” the new county staff report. It adds that complaints about noise have been made by “a few residents” of the apartment building.
“The staff has agreed to work with us and has recommended changes to the entertainment license that we will gladly abide by,” Rofougaran said via email Tuesday. “We thank everyone for all their help, including the staff and the community that helped support us.”
Velocity 5 is still slated to be rebranded as “Social Haus,” as earlier reported. Rofougaran says they’re planning close the restaurant in early February for renovations. It’s expected to reopen as Social Haus in early March.