Food Star Not Responding to Pleas to Stay — The Food Star grocery store apparently doesn’t have much interest in staying in Arlington after the store, at the corner of Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive, closes to make way for a redevelopment. Despite resident interest in keeping the Food Star, county officials say their efforts to reach out to the company and help them relocate to another location in Arlington have not yet yielded a “substantive” response. [InsideNova]
LEGO Store Grand Opening — The new LEGO Store in the Pentagon City mall is holding its grand opening celebration starting today. The store will be hosting a LEGO Master Builder who will construct a huge LEGO model for display. The first 400 customers Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive free gifts with qualifying purchases. [LEGO]
Olympic Athletes at Elementary School — A group of Olympic athletes will talk with students at Carlin Springs Elementary this morning. Among the group are shot put gold medalist Michelle Carter, gold medal-winning sprinter Natasha Hastings and long jump gold medalist Jeff Henderson. The athletes will be at the school as part of the Let’s Move! Healthy Schools campaign.
Notable Tree Nominations — It’s that time of the year — if you think you have a truly exceptional tree in your yard that deserves recognition, you can now nominate it for Arlington County’s annual Notable Tree awards. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 15. [Arlington County]
October Is Affordable Housing Month — Tomorrow is Oct. 1 and October is Affordable Housing Month in Arlington, “a month-long celebration of the County’s long-term commitment to preserving and creating housing opportunities that benefit the whole community.” [Arlington County]
The Apple Store in the Pentagon City mall has announced that it will be closing for renovations starting on Sunday, Sept. 25.
“We’re making the Apple Store you love even lovelier,” the announcement says.
Meanwhile, the Clarendon Apple Store remains closed due to renovations and no reopening date has been announced. The renovations may have been hampered by a large electrical fire at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center.
The new iPhone 7 launches this coming Friday, Sept. 16, leaving only 9 days to get one before the Pentagon City store shuts its doors. Other Apple Store locations in the D.C. area include Georgetown, Tysons Corner and Bethesda.
Update at 9:30 a.m. — A number of readers have said that they’ve received emails or had conversations with employees at other Apple stores indicating that the Clarendon store will reopen on or around Sept. 24. The store’s website and phone number still does not list an opening date, and no opening date was posted on the store’s exterior on Monday.
Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit will be opening in Pentagon City on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman.
Located in the newly-expanded portion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, at 1100 S. Hayes Street, it will feature an expansive, 12,000 square foot, multi-level dining space with a second floor patio.
More from a press release:
matchboxfoodgroup will roll out new offerings in all of its matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit locations in August, including the company’s tenth and eleventh matchbox locations, scheduled to open in Arlington, VA and Short Pump, VA in late summer.
matchbox will debut in Arlington, VA in the bustling Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S Hayes Street) with a sprawling 12,000 sq. ft. restaurant, set across two levels with an elevated outdoor dining terrace. Deepening the brand’s roots on the east coast, the company will also debut near Richmond with matchbox slated for Short Pump Town Center (11720 W Broad Street) in a freestanding 7,000 sq. ft. multi-level dining space complete with an outdoor patio. Both locations will prominently feature wood-fired masonry ovens as well as reclaimed materials – highlights of the concept’s signature open, energetic design.
Stephen Lyons, Vice President of Culinary Operations, has spent the summer developing original spins for the concept’s updated menu, and will introduce a number of new sandwiches, entrees and salads. The restaurant’s all-day menu will include two grinders, each served on stuffed and baked wood-fired pizza dough, with flavors such as Italian with salami, prosciutto, and capicola or meatball. The sandwiches join a new fried chicken cobb and seared salmon salad, as well as chicken + walnut pesto fettuccine. Longtime favorites like the 3.6.9 mini burgers and artisanal pizzas continue to anchor the revitalized menu, due to roll out progressively in late summer beginning with matchbox 14th street in Washington, DC.
In 2013 matchbox announced a partnership with famed California winemaker Jed Steele, creating its proprietary “matchbox blend” red wine. This month the partnership expands with a white wine blend, which Steele expects to fully roll out in fall with limited availability beginning late summer. matchbox Co-Founder Ty Neal shares, “Outstanding wine does not have to be expensive, and we are so happy with the blend Jed has developed for us. It’s approachable and refined, and we are proud to serve it.”
The brand’s proprietary bottled wines join a focused list of American craft spirits and beers, as well as an innovative draft wine system that is now standard at new locations.
A fast-casual eatery in Pentagon City gave select locals a taste of its noodle, rice and salad bowls and its automated ordering and payment system today, ahead of its scheduled opening next week.
Honeygrow, which is slated to make its official debut Monday in the recently-expanded Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, served up samples of its sesame garlic and Philly roast pork stir-fry bowls and other food during an RSVP-only preview lunch.
The restaurant follows a Chipotle-style ordering model that allows customers to pick between its suggested salad and stir-fry noodle or rice options, or create their own meals. Diners also can order a “honeybar,” a dessert with fresh fruit, honey and other toppings, such as coconut flakes and granola.
But unlike Chipotle, customers use touch screens to order and pay for their food, which they can eat in the restaurant or take away with them.
Honeygrow’s Arlington outpost is the Philadelphia-based company’s ninth restaurant and its first location in the D.C. area. The chain is slated to open a location in the District’s Chinatown neighborhood later this year, along with two other outposts in Baltimore.
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has a new fashion retailer.
In a press release, below, the store is described as “a place of respite for the modern-day woman and offers a distinctive shopping experience with the latest fashion finds, the most sought after accessories and delightful home décor.” As a company, Altar’d State emphasizes its giving to charitable causes with the slogan “Stand Out. For Good.”
Altar’d State, an inspiring women’s boutique, is opening at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City at the end of July. This site will mark the 73rd store and the first location in the Arlington community for the growing retail chain.
Altar’d State is a place of respite for the modern-day woman and offers a distinctive shopping experience with the latest fashion finds, the most sought after accessories and delightful home décor. Altar’d State’s breath-taking interiors seek to inspire guests as they shop and provide them with a place of rejuvenation from their daily stressors.
Altar’d State’s popularity is growing not only for its trend setting apparel and inspiring retail design, but also for its emphasis on giving back to charitable organizations locally and globally. Every Monday is Mission Monday, where 10% of Monday’s net proceeds are donated to a local nonprofit charity selected by the store associates. During the months of July and August, Altar’d State at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be supporting a charity that focuses on “Pet Pals”. The company encourages associates to get involved in charitable missions through paid volunteer hours and also sponsors children in impoverished areas around the world. The sponsorship provides children with clothing, nutritious meals, education, shelter, healthcare and counseling support to help them rise up and out of poverty. Altar’d State focuses on giving back by seeking out vendor partners who share their giving philosophy.
Arlington shoppers can feel good about their purchases by knowing they are helping those in need in their home town and on a global scale.
“The give-back mission isn’t just what we do, it’s who we are,” comments Aaron Walters, Chairman and CEO. “From the very beginning, our mission has been to help the less fortunate. For Altar’d State, a new store means a new community in which we can have a positive impact.”
Altar’d State also offers an online retail store found at www.altardstate.com.
For employment opportunities, please visit www.altardstate.com/careers.
Photo via Facebook
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is getting a new LEGO store.
LEGO builders will be able to head to the mall to get their supply of the versatile plastic bricks starting this fall. The store is expected to open around Sept. 1, according to the mall website.
The nearest existing LEGO stores are in Tysons Corner and Woodbridge, according to the Danish company’s website.
The store will be located on the first level of the Fashion Centre, next to the Microsoft Store.
Hat tip to C.H. McMillan
According to the mall’s website, D.C.-based Matchbox is set to open its first Arlington location in August and candy-shop-slash-restaurant Sugar Factory is slated for an October opening of what will be its first D.C. area location.
A mall spokesman confirmed that the openings are nearing, but couldn’t confirm any dates.
“Matchbox is slated to open later this summer and Sugar Shack is said to open in October, however the exact date is not yet confirmed,” said the spokesman.
Also opening as part of the expansion is Philadelphia-based stir-fry chain Honeygrow, which will be launching its first D.C. area location.
“Slated to open in early August, honeygrow will contribute to the mall’s extensive dining selection by providing shoppers with a variety of fully customizable stir-fry and salad options,” said a recent press release. “Located in the new Hayes Street expansion, the eatery will feature locally and seasonally sourced ingredients, noodles freshly prepared by ramen chefs, house-made dressings and sauces and proteins sourced from providers including Creekstone Farms and Freebird.”
The first tenant to open its doors in the new expansion was Shake Shack, which opened in May to large crowds.
The training exercise will be held at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight.
“The purpose of the exercise is to test the response of Arlington County’s public safety agencies and mall staff in a simulated emergency situation,” ACPD said in a press release.
Training activities will be confined to the interior of the mall and there will be a large number of public safety vehicles in the area surrounding it. They will not use lights or sirens during the exercise.
As a result of the training, pedestrian access to the mall will be restricted after 6 p.m. and parking at the mall will be limited
Two men arrested for a shooting outside the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall have been sentenced after entering plea agreements.
Reginald Dana is slated to serve three years in prison after entering an Alford plea for attempted malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Calvin Pelzer will serve a year in jail after pleading guilty to felony eluding and accessory after the fact, according to prosecutors.
The December 2015 shooting was described as a road rage incident at the exit of the mall’s parking garage. Police say Dana fired a gunshot in the air out of frustration with a driver who was having problems using a credit card at one of the gates. Pelzer, the driver, then sped away and tried to elude police who gave chase on I-395. The chase ended near 3rd and F Street NW in D.C., after the two suspects bailed out and started running.
Both men were both 21 years old and D.C. residents at the time of their arrest.
Starting Friday, visitors to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be able to use the mall’s new valet parking service.
“A valet service has been something we’ve wanted to implement for many years now,” said Todd Jerscheid, the mall’a director of marketing and business development. “As we prepare for the renovation completion later this summer, we couldn’t think of a better time to launch the program. We know this will be a huge hit for our shoppers, especially around the busy holiday season and as they begin to really experience all of our new features and services!”
The service will cost five dollars on top of the garage’s usual parking rate and it will be available from 10 a.m.-midnight from Friday to Saturday and from 11 a.m.-9 p.m on Sunday.
The Fashion Centre, which is starting to wrap up an expansion project, will hold a launch event on Friday. The first 50 customers to use the service will receive complimentary “swag bags” and two randomly selected shoppers will also win a $150 Simon gift card. Valet shoppers will also receive special promotions throughout the month of June.
While visiting the Pentagon City mall on Saturday with her son, Beth Schweinefuss says that she saw a man walking around the food court and standing by himself with a plastic bag on his head.
“We were sitting on the third floor of the mall resting and doing some people watching,” Schweinefuss told ARLnow.com. “We both noticed the gentleman in the food court standing by himself and wearing a plastic bag on his head. His mannerisms suggested to me he was possible talking to himself and was just looking around and listening to something on a portable tape recorder. That caught our attention.”
Soon after, a couple of police officers went down to the food court to speak to the man and Schweinefuss noted that instead of kicking him out of the mall, they spent a few minutes talking to him, taking care to speak to him with respect.
“They were smiling and chatting and doing their best to make this gentleman feel valued,” she said.
Eventually, all but one of the officers left. The officer who stayed took the man to a hat kiosk, helping him to pick one out and paying for it with his own money.
“It was moving to us because clearly this gentleman was in from the rain and rather than just escorting him out of the mall, the officers obviously took that time to find out what was going on with him and to provide some relief,” she said. “They clearly didn’t HAVE to do this, but they saw a person in need and helped. It was an opportunity for us to talk about people in need and how to help, but also to talk about how we so often see the negative encounters people have with police and it was very uplifting to see a positive encounter.”
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said Schweinefuss contacted the department via its Facebook page, to share the story. After doing some digging, Savage was able to confirm that the officer had not only bought the man a hat, but had bought him dinner as well.
“We take protecting and serving beyond just our enforcement of the law. We like citizens to help each other and so the fact that we were able to do that and this woman and her son were able to see it and share a little bit of a life lesson — that’s more than we could really ask for in these types of situations,” said Savage.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 23, 2016
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) The new Garrett Popcorn Shop opened today at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City — and customers are lining up faster than they can pop the kernels. Some even brought homemade signs to mark the occasion.
Located in the former Johnny Rockets space, near the Metro entrance on the food court level, it’s the Chicago-based company’s 50th location and its first in the D.C. area.
To celebrate today’s opening, Garrett is offering $1 treat bags, $19.49 gallon tins of mixed popcorn and free D.C. tote bags to the first 200 customers (excluding those just buying the $1 treat bag.)
Those specials, and the allure of cheesy, buttery or crispy sweet popcorn from the Windy City, apparently was enough to convince customers to wait in an enormous line that stretched halfway through the food court.
A group at the front of the line insisted that they had been waiting for two hours. Was that worth it?
“Oh yeah, their popcorn is the bomb,” one of the women said.
At the very least, posts on the company’s Facebook page seem to confirm that the line is indeed as long as it looks.
Wrote one devoted popcorn fan: “The line isn’t moving. I’m like the 300th person in line. Did you guys run out of kernels?”
The incident happened last night around 6:30, at or near the Pentagon City mall.
Police say the group of teens that asked for the phone chased the other group, which took off running after declining the request. The assault then ensued.
The crime is being described as an attempted robbery — no belongings were stolen. The four teen suspects were all described as slender, 6’0″ tall black males.
From the Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 160504044, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 6:35 p.m. on May 4, a group of juveniles approached a separate group of juveniles and asked to borrow a cellphone. The juveniles declined and took off running. The initial group of juveniles who asked to use the cellphone chased after them and struck two juvenile victims in the face. The suspects fled the scene after the assault without any of the victim’s belongings.
Construction on the Pentagon City mall’s expansion is still happening all around it, but Shake Shack is nonetheless planning to open its doors Wednesday.
The trendy burger-and-shake restaurant is serving patrons today as part of an invite-only “friends and family” event, allowing staff to work out the kinks before opening to the general public. Tomorrow, at 11 a.m., it’s expected to open to an inevitable crush of local workers, residents, tourists and mall shoppers.
Shake Shack’s wedge-like storefront in the mall’s expanded wing along S. Hayes Street, near the Pentagon City Metro entrance, includes a small-ish order counter but a more open, airy indoor seating area. There’s also what looks like a future outdoor seating area in front.
Shake Shack’s menu includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, shakes, custard-based “concretes,” soda, coffee and beer. There are even a couple of options specifically for dogs.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Metro Delays and Traffic This Morning — There are residual delays on the Orange and Silver lines due to a malfunctioning train near the Clarendon Metro station earlier this morning. For drivers, morning rush hour traffic is noticeably heavier than usual around Northern Virginia inside the Beltway. [Twitter]
Firefighters Applaud New Metro Move — WMATA will now staff its Metrorail control center with a uniformed fire officer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Arlington’s firefighter association applauded the move, calling it a “positive step for the safety of firefighters and citizens in the DMV.” [WTOP, Twitter]
CARD to Hold School Board Debate — The Pike Presidents’ Group and the Coalition of Arlingtonians for Responsible Development, which advocates for a wider distribution of affordable housing throughout the county, is holding a School Board candidate debate on Wednesday, May 11. CARD also sent a candidate questionaire to all four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Of them, only Tannia Talento declined to respond. [CARD, CARD]
Liberty Tavern Named Top Brunch Spot — A new-for-2016 list of the top brunch spots in the country, compiled from diner reviews by the restaurant reservation website OpenTable, includes The Liberty Tavern in Clarendon. [OpenTable, Patch]
Mall Launches Walking Program — Today, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is launching a new program called “Walk-Fit.” Open to all ages, the program is described as “an official way for walkers to meet up, exercise, socialize and even enjoy a morning cup of coffee,” all inside the mall.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf