Press Club

Expansive pizzeria-slash-beer hall Quincy Hall is finally set to start serving slices and pints tomorrow (Friday) in Ballston.

First announced nearly three years ago, the “American Pizza Beer Hall” at 4001 Fairfax Drive is planning a soft opening for this weekend. There will be a more formal grand opening, with specials and festivities, set for late next week, a restaurant spokesperson tells ARLnow.

Quincy Hall will feature pizza from “world pizza guru, Giulio Adriani” and “rare beers from local breweries.” The 8,000-square-foot space at the corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Quincy Street has a 245-person capacity indoors and an extra 80-person, dog-friendly patio outside. Wall art comes from D.C.-based artist Kelly Towles.

“We wanted to create the perfect gathering space in the Ballston neighborhood, a spot where fun meets delicious. The pizza’s are unmatched and we’ve selected unique local beers to pair perfectly,” co-owner Peter Bayne writes to ARLnow. “Three years later… we are excited to have this place open and be the neighborhood hangout.”

Quincy Hall comes from Tin Shop, the same ownership group that runs Highline RxR in Crystal City and is opening Astro Beer Hall in Shirlington. The Shirlington spot is set to open in the fall, a spokesperson tells to ARLnow.

Tin Shop also operates several well-known D.C. bars including Franklin Hall, Penn Social, and Church Hall in Georgetown, which just announced it was closing.

The pizza is the star of Quincy Hall’s show, according to the press release. Adriani is from Rome and was taught how to make pizza by his grandmother. He worked “under pizza-masters throughout Italy,” opened restaurants across the globe, and has won four world pizza championships, the release notes.

“Adriani’s passion is dough and constantly seeking illusive crust perfection,” it reads. “He created a challenging three-day fermented dough for Quincy Hall which Adriani insists is his ‘best ever!'”

Also on the menu, there will be smashburgers, wings, truffle fries, tenders, garlic bites, and caesar salad.

In what might be a sign of a popular emerging genre of restaurant, this is the second pizza and beer hall to open in Arlington over the last month. Nighthawk Pizza started serving in Pentagon City in March.

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(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) The former Champps space at Pentagon Row is back in business as a beer-and-pizza spot.

Nighthawk Pizza will open to the public on Thursday (March 24) at 3 p.m., in the large space at 1201 S. Joyce Street, after a series of private “friends and family” nights this week.

The concept marries a 90s vibe with a pizza-centric menu and an on-site brewery operated by Aslin Beer Company. It’s helmed by Chef Johnny Spero, of Netflix’s Final Table fame plus other culinary cred, and backed by a group that includes local serial entrepreneur Scott Parker. (The group also recently opened Poppyseed Rye in Ballston.)

In addition to thin-crust pizza and beer, the menu includes a range of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and cocktails — both handmade and on tap. The red-and-blue neon lights, bench seating and retro arcade games help to give the restaurant its 90s feel, partially offset by the abundant flat screen TVs that surround the large bar and the cavernous dining area.

“The design inspiration for the space was The Max from ‘Saved By The Bell,'” Parker noted.

In all, the brew pub has 10,000 square feet of space, plenty for the crowds Parker and company are hoping to attract from the growing neighborhood, which includes Amazon’s HQ2, set for a 2023 opening a few blocks away.

Parker said his group of partners “is already looking for our next locations for Nighthawk, as well as developing other projects.” Additional locations in the D.C. area and other cities are expected to be announced “in the coming months,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nighthawk is not the only spring opening at Pentagon Row, which was renamed “Westpost” in 2020.

“Taco temple” Banditos Bar & Kitchen is set to open in April, one restaurant over and also overlooking Westpost’s central square and soon-to-be-dismantled-for-the-season ice skating rink. Also expected to open next month are a new, 34,000 square foot Target store, on April 3, as well as sushi restaurant Kusshi.

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Morning Notes

Soccer practice at Long Bridge Park (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

New Organ Debuts Tomorrow — “The new organ [at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Virginia Square] cost $1.2 million… Opus 28 arrived in Arlington on Oct. 3, 2021. For three weeks, Pasi put together the 500,000 parts that constitute it. He spent the next two months ‘voicing’ the organ: doing the painstaking adjustments necessary to make everything sound just right.” [Washington Post]

Reminder: Pizza Boxes Can Be Composted — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “There’s No ‘I’ in Food Scraps: Arlington viewers of ‘The Big Game’ can give 110% and go all in in the green curbside cart: pizza crusts and boxes, wing bones and greasy napkins. You won’t be denied.” [Twitter]

County Helping With Museum Renovations — “As efforts begin to renovate its museum, the Arlington Historical Society is working to embrace close collaboration where possible with the Arlington County government. Whether that will turn into a financial partnership remains to be seen, but county staff will be providing their knowledge to help the renovation move ahead.” [Sun Gazette]

Public Defender Pay Bill Fails — “A measure to equalize pay between staff of Virginia prosecutors and those working in public-defender’s offices died in a House of Delegates subcommittee. The measure, patroned by Del. Alfsono Lopez (D-Arlington-Fairfax), would have required localities that supplement the compensation of staff in its office of commonwealth’s attorney beyond state minimums to do the same for staff of a public defender’s office, if a locality has one.” [Sun Gazette]

Nearby: Scammers Impersonating Police — “Officers have received reports from community members who stated that callers contact them claiming to be members of a police department or sheriff’s department. The law enforcement impersonator may… tell the community member they missed a court appearance or jury duty [and] state they need to send money or a warrant will be issued for their arrest or they may turn themselves in to jail.” [City of Falls Church]

Snow Possible This Weekend — “Light to moderate snow could fall in the D.C. area on Super Bowl Sunday. But it’s still not clear whether it will snow hard enough or be cold enough for it to amount to much and have serious effects on the region.” [Capital Weather Gang]

It’s Thursday — Sunny, with a high near 55 today, and wind gusts as high as 21 mph. Sunrise at 7:04 a.m. and sunset at 5:40 p.m. Sunny again tomorrow, with a high near 57 and wind gusts as high as 22 mph. [Weather.gov]

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Nighthawk Pizza, the beer and food hall with a “’90s vibe,” is aiming for a late March opening in Pentagon City, co-owner Scott Parker tells ARLnow.

The newest venture from the local serial entrepreneur was initially expected to start serving  in the late fall, but supply chain hang-ups (a common refrain these days) pushed the date a few months.

The restaurant is a much-anticipated addition to Westpost, the retail and dining center formerly known as Pentagon Row, filling the large former Champps space.

The head chef is Johnny Spero, breakout star of Netflix’s Final Table and one of the buzziest chefs in the D.C. region right now. The menu will feature thicker-crust Sicilian pizzas and a crisper, thinner tavern-style pizza as well as sandwiches, smoked wings, fried cheese curds, ribs and ice cream sundaes.

The beer will be from Northern Virginia-based Aslin Beer Company, which will brew “approachable low ABV beers, that will be reminiscent of old-world styles for the working class.”

The 10,000 square foot beer and pizza eatery is leaning hard into the ’90s vibe with the design inspired by the after-school hot spot “the Max” on the television show “Saved by the Bell.”

“The whole space is not going to be as bright or as loud, but when we were looking for design touches, that was the inspiration,” Parker says. The interior is currently under construction, so photos are not available quite yet to compare Nighthawk to Zack Morris’s favorite place to hang out.

There will also be an outdoor bar, which pairs nicely with Westpost now permitting “sipping and strolling.” Meaning, patrons can roam the shopping plaza with a drink in hand.

Nighthawk Pizza is the latest from Parker, well known in Arlington not just for his restaurants but barbershops, boxing gyms and doggy daycares.

He says one of the reasons he chose to open his newest creation at Westpost was because of the abundance of buzzy openings in recent months, including Lucky Danger, Mattie and Eddie’s, and soon-to-open Banditos Bar & Kitchen. Amazon’s arrival in the neighborhood is driving these restaurants to set up shop in Pentagon City, says Parker.

As to why Arlington is constantly the setting for Parker’s new businesses, he says it’s because of the clientele.

“There are so many people who are doing well professionally right out of college,” he says. “It’s just a great demographic with a lot of people who have disposable income. For the business I’m part of, that just fits well.”

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Future location of Papa Deeno’s Pizza on Columbia Pike (via Google Maps)

A new family-owned, halal pizza shop is looking to open next month on Columbia Pike.

Papa Deeno’s Pizza at 4109 Columbia Pike was initially supposed to open at the end of last year, but a family health emergency and supply chain challenges has pushed the opening by a few months.

The plan is now to open mid to late February, says co-owner Roxanne Mannan.

Mannan is opening the restaurant with her husband, Sapon Rahman, who’s been in the pizza business for more than 15 years. Owning their own pizza place is a fulfillment of a family goal.

“My daughter always wanted to have a pizza restaurant,” Mannan says. “She tells me ‘Mommy, my dream is to own a pizza shop.'”

So much so, that the 8-year-old designed the business’s logo, a slice dripping with cheese.

Papa Deeno’s Pizza from their website (Photo via screenshot)

What also makes the shop unique is that it will be all halal, similar to the taco shop La Tingeria in Falls Church.

“We are Muslim and eating out can be a challenge,” Mannan explains. “We thought it would be good to have some place that’s purely halal so people could have [that] choice.”

While the family doesn’t currently live in Arlington, Mannan attended Wakefield High School and grew up in the county. In fact, on Columbia Pike and in Quebec Apartments which is almost exactly across the street from where Papa Deeno’s will be.

“It really is a dream to find a place where I have a lot of memories,” she says.

Papa Deeno’s is expecting to do a brisk delivery business, with about 225 pizza deliveries over a course of a week, according to an October Arlington County staff report. That would potentially account for 30% to 40% of the business’s sales.

The menu consists of typical fare – pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches and chicken wings. The website also lists a second location in Chantilly that’s coming soon.

It’s moving into a space formerly occupied by Columbia Pike Cleaners.

Mannan notes that they understand it is a bit risky opening a restaurant during a pandemic, but believes this is the right time for her and her family.

She says, “When [customers] taste our product, I hope they can tell…the quality we can give to the community.”

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The self-proclaimed “world’s first decentralized pizzeria” is now serving up pies in Courthouse

Bitcoin Pizza, a “virtual restaurant,” opened on Oct. 31 and operates out of the kitchen of Fire Works Pizza at 2350 Clarendon Blvd. It is one of about 100 locations across the country and one of seven locations in the D.C.-area.

The pizzeria was created by branding company Popchew in partnership with Bitcoin influencer Anthony Pompliano.

And, yes, the restaurant accepts Bitcoin as well as U.S. dollars.

“We want to spread the word of Bitcoin through this pizza,” Popchew CEO Rushir Parikh tells ARLnow. “[Pizza] is a very approachable way to learn about Bitcoin. We want to make Bitcoin as widely known and available as pizza is.”

It’s about educating the public on cryptocurrency and making it less scary — all while serving up great food — he says.

Bitcoin Pizza is essentially a ghost kitchen, with the company doing the branding and marketing, a local restaurant (in this case, Fire Works) making the pizza, and a third-party (UberEats, DoorDash, etc.) delivering. Like many ghost kitchens, ordering is online-only.

About 20% of the generated revenue goes to Bitcoin Pizza, Parikh said.

There was no specific reason that Arlington or Courthouse was chosen as a location, beyond wanting to have a number of locations in and near major cities, he notes.

The idea for a pizzeria was inspired by the famous — in the crypto world, at least — story of how a Florida man in 2010 purchased two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. Eleven years ago, that equated to about $40 US dollars. Today, 10,000 bitcoins are worth more than $500 million.

October 31, the day of Bitcoin Pizza’s Arlington launch (along with the launch of a number of other locations) is also an important day in the cryptocurrency’s history. On Halloween 2008, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper which explained its rules, workings, and structure.

The menu includes pizzas with cryptocurrency-themed names, like Capital Greens (veggie), Satoshi’s Favorite (Hawaiian) and Laser Eyes (pepperoni).

On its website, the company behind Bitcoin Pizza, calls itself “the coolest food court on the internet.” Parikh compares the aspirations of Popchew to Yum! Brands, which owns fast food staples Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.

“What we want to do is work with influential brands and people to build the next generation of food brands,” he says.

Working with local restaurants, like Fire Works Pizza, allows the company and its ideas to scale up quickly.

And Popchew is already working on its next food brand. “Wingszn” has launched and is expected to open a location in Arlington in the next month or two, Parikh says.

That “virtual restaurant” will be serving up chicken wings and yes, you can pay with Bitcoin.

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A new pizza place is moving into the Clarendon space formerly occupied by late night pizza spot Goody’s.

Angolino Pizza could open as early as this week, new owner Farhad Bazzaz confirmed to ARLnow, though the restaurant is still waiting on county inspections and permits.

Goody’s quietly closed earlier this year, marking the end of an era at 3125 Wilson Blvd. The diminutive restaurant opened in 2006, across from the Clarendon Metro and within close walking distance of the neighborhood’s bars. The late-night pizza spot saw its fair share of antics and devoted fans over the years.

In 2018 the original owners sold the business, which kept the Goody’s name but added a new mural. In 2019, county inspectors came calling and determined the mural was a sign and thus not allowed. Instead of colorful paintings of pizza, the new ownership repainted the building lime green.

Early last year, the restaurant started emphasizing its taco offerings and other Mexican fare, alongside its pizza. It closed within the past few months — it’s unclear when, exactly, though an online review from three months ago noted that it was closed for renovations — as the new owner took over and made some changes.

There isn’t much known about Angolino Pizza at this time beyond potentially opening within the next few days. The owner was unavailable for follow-up questions when ARLnow stopped by the shop — which is now painted blue — this afternoon.

County permits and a business license were issued for the new restaurant in October. The permits specify a maximum interior capacity of 15 people, including those seated at the pizzeria’s three tables and six seats.

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&pizza in Rosslyn (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

A new &pizza location is now open in Rosslyn.

The newest Arlington location of the fast-casual pizza eatery, first reported in May, opened yesterday (Monday) at 1800 N. Lynn Street. It replaces Little Beet, which closed in September 2020, and marks &pizza’s 12th Northern Virginia location.

“With 58 shops, including 12 in northern Virginia, Rosslyn felt like the perfect location to expand our local footprint,” an &pizza spokesperson tells ARLnow. “At our Friends & Family event on Sunday 11/14, we were overwhelmed by the support of the Rosslyn community, serving up more than 600 free pies to local residents.”

Other locations in and around Arlington include Ballston, Seven Corners, and at Reagan National Airport.

Balloons encircled the entrance of the eatery yesterday, marking the opening.

https://twitter.com/RosslynVA/status/1460296655547379714

The locally based pizza chain is known for its customizability, letting customers choose from a wide variety of toppings, as well as various sauce, cheese and crust options. The pizza is then cooked assembly-line style as you stand in line.

The first &pizza opened in D.C. on H Street NE in 2012 and, in less than a decade, has expanded to nearly 60 locations from Virginia to New York. There are potentially a lot more on the way.

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(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) A new pizza place is opening on the Pike, in the shopping center at the intersection with S. Randolph Street.

Papa Deeno’s Pizza at 4109 Columbia Pike is expected to open in mid-December, in the space formerly occupied by Columbia Pike Cleaners, according to its co-owner and a county staff report.

On Saturday, the Arlington County Board granted the restaurant a permit to allow for food delivery. It passed in the “content agenda” with other items considered non-controversial.

Papa Deeno’s will have 12 indoor dining seats, along with restrooms, but it’s expected that about 30% to 40% of sales will come from delivery, according to the report.

Overall, it’s thought that the restaurant will make about 100 deliveries on weekdays and about 125 deliveries on weekends.

Papa Deeno’s Pizza from their website (Photo via screenshot)

The website, which looks to be about half-completed, describes the pizza parlor as “family-owned” and the dream of the family’s youngest daughter. Additionally, the entire menu is halal “so that everyone can enjoy our delicious creations.”

The menu consists of pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and chicken wings. The website also lists a second location in Chantilly that’s coming soon.

The shopping center at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Randolph Street takes up nearly 34,000 square feet and was constructed in 1962, the county report notes.

It’s unclear when Columbia Pike Cleaners closed, but local dry cleaning businesses have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic as many customers have avoided going to the office or dressing up for formal occasions.

Photo via Google Maps. Screenshot via Papa Deeno’s

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Morning Notes

Pupatella Gets Millions for Expansion — “Arlington’s own Pupatella pizza restaurant chain has raised $7.5 million to continue its growth spurt, with plans to open more more than a dozen restaurants in the coming years. The round was fully subscribed and had participation from almost all of the investors who participated in the company’s first round in 2018, when it raised $3.75 million.” [Washington Business Journal]

Steel from WTC Donated to Arlington — “Two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center will now be on permanent display in D.C. and Virginia ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The words ‘never forget’ are written on the front of a piece of steel beam unveiled during a ceremony in front of the Arlington County Police Officer Memorial on Sunday.” [WTOP]

Crystal City Getting Cooler? — “Nearly three years after Amazon announced it would be bringing its second headquarters to Arlington — and specifically to ‘National Landing,’ a name conjured by local officials to sell the area as a tech hub — its reputation may be changing.” [Washington Post]

Big Win for Fmr. Youth Soccer Star — “Congratulations to #TeamArlington alum [Eryk Williamson] and the @usmnt on winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup.” [Twitter, ALXnow]

Food Scrap Caddy Being Delivered — “With Arlington’s weekly food scraps collection program launching next month, a County-provided countertop caddy, instructions and even introductory biodegradable bags will be delivered to curbside customer homes beginning this week.” [Arlington County]

Fire Engine Involved in Crash — “An Arlington fire engine was involved in a crash at the intersection of 18th Street S. and S. Fern Street this morning around 9:30. No firefighters were injured. One person in the second vehicle involved was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay, per an ACFD spokesman.” [Twitter]

CPRO to Mark 35th Anniversary — “As the group’s 35th anniversary looms on the horizon this fall, the recent annual meeting of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) was a chance to take stock of tumultuous times and fly the organization’s flag in the march toward the future.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Poetry Book — “I picked up a copy of the ‘Written in Arlington: Poems of Arlington, Virginia’ edited by Katherine E. Young, our poet laureate emerita. Published quietly last fall during the pandemic, it showcases storytelling via 150 poems by 87 poets who ‘live, work, study, worship in or simply pass through… and in so doing, make Arlington their own,’ Young explains. She nodded to famous Arlington-based poets — George Washington Parke Custis, Doors singer Jim Morrison, and Zitkala-Sa.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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It appears that Rosslyn is getting a new fast-casual dining option.

A permit application was filed yesterday for a new &pizza location in the Central Place development at 1800 N. Lynn Street.

It was not immediately clear which storefront the pizzeria would occupy, though the former Little Beet space at the corner of N. Lynn Street and 19th Street N. seems to be a likely candidate. The New York-based vegetarian restaurant chain closed its Rosslyn location last year after about three years in business.

The new &pizza will have competition from Wiseguy Pizza, which is just across Lynn Street.

There are two existing &pizza locations in Arlington, in Ballston and at Reagan National Airport. Just across the Arlington border are a pair of &pizza locations in Alexandria: in Potomac Yard and in a just-opened storefront at the Bradlee Shopping Center near Fairlington.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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