Gorilla Taco is officially open in Pentagon Row.
The pop-up taco restaurant will be open Wednesdays through Sundays until December. The restaurant is located at 1201 S. Joyce Street alongside its sister restaurant, Basic Burger, which moved to Pentagon Row from Courthouse in June.
When Gorilla Taco was first announced, Basic Burger co-owner Jamie Mansy said that the restaurant was based on food truck the company had for special and private events.
Like the food truck, the restaurant has a rotating menu of five to seven taco types each day. Gorilla Taco also serves alcohol, with a selection of beers like Modelo Negro and Pacifico, as well as house-made margaritas on tap.
“We are excited to announce that Gorilla Taco will be joining Pentagon Row and its sister restaurant, Basic Burger, at this location,” said Kari Glinski, Director of Asset Management for Federal Realty Investment Trust, in a press release. “The addition of a Mexican-style pop up restaurant certainly builds upon the strength of the Center’s dining options.”
Photos via Gorilla Taco
Basic Burger is officially open in Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street) after moving out of its Courthouse location at the end of last week.
The eatery will host a grand opening celebration Saturday (June 23), featuring giveaways and a raffle for Washington Nationals tickets.
The move comes as the young company plans to expand in the region, having signed leases for new spaces in North Arlington and D.C., according to general manager Guillermo Castillo.
The Pentagon Row location is larger than the Courthouse space, where the restaurant first opened in 2016, and will offer an expanded menu.
Basic Burger is moving out of its Courthouse location, but the restaurant has big plans for expansion across the D.C. region.
General manager Guillermo Castillo says his eatery will be closing up shop at 2024 Wilson Blvd at the end of this week, after first opening there in 2016.
He says that decision was in part driven by some big changes in the company — Castillo said one of its main partners left the business six months ago — but also a reflection of his plans to open other Basic Burgers elsewhere in the coming months. He announced plans last fall to open a new space in the Pentagon Row shopping center, and he’s hoping to open another location in North Arlington and one in D.C. soon enough.
“It was a tough decision… but with all the new projects we had going on, it just didn’t make sense for us to stay there any more,” Castillo told ARLnow.
Castillo hopes to hold a soft opening for the Pentagon Row shop, to be located at 1101 S. Joyce Street in the plaza next to Starbucks, by this weekend, at the earliest. He expects that location will become the restaurant’s “flagship,” as it’s several times larger than the old Courthouse space, and will offer a whole host of new menu items beyond the burgers and hotdogs that have defined Basic Burger.
“We’re limited a bit by our budget as we opened up last time,” Castillo said. “But this has really taken us to the next level.”
He also plans to set up outdoor seating and a bar that’s “twice the size” of the one at the Courthouse location. That will include a handful of vodka cocktails on tap, as well as frozen rosé.
As for the new locations elsewhere, Castillo said he’s signed leases for both a North Arlington space and one in D.C., but he declined to reveal the locations of those just yet.
Castillo also noted that burger fans in Courthouse will soon have a new option in the space Basic Burger is leaving behind. He says he’s arranged for another restaurant to take over the location, though he doesn’t know much about the new occupants, other than the fact that they operate some food trucks in the area.
State records show that a company called Philomina, LLC recently applied for a license to serve wine and beer at the space, under the name “Burger District.”
Demolition permits have been issued for one of the freestanding retail kiosks at Pentagon Row.
Pentagon Row’s other retail kiosk is currently home to Bread and Water cafe, which opened in February.
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) A restaurant called “Gorilla Taco” appears to be coming to the Pentagon Row shopping center.
The new Mexican restaurant has applied for a Virginia ABC permit to serve wine and beer at 1201 S. Joyce Street.
Gorilla Taco has a Facebook page, but it lists little information except for the address and a logo.
Basic Burger co-owner Jamie Mansy confirmed that Gorilla Taco will be a sister restaurant to Basic Burger and will be an “eight-month pop-up” restaurant based on a food truck the company had for special and private events. It will serve “authentic street tacos,” he said
Additional information about the the restaurant was not immediately available.
A pair of new restaurants are coming to the Pentagon Row shopping center in Pentagon City.
Smallcakes, a cupcake and ice cream chain, is set to open in a vacant storefront adjacent to the former Ristorante Murali.
Smallcakes has more than 200 locations in the U.S. and abroad. It touts its freshly-made treats, including a daily offering of 18 cupcake flavors — with “seasonal and special flavors such as Maple Bacon, Fat Elvis, Cannoli, Strawberries N’ Crème, Tiramisu, French Toast, and Pumpkin” — and 15 ice cream flavors, which are “a nod to Smallcakes’ famous cupcake recipes.”
The Pentagon Row Smallcakes location is simply listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website.
Also coming to the shopping center is Aabee Restaurant, a “Persian and Mediterranean fusion” restaurant formerly located in Fairfax. Permanent signs are up for Aabee, which is opening in the former NKD Pizza storefront across the parking lot from Harris Teeter.
Aabee’s former location is listed as closed on Yelp. Neither its former website nor Facebook page have been updated to reflect the apparent closure and new location, though a new website was recently launched. A phone number listed for the business has been disconnected.
The Pentagon Row ice rink closed on Monday, April 2, despite possible Saturday snow and ongoing cold temperatures.
According to the Capital Weather Gang, “snow or a mix of precipitation is likely across the region between 8 a.m. and late morning, with temperatures in the 30s.”
Several crew members were seen clearing the space on the shopping center’s plaza today (April 5). No word yet on social media when the plaza will be open again for other activities.
The new location of Bread & Water had a “soft opening” the past weekend on Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street).
The eatery, the original location of which is in the Belle View section of Fairfax County, sells pastries like fruit bars, danish, muffins, key lime pie, plus sandwiches, salads, and more.
The artisan bakery regularly sells at local farmer’s markets in Ballston, Crystal City, and Columbia Pike. Additional farmer’s market stops are as far apart as Dale City, Va., and Silver Spring, Md.
Signs for the bakery initially went up in January. It is located at Pentagon Row’s central plaza, in a space formerly occupied by a sunglasses store and a Capital Teas shop.
The store’s Facebook page lists hours of operation between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The company also caters.
A 10,000 square foot Ulta Beauty location is set to open its doors at Pentagon Row later this week.
The opening of the 1101 S. Joyce Street location is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, February 23. The store “will feature 20,000 beauty products across 500 brands, as well as a full-service salon.”
The first 100 shoppers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be given beauty products and makeovers. Gift recipients will be given a “beauty treat” valued between $5 and $100, and can choose between a discounted first hair or facial appointment voucher at the in-store salon or skincare bar.
Ulta Beauty currently runs 1,058 locations across the country, according to a company press release.
Ristorante Murali is “closed forever,” according to the Italian restaurant’s website.
The signs on the restaurant’s building in Pentagon Row have been taken down with only a small sign in the door remaining.
The Italian restaurant had been open for 14 years before closing recently.
“After many years in business, we are forever closed. Thank you for your loyalty and we wish you well,” wrote the website.
According to a sign, the bakery and cafe is opening in one of the glass-and-steel kiosk building of Pentagon Row’s central plaza, which was formerly occupied by Capital Teas and sunglasses store Specs.
The bakery has an existing bricks-and-mortar location in the Belle View section of Fairfax County, south of Alexandria. It also is a regular fixture at local farmers markets, including Crystal City, Ballston and Columbia Pike.
Bread & Water’s menu includes freshly-baked breads, breakfast items, salads, soups, sandwiches, pastries and desserts.
No word yet on an opening date.
Those heading to shop or dine (or ice skate) at Pentagon Row will now get a free hour of garage parking.
Parking for even a short period of time at the Pentagon Row garage has previously required payment, except for those getting parking validation at the Harris Teeter. Starting today (Tuesday), all visitors will be able to park for free for the first hour, according to an email from the shopping center.
As of 5:30 p.m., there were more than 600 open parking spaces at the shopping center, according to its website.
The surface parking lots at Pentagon Row, near Harris Teeter and World Market, remain free for the first hour, though spaces are often hard to come by during peak periods.
The pharmacies at Rite Aid drug stores throughout Arlington County now have Walgreens branding, ahead of Walgreens finalizing its purchase of Rite Aid next year.
The Rite Aid stores in Pentagon Row (1301 S. Joyce Street), and on Columbia Pike and Lee Highway, all had signs added to reflect the switch to Walgreens pharmacies inside. There are other Rite Aids in Crystal City, Rosslyn and Westover.
Fortune magazine reported in October that Walgreens plans to close nearly 600 of the more-than 1,900 Rite Aid stores across the country as part of a $4.3 billion deal to buy the company.
That transaction will close in the spring, Fortune reported, after which some Rite Aid — and a few Walgreens — stores will be closed if they are within one mile of another drug store the company owns.
Beyond the changed branding for the pharmacy services, everything else appeared much the same in local Rite Aids.
The Jewish holiday begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12, and concludes on the evening of Wednesday, December 20.
Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington will light a six-foot Menorah on Wednesday, December 13 at Clarendon Central Park (3140 Wilson Blvd) at 6 p.m. Attendees can eat hot potato latkes, chocolate gelt coins and play with dreidels. The event will also include live traditional music.
The following day, Thursday December 14, from 6-8 p.m., Pentagon Row will host the annual Chanukah On Ice celebration at its outdoor ice rink (1201 S. Joyce Street).
The evening will include the lighting of a six-foot Menorah, hot potato latkes, kosher hot dogs and a free raffle. Reservations are required.
In Alexandria, meanwhile, Chabad Lubavitch will light its six-foot Menorah in a public celebration on Monday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown will light the Menorah at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria), with live entertainment and traditional food included.
A nationally-known Pilates studio has opened its first D.C.-area location in Pentagon Row.
Club Pilates had its soft opening this weekend at 1101 S. Joyce Street, and will host a grand opening celebration on January 6. The gym is next to the Saigon Saigon restaurant. It had planned to open earlier, but organizers blamed delays on the county permitting process.
The soft opening included three full days of free 30-minute introductory classes and specials. Soft opening pricing specials are available through January 5 and include 20 percent off the first three months, 5 percent off an annual membership and the waiving of the enrollment fee.
Classes are available in the mornings and evenings at the studio, which modernizes traditional Pilates with the help of state-of-the-art equipment. Eight different class formats are available, with four levels of difficulty.
“Club Pilates is like nothing the DC area has ever seen — merging a variety of exercises that complement the core traditional Pilates practice,” studio owner Michael Grams said in a statement. “And in our efforts to modernize the workout even further, we’re bringing a group class feel with slightly larger classes (12 reformers vs. the traditional 2 to 8) so students will feel the motivation of community while providing personalized attention in this all-in-one workout.”