The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office served an eviction at 201 Chain Bridge Road, the palatial former home of former multimillionaire Rodney Hunt, on Monday.
Also known as the the RPH Mansion, the 20,000 square foot estate has, over the past couple of years, hosted wild “mansion parties,” one of which led to a drive-by shooting in nearby McLean this past summer. It is also a frequent destination for police, with numerous robbery, burglary and disturbance calls during that time span.
The Washington Post reported in September that Hunt was fighting eviction after the property, which overlooks the Potomac River and was once valued at $24 million, was sold to at a foreclosure auction for $7.3 million. In December, Hunt lost his legal battle to keep the home. On Jan. 11, a Writ of Possession was issued, according to court records, marking the last legal step before Monday’s eviction.
Two unmarked moving vans and several people could be seen inside the gates of the property Monday afternoon. A number of Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked outside. At one point, a black Lincoln Town Car was towed out of an underground garage.
Hunt’s case, meanwhile, continues to be a source of fascination and intrigue. He went from having an estimated net worth of $265 million in 2007 to foreclosure in 2012, bankruptcy in 2015 and then spending part of last year in jail for a parole violation. Two fines from his August court appearance — for $236 and $91 — are marked past due in court records.
Last year ARLnow.com received an anonymous letter, sent via the mail, raising questions about Hunt’s path to bankruptcy. The letter suggested there was a conspiracy against Hunt; the accusations were similar in tone to Hunt’s own assertions in court papers, as reported by the Post.
Even though Arlington doesn’t have any large, centrally-located New Year’s Eve celebration — like New York City’s ball drop in Times Square — local police are getting ready for a busier than usual night on Saturday.
Scanner traffic indicates that today officers are stopping at businesses that are holding celebrations tomorrow night. Police are doing preemptive safety checks, asking management about things like how many people each business expects for its celebration and how many employees or additional security staff will be present.
There are no known, specific threats to public safety in Arlington, according to police spokesman Capt. Bruce Benson, but ACPD will have extra officers in the Clarendon area on Saturday evening. Extra officers will also be on duty throughout the county to patrol for drunk drivers.
“We really want everyone to enjoy the New Year celebration in Arlington,” says Benson. “We certainly have some great restaurants and bars and invite everyone to take advantage of them, but we also ask everyone to be responsible and get home safely. There is no excuse to drive drunk.”
Police encourage everyone to pay attention to the message of the half-police cruiser, half-taxi Chooser Cruiser, currently stationed in Clarendon: Take advantage of the many safe options available for post-party transportation or you might find yourself in the back of a police car. Some options include using a designated driver, a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, the free SoberRide taxi program (1-800-200-TAXI), and the free Metrorail and Metrobus rides after midnight Saturday.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 30, 2016
Want to stay in Arlington (or, at least, within a stone’s throw of Arlington) but still go out for New Year’s Eve?
Good news: With just over a week and a half until New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of local options still available for New Year’s procrastinators. A list of NYE parties that you can walk back from, if necessary, is below.
2017 NYE Decades Sehkraft Brewing
Sehkraft Brewing (925 N. Garfield St.)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Ring in the New Year in Clarendon with the cover band “Girls Night Out” and DJ Fusion as they play hit songs from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Tickets start at $30 and include drink tickets, a VIP entrance and party favors.
New Years Eve at Don Tito!
Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Clarendon’s “hottest tequila bar” will be hosting a New Year’s Eve bash. General Admission starts at $40 and includes three drink tickets, party favors and a VIP entry. Tables start at $350 with a bottle of champagne and 15 drink tickets.
Highline New Year’s Eve
Highline RxR (2010 Crystal Drive)
Time: 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Celebrate the New Year in Crystal City at one of the D.C. area’s newest bars. There will be a huge dance floor, a photo-booth, selfie station, buffet, open bar, a “killer” DJ and more. Tickets start at $109.
Copperwood Tavern New Year’s Eve Celebration
Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Ave.)
Time: 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
Reserve a table at Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington for a prix fixe three course dinner, a champagne toast at midnight and other party favors to ring in the New Year. Tickets start at $55 and the doors open at 4 p.m.
New Year’s Eve 2017 Maskquerade at A-Town
A-Town Bar & Grill (4100 Fairfax Dr.)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Join A-Town at their 5th-annual New Year’s bash. General admission starts at $35 with three drink tickets and VIP tables start at $300 with a bottle of champagne, 15 drink tickets and two appetizer samples. Ticket prices increase closer to the event.
A Beautiful Bourbon NYE 2017
Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Rosslyn’s bourbon bar will be ringing in the New Year in style. Pricing starts at $45 includes three drink tickets for premium beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and a champagne toast at midnight. Drink tickets may be used for bourbons and whiskeys.
A Gatsby New Year’s Eve at Sequoia (Georgetown Waterfront)
Sequoia Georgetown Waterfront (3000 K St. NW)
Time: 9 p.m.-12 a.m
Join Local Social and Project DC for a Great Gatsby New Year’s event at the Georgetown waterfront, overlooking beautiful Rosslyn. Tickets start at $155 and includes several open bars, a dinner buffet, a champagne toast and a heated outdoor patio.
Clarendon Ballroom 17th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala
Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Liquid A, DJ Lil Fos and Hurley will be performing at Clarendon Ballroom’s 17th Annual New Year’s Gala. There will be two levels of entertainment, dinner buffet, champagne, midnight balloon drop and four drink tickets will be included in your purchase.
6th Annual NYE Prohibition Casino Night
Hyatt Regency at Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy.)
Time: 8 p.m.-3 a.m.
Gold Boot Entertainment will be hosting their 6th annual New Year’s event at the Hyatt in Crystal City. There will be a surprise guest DJ, five levels of entertainment, various games & shows, 20 cash bars and much more. Semi-formal attire is required.
New Year’s Eve at the Drafthouse with DJ G-Mills
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
Time: 7:30 p.m.-12:15 a.m.
Looking for a more low-key experience this year? For $15, the Drafthouse is hosting an ’80s-themed New Year’s party where you can enjoy the ball drop table-side on the huge screen, music by DJ Mills, and various party favors.
New Year’s Eve in The Wine Bar
Northside Social (3211 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Northside Social is ringing in the New Year with a wine and dinner celebration, featuring a sparkling wine line-up and Chef Matt Hill’s five course menu for a pairing. Dinner starts at 8:30 p.m. with a sparkling toast at midnight.
Clarendon Grill New Year’s Eve Party
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland St.)
Time: doors open at 8 p.m.
Celebrate the new year with My Hero Zero at Clarendon Grill. Tickets start at $45 and include the live performance, three drink tickets, a large food buffet, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.
7th Annual New Year’s Eve Throw Down
IOTA Club & Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: doors open all day
The IOTA Club will have a live show featuring The Beanstalk Library, Bobby Thompson and Revelator Hill to celebrate this New Years Eve. Doors will be open all day, the show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Party favors are included.
The Legwarmers New Year’s Eve Party
The State Theatre (222 N. Washington St.)
Time: doors open at 7 p.m.
The “ultimate 80s cover band” will be ringing in the New Year in Falls Church with some throwback jams, so don’t forget your 80s garb and get ready to dance. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets start at $50.
The “Leo Birthday Splash Party” will run from 3-9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, according to the flyer. An online ticketing page — tickets are $30 — and the flyer say the event will feature a DJ and other musical performances, bottle service, a cash bar, Caribbean cuisine, a bathing suit contest and an appearance by local party promoter/exotic dancer Cream.
Off-site parking in McLean with a free shuttle to the mansion will be provided for guests, the flyer says.
NBC 4 reported last night that the 20,000 square foot mansion, which sold at a foreclosure auction in June for $7.3 million (it was once valued at $23-24 million), has been used as a “party house,” according to neighbors.
Numerous photos and videos have been posted to Instagram from what’s labeled as the “RPH Mansion” — the initials of its owner (or, possibly, former owner), businessman Rodney P. Hunt. Many of the Instagram posts depict young people partying poolside as a DJ performs.
Event flyers sent anonymously to ARLnow.com (above) detail a number of events that have taken place at 201 Chain Bridge Road over the past month, including the Eritrean Festival Uber Mansion Afterhour Event where a dispute allegedly led to Sunday morning’s shooting. Events at the mansion date back to at least 2013, when it hosted an “epic” New Year’s Eve party with free valet, two floors of partying and four cash bars.
The shooting occurred on Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123), near the entrance to the GW Parkway, around 4 a.m.
“Preliminary information suggests that this incident stemmed from an altercation between several people at a party somewhere in Arlington County earlier in the night,” Fairfax County Police said in a press release. “One group left the party in a vehicle and when they reached Dolley Madison Boulevard and Kirby Road, another vehicle pulled alongside and fired several shots, striking two occupants in the first vehicle. The unidentified suspect vehicle then fled the scene.”
“Little is known about the two victims at this point, other than they drove themselves to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” the press release continued. “There is no suspect or vehicle description at this time.”
The Fairfax County Police helicopter assisted with the response to the shooting, but was unable to locate the suspects. Police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting call them at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477
Arlington County honored a group of local centenarians during a special ceremony earlier today.
County staff members presented nearly a dozen long-living locals (including Eugene Kahn, who was the subject of an ARLnow profile last month) with a proclamation from County Board member Libby Garvey and a letter from Del. Patrick Hope at the Arlington Employment Center.
All of those honored have lived in the Arlington area for decades. Many took the opportunity today to talk about the past.
Dowdell Tillman, who has resided in Arlington since 1947, talked about his days working at the Reagan National Airport — then just National Airport — as part of the utility crew. Tillman built his current home in 1954 and still lives there to this day.
Others talked about how they’ve played an important role in the community. Martha Ann Miller was a math teacher at Stratford Junior High School when it became the first public secondary school in Virginia to desegregate its classes by accepting four African-American students in 1959. Ms. Miller said she volunteered to have the students in her math class.
While their spirits haven’t changed, much has changed throughout the United States since the centenarians were born.
In 1916, a stamp was $.02, a loaf of bread was $.07, the average price of a U.S. house was $5,000 and the average price of a car was $400, according to a presentation given during the event.
Of course, some of those in attendance shared their “secrets” for living so long. Here is some of what they said:
- Martha Ann Miller: “B supervitamins”
- Eugene Kahn: “Incredible good luck”
- Raymond Renola: “Luck, exercise and refusing to get old”
- Allan Matthews: “One third genetics, one third luck, and one third diet and exercise”
- Hasso von Bredow: “Staying active and port wine”
- Dowdell Tillman: “Patience, and never worrying too much, especially about things you can’t control”
- Vera Punke: “I don’t know what it’s like to get old. I’ll tell you when I get there. I tell people there’s one thing I don’t have to worry about, and that’s dying young.”
Called “City Social,” the annual meeting is at the CEB Waterview Conference Center (1919 N. Lynn Street) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. RSVPs for the event have closed.
The BID’s calling City Social its “annual party,” and will serve hors d’oevures alongside the open bar while Champion Superior Soundsystem spins its “vintage world funk” tunes. In the middle of the partying, six Rosslyn business leaders will take part in a panel discussion of the neighborhood.
“Our panel of Rosslyn heavyweights will loop you in on the the important synergy a neighborhood can create among the companies, employees and residents located there,” the event website reads, “from the access to talented people and one-of-a-kind views to the energy and buzz happening out there on the street, all of which will drive success for you and your company.”
The panel includes ARLnow.com editor and founder Scott Brodbeck, plus executives from Rosetta Stone, Politico, LiveSafe, CEB and Heavy Seas Alehouse.
Image via Rosslyn BID
ARLnow.com is holding its fifth anniversary bash in Crystal City tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, you can still do so through 5:00 p.m. on Eventbrite. Tickets will also be available at the door.
The event, at the ever-expanding headquarters of the Crystal Tech Fund and Disruption Corporation, will feature two hours of all-you-can eat food from Ruth’s Chris and plenty of wine and beer, thanks to our friends at the Crystal City BID.
To help celebrate our fifth anniversary (which technically is on Thursday), we’re recounting some of the top stories of 2010.
Coming off of the depths of the Great Recession, the year that was 2010 was especially active for business openings in Crystal City. Here are some of the memorable openings in our first year:
- The Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, presenting sponsor of tonight’s bash, opened its flagship Columbia Pike branch
- District Taco opened its first brick and mortar restaurant, on Lee Highway
- Buffalo Wild Wings opened in Crystal City
- Chick-fil-A opened in Crystal City, complete with people camping out in a nearby park for the opening
- Nordstrom Rack opened in Pentagon City
- Food trucks Bada Bing, Rebel Heroes and BBQ Bandidos launched. Only Bada Bing is still serving customers.
- Bakeshop opened in Clarendon, kicking off the Arlington version of the gourmet cupcake craze
- Red Mango opened in Clarendon, kicking off the Arlington version of the froyo craze
- Crumbs opened in Clarendon
- Northside Social opened in Clarendon
- Lyon Hall opened in Clarendon
- Bayou Bakery opened in Courthouse
See you tonight, Arlington!
We’re less than a week away from ARLnow.com’s fifth anniversary party. If you like ARLnow.com and you like fun, presumably you have already reserved your tickets — if not, check out the trivia question below for a chance to get 20 percent off.
As part of the lead-up to the party (hosted at the Crystal Tech Fund offices, pictured, in Crystal City), we’re taking a trip down memory lane to the year we launched.
That year, 2010, featured lots of memorable local stories, some of them downright weird. Do you remember…
- The severed goat’s head that was found in Barcroft Park
- The Russian spy ring that included three Arlington residents, one of whom unknowingly made a videotaped “dead drop” in Glencarlyn Park
- Snowmageddon, which struck on Feb. 5, and resulted in huge snow piles that didn’t melt until April
- Our first (and last) Arlington’s Cutest Dog contest, which resulted in so many entries we had to break it into four separate voting groups
- The Virginia Square Metro hero, who came to the aid of a man who fell on the tracks (and made national news after ARLnow.com obtained the video from Metro)
- Two words: Bacon Week
- The mysterious, abrupt closing of Washington Golf Center, which prompted an early ARLnow.com “investigation”
Now, for the trivia question: what was the original name of the new-for-2010 rooftop deck at Whitlow’s? (It was renamed “Wilson’s” prior to opening.)
If you know the answer, enter that as a promo code (without spaces) on our Eventbrite page for 20 percent off. You’re welcome!
Our fifth anniversary bash will be held on January 27, from 6-8 p.m. at Crystal Tech Fund (2231 Crystal Drive, 10th floor). The price of admission includes craft beer, wine and heavy appetizers from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
What have followed are five years of continuous local news coverage, from tiny articles about potholes that no other news outlet would report on to big scoops that quickly have become international news.
As part of our five year anniversary, we’re looking back (in no particular order) at some of the defining Arlington stories of 2010. Some are weighty and easily remembered. Others, not so much.
Do you remember…
- The car that crashed into Rhodeside Grill?
- The opening of Bakeshop and Red Mango in Clarendon, kicking off the local cupcake and froyo crazes? (Red Mango has closed, Bakeshop is preparing to celebrate its own fifth year anniversary.)
- The county employee who tossed A-frame signs on N. Fillmore Street in the trash, as part of a crackdown on illegal signage? (A-frame signs are now allowed on sidewalks.)
- President Obama taking Russian president Dimitri Medvedev to lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Rosslyn?
- The triumphant announcement that Trader Joe’s would be opening in Clarendon? (“Break Out The Three-Buck Chuck,” our headline blared.)
- The hiring, then abrupt firing, of County Manger Michael Brown? (At the time, the county tried to pass off the firing as a “resignation” due to the health of Brown’s wife. Brown received a $110,000 severance payment.)
- The strong August storm that felled 40-50 trees in Fairlington and blew out car windows in Shirlington?
If you remembered all of those, congrats! You’re officially an ARLnow.com early adopter.
Come reminisce with us at our Fifth Anniversary Bash on January 27, from 6-8 p.m. at Crystal Tech Fund in Crystal City. Through 11:30 tonight tickets are discounted to an “early adopter” rate of $12.90. After that, the price goes up to $20.10.
The event is hosted by the Crystal City Business Improvement District and the price of admission includes adult beverages and delicious finger food.
Bond Chairs: Listen to Concerns — The co-chairs of the 2014 school bond committee warned Arlington School Board members that they should not take continued voter support for granted, despite the approval of a $105.8 million school bond earlier this month. The co-chairs told the Board that they should listen to voter concerns, including concerns about the cost of new school facilities. [InsideNova]
Post Tries ‘Divide’ Storyline Again — The Washington Post has published another article blaming a class and a racial divide between north and south Arlington on the cancellation of the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar system. A letter to the editor writer, in response, asks if the divide is worth the ink. “Where is the problem… is anyone’s goal to make South Arlington as expensive as North Arlington so that only rich people can live there?” [Washington Post]
New eBooks at Library — You can now download “Catch 22” and “Team of Rivals” from the library. Arlington Public Library has added eBooks from publisher Simon & Schuster to its downloadable books collection. [Arlington Public Library]
Thanksgiving Eve Party in Clarendon — Clarendon Ballroom is hosting “Arlington’s biggest Thanksgiving Eve party” Wednesday night, starting at 8:00 p.m. The event will feature multiple DJs and “plenty of booze and fun to get you through a weekend with the family.” [Clarendon Nights]
Flick pool photo by Joseph Gruber
The study, conducted by financial advice company NerdWallet using data from online event platform EventBrite, says Arlington’s “overall score for Halloween parties,” which is a combination of number of RSVPs and affordability, is 83.79 out of 100.
Arlington registered a seven out of 10 for its “party engagement score” and has an average party cost of $12.15, second-lowest in the top 10, behind No. 8 Nashville, Tenn., at $12.11. Washington, D.C., is the 17th-best city in the country for parties with an overall score of 81.73 and an average cost of $25.64.
The engagement score is on a scale of 1-10, according to NerdWallet, with a 10 meaning more than 20,000 people in one city have RSVP-ed to a Halloween party. The only city in the country to achieve a 10 was San Francisco, the top city on the list. Behind San Francisco, which had an overall score of 96.14, on the list are New York City, San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
This evening, the running club is throwing its fifth anniversary party at its usual post-run watering hole, Bungalow Sports Grill (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive). The club’s runners participate in its 5K runs on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., then heads to the restaurant for happy hour.
Mirentxu Meyer and Shirley Santos founded the running club when Santos was training for a triathlon, and, seeing as how they “hated to run,” they figured they would start a community group to make it a little more fun.
“Shirlington is a really young place with new families,” Meyer said. “We [saw] a lot of cuties out at the grocery store and we wanted to bring them out.”
The club was designed as a “not too intimidating and not too easy group,” and it’s grown exponentially as runners sign up to have their attendance tracked, earn free T-shirts with attendance milestones and enjoy a few beers with their running counterparts at Bungalow. Meyer said people “don’t have to be a runner” to join the club, and their attendance will still be taken.
Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. the party will include raffles with prizes like free tickets to a show at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, a shoe fitting with New Balance and 10 vendors on hand to offer their wares to members both new and old.
There will be a rain date later this week — yet to be announced — if the run is cancelled due to the inclement weather in the forecast, but that won’t stop the carousing. Four years ago, at SRC’s first anniversary party, the skies opened up during the raffles, Meyer said.
“All of a sudden there was a big crack and there was a crazy downpour,” she said. “There was no power left, but the beer kept pouring.”
Photo via Shirlington Running Club. Morgan Fecto contributed to this report.
(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Wilson Tavern, a Courthouse bar that has developed a following for theme nights like “Condoms and Candy Necklaces,” is throwing one last party tonight before it closes its 2403 Wilson Blvd location.
The demolition of Wilson Tavern is expected to begin soon, and construction of the hotel, slated to be an eight-story Hyatt Place, is expected to start this summer. The hotel includes a ground floor retail space for a restaurant.
Wilson Tavern opened in December 2011, replacing the former Kitty O’Shea’s.
Photo via Facebook
Work to Begin Soon on Bergmann’s Development — Developer McCaffery Interests is planning to begin demolition work soon on the former Bergmann’s dry cleaning plant, at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Vietch Street. Workers could be seen surveying the building last week. On the site, McCaffrey will build a mixed-use development now called “Verde Pointe.” The project, which was approved in 2012, includes 177 apartments, 23 townhomes and a 14,000 square foot MOM’s Organic Market grocery store. [Washington Business Journal]
Opower Files for IPO — Courthouse-based energy efficiency company Opower has filed for an initial public stock offering. The company has nearly 500 employees across 5 offices worldwide. It was founded in 2007. President Obama visited the company’s Courthouse headquarters in 2010. [Wall Street Journal]
Bar to Host ‘Condoms and Candy Necklace Party’ — In honor of Valentine’s Day, Wilson Tavern in Courthouse (2403 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting a “Condoms & Candy Necklace Party” tomorrow (Friday) from 8:00 p.m. to close. [Clarendon Nights]