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We, The Pizza Set to Open Ballston Location This Fall

We, The Pizza is gearing up to open a new location in Ballston this fall.

The restaurant is set to be part of the Ballston Exchange building at 4201 Wilson Blvd currently undergoing some big renovations, following the departure of the National Science Foundation.

The Ballston store, located between a Dunkin Donuts and a UPS Store, will be We, The Pizza’s second restaurant in Arlington, with another location open in Crystal City. The chain serves up gourmet pizzas, chicken wings and beer, and was launched by former “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn.

The building’s owner, Jamestown LLP, is still in the midst of recruiting new tenants for the property, with plans to wrap up construction by the end of the year.

Shake Shack, Cava and Philz Coffee plan to set up shop as retailers, while the coworking space Industrious recently committed to become the first new tenant in the building’s offices.

Photo courtesy of John Borowiec

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Finally, Pizza al Fresco! Fire Works Patio Is Open

The patio is open!

Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar in the Courthouse neighborhood is a wonderfully warm place to while away a meal during the frigid months, but when spring finally arrived, so did the opening of the patio.

“I think we have one of the biggest patios in Arlington,” says Jason Silerto, the general manager of the eatery. “And this year, it’s completely dog friendly.”

In fact, Silerto and the restaurant management team has reinvented the patio, which was already a neighborhood favorite, by changing up the menu, redesigning the layout and adding more convenient outdoor beverage service.

Fire Works is now entering its eighth year in business which readers will know is a remarkable run in a region full of fickle diners. The key, Silerto suggests, is its consistent high quality in every aspect of the business.

That quality extends throughout the Fire Works family of restaurants, including Leesburg landmark Tuskie’s, the sandwich bakery South Street Under and events-oriented Birkby House, as well as Purcellville’s upscale Magnolias.

While Silerto would like you take a look at the Other Side of the Menu (the non-pizza side we wrote about last October; find it here), a dinnertime visitor can’t help but notice the copious amounts of pizza being marched out of the kitchen and into the dining room and patio.

The famous (some would say infamous) wood-fired crust boast a delightful savory char that some mistake for over-cooked. It is not, and it is delicious. The crust serves as a crispy thin bed for toppings ranging from Bakers farm sausage and grana padano to white sauce with shrimp and clams.

For those looking for the fare on the Other Side of the Menu, there is more traditional bar fare in wings, burgers and salads. Those co-exist with chef Thomas Harvey’s adventurous offerings — from from flank steak to wild caught salmon to an entrée sandwich of grilled gouda, goat and gruyere slathered with that tomato jam, among many other choices — and the enormous craft beer selection.

Ingredients are sourced from the closest purveyors possible, including fertile farms in Leesburg and Purcellville but also CommonWealth Joe Nitro Brewed Coffee from the neighborhood.

“We just believe in quality, and people like to see that,” Silerto says.

Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar is at 2350 Clarendon Boulevard. The website is here for booking a table or call 703-527-8700 for reservations or to enquire about a private room and catering. The preceding was written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by Fire Works.

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Goody’s Back Open in Clarendon, Under New Owner

A little more than a month after closing up shop, popular Clarendon pizzeria Goody’s is back open, with some big changes on the way.

New owner Glenda Alvarez says the shop reopened its doors for the first time last Monday (May 15) and is ready for customers once more. Nick and Vanessa Reisis ran the pizzeria since 2006, but decided to retire and sell the store to Alvarez in early April.

Alvarez says she won’t be changing the restaurant’s name, or much about its menu: pizza and subs are still the main things on offer. She added that Goody’s will still be open late at night on the weekends to cater to bar-goers and even Arlington County police officers.

However, Alvarez has recently completed a full renovation of the restaurant’s interior, replacing its well-worn floors and furniture, with more changes on the way.

“Little by little, we’re adding on to it,” Alvarez told ARLnow. “It’s a friendly atmosphere. It’s welcoming, it’s run by a family. We want to make it a family-oriented place.”

Alvarez says she went to culinary school in Paris and used to own a Mediterranean restaurant before moving to Arlington. She says she spent years as an Arlington County government employee, but had long been interested in getting back into the restaurant business.

Alvarez says she’d repeatedly spoken with the Reisis’s about taking over Goody’s someday, and they approached Alvarez and her husband (who works at the small jewelry store next door to Goody’s) when they decided to retire.

“My husband and I talked it over, and it just seemed like a new opportunity for us,” Alvarez said. “So we thought, ‘Let’s go ahead buy it.'”

Though Goody’s may have a different owner running things, Alvarez says patrons shouldn’t expect the food to be too different — she kept on two of the same cooks and plans to leave their pizza and sauce recipes untouched.

However, she is planning on hiring a new chef and perhaps expanding Goody’s breakfast offerings, and even starting up a catering service.

“We’ll just try it all out, and see what works,” Alvarez said.

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Joe’s Place to Celebrate 40 Years Serving Pizza and Pasta

(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Joe’s Place Pizza & Pasta will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next week, and several state legislators and Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol are expected to be in attendance.

On Wednesday, Joe’s Place will offer its pizza, pasta and salad buffet bar at the original price of $3.99 for both lunch and dinner.

The restaurant, at 5555 Lee Highway, is the final remaining branch of a family-run chain that began in Woodbridge in 1978, a rep noted. It was founded by Joe Farruggio, who came to the U.S. from his hometown of Agrigento, Sicily. It is now managed by Joe’s nephew, Rosario Farruggio, and hosts numerous community events and fundraisers for local schools, sports teams and nonprofits each month.

A private event will also be held at the restaurant next week and is expected to feature a brief program during which a Congressional proclamation from Rep. Don Beyer’s office will be presented to the office.

“We have so much to be grateful for, especially all of our longtime staff and loyal customers,” the restaurant’s staff wrote. “Thank you!”

File photo

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JUST IN: Goody’s to Serve Last Slices Tonight

Beloved Clarendon pizza shop Goody’s will be closing up shop after tonight (Saturday).

Co-owner Vanessa Reisis — affectionately known to customers as “Momma Goody” — confirmed in a brief phone conversation that the family-run pizzeria will be closing after Saturday night and that she and her husband will be retiring.

An anonymous tipster told ARLnow.com Saturday morning that “somebody bought them out” and that the petite storefront along Clarendon’s main drag of bars could “possibly reopen as pizza spot.” Reisis declined to provide additional details about the closure.

Goody’s opened in 2006 and has served legions of local residents, bar-goers and Clarendon office workers since. It is also popular with Arlington police officers, particularly those working the weekend Clarendon bar detail.

Over the past few years Goody’s managed to hang on to its loyal clientele despite competition from the likes of Bronx Pizza and the recently-downsized Pete’s Apizza. Despite the competition, Goody’s continued to serve only two varieties of New York style pizza by the slice: plain and pepperoni.

In a 2016 interview, Reisis said the closing of Hard Times Cafe was a bad harbinger for the “friendly little neighborhood places” that helped turn Clarendon into a popular food and nightlife destination. In 2017, Reisis said on ARLnow’s 26 Square Miles podcast that business had picked up, but running a small shop like hers was still difficult given the neighborhood’s rising rent.

In addition to what it was best known for — food and family — Goody’s was also noted for the hand-drawn seasonal signs on the front window, which always proclaimed that the “best pizza in Arlington” was inside.

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Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza Opens in Arlington Ridge

Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza has opened its new location at 2931 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Ridge.

The pizzeria, which also features Mediterranean dishes other than pizza, replaces Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016. It first opened this past Wednesday, we’re told.

Delia’s has several Northern Virginia locations, including in Alexandria and Springfield. The Delia’s website does not yet list the Arlington Ridge location.

However, the menu for other locations includes smaller, appetizer-sized options like halloumi crostini, Greek avgolemono soup, and “pizza knuckles.” Entrees include grilled lamb chops and swordfish, in addition to the signature pizzas.

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Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza Opening Arlington Ridge Location

Delia’s, a mediterranean grill and brick oven pizza parlor with several area locations, is set to open a new location in Arlington Ridge in mid-March.

The location’s general manager, Oliver Garnowski, confirmed the scheduled opening and added that there will be more daily specials than at the Alexandria, Va., location that he currently works at. There will also be a few menu changes.

The restaurant, at 2931 S. Glebe Road, replaces the former Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016.

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Bluemont Pizza Restaurant Pupatella Warns Against Online Ordering

A pizza restaurant in Bluemont is warning potential customers against ordering their food online, as it said such offers are fraudulent.

Pupatella at 5104 Wilson Blvd posted on its Facebook account on Friday (January 27) that people should not order from them using online apps or websites, as “we do not have an online ordering system and all those apps and websites that say we do are fraud.”

The eatery has been listed as available for online orders on Menuocity, and was on Mealage, but that has since been removed.

The pizzeria has gained plaudits over the years for its Neapolitan pizza, including recognition as the best pizza in Virginia from FlipKey.com, a TripAdvisor company. It announced it would expand in 2016.

Owners at Pupatella did not respond to requests for further comment.

Dear customers, Please do not order our food online from any apps or websites, we do not have an online ordering system and all those apps and websites that say we do are fraud.

Posted by PUPATELLA on Saturday, January 27, 2018

Flickr pool photo by Chris

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Morning Notes

Pentagon Looking into Helicopter Noise Reduction — After pressure from residents who live near the Pentagon, along with Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), “FOX 5 has learned the Department of Defense is researching ways to reduce helicopter noise and is ready to hear concerns from… neighboring residents.” [Fox 5]

Caiazzo is New ACDC Chair — The Arlington County Democratic Committee has elected Jill Caiazzo, a lawyer and policy advocate, as its new chair. She succeeds Kip Malinosky, who was lauded at last night’s ACDC meeting for his four years of service as chair. [Blue Virginia, Facebook]

Favola Pushes Highway Name Bill — In an effort to allow Arlington to change the name of its stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway, and perhaps even Lee Highway, state Sen. Barbara Favola “is patroning legislation that would allow any Virginia county, city or town to change the name of any highway in its environs, so long as the original name was put in place prior to 1965.” [InsideNova]

Homeless Shelter Busy During Cold Snap — Some 80 people a night were staying at Arlington’s homeless shelter in Courthouse during the recent extended blast of frigid temperatures. The shelter, which relocated to an office building next to Arlington police headquarters in 2015, can accommodate up to 90 people during sub-freezing weather. [Arlington Connection]

History of the Sun Gazette — In his latest column, “Our Man in Arlington” Charlie Clark recounts the history of Arlington’s Sun Gazette newspaper. [Falls Church News-Press]

Printing Business Offers Free Pizza — In a unique partnership, Ballston-area printing business ASAP Screen Printing is partnering with newly-renamed pizza restaurant Alto Fumo to offer customers who spend at least $100 a free pizza. [Press Release]

Flickr pool photo by Jim Harvard

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Faccia Luna Name-Change to Alto Fumo Now Official

A longtime Italian restaurant in Clarendon has officially changed its name.

Faccia Luna became Alto Fumo on January 1, but not much has changed other than some new food options.

Boubker Errami, who has been involved with the restaurant since it opened in 1992, said the restaurant will now offer dishes like oysters and fried calamari as well as staples like pizza and pasta.

He also said the eatery at 2909 Wilson Blvd will have new salads and small plates and an expanded happy hour featuring numerous craft beers. No other aspects of the restaurant, including the furnishings, will change, he said.

As of Tuesday (January 2), the menus on display had been updated with the new name, but the old awnings remained with the Faccia Luna name. Alto Fumo also has a new Facebook page.

Faccia Luna’s Facebook page, meanwhile, posted on Monday, thanking customers and encouraging them to visit Faccia Luna in Alexandria.

Thank you Faccia Luna Arlington customers for your loyalty, support, and for making us a part of your family traditions.

Starting January 1, 2018 Faccia Luna Arlington will be closing its doors. You can still enjoy our great wood-fired pizzas, and classic Italian pastas at Faccia Luna Trattoria in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.

Errami said the changes come as Clarendon continues to add new restaurants and bars, and as Alto Fumo’s owners look to expand their customer base.

“We have great loyal customers, we’re just looking for more to come in the door, because we’ve been here since 1992,” he said. “We want to stay the neighborhood spot for this area.”

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Longtime Pizza Restaurant Faccia Luna to Become ‘Alto Fumo’

A longtime pizza restaurant in Clarendon is soon to shutter and reopen under new management.

Signs posted on the doors of Faccia Luna at 2909 Wilson Blvd show it will soon become Alto Fumo, another Italian restaurant. Faccia Luna first opened in Clarendon in 1992.

Permit applications filed with Arlington County indicate that the restaurant is under new management, but for now little is expected to change other than the name.

“Alto Fumo means ‘high-rising smoke’ in Italian, like smoke rising from a pizza oven,” the sign reads. “You will enjoy the highest quality customer service and foods and also enjoy our new additions.”

Faccia Luna also has locations in Old Town Alexandria and State College, Pennsylvania. A sign on the door at the Alexandria location thanked customers “for all the support.”

In 2015, co-owner Joe Corey said Faccia Luna has been a spot for successful first dates, with hundreds of couples ending up married after eating together at the Clarendon pizza joint.

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Spinfire Pizza in Rosslyn Permanently Closed

After initially suggesting it closed for renovations, Spinfire Pizza in Rosslyn is gone for good, with its former space now seeking a new tenant.

The pizza joint at 1501 Wilson Blvd, part-owned by former Washington Redskins player Pierre Garcon, had been planning to reopen on December 31, according to its Yelp page. That has since changed to it being permanently closed.

It offered customizable personal pizzas in 90 seconds, with toppings ranging from pizza staples like pepperoni and mushrooms to Sriracha sausage, candied pecans and dried cranberries.

Its other location is in Ashburn.

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UPDATED: Fast-Casual Pizza Chain &pizza to Open Wednesday, Dec. 27 in Ballston

Update December 21 at 1:45 p.m. — &pizza will open on Wednesday, December 27 after a spokesman said the eatery hit “a few last-minute details that needed to be addressed and the team simply ran up against the Christmas break.” Multiple tipsters said that staff at the restaurant said it had run into permitting issues with the county.

Earlier: The new fast-casual pizzeria &pizza will open to the public on Thursday in Ballston.

The build-your-own-pizza restaurant will move into 3924 Wilson Blvd, next to Freshbikes near the intersection with N. Quincy Street. It will occupy more than 2,000 square feet of space in the building, facing Wilson Blvd and across the parking lot from Gold’s Gym.

Ahead of the full opening, &pizza is hosting a now-sold-out soft opening today and tomorrow (Wednesday). Each attendee will receive a complimentary pizza so that employees can practice.

“&pizza is a different kind of pizza shop — one where experience is the focal point, and every shop reflects the culture and people who visit most,” the invite reads. “With the opening our Ballston shop, we want to invite you to join us for a lunch or dinner on us.”

Guests can expect &pizza’s signature customizable oblong pizzas with unlimited toppings using local ingredients and no artificial flavors.

More from a press release, after the jump.

&pizza, the Washington D.C.-based fast casual pizza company, known for its trademark ampersand, inventive flavor combinations, localized shop design and dedication to the communities they serve, expands its D.C. footprint with the opening of their 26th shop on December 21, at 3924 Wilson Blvd, in Arlington, Virginia. The D.C.-based pizza brand joins a diverse array of agencies, corporations, colleges, condominiums and a professional sports team, within the commercially eclectic Ballston corridor–an area defined by design, development, innovation and expansion.

// THE SHOP

To celebrate the new Ballston shop, &pizza will offer free pizzas to the first 126 guests in line on grand opening day. As has become tradition when opening new shops, &pizza will also offer free tattoos of the brand’s trademark ampersand logo to the first 26 guests in line who request them. Those interested will get scheduled with Laughing Hyena and once inked, will receive free pizza for a year. Connection, inclusion and unity are the core values of the &pizza brand, and the meaning behind the ampersand logo.

&pizza is known for its unique, oblong-shaped pizzas that are made with high quality ingredients and bake in under two minutes. For just over $10, guests can either craft either own individual pizza with unlimited toppings or choose from nine classics, known as “The “Hits.” The Tysons location will include the Dirty Bird–a buffalo chicken pizza–rolled out just in time for football season.  It will also feature the American Honey, a combination of spicy tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, arugula, red pepper flakes, goat cheese and Mike’s Hot Honey, a Little Giant partner.

// THE COMMUNITY

The Ballston section of Arlington County is named for the Ball Family and dates back to 1740. Over the years, Ballston developed into a commercial hub, which included the national headquarters for the Hecht Company (Hecht’s) and later became home to several notable government agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the United States Coast Guard, the Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ballston’s diverse corporate community includes AES (renewable energy), Accenture (consulting), and Raytheon (defense), as well as MobilePosse and BluVector (IT), among others.

With 2,124 square feet and a full parking lot, the 26th &pizza location features prime corner placement and sits adjacent to the former Al’s Motors showroom, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1948, the site was designed by architect J. Raymond Mims and features the Streamline Modeme-style, made popular between 1930-1955. The smooth surfaces and rounded corners were intended to evoke a feeling of motion and movement, similar to the automobiles themselves. The dealership was the oldest in Northern Virginia, when it closed in 2001.

“We had a unique opportunity to occupy a historic site, defined by a shared commitment to design philosophy and brand aesthetic,” Lastoria said. “We’re excited to carry the torch and bring &pizza to the already thriving Ballston community.”

Today, Ballston is experiencing unprecedented investment and commercial transformation. Immediate neighbors for the &pizza location include Mercedes Benz of Arlington and the new DARPA headquarters, as well as the practice facility and team offices for the NHL’s Washington Capitals franchise. One block away, the revamped shopping mall, Ballston Quarter — formerly known as Ballston Commons — is slated to reopen in 2018.

“&pizza couldn’t have arrived in Ballston at a better time, and they will give the east end of the neighborhood another much-needed fast-casual option,” says Tina Leone, CEO of the Ballston Business Improvement District. “Their addition to our neighborhood’s ever-changing dining scene reflects what our residents and workers want – delicious, local establishments that wholly embrace their community.”

Ballston is also home to a number of colleges and universities located two blocks away, including satellite campuses for George Washington University and Virginia Tech, along with the main campus for Marymount University.

The Ballston location will be open from 11AM- 11PM daily.

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Mediterranean Restaurant Delia’s to Replace Tazza Kitchen in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center

A Mediterranean and pizza restaurant with locations in Alexandria, Springfield and Sterling will replace the former Tazza Kitchen in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

Signs at the storefront at 2931 S. Glebe Road, near the county’s border with Alexandria, show Delia’s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza will move in soon. Tazza Kitchen closed last year in the space next door to the sweetfrog frozen yogurt store.

And permitting applications filed with the county show it is looking to remove a half wall in the dining area and bring in new cooking equipment.

Delia’s serves Mediterranean-inspired food, and has a full bar with cocktails, wine and craft beer, as well as catering services based in Falls Church. It describes its Springfield and Sterling locations as family-style restaurants, which offer a “more casual experience.”

Hat-tip to Thomas N.

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Extreme Pizza Expanding into Virginia Square

A national pizza chain is adding another location in Arlington, this time in Virginia Square.

Extreme Pizza is set to move into 3444 Fairfax Drive, according to permits filed with the county and its website. It already has a location in Arlington at 1419 S. Fern Street in Pentagon City, which opened in 2013.

The fast-casual eatery offers customizable pizzas as well as some signature offerings with names like “Ghost Wave,” “Wham, Bam, Thank You Mammoth” and “Poultry Geist.” The menu also includes calzones, sub sandwiches, salads, sides and desserts.

It will be the fifth Virginia location for Extreme Pizza, and the second inside the Beltway. The other Virginia locations are in Vienna, Henrico and Richmond, while it has stores in nine other states.

Photos via Craig W.

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