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Hanukkah is here and it’s again time to light the menorah flame while on ice.

The annual “Chanukah on Ice” event is back this year, set to take place this Thursday (Dec. 2) evening outside on the Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink in Pentagon City.

The event, organized by the Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington, will include skating, latkes, kosher hot dogs, a raffle, and the lighting of a six-foot menorah for the fifth night of Hanukkah. It will take place from 6-8 p.m. and is family-friendly.

In case of heavy rain, the ice skating rink will close, but as of right now, weather looks clear and seasonably warm for Thursday.

This fire meets ice holiday event has been held for at least a decade. In past years, Arlington officials have provided their presence and helped light the menorah. No word yet who might be there this year, though.

“Chanukah on Ice” isn’t the only festival of lights event going on this week in Arlington.

On Tuesday night (Nov. 30), the Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington will also host a menorah lighting outside of the organization’s headquarters at 1307 N. Highland Street in Clarendon starting at 6 p.m. There will be music, latkes, dredels, chocolate, and pre-packaged jelly donuts for all.

Congregation Etz Hayim at 2920 Arlington Blvd is putting on a family Hanukkah party on Sunday (Dec. 5), the last day of the holiday. Games, magic, and latkes will be the entertainment, plus there’ll be a sock collection for local non-profit Bridges to Independence.

Hanukkah (or “Chanukah”), the festival of lights, began last night and will continue for eight nights. The holiday will conclude next Sunday night (Dec. 5).

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Morning Notes

Local Man Charged in Bailey’s Xroads Shooting — “Fairfax County police have charged a 33-year-old Arlington man in connection with a shooting that occurred Nov. 20 at the Food Star supermarket at 5521 Leesburg Pike. According to police, officers were called to the store at 6:43 p.m. by Harvey Coleman, of Arlington, after he reported to police he had shot someone in self-defense… Following several interviews and the review of surveillance footage, detectives have charged Coleman with malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.” [Sun Gazette]

Ice Cream Store Now Open in Pentagon City — “Have I got a scoop (get it?) for my followers! For those who may be in search of a sweet treat this afternoon, Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream opened today at ⁦@PentagonRow⁩ (Westpost). Impressive variety.” [Twitter]

Arlington Vet Chooses Health Career — “After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, she was commissioned as an Army officer and chose to attend flight training, following in her late father’s footsteps. Soon, she was soon piloting Blackhawk helicopters… it was the time she was in the military that really prepared her for physician-assistant school.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Northwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Sunrise at 7:06 a.m. and sunset at 4:47 p.m. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 51. South wind 5 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

An airplane taxis after landing at Reagan National Airport (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Calling 911 Over Leaf Blowers — Writes a former Arlington County 911 dispatcher, regarding a recent ARLnow opinion column about leaf blower noise: “Hard hitting stuff coming out of ArCo, as always. I remember taking a 911 call once where the caller complained about this very issue and, in an effort to get police dispatched, called his neighbour’s leaf-blower a ‘violent weapon.’ This county is truly deranged.” [Twitter]

New Drug Recovery Resource — “For individuals having difficulty with substance use, the first step to a better life involves withdrawing  from alcohol or drugs. The new Arlington Recovery Center – a partnership between the County and National Capital Treatment and Recovery (NCTR) – is ready to help people with that journey. Arlington Recovery Center opened its doors this year and includes both Withdrawal Management and Early Recovery programs.” [Arlington County]

Book About Arlington House’s Builder — “Arlington journalist, historian and author Charles S. (‘Charlie’) Clark recently penned ‘George Washington Parke Custis: A Rarefied Life in America’s First Family.’ The book chronicles the complicated life of Custis (1781-1857), who was raised at Mount Vernon – he was the grandson of Martha Washington and step-grandson of George Washington – and in adulthood was responsible for the construction of the Arlington House estate using both free and enslaved workers.” [Sun Gazette]

VHC Expanding With McLean Building — “Virginia Hospital Center is charging ahead with its campus expansion while growing its ambulatory footprint — starting with a $34.5 million purchase in McLean. The Arlington health system has purchased a building at 1760 Old Meadow Road where it’s setting up an orthopedic outpatient surgery center, according to VHC CEO Jim Cole. The hospital is now renovating a 14,900-square-foot area of existing building in a project expected to cost $6.4 million including construction and equipment.” [Washington Business Journal]

Crossing Guard Spreads Thanksgiving Cheer — From Williamsburg Middle School Principal Bryan Boykin: “Mr. La is bringing a little holiday flavor to his traffic duties,” thanks to a large turkey costume. [Twitter]

New Tech Repair Store in Pentagon City — “Leading tech repair provider uBreakiFix by Asurion has opened its newest location in Pentagon City at 1101 S. Joyce St., Suite B-12 on Pentagon Row. The store offers professional repair services for anything with a power button, from smartphones, tablets, and computers to game consoles, smart speakers, and drones-and everything in between.” [Press Release]

Officials Urge Caution on the Roads — “The American Automobile Association predicts that 1.4 million Virginians will travel for this Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, which equates to 11 percent more motorists than in 2020. Virginia State Police urge patience for motorists planning to hit the roadways. ‘With traffic on the roads increasing and many people anxious to get to their destination, I encourage all Virginians to be patient. Buckle up and take your time,’ said Col. Gary Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Wednesday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 47. Sunrise at 7:01 a.m. and sunset at 4:48 p.m. Thanksgiving day will be mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Showers early Friday morning, then mostly sunny, with a high near 46. We will not be publishing Thursday but will be back with a light publishing schedule on Friday.

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Thaiphoon at Westpost in Pentagon City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Thaiphoon in Pentagon City is closing for good this weekend, we’re told, set to be replaced by a “taco temple” in spring 2022.

The Thai restaurant located in Westpost — formerly Pentagon Row — is closing on Sunday, Nov. 21, an employee confirmed to ARLnow. The owners made the decision to not renew their lease at the shopping plaza on S. Joyce Street, we’re told, and there are currently no plans to open another location at this time.

Thaiphoon has been serving customers for more than a decade at Pentagon Row.

As we previously reported, Baltimore-based Banditos Bar & Kitchen will be moving into the space. It could start serving as early as this coming April.

This is the first Virginia location of the self-described “taco temple.” The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will serve classic fare like tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas, and is planning to have outdoor seating.

Thaiphoon’s D.C. location is still open, though it’s run by separate ownership than the Arlington location, the employee noted.

A slew of new restaurants and businesses are opening in Westpost over the next year, but that also has come with a number of closings.

Namaste Everest closed earlier this year and is being replaced by the sushi restaurant Kusshi. Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Unleashed, and Champps all also closed over the last 20 months at the shopping plaza while being replaced by a Target, Road Runner Sports, and Nighthawk Pizza.

Westpost is fully leased up with tenants, as of earlier this month.

Hat tip to @CartChaos22202

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(Updated, 4:30 p.m.) A slew of new restaurants and stores are set to open at Westpost in Pentagon City over the next year.

From a “taco temple” to a pizza and beer hall to a running store to a new Target, the shopping center formerly known as Pentagon Row will have more than a half dozen new businesses by the fall of next year.

All of these new additions now make Westpost fully leased, confirms a spokesperson for Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), which owns the mixed-use development.

The next to open will be Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream, which is targeting scooping by the end of this month. The 935-square-foot ice cream parlor was originally going open in the late summer, but that was delayed. Located at 1201 S. Joyce Street, next to Bun’d Up, the shop is owned by local Rollin Amore and named after his daughter. His partner, Sarah, owns an ice cream parlor in Bethesda.

“I have been cooking and creating desserts since I was seven years old and I am excited to make this hobby my job,” Amore told ARLnow back in May.

Kusshi, a sushi restaurant with a location at Bethesda’s Pike and Rose, will be opening in the spring in the space formerly occupied by Namaste Everest, which is next to Mimi’s. We previously reported it was going to start serving by the end of the year.

“Arlington has a lot of business and commerce and has Amazon HQ2 going there as well,” Kusshi’s owner told ARLnow in June about the choice to open at Westpost. “We like to go to mixed-use developments, which is part of our success at Pike and Rose.”

The Baltimore-based Banditos Bar & Kitchen remains on track to also open in the spring. The FRIT spokesperson confirmed that could mean as early as April.

This is the third location of the self-described “taco temple,” but the first in Virginia. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will have outdoor seating and serve classic fare like tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas.

Also aiming for a spring opening is a 34,000-square-foot Target in the old Bed, Bath, and Beyond space and Road Runner Sports in the former Unleashed space, which shuttered at the beginning of the year.

Target’s target is April while Road Runner Sports is on track for May or “possibly earlier,” says the spokesperson.

Much-anticipated Nighthawk Pizza is also arriving next year. The pizza spot with “a 90s vibe and a beer hall-like atmosphere” is opening “early 2022,” according to a spokesperson. It was originally supposed to start serving slices this fall — in fact, the storefront sticker still advertises this — but that’s been pushed back. (Such delays seem to be common these days, at least in Arlington.)

The pizza and beer hall comes from Arlington nightlife and grooming kingpin Scott Parker, Netflix-famous chef Johnny Spero, and local brewer Aslin Beer Company.

It’s opening in the former location of Champps, which closed in March 2020.

Other developments at Westpost include the opening of the spa and salon Privai, set for November 22. The 4,127-square-foot spa located at 1101 S Joyce Street Suite B-35 specializes in body treatments, facials, salon services, and guided meditation. It is the salon’s fourth Virginia location.

Bun’d Up, meanwhile, is also going through a renovation, according to the FRIT spokesperson. It currently remains open. That’s owned by chef Scott Chung, will reopen.

Restaurants and stores are not the only openings at Westpost. The center’s ice skating rink opened for the season over the weekend.

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Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink at Westpost (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

(Updated, 11:40 a.m.) Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink opened for the season this past weekend, despite not-quite-winter temperatures.

Starting the season a week earlier than last year, the nearly-7,000 square foot rink located in the plaza at 1201 S. Joyce Street in Pentagon City is said to be the “largest outdoor ice skating rink in Northern Virginia” and the second-largest in the state.

The rink will be open until mid-March, providing about four and a half months of skating time. There are a few changes at the rink from last year, when capacity and mask restrictions were quite a bit tighter.

Masks are now optional while skating, an employee tells ARLnow, as opposed to required last year, though will still be sanitizing high-touch areas including skates and rails around the rink.

Capacity is increasing from the 50% mark in 2020 to full capacity. That means the number of skaters allowed on the ice at any given time is being doubled, from 75 last year to 150. Social distancing is still being requested while on the ice, waiting to get on the ice, and at the rental facility, though.

There’s also a pricing change, with admission rates increasing by a dollar from last season. It now costs $11 for those 13 years and older. For those younger than 13 and senior citizens, admission is $10. Skate rentals are $5.

Group and party rates are being offered once again as well as private skating lessons. Reservations for skating can still be made online.

Despite the shopping center on S. Joyce Street rebranding late last year to “Westpost,” the ice skating rink remains called “Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating Rink.” However, that could change in the coming months, writes a rink manager in an email to ARLnow.

In 2013, the ice skating rink underwent a renovation that increased the size by 50% and added an outdoor dual-sided stone fireplace on the side of the rink for those off the ice.

The rink is open every day of the week, including holidays:

  • Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Monday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Tuesday  12 p.m.-10 p.m.
  • Wednesday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
  • Thursday  12 p.m.-10 p.m.
  • Friday 12 p.m.-11 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Holiday Schedule: 

  • Thanksgiving Day 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Christmas Day 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • December 26 – 30 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • New Year’s Eve 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • New Year’s Day 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Public School Holidays 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
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Morning Notes

Running Store Coming to Pentagon City — “Federal Realty Investment Trust has leased the last bit of vacant retail space at Westpost, the 14-acre mixed-use development a short walk from where Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters buildings will stand. The leases put the roughly 297,000-square-foot retail center on course to be fully occupied in the first half of 2022 after a handful of notable vacancies, including the nearly 34,000-square-foot former Bed, Bath & Beyond to be replaced by a Target store, and the roughly 4,500-square-foot space where Road Runner Sports will replace a shuttered Unleashed by Petco.” [Washington Business Journal]

Library Seeking Latino History Donations — “Over the last three decades, Arlington’s Latino community has rapidly grown and stockpiled a wealth of history. And this week, librarians and historians at the Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library are asking for donations of documents to archive the county’s Hispanic history. The project is called Re-Encuentro de Arlington Latinos.” [WTOP]

Rock Climbing Gym Goes Green — “Earth Treks Crystal City prides itself as a rock climbing outlet for people living in a metropolitan area and the business in northern Virginia hopes its roots in rock climbing can bring forward better environmental practices… Earth Treks announced recently its partnership with a Virginia company that allows its climbers to bring in old and rundown equipment — shoes, water bottles and harnesses — which will be reused in a variety of ways, including to make dog harnesses.” [WUSA 9]

Synetic Returns to Theater — “Last night night found me in Crystal City, where Synetic Theater was back in its performance venue for the first time since the pandemic, staging a production of ‘The Madness of Poe…’ Performers were not masked, a nice change after recent experiences with a number of troupes who use Arlington Public Schools facilities and are not allowed to let their actors, though all vaccinated, go without masks.” [Sun Gazette]

New Commuter Bus Service Funded — “The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission plans to fund a new express bus service, part of efforts aimed at reducing congestion connected with Interstate 66 and the Beltway. The commission approved a plan yesterday to fund the bus service with over $5.1 million for two years. Routes would run from the Reston South Park and Ride lot to key destinations in Arlington County that include the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City.” [Reston Now]

More Studies for Route 7 Bus Route — “A regional study of the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) route from Tysons to Alexandria is moving into a new phase that will assess options through the Seven Corners area. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission voted last night (Thursday) to approve a contract for the fourth phase of its Envision Route 7 mobility analysis study.” The bus might also make a stop at the East Falls Church Metro station in Arlington. [Tysons Reporter]

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Five people were arrested after an armed robbery outside the Harris Teeter store in Pentagon City.

The robbery happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday, in a parking lot near the grocery store. Five people, including at least one who was armed with a handgun, assaulted and stole cash from victims with whom they had arranged a sale of sneakers, according to police.

“At approximately 4:11 p.m., police were dispatched to the 900 block of Army Navy Drive for the report of an armed robbery,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspects and victims met at this location for the pre-arranged sale of sneakers. During the encounter, the suspects brandished a firearm, assaulted the victims, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene in a vehicle prior to the arrival of officers.”

The vehicle, a dark-colored Jeep, was soon located by police heading into D.C. on I-395. It was followed by officers until U.S. Park Police stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 9th Street NW in the District.

Five people, all ages 19 and 20, were taken into custody and charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, Savage said. They’re currently being held in D.C.

One of the victims suffered a reported head wound during the robbery and was treated by medics on the scene.

 

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(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) Police and firefighters are on scene of an overturned vehicle in Pentagon City, near the Costco and the Amazon HQ2 construction site.

The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of 15th Street S. and S. Elm Street. Photos from the scene show only a single vehicle: a black SUV resting on its side, with its windshield smashed. Bystanders could be seen standing around it, before police arrived.

“Driver looked ok but banged up,” said one witness, via Twitter.

The crash is reportedly related to a theft nearby. A vehicle with a similar description sped off after two people tried to steal shoes from the DSW Shoe Warehouse at 1301 S. Joyce Street, at the Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) shopping center, leaving boxes of shoes strewn about the roadway outside the store, according to initial reports.

Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed that the vehicle that crashed is believed to be the suspect vehicle.

“At approximately 3:41 p.m. a larceny in progress was dispatched in the 1300 block of S. Joyce Street,” Savage said. “Two suspects allegedly entered a business and stole merchandise. An officer in the area observed Suspect One enter a vehicle and flee the scene. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, however, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed.”

The officer did not pursue the vehicle, per department policy, but the crash was reported shortly thereafter. Police responded to the scene and apprehended the driver, who’s now being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

“The suspect subsequently crashed in the area of 15th Street S. and S. Elm and is being transported to an area hospital,” Savage said. “Suspect Two, who fled from the business on foot, remains outstanding and is described as a White male, bald, 5’8″ – 5’10” tall. Police remain on scene investigating.”

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A new business offering high-end therapeutic and wellness treatments — including cryotherapy — is opening in Pentagon City.

Texas-based Restore Hyper Wellness started offering treatments to help people facing pain, inflammation and chronic dehydration in 2015. There are now Restore franchise locations throughout the U.S., with one set to open at Westpost, the shopping center formerly Pentagon Row.

It will replace the T-Mobile that was at 1101 S. Joyce Street, according to a permit filed with Arlington County last week.

The 2,202 square-foot facility will offer cryotherapy, a treatment often utilized by athletes, post-operative patients, and those suffering chronic pain.

“We believe everyone can benefit from cryotherapy,” according to the Restore website. “Cryotherapy has shown to reduce inflammation and releases endorphins that help alleviate pain, boost energy and metabolism, and increase the body’s natural healing abilities.”

Restore also offers cryoskin therapy to localize the effects of the cold temperatures on the skin.

The website says the service is “the most advanced non-invasive treatment solution for slimming and toning. If you’re looking to lose fat on your stomach, thighs, arms or back this is the solution for you.”

Other offerings include assisted stretches, infrared sauna therapy, IV drip therapy and compression therapy.

Though prices have not yet been set for the new location, at other Virginia locations prices start at $39 for an individual cryotherapy session and $59 for a monthly membership. So far there’s no word on when the business plans to open.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photos courtesy of Restore Hyper Wellness.

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Clip from The Royal Tenenbaums (via YouTube)

“Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Rushmore” and other beloved Wes Anderson films will be showing at Westpost Plaza, formerly Pentagon Row, every other week for the rest of the summer.

“Pull up a chair or blanket and join us on the plaza on Wednesday evenings for movie nights,” says an event listing. “Grab a drink (to-go drinks from our restaurants are allowed) and food from one of our restaurants, and enjoy the weird wonderful world of Wes Anderson.”

This is the first outdoor movie series at the plaza, located at 1201 S. Joyce Street. Movies will be shown on Wednesdays starting tomorrow, July 28, and running through Sept. 22.

The schedule is as follows:

  • July 28, 8 p.m.: Moonrise Kingdom
  • Aug. 11, 8 p.m.: The Life Aquatic
  • Aug. 25, 8 p.m.: Rushmore
  • Sept. 8, 7 p.m.: The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Sept. 22, 7 p.m.: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Tickets are free, but attendance will be limited to 125 people per film. Ticket reservations can be made online.

Westpost asks moviegoers to bring a chair or blanket, as seating will not be provided.

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