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
Exterior signage is up at the future Shake Shack at the Pentagon City mall.
The burger-and-shake restaurant is opening within a new, still under-construction expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City along S. Hayes Street. It’s the chain’s first restaurant in Arlington.
The mall’s website says Shake Shack “is expected to open as of 4/1/2016,” but a PR rep said that information is “inaccurate.” No updated opening date was immediately available. Initially, it was said that Shake Shack would open at some point this spring.
Other restaurants and stores coming to the expanded front entrance of the mall include:
Major Rosslyn Development Approved — A sweeping five-phase redevelopment of 7.65 acres of prime Rosslyn real estate was approved unanimously by the Arlington County Board on Saturday. The Board approved the framework for the development, though final approval will be necessary for each phase. Developers Vornado and Gould Property Company expect to complete the project over the course of 25 years. [Arlington County]
Gun Store Saga Continues — Who owns NOVA Armory, the gun store that’s planning to open in Lyon Park despite community opposition? The man who speaks on behalf of the business and holds its federal firearms sales license isn’t saying, exactly. Dennis Pratte declined further questions after describing it as “a female, minority-owned business” and stating “I may or may not be the owner.” Meanwhile, county leaders say there’s nothing they can legally do to prevent the store from opening. NOVA Armory is planning to a grand opening on March 26. [Washington Post, InsideNova]
Teen Tourist Scammed at Pentagon City Mall — A California teenager on a school trip to Washington was reportedly scammed out of $97 by an armed man at the Pentagon City mall. The man compelled the teen to give him $97 in exchange for what turned out to be a counterfeit $100 bill. [NBC Washington]
Arlington Natives Live Blog Day at Ballston Common Mall — Two friends who grew up in Arlington’s Bluemont neighborhood decided to spend all of Saturday at Ballston Common Mall, ahead of its imminent demise, and live-blog their experience. The blog mixes nostalgia for time spent shopping and working at the mall with observations about the current mix of largely chain restaurants and small, quirky stores. [Things Remembered: A Day at Ballston]
Other County Board Action — On Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with Virginia Tech and join the national MetroLab Network, and voted to accept $731,813 in state funding to support the county’s permanent supportive housing program. [Arlington County, Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
This Sunday, Daylight Saving Time begins. Next Sunday is the start of spring. And the Sunday after that is Easter.
To celebrate the season, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall is bringing the Easter bunny himself (or is it herself?) to the mall for photos with children.
The Easter bunny’s first official day on the job at the mall is Friday. The photo sessions will run though Saturday, March 26.
Look for the bunny and his photographer on the ground floor of the mall (not to be confused with the lower, “Metro” level), near Nordstrom. From the mall’s website, here are the dates and times for bunny photos.
- 3/11- 11am-8pm
- 3/12- 10am-8pm
- 3/13- 11am-6pm
- 3/14- 12pm-8pm
- 3/15- 12pm-8pm
- 3/16- 12pm-8pm
- 3/17- 12pm-8pm
- 3/18- 11am-8pm
- 3/19- 10am-8pm
- 3/20- 11am-6pm
- 3/21- 11am-8pm
- 3/22- 11am-8pm
- 3/23- 11am-8pm
- 3/24- 11am-8pm
- 3/25- 10am-8pm
- 3/26- 9am-8pm
A Garrett Popcorn Shop is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
The store will be located in the former Johnny Rockets space, between the Pentagon City Metro station and the mall’s food court. The retro burger-and-shake eatery closed earlier this month.
Chicago-based Garrett lists the store simply as “coming soon” on its website. In addition to its home base of Chicago, Garrett has stores in U.S. cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and New York. This is the company’s first D.C. area shop.
Founded in 1949, Garrett is best known for its orange-colored “CheeseCorn.” It also offers plain, butter and caramel flavors, in addition to varieties with nuts mixed in.
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes Street) and Eden Center (6751 Wilson Blvd in Falls Church) both are scheduled to host Lunar New Year celebrations Saturday. But only Eden Center plans to keep the party going on Sunday.
At Pentagon City, visitors can catch lion and dragon dances, along with interactive games, Asian-inspired fashion shows and live music, according to a news release from the mall. The party is set to run from noon to 6 p.m. on the ground level of the Nordstrom wing.
As for Eden Center, the Vietnamese shopping destination will have lion dances, face painting, balloon animals and a magician, a Facebook post says. The festivities are slated to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Image via Eden Center
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The Johnny Rockets in the Pentagon City mall has apparently gone the way of sock hops and McCarthyism.
The 1950s themed burger-and-shake restaurant has been closed and boarded up for the past several days. While the Pentagon City location’s Facebook account is still publishing generic food photos, it has been removed from the company’s website and customers asking about the closure earlier this week have gotten no response.
There was no answer at the restaurant’s phone line. We’re still awaiting confirmation that the eatery has closed for good.
A Johnny Rockets in Shirlington closed last year.
Update on 2/6/16 — A PR rep for the mall writes in an email to ARLnow.com: “Johnny Rockets has been a valued eatery at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for many years. We expect to make an announcement on plans for the space very soon. Further questions should be directed to Johnny Rockets.”
Police were dispatched to the store around 2:30 p.m. Monday.
A man was in the jewelry store for about 10 minutes looking at rings, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. At one point, he allegedly grabbed one of the rings — a diamond engagement ring — and took off running.
So far, police have declined to identify the jewelry store or the release the value of the ring.
The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall black male in his 40s, with a medium build. He was wearing a tan thermal hat and a zip-up sweatshirt at the time of the crime, we’re told.
Christian clothing store Altar’d State is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, according to building permit applications filed just before Christmas.
The retailer offers women’s clothing and accessories with a God-centric mission statement. Founded in 2009, the company has about 60 stores nationwide and donates one percent of all sales to local and international charities.
At Pentagon City mall, Altar’d State will serve both local customers and the throngs who visit the mall by the busload during school and church trips.
The permit application says the store will be 4,700 square feet and on the second floor of the mall.
Here’s how fashion website Racked described the retailer:
Altar’d State does not sell Christian apparel. The company sells feminine and flirty womenswear that taps into boho-chic trends for the Instagram set. Its stores push both in-house brands and external labels, all showcasing looks that are big on antiqued lace, soft tulle, and crochet detailing, with plenty of flowy layers in muted colors.
Which is to say that for a self-described Christian fashion company, there’s a surprising dearth of religious iconography when it comes to its clothes. Instead, there are graphic tees best worn by weekend warriors sipping on mimosas that read “Will Work for Brunch” and “I Hate Mondays.”
But Altar’d State’s faith is never far from view. Stores pipe in contemporary Christian music and the dressing rooms feature those aforementioned prayer request books. There are plenty of wood-block wall hangings with snappy messages like, “Just Sayin’,” “Be Nice or Leave,” and “I Totally Agree with Myself” — but the larger blocks displayed in-store include text like, “Be Patient. Our prayers are always answered but not always on the exact day we’d like them to be,” and “Don’t tell God that you have a big problem. Tell your problem that you have a big God.” A display near the front entrance of the Austin store features hand towels with Philippians 4:13 alongside joke linens (all stitched in the same distressed Courier font) that define a calorie as, “A tiny creature that lives in your closet and sews your clothes a little tighter every night.”
(Updated at 11:55 p.m.) Two suspects are in custody after leading Arlington County Police on a vehicle pursuit through the District of Columbia, following a shooting near the Pentagon City mall.
The alleged road rage incident happened around 3:10 p.m., at the 15th Street South exit of the mall’s parking lot. NBC 4 reported that a driver was having trouble using a credit card to exit from one of the gates. The driver was trying to get the car behind to let them reverse out, when someone in that car fired a gunshot in the air.
Witnesses called 911 and reported the shooting, describing the suspect vehicle as white in color with D.C. tags
A car matching the description given to police was spotted by an officer on I-395. That led to a pursuit across the 14th Street Bridge into D.C., near the National Mall, and back on I-395 before ending at 3rd and F Streets NW, near the Third Street Tunnel, where the suspects bailed out and took off running.
Arlington police, aided by D.C. police, were able to chase and apprehend both suspects, according to ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.
Reginald Carroll, a 21-year-old D.C. resident, has been charged with willfully discharging a firearm in public and felony eluding. Calvin Pelzer, also 21 years old and from D.C., has been charged with discharging a firearm and obstruction of justice.
The suspects threw a gun out of the window during the vehicle pursuit, Malcolm said. It was recovered along I-395 near the GW Parkway.
Arlington County Police normally don’t engage in car chases, but department policy specifies that such pursuits are authorized for violent crimes involving firearms, “for the safety of the community,” according to Malcolm.
No one was reported injured in the shooting. As of early Friday evening, investigators were still looking for bullet casings and other evidence near the scene. They’re also trying to find other witnesses as well as the other driver involved, who fled after the shooting.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Malcolm said.
Citing an “imminent health hazard,” the county’s health department has closed the following: Maki of Japan, McDonald’s, Popeyes, Panera Bread, Great Wraps and Which Wich.
“Public Health is aware of the situation and will work with the establishments to help get them up and running when it is safe to do so,” said Arlington County Dept. of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick.
Several other restaurants in the mall’s food court were unaffected by the sewage issue and remain open.
There are only a couple of days left to finalize Black Friday shopping plans, so it’s time to take stock of what’s open and when.
The biggest mall in Arlington, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, has announced its holiday hours and specials for holiday shoppers. The mall’s hours for this weekend are:
- Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26 — 6 p.m. – Midnight
- Black Friday, Nov. 27 — 6 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 28 — 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 29 — 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
On Friday, the first 100 shoppers who check in at Guest Services at the mall will receive a “Holiday Shopping Survival Kit.” The kit will include water, mints, snacks and store promotions.
Additional sales, deals and promotions will continue to be posted on the mall’s Facebook page.
Huge Apartment Building Proposed for Ballston — A Bethesda-based developer is proposing a huge new apartment building on the western side of the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road in Ballston. The building would feature 483 apartments, 760 underground parking spaces and 68,000 square feet of retail including a grocery store. The nearby Bluemont Civic Association has expressed concern about the proposal, including the potential impact of traffic from the grocery store. [Washington Business Journal]
Mall Worker Accused of Stealing Dozens of Shoes — A maintenance worker at the Pentagon City mall has been arrested and accused of stealing at least 77 pairs of shoes and boots and 9 purses. Police say surveillance footage shows Michael Meza-Guevara unsuccessfully trying to disable surveillance cameras. [NBC Washington]
Arlington Tops Regional Teacher Pay List — Arlington Public Schools offer the highest average teacher pay in suburban D.C. The average teacher salary in Arlington was $78,002 a year, compared to $76,029 for Montgomery County, which ranked third. [WTOP]
Editorial Supports I-66 Toll Plan, Widening — A new Washington Post editorial supports Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan for adding tolls to I-66. The editorial also supports widening the highway: “The right policy response to the I-66 mess, in addition to promoting mass transit, is to widen the road. Unfortunately, that’s been blocked by Arlington County, whose hostility from the outset is why the road was designed to narrow to four lanes inside the Beltway (from six outside).” [Washington Post]
Freezing Temperatures This Morning — Temperatures reached the freezing mark, dropping down to 32 degrees for the first time this season. The average first freeze in Arlington occurs on Nov. 18. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
A photo went viral this week, showing a sign at a Nordstrom store.
“We won’t be decking our halls until Friday, November 27,” the sign said. “Why? Well, we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.”
Never mind that the photo was from 2009, it brings up a discussion-worthy point: has Christmas creep gone too far? Should other retailers hold off until after Thanksgiving to start putting up Christmas decorations?
Over at the Nordstrom store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City yesterday, there were no signs of Christmas decorations — and no signs of explanatory signs — inside. Outside of the department store was another story: the future home of the mall’s Santa Claus already had decorated trees along with red carpets and rope lines, waiting for Saint Nick to arrive along with adoring throngs of youngsters and parents.
So which would you prefer? A holly, jolly November, or some holiday restraint?
A building permit application, filed on Nov. 2, indicates that a Starbucks will be built inside the Macy’s store at the mall. Thus far it’s unclear where exactly in the Macy’s the cafe will be located.
There is already a Starbucks at the mall — an often busy kiosk in the center of the ground-level food court. There is also a Starbucks across Hayes Street, in the Pentagon Centre shopping center, and one within a stone’s throw of the mall parking lot, at the adjacent Pentagon Row shopping center.