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A Lunar New Year celebration is coming to the Pentagon City mall this weekend.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is partnering with Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) on an event to ring in the Year of the Rabbit.

The festivities, starting at 1 p.m. on the Metro level of the mall, are set to include music, dancing, and treats.

This is the seventh year the mall and the Tysons-based nonprofit have come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the most celebrated holidays in the world.

“We hope to bring joyful celebration to the community, uplift the spirit in these challenging times, preserve the cultural traditions and celebrate cultural diversity,” AACC president Cindy Shao said via email.

Shao said that attendees can expect traditional dragon and lion dances as well as cultural performances representing a number of Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China, and India. There will also be magic and fashion shows as well as pastry samplings.

A number of the mall’s stores will be offering specials during the event as well.

“This year, we are excited to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and usher in new beginnings, good luck, health and prosperity for 2023,” Shao said.

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Metro Transit Police SUV (file photo)

A 32-year-old man is in jail after being arrested for a second time in less than a month.

Necho Taylor, a D.C. resident, was initially arrested the night of Friday, Dec. 23, after he allegedly shot a woman with a BB gun while riding an escalator at the Rosslyn Metro station. Taylor was taken into custody by Metro Transit Police outside of the Clarendon Metro station, after attempting to flee from officers, and the gun was found in his coat, according to an arrest report.

Taylor spent Christmas in the Arlington County jail on a felony malicious wounding charge but was released on bond by a judge on Dec. 28, according to court records. He is also facing a felony conspiracy charge and a citation for resisting arrest in connection to the case.

The motive for the BB gun shooting was unclear. The victim was treated for an arm injury at Virginia Hospital Center, per the Metro Transit Police arrest report.

Three weeks after being released on bond, Taylor was back in Arlington. Police say he entered a business on the 1000 block of S. Hayes Street — which corresponds with the Macy’s in Pentagon City — and, around noon, fled with stolen merchandise.

He was spotted by Arlington officers and led them on a brief foot pursuit before being taken into custody, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

More from ACPD:

GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2023-01180108, 1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 12:04 p.m. on January 18, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect had entered the business, selected merchandise and attempted to exit without payment. A loss prevention officer confronted the suspect and he fled the scene on foot. A suspect description was broadcast and responding officers located him walking in the area. An officer gave the suspect commands which he refused to follow and fled the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. Necho Taylor, 32, of Washington, DC was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He was held without bond.

Taylor previously was sentenced to 5 months in jail in Arlington in 2016, for petty larceny, according to court records. He’s currently in the county jail awaiting his next court hearing on Feb. 23, records show.

The Nespresso store at the Pentagon City mall is closing (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) The Nespresso store is closing at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The international coffee brand announced it will be closing its Pentagon City mall location early next month with its final day on Sunday, February 5. The reason, per a company spokesperson, is “shopping trends.”

“Nespresso evaluates the marketplace and shopping trends regularly to determine how we can deliver superior customer service and a high-quality coffee experience,” the spokesperson wrote ARLnow via email. “Following our latest evaluation, we have decided to close the Pentagon City boutique.”

The decision to close this location is part of “our long-term business strategy and reflects evolving consumer trends,” said the spokesperson.

They also noted that all employees affected by the closure and are “in good standing” will be given the option of taking another role at Nespresso or a severance package. The Nespresso stores at Tysons and in Bethesda will both remain open, so presumably, employees at the Pentagon City location could be moved to those locations.

“While we are confident this is the right step for our overall business operations, this is a decision that affects real people and their families, and we know it causes challenges and uncertainties for our employees,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a new Korean corn dog eatery is coming to the mall.

Kong Dog is expected to open within the next two months, per a company spokesperson, though it’s unclear exactly where and when. The mall’s website initially said February 15, but that specific date has since been removed from the site.

Kong Dog serves up Korean-style corn dogs with toppings like cheese, fried potato, and ramen. With U.S. locations mostly centered in Illinois and New Jersey, the Pentagon City eatery appears to be the first coming to this area, though a new Georgetown location is also “coming soon” per the company’s website.

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Panera Bread closed in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City food court (staff photo)

The Panera Bread location in the Pentagon City mall food court is shuttered, but the closure may only be temporary.

The eatery was closed as of last week. ARLnow is told that the closure is “temporary at this point,” though a reopening date was not given.

The location has been removed from the list on Panera’s website. It first opened in 2013, as did a Rosslyn location at 1700 N. Moore Street that remains open — the only currently open Panera Bread in Arlington.

A Panera location at Tysons Corner Center mall closed permanently late last month, while a Ballston mall location closed in 2016.

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Soul Wingz at Pentagon City mall (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new locally-owned soul food restaurant is now open at the Pentagon City mall.

Soul Wingz appears to have opened last week, per its Instagram account, after several days of practice runs the week prior. It’s located next to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, near the entrance to the Metro.

The new restaurant serves up chicken wings, pork chops, fried fish, shrimp and grits, hush puppies, and other items.

ARLnow first reported that Soul Wingz was coming to Pentagon City back in July. The restaurant started as a pop-up in 2008 and opened a food truck in 2016. Then, a brick-and-mortar location near D.C.’s Howard University opened last year.

It took “6 years of negotiations and meetings with several potentials investors” to get the Arlington location off the ground, reads an Instagram post from late last month.

The mall has seen some turnover over the past couple of months months, as 2022 transitioned into 2023. Noodle eatery Yong Kang Street closed in November while Rosa Mexicano opened in early December.

Maizal, a Latin American street food stand, and corn dog eatery Kong Dog are both expected to open soon at the mall.

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Yong Kang Street at the Pentagon City mall is now closed (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Yong Kang Street has served its last meal at the Pentagon City mall.

The Taiwanese restaurant that was situated right off of the food court closed last month, a mall spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow. They didn’t share why the restaurant closed and what might be coming in its place.

“Unfortunately, Yong Kang Street is no longer serving its tasty noodles and dumplings at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, however we’re working to bring a new and exciting option that shoppers are sure to enjoy,” mall spokesperson Todd Jerscheid wrote in an email to ARLnow.

The eatery, known for its noodles and dumplings, was named after a road in Taiwan famed for its street food.

Yong Kang Street first opened at the mall, otherwise known as Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, in the fall of 2018 after being announced earlier that year. The restaurant also had locations in Houston and Las Vegas, but it appears those are also both closed.

It did seem popular, though, with one reader emailing ARLnow to say it was their “favorite Chinese place in the area so I’m devastated!”

Yelp reviewers also mostly agreed, with a majority rating the restaurant four or five stars.

“Oh. my. goodness,” reads a five-star review from over the summer. “I haven’t had good Chinese food in so long and I definitely didn’t expect to find it in the mall of all places!”

While some lost one of their favorite restaurants, the Pentagon City mall is gaining a couple of new eateries. Rosa Mexicano is now open for lunch and will be opening for dinner as well later this week, per a restaurant employee.

Maizal Grill is also planning on opening soon, next to Rosa Mexicano.

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Rosa Mexicano in Pentagon City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) Rosa Mexicano at Pentagon City is now planning to open next week.

The new upscale New York-based Mexican eatery was planning to open its doors sometime this week, according to its website. But that has since changed, we’re told.

Rosa Mexicano’s debut was initially set for Sept. 1, then pushed to later in the fall, and now, according to a PR rep, has been pushed to next week.

The restaurant is moving into a 4,200-square-foot dining space at 1100 S. Hayes Street which was once home to Sugar Factory. That restaurant closed last year.

The new Rosa Mexicano will feature a bar, seating for 200 guests, a private dining room for events, and an outdoor patio. The menu appears will hue close to its other locations, including guacamole that is made tableside. There will also be other well-known Mexican dishes like enchiladas, ceviche, and tacos.

This will be the area’s second currently operating location for the East Coast chain. Locals might remember the location across the street from Capital One Arena in D.C., prior to its closing in July 2021 after 16 years.

There are eight other Rosa Mexicano locations spread out across New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut, with the chain’s geographic footprint set to expand with upcoming openings in Orlando and Las Vegas.

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Tis the season for peppermint mochas and Santa photos.

Starbucks, famous for its ubiquity in Arlington, is bringing back its festive cups and holiday season beverages tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 3), the company announced today.

The 2022 Starbucks offerings include Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Irish Cream Cold Brew and Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, in addition to bakery items like Reindeer Cake Pop, Sugar Plum Cheese Danish, Cranberry Bliss Bar and Snowman Cookie.

Meanwhile, Santa Claus is coming to town — sooner than you might expect.

Santa is set to start snapping photos with children at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on Friday, Nov. 18, according to the mall’s website. Santa will be stationed on the first level of the mall near Nordstrom.

In addition to the daily photo ops, a special “Caring Santa” session for children with special needs is scheduled for Dec. 4 and pet photos with Santa is set for Dec. 11. Santa will also be hosting two breakfasts with kids at the adjacent Ritz-Carlton hotel on Dec. 3 and 17.

Reservations for the Pentagon City mall photo sessions can be made online.

Jolly Ol’ St. Nick will be arriving at the Ballston Quarter mall a bit later than his Pentagon City counterpart. Ballston’s Santa is set to start taking photos with kids on Dec. 3 and reservations can also be made online.

If you’re really jonesing for Father Christmas, there’s an even earlier option than the two in Arlington. Tysons Corner Center mall announced yesterday that Santa will be returning there next week, on Friday, Nov. 11.

Once you pick up your seasonal Starbucks tomorrow, to get in the holiday spirit — despite this week’s relatively warm weather — you might head over to the Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) ice skating rink. The rink officially opened to the public yesterday. As of early this afternoon, no skaters could be seen on the ice.

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Response to fight at the Pentagon City mall (photo courtesy Alan Henney)

Groups of teens were behind some chaotic scenes in Arlington over the weekend.

The latest Arlington County Police Department crime report has three separate items involving groups of juveniles. The first two incidents happened in Pentagon City, at or near the mall.

The first happened late Friday afternoon, when a group of suspects allegedly threatened a security guard during a shoplifting attempt. Three suspects — ages 18 and 19 — were arrested on assault charges.

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2022-10280198, 1200 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 4:21 p.m. on October 28, police were dispatched to the report of an assault by mob. Upon arrival, it was determined a Loss Prevention Officer observed a female subject allegedly conceal a pair of sunglasses before confronting her and recovering the merchandise. A group of male suspects with the female subject then approached the Loss Prevention Officer and allegedly made verbal threats while at least one of the suspects displayed a knife. No injuries were reported. The suspects fled the scene prior to the arrival of police and responding officers located three suspects in the area. Suspect One ignored the commands of officers, resisted arrest and was taken into custody with the assistance of additional arriving officers. During a search of Suspect Two incident to arrest, a folding knife was recovered.

The crime report notes that “all three suspects were released on unsecured bonds.”

That night, police responded to Washington-Liberty High School for a report of four teens sneaking into the football game against McLean (W-L won 43-13), running through the stands and twice pushing someone to the ground. The bike-riding, ski-mask-wearing suspects fled the scene and police are still investigating.

From ACPD:

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2022-10280255, 1300 block of N. Stafford Street. At approximately 9:10 p.m. on October 28, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, it was determined four unknown juvenile suspects climbed a fence and entered the stands of the stadium. As the suspects were running through the stands, they knocked the male [victim] to the ground twice before fleeing the scene. The victim refused medics on scene. The suspects are described as males wearing black hoodies and ski masks and riding bicycles. The investigation is ongoing.

The next day, around 5:30 p.m., a report of groups of teens fighting inside the food court at the Pentagon City mall drew a large police response.

One girl who was wanted in D.C. was arrested and now faces additional charges after allegedly assaulting police.

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2022-10290193, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 5:32 p.m. on October 29, police responded to the report of a fight involving groups of juveniles inside a food court. Responding officers separated the groups and no significant injuries were reported related to the fight. During the course of the investigation, one juvenile was determined to be wanted out of Washington D.C. and she assaulted officers as they attempted to detain her. She was taken into custody and petitions for Assault on Police were obtained.

The police response to that incident was noted on social media.

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Rosa Mexicano is looking to open in the former home of Sugar Factory on S. Hayes Street (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Rosa Mexicano will not be opening next month in Pentagon City but is aiming to start serving later this year.

The new restaurant that’s moving into the former Sugar Factory space is looking to open its doors sometime this fall, a company spokesperson told ARLnow.

That’s a bit of a push from what was reported back in June, when the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City website noted a September 1 opening for the new 4,200-square-foot dining space on S. Hayes Street.

However, the Rosa Mexicano spokesperson tells us the aim was always to open later in the fall. The mall’s website has since been updated and it now simply says “coming soon.”

Either way, it appears that the New York-based upscale Mexican eatery will be serving its tableside guacamole in Pentagon City by the end of the year. It will be the region’s second currently operating location, though locals might remember a previous one in D.C. across the street from Capital One Arena. That location closed only last summer after 16 years.

The first Rosa Mexicano opened in New York City close to four decades ago.

The decor and menu in Pentagon City are still being worked on, but it will likely hue close to recently-opened locations in Philadelphia and Boston. While the menu is set to be “revamped,” it is likely the eatery will still have its guacamole prepared tableside as well as other well-known Mexican dishes like tacos, ceviche, and enchiladas.

There have been plenty of comings and goings at Pentagon City mall recently, beyond Rosa Mexicano.

Menswear store Psycho Bunny is now hopping towards an October opening while local chicken wing restaurant Soul Wingz and Latin American cuisine Maizal are also listed as “coming soon.” Earlier this year, Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage x Fenty opened a storefront at the mall as well.

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Pentagon City mall and S. Hayes Street (file photo)

Virginia’s annual back-to-school tax holiday is coming up this weekend and one local shopping center is using the occasion to hold a donation drive.

This year’s statewide sales tax holiday is taking place from Friday through Sunday (Aug. 5-7). Those shopping in Virginia can rack up tax savings on eligible products, including back-to-school clothing and supplies, emergency preparedness items, and certain energy- and water-efficient home appliances and fixtures.

More from the state’s website:

What items are eligible?

Detailed lists of qualifying items and more information for retailers can be found in the Sales Tax Holiday Guidelines.

“During a time of high inflation and gas prices, Virginians will receive some needed tax relief this weekend as they support local businesses across the Commonwealth,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said this afternoon in a statement. “Lowering the cost of living remains a top priority for my administration as we work together to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Locals taking advantage of tax-free shopping at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, meanwhile, are being asked to bring their used denim with them. Denim clothing can be donated at the mall between Aug. 5-14.

“Fashion Centre at Pentagon City encourages shoppers to bring any type of denim apparel items to the Do Good With Denim drive,” mall operator Simon said in a press release. “Shoppers can recycle their used denim at various bins throughout the center. Stations will be located throughout the center for shoppers to custom embroider their denim. Donations will be given to the Salvation Army.”

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