On Sunday, Josephine’s Italian Kitchen (2501 9th Road S.) closed its doors for good and marked the end of an era for a Columbia Pike restauranteur.
The restaurant opened in Penrose Square last October as the newest eatery for Tony Wagner, who also owned Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro and BrickHaus.
Both Twisted Vines and BrickHaus closed last year, which at the time Wagner said was part of a plan to regroup and focus on the new Josephine’s Italian Kitchen. All of the restaurants were located within a few blocks of each other on Columbia Pike, where Wagner lives.
(Twisted Vines has since been replaced by Acme Pie Company while BickHaus has been replaced by Rebellion on the Pike.)
Wagner said the decision to close was brought about by family issues and he hopes that the closure will allow him more time to focus on other priorities.
Following the closure, Wagner said he’s still on the lookout for new opportunities in the area, but for now, there’s nothing planned.
Wagner is still deciding what to do with the neon “Gelato” sign in Josephine’s, which he called the “most Instagrammed” thing in the restaurant.
“It might find a place in our home,” Wagner said.
A vacant storefront under the Penrose Square Apartments on Columbia Pike (2501 9th Road S.) is currently bulking up for a transformation into an F45 gym.
F45 is a gym franchise that started in Australia and has been expanding throughout the D.C. region, with recently-opened locations in Ballston and Tysons. The new gym is underneath the Giant grocery store on the second floor of the complex, sandwiched between a barber shop and a dry cleaner.
Trip O’Connell is the very enthusiastic managing partner of the Penrose F45. He also manages the U Street F45, which opened a little over a year ago.
“We were the first location in D.C.,” O’Connell said. “It’s been going great. We have a lot of people in the area who liked the vibe and wanted more.”
O’Connell said he turned his attention across the Potomac, where there were already successful F45 gyms like the one at Pentagon Row.
“Finding locations is tough,” O’Connell said. “There’s a lot of new builds going on in Maryland and D.C. and Virginia, but those locations always jack rents up.”
O’Connell said that he was lucky to find the space in Penrose that had previously been occupied by 9round Fitness, a boxing-oriented gym. Currently, O’Connell and his partner are in California getting final approvals from the F45 HQ, but if things go smoothly he hopes to start a pre-marketing campaign on May 15.
“We’re hoping to start running people through test classes,” said O’Connell. “If that goes smoothly, we’re looking at an opening mid-June.”
The plan is to offer first-time visitors a two-week free trial on which they can take as many classes as they want. After that, membership is $55 per week for unlimited access to the gym or $45 for those purchasing membership for those signing up to the gym early on.
It can sound like a steep price, especially with the $10 per month Planet Fitness moving in nearby at Pentagon Row, but O’Connell said the program offers a specialized workout routine.
“The F45 program speaks for itself,” said O’Connell. “Everyone’s heard about high-intensity interval training. F45 breaks new ground on how that applies to a workout. You’re coming to a new gym every day and it’s the same room, but a different set-up.”
O’Connell said the free trial gives people a chance to experience the program first-hand and get hooked.
“We want people to come in and try it,” said O’Connell. “You can’t describe the feeling of doing it with 36 other people — getting through the pain of the workout, and then it’s over. Unless you get people in the door to experience that, it can’t be described.”
A driver struck a man and a dog on Columbia Pike Tuesday evening.
The crash happened around 7 p.m. in the westbound lanes of the Pike near S. Barton Street, in front of the Penrose Square development.
An adult male and a dog were struck by a vehicle, confirmed Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant. Details about the circumstances around the crash were not immediately available.
The man was brought to a local hospital in good condition, said O’Bryant. The dog was taken to an animal hospital and its condition was not currently known, he said.
Update 9 a.m. — A man who says he was the one struck by the vehicle last night posted the following update on ARLnow’s Facebook page.
Hey all, my puppy yoda is doing alright. He was taken to south paws animal hospital last night with the help of some very amazing people. He broke his back femur. He’s going into surgery today and will be getting a plate put in. He should be okay but please send good vibes our way! I’m okay as well. Just got a little beaten up. Miraculously nothing was broken on my end. (Yes I know yoda is top priority). To clear things up he pulled on his leash and it escaped from my hand on the sidewalk. He b lined for the middle of the street (which is TOTALLY not like him.) I instinctively ran out after him into on coming traffic in effort to catch his [leash] before he got hit. This resulted in both of us being side swiped by a car who could not see us due to how low we were to the ground. This was no ones fault but ours. Thank you to all the wonderful people who helped us last night. If any of you see this that assisted please message me so I can personally thank you. The Arlington community, especially Columbia pike showed me incredible love. Yoda will be creating smiles again soon enough!
Photos courtesy John Antonelli
Summer may feel pretty far off these days, as temperatures dip into the 20s, but there’s already a full slate of outdoor movie nights scheduled along Columbia Pike.
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) announced the schedule for its annual movie series last week, with screenings set to start in mid-June.
The theme of this year’s series is “Heroes and Sheroes: Movies with a Mission.”
On Fridays, screenings will be held at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street). On Saturdays, movies will be shown at the Penrose Square development (2501 9th Road S.).
The full schedule is as follows:
June 14: Moana (PG)
June 21: On the Basis of Sex (PG-13)
June 28: A Wrinkle in Time (PG)
July 5: Hidden Figures (PG)
July 12: Aquaman (PG-13)
July 19: First Man (PG-13)
July 26: The Incredibles (PG)
August 2: Mulan (G)
August 9: Brave (PG)
August 16: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG)
August 23: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)
June 15: Black Panther (PG-13)
June 22: Wonder Woman (PG-13)
June 29: The Post (PG-13)
July 6: Apollo 13 (PG)
July 13: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (PG)
July 20: Akeelah and the Bee (PG)
July 27: Selma (PG-13)
August 3: Norma Rae (PG)
August 10: A League of Their Own (PG)
August 17: Life in the Doghouse (NR)
August 24: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)
CPRO says it’s still looking for businesses to sponsor the movie series. Anyone interested can apply on the organization’s website.
Photo via Facebook
The Pilates Loft is expanding into a second location in the Penrose Square shopping center at 2407 Columbia Pike.
The studio that started in Virginia Square in 2015. Just over one year later, the studio expanded into the vacant space next door. Now, the Virginia Square Pilates Loft is at maximum capacity again, so owner Alia Staples decided it was time to branch out. The Pilates Loft on Columbia Pike will open in late January 2019.
“I think that there is sort of a void in the Columbia Pike and South Arlington area where fitness, in general, doesn’t exist,” said Staples. “There’s a ton of people who live in this area who are commuting to North Arlington for those services… Since there wasn’t anything like that, I thought it might be a good idea to bring it to South Arlington.”
While there are a variety of Pilates studios in the area, Staples said sets her studio offers a more classically authentic Pilates experience.
“We don’t have big classes of 40 people,” said Staples. “It’s just four to six people maximum. It’s geared towards smaller groups and more personalized training.”
The classes also use Pilates equipment beyond just the traditional mats used in many classes. Both locations will also serve as Teacher Training Centers for the United States Pilates Association.
(Updated at 6 p.m.) A free movie series is returning to Columbia Pike this summer, with a showing of a music-oriented film every weekend from June 1 through Sept. 1.
The series, called “The Music of the Movies: Oscar Scores and Classic Musicals,” will screen the films outdoors on Fridays at the Arlington Mill Community Center and Saturdays at Penrose Square.
The film series is sponsored by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) and the Signature Theatre.
“Signature is thrilled to support the 2018 Columbia Pike Movie Nights, which will bring the magic of great classic musicals to the big screen for free to the Arlington community this summer,” said Eric Schaeffer, the Signature Theatre’s artistic director, through a CPRO press release.
Several movies will be classics like Grease, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music, but movies as recently-released as the Pixar-produced Coco will be screened as well.
Here’s the 2018 movie series schedule:
- June 1 — Grease (Arlington Mill)
- June 2 — Hairspray (Penrose Square)
- June 8 — Chicago (Arlington Mill)
- June 9 — The Color Purple (Penrose Square)
- June 15 — Into the Woods (Arlington Mill)
- June 16 — Dreamgirls (Penrose Square)
- June 22 — Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Arlington Mill)
- June 23 — O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Penrose Square)
- June 29 — Batman (1999) (Arlington Mill)
- June 30 — Batman (1989) (Penrose Square)
- July 6 — Mary Poppins (Arlington Mill)
- July 7 — Dick Tracy (Penrose Square)
- July 13 — The Sound of Music (Arlington Mill)
- July 14 — The Sound of Music (Penrose Square)
- July 20 — Toy Story (Arlington Mill)
- July 21 — Singin’ in the Rain (Penrose Square)
- July 27 — Coco (Arlington Mill)
- July 28 — Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 3 — Jailhouse Rock (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 4 — The Music Man (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 10 — Beauty and The Beast (1991) (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 11 — Beauty and The Beast (1991) (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 17 — Young Frankenstein (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 18 — Young Frankenstein (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 24 — West Side Story (Arlington Mill)
- Aug. 25 — West Side Story (Penrose Square)
- Aug. 31 — The Wizard of Oz (Arlington Mill)
- Sept. 1 — The Wizard of Oz (Penrose Square)
Photo via Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization
Neighborhoods across the county are getting ready for Neighborhood Day, set to take place Saturday and feature a wide range of events and activities.
The day looks to bring together neighbors to strengthen bonds on blocks and across the county.
This year’s events are:
Jennie Dean Park Historical Markers Unveiling Ceremony
At noon, the park’s new historical markers will be unveiled, followed by a tour of Arlington Food Assistance Center’s new office at 2708 S Nelson Street.
Seventh Annual Turtle Trot 5K Race
A chip-timed 5K race at Bluemont Park on a certified course. The race begins at 10 a.m.
International Migratory Bird Day Festival
From 9-11 a.m., celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by learning about migratory birds such as hummingbirds and osprey with hands-on activities, games, crafts, bird walks and more. Meet at Lacey Woods Park Picnic Shelter, 1200 N. George Mason Drive.
Lee Highway Alliance Events
The Lee Highway Alliance is hosting three events to celebrate at Woodstock Park, Big Walnut Park and Langston-Brown Community Center.
Tuckahoe Home and Garden Tour
The self-guided Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour showcases recently renovated Arlington homes that solve common space and design challenges through creative remodeling.
Fairlington Home and Garden Tour
Tour a variety of renovated homes and gardens in Fairlington Village. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance or on the day.
Remove Invasive Plants
Increase native species diversity by helping with the return of ferns and wildflowers, and the animals that depend on them, in areas once covered in destructive invasive plants. The Gulf Branch Nature Center will host the event from 2-4 p.m.
Join Enrique and special guest Mimi in a two-hour zumbathon from noon-2 p.m. at Penrose Square.
Tara-Leeway Heights Community Day
From 1-3 p.m. at Big Walnut Park, the Tara-Leeway Heights community will host an event complete with food vendors, games and more.
LBCCA Celebration and Movie Night Series Kick-Off
The Long Branch Creek Civic Association will bring the community together to celebrate from 5-9 p.m. at Troy Park. The event will include a moon bounce, games and activities, potluck dinner, snacks, beverages and an outdoor movie screening.
Ashton Heights Neighborhood Yard Sale
From 8 a.m.-noon, visit the Ashton Heights neighborhood for a community-wide yard sale.
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.
From June 4 until September 17, movies will be shown every Saturday in Penrose Square and movies will also be shown on Thursdays from August 11 to September 15 at the Arlington Mill Community Center.
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.