Frozen yogurt fans who frequent the Menchie’s at Penrose Square will now have to go cold turkey.
The company closed its store at 2405 Columbia Pike on New Year’s Eve, according to a Menchie’s representative. The froyo shop opened roughly four years ago.
“We closed the location because it simply wasn’t making any money,” said company representative Camey Turpin. Menchie’s has no plans to open another location in the area anytime soon. The closest Menchie’s store is along U Street in Northwest D.C.
It wasn’t immediately clear what might replace the business. Arlington County has not recently issued any building permits for that address.
Photos by Dave Emke
Starting Saturday, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) will begin its annual showing of outdoor movies.
All movies will begin around 8 p.m. or when it gets dark. Seating is limited, with patrons encouraged to bring their own chairs. In the event of inclement weather, updates will be posted on the CPRO website along with its Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Penrose Square schedule is as follows.
- June 4: Spongebob Squarepants: A Sponge Out of Water
- June 11: The Martian
- June 18: Belle
- June 25: The Fault In Our Stars
- July 2: Juno
- July 9: Fantastic Four
- July 16: The Book Thief
- July 23: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- July 30: Moulin Rouge
- August 6: Joy
- August 13: All That Jazz
- August 20: The Devil Wears Prada
- August 27: The Princess Bride
- September 3: Spotlight
- September 10: That Sugar Film
- September 17: Water
The Arlington Mill schedule is as follows.
- August 11: Kung Fu Panda 3
- August 18: Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
- August 25: The Sandlot
- September 1: The Peanuts Movie
- September 8: Brooklyn
- September 15: He Named Me Malala
The engine compartment of a van caught fire this morning in front of Penrose Square on Columbia Pike.
The fire broke out around 10 a.m., near the entrance to the Starbucks.
Firefighters responded and quickly extinguished the flames. No injuries were reported.
Photo courtesy Bethany
Rapidly-expanding kickboxing gym company 9Round opened a new location along Columbia Pike over the weekend.
For now, the fitness club’s location at 2501 9th Road S., at Penrose Square, is in a “soft opening” period, announcing hours of operation on a week-by-week basis. It will be open from 4-9 p.m. through this Thursday and 4-8 p.m. on Friday.
According to 9Round partner Michael Agrillo, the location is offering specials for the opening and will host a grand opening party soon.
This is the second 9Round location to open in Arlington in the last three months. The other opened in November on N. Quincy Street in Ballston.
When the company first announced the new Arlington gyms in September, Agrillo said the company may look at a new space in Pentagon City or Crystal City.
That brings the total number of 9Rounds in the county up to three with considerations for a fourth, including the first Arlington location in Courthouse at 2250 Clarendon Blvd.
The Penrose Square gym is also the first of two 9Round gyms that opened in northern Virginia this week. A location in Falls Church at 6649 Arlington Blvd opened yesterday. It will be open this week during the same hours as the Penrose Square location.
The second annual Winter Wonderland at Penrose Square is scheduled for this Saturday from 2-6 p.m. at 2501 9th Road S. It will be held in the breezeway between the apartment building’s leasing office and the Giant store.
The event is free and open to the public. Community members are invited to celebrate the season with holiday food and activities.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will join the celebration from 2-5 p.m. for visits and pictures. There will also be carolers and craft stations set up during this time.
A sleigh full of local businesses will be at the event handing out holiday beverages and goodie bags. Some of the participating area retailers include Starbucks, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Mancini de Paris and Jimmy Potter’s Studio.
Scheduled to make an appearance around 4 p.m.: “Arlington’s own Himalayan Yeti,” provided by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.
The wonderland will wind down after a tree-lighting ceremony and sing-along, which starts at 5:30 p.m.
File photo via Macy’s
Starbucks customers may be able to order a glass of wine with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes at two Arlington locations in the next few months.
Starbucks has filed liquor license applications for its new Penrose Square (2413 Columbia Pike) and Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2925 S. Glebe Road) locations. If approved, the stores will be able to serve beer and wine, in addition to the coffee and tea drinks the company sells.
Starbucks is offering beer and wine at select stores as part of its new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes small plates.
According to a sample menu, the coffee chain will sell various red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers. Small plates include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn. Menus vary by region.
License applications for the two stores are currently pending, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Wine and beer will come to the Long Branch Creek location in “probably a few months,” said a supervisor at the store but she could not provide any additional information. USA Today reported in August that Starbucks is launching Starbucks Evenings at more than 2,000 of its 12,000+ U.S. stores, with many opening by the end of the year.
A Starbucks spokesman stopped short of confirming that the two South Arlington stores will in fact be serving beer and wine in the near future.
“Just as each customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and experiences for each neighborhood,” said the spokeswoman. “And, as you’ve probably seen, we’re in the very early stages of considering our stores at 2413 Columbia Pike and 2925 S. Glebe Road for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”
Kickboxing gym 9Round is planning to open two new Arlington locations, one in Ballston and another on Columbia Pike.
The new Ballston location at 927 N. Quincy Street may be open as early as next week, pending final approval from Arlington, said 9Round partner Michael Agrillo.
The company is looking to open the gym at the Penrose Square shopping center on Columbia Pike the end of the year or beginning of 2016, Agrillo said.
“We will be located by the new Starbucks under the Super Giant,” he said.
The company may also look at a new space in Pentagon City or Crystal City, bringing the total number of Arlington locations to four, Agrillo said. The company first opened in Arlington with a location in Courthouse, at 2250 Clarendon Blvd.
“We’re also residents,” Agrillo said of his partners in the business. “We know this area well.”
“9Round offers a 30 minute boxing/kickboxing fitness program that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular and circuit training regimens,” the company said in a press release about the openings. “There are no class times and no person to person contact; members can come to the studio whenever it fits their schedule and get started on the circuit right away.”
In addition to the three new Arlington locations, the company is planning to open up a new gym in Falls Church.
Disclosure: 9Round is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
“Dinner and a Movie on the Loop” will take place on four consecutive Thursday evenings at Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd), starting this week. The event was started last year as Now Playing at the Loop.
Market Common has added dinner to the mix this year, with a different local restaurant is providing a fixed-price meal before each movie, beginning at 7:45 p.m. In addition, guests can round out their family-friendly cinematic experience with free candy, popcorn and water.
All movies start at 8:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:
- June 18 — How To Train Your Dragon 2
- June 25 — Grown Ups
- July 2 — The Sandlot
- July 9 — The Wizard of Oz
Summer Movies @Penrose Square, a free outdoor movie series at Penrose Square (2597 Columbia Pike), started last Saturday (June 13).
The event, sponsored by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, will continue into September. The schedule is as follows:
- June 20 — The Hundred Foot Journey (8:45 p.m.)
- June 27 — Now You See Me (8:45 p.m.)
- July 11 — The Imitation Game (8:45 p.m.)
- July 18 — Enough Said (8:45 p.m.)
- July 25 — The Grand Budapest Hotel (8:30 p.m.)
- Aug 1 — Life of Pi (8:30 p.m.)
- Aug 8 — Chef (8:15 p.m.)
- Aug 15 — Birdman (8:15 p.m.)
- Aug 22 — The Second Best Marigold Hotel (8:15 p.m.)
- Aug 29 — How to Train Your Dragon (8:00 p.m.)
- Sept 5 — Big Hero 6 (7:45 p.m.)
- Sept 12 — X-men: Days of Future Past (7:30 p.m.)
- Sept 19 — Interstellar (7:15 p.m.)
Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets to both festivals.
CPRO is also sponsoring another movie festival on the Pike this summer. Starting on August 16, CPRO will screen a movie every Sunday until September 20 at the Arlington Mill Community Center.
The movies at Arlington Mill will start at dusk. A schedule is expected to be announced mid-July.
The vacant space at the corner of the Pike and S. Barton Street — where Bar TNT and Society Fair closed last fall — will be home to the coffee chain, the building’s management told residents today.
“We’re spilling the beans and we want our residents to be the first to hear the new,” said an email to the residents, which was forwarded to ARLnow.com. “Coming summer 2015, Penrose Square welcomes its newest retailer: Starbucks Coffee. Live, Work & Caffeinate at home in your very own Starbucks.”
The location is facing Penrose Square’s public plaza, next to the Giant and a block away from Red Rocks pizzeria. This will be the first Starbucks on Columbia Pike in Arlington; the closest location is in Pentagon City.
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) is bringing back outdoor movies in Penrose Square every Saturday from this week (June 21) through August 30. This year, CPRO also will offer movies every other Thursday in the plaza of the new Arlington Mill Community Center, starting tonight and running through September 11.
CPRO is trying out something different at Arlington Mill by offering a couple of Spanish movies subtitled in English, and vice versa. The push for diversity in the movie selection isn’t just for Spanish-speaking cultures. CPRO Executive Director Takis Karantonis notes the movie “The Visitor” deals with issue of immigrating to the United States from Africa and the Middle East.
“We really are very interested in bringing movies from the many cultures we have along Columbia Pike,” said Karantonis. “We will test to see how it works. We realize not everybody is happy with subtitles all of the time, so we will collect feedback and adapt according. Our goal is to make the movies as linguistically accessible as possible.”
The Arlington Mill movie schedule follows:
- June 19 — La Misma Luna (Spanish subtitles)
- July 3 — Life of Pi
- July 17 — No se Aceptan Devoluciones (English subtitles)
- July 31 — The Visitor
- August 14 — Sofia y el Terco (Spanish subtitles)
- August 28 — El Estudiante (English subtitles)
- September 11 — Avatar
Below is the schedule for movies at Penrose Square:
- June 21 — Mama Mia!
- June 28 — The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- July 5 — Sideways
- July 12 — Inception
- July 19 — Notting Hill
- July 26 — Little Miss Sunshine
- August 2 — Slumdog Millionaire
- August 9 — Before Sunset
- August 23 — The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- August 30 — Gravity
Instagram Has Video Filter Called ‘Clarendon’ — Updated at 2:25 p.m. –Yesterday, Facebook-owned photo app Instagram rolled out a feature that allows users to record video. As with photos, users can apply filters to the video. One of those filters is called “Clarendon,” but it turns out it was named after a street in San Francisco, not the Arlington neighborhood. [Instagram, All Things D]
Abingdon Book Bus Returns — After a successful summer of book distribution last year, the Abingdon Elementary book bus will return on July 9. The book bus is one of several summer reading initiatives for Arlington students this year. [Arlington Public Schools]
Road Closure For Art Festival — A road closure is planned for the inaugural Arlington Festival of the Arts in Clarendon. N. Highland Street will be closed between Washington Blvd and N. Hartford Street. Wilson and Clarendon Blvds will remain open during the festival, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. [ArtFestival.com]
Pike Sculpture Honored — Echo, the sculpture on display at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike, has been honored as a “top 50” public art project for 2013. The sculpture “provides a modern interpretation of Arlington’s significant contribution to the history of communication.” [Arlington County]
Disclosure: Art festival promoter Howard Alan Events is an ARLnow.com advertiser. Hat tips (Instagram item) to @reddusfoximus and @jeffchin21.
A free blues concert will be held Thursday evening (May 16) at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike. The event is being held to promote the upcoming Columbia Pike Blues Festival.
Thursday’s concert will take place starting at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Karl Stoll and the Danger Zone and the Chris Polk Band. The concert, at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike), is free and open to the public.
The 18th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival will take place on June 15 and feature legendary guitarist G.E. Smith, who’s best known for being the musical director for Saturday Night Live and for being lead guitarist for Hall & Oates, Bob Dylan and other major musical acts.
As always, the Blues Festival will be held on S. Walter Reed Drive just north of Columbia Pike. The performance schedule on June 15 includes:
- 1:00 p.m. — BG and the Mojo Hands
- 2:00 p.m. — Clarence “Bluesman” Turner
- 3:30 p.m. — Chris Polk [Sound Check]
- 5:00 p.m. — Cathy Ponton King
- 6:30 p.m. — G.E. Smith
File photo. Disclosure: Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, organizer of the Blues Festival, is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Columbia Pike is getting in on the frozen yogurt craze, with the opening of a Menchie’s (2405 Columbia Pike) in Penrose Square.
The shop opened on Friday (December 28) and features a wall of 16 self-serve frozen yogurt machines and dozens of toppings. Menchie’s tries to cater to people with food allergies, so there are dairy free and gluten free options, as well as extensive ingredient labels for each flavor. Menchie’s has its own organic dairy in California which supplies the products and provides some flavors not available anywhere else.
Franchise owner Robert Guinn said business has been steady since the opening and customers have been receptive to the frozen yogurt shop.
“We were looking for someplace we could fit in and growth with,” Guinn said. “The community is really strong and we’ve been really happy with the retail traffic coming by.”
The chain is recognized around the world partly due to its team of “Sweet Friends” such as Menchie, Mookie, Barry and Sprinkle. Guinn said kids can identify with the Sweet Friends according to their different personalities considering each character has different traits. Employees at the Columbia Pike location having been taking turns dressing up as Menchie to draw customers into the store.
“All of our team members thought they’d never want to be in a Menchie costume, and honestly all of them have been out there and loved it,” Guinn said.
This is the first Menchie’s location in Arlington. The shop plans to hold a grand opening starting next Saturday (January 12) which will run for a week. There will be a variety of events announced, including frozen yogurt and t-shirt giveaways.
The ceremony for the 17,000 square feet park, located at 2503 Columbia Pike, will be kick off at 4:00 today. The park features a tree-covered upper terrace with movable tables and chairs, an inner plaza with a water feature, small gardens, a sustainable storm water runoff bio-filtration and re-circulation system, and “Echo,” a large two-piece sculpture by Richard Deutsch (more information, below).
The park was designed by the prominent local design firm Oculus. A second phase of the project will include “a transit Super Stop in front of the square along Columbia Pike to support the current Pike Ride buses as well as future generations of transit.”
“With the completion of this first phase of the Penrose Square project, we are really beginning to feel and see the transformation of Columbia Pike,” Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “A visionary group of residents came together to create this vibrant, public square that will serve as a welcoming place, where neighbors can come together to socialize, dine, relax and have fun.”
In a press release, county officials described in inspiration for the “Echo” sculpture.
As a member of Penrose Square’s landscape design team, Richard Deutsch created the interactive sculpture inspired by the Three Sisters Radio Towers, formerly located near Columbia Pike and Courthouse Road.
Built in 1913 by the Navy as cutting-edge technology, the towers broadcast the first trans-Atlantic radio signal in 1915, connecting Arlington with the Eiffel Tower. They also introduced regular broadcasts of time signals — important navigational aids for ships at sea. When National Airport opened in 1941 the towers posed an aviation hazard and were taken down.
Echo provides a modern interpretation of Arlington’s significant contribution to the history of communication. The concave elliptical parabolas carved into each monolith reflect and project sound, allowing words spoken into one stone to be heard by listeners at the other. California-based artist Deutsch designs sculpture and environments using stone, water, bronze, and stainless steel. Like Echo, much of his work is marked by an understanding of space and environment and an attention to social context and history.
The new public plaza at the Penrose Square development along Columbia Pike is still expected to open this fall, despite a recent setback.
The contractor working on the $2 million project found and accidentally ruptured an oil tank earlier this month during excavation work, we’re told. The rupture contaminated part of the site, but the county and contractors worked quickly to remedy the situation.
According to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish:
The tank’s presence was previously unknown by the County. [Arlington] County’s construction manager immediately stopped contractor from working and notified our 3rd party consultant. Samples were taken and the fire marshal and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) were notified. VADEQ directed County to have the tanks removed by a licensed contractor in the presence of the fire marshal. Samples were also taken to determine the extent of the contamination. Remediation steps have been approved by VADEQ.
Kalish said the plaza is still on track to open this fall.
“Construction is scheduled to be completed and the project opened in fall 2012,” she told ARLnow.com. “This issue will cause some delay, but is still expected to be completed and open in fall 2012.”
The plaza will consist of “a tree-covered, upper terrace with movable tables and chairs; an inner plaza with a water feature; a unique two-piece sculpture called ‘Echo’; an inscription of the historic significance of the site, and a grass mound area shaded with trees for informal seating,” according to the county.