Kal Penn Spotted at A-Town — Eddie Lacy wasn’t the only famous person spotted at an Arlington bar over the past week. Actor and former Obama administration official Kal Penn was photographed hanging out at A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston this past weekend.
Monday Properties Refinances Rosslyn Portfolio — “Monday Properties has completed an $888 million refinancing of its Rosslyn portfolio… resolving one of the largest chunks of expiring commercial real estate debts taken out before the recession.” Meanwhile, Monday says that Nestle moving its corporate headquarters to 1812 N. Moore Street “has prompted other prospects to consider Rosslyn that wouldn’t have in the past.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington’s Bond Rating Affirmed — “For the 17th year in a row, all three credit ratings agencies have reaffirmed Arlington County’s debt ratings of Aaa/AAA/AAA — the highest rating. Arlington is one of just 45 Counties in the United States, and 9 in Virginia, to receive the highest rating from all three credit agencies for its bonds.” [Arlington County]
Nearby: Video of Fire in Falls Church — Arlington County firefighters assisted on a shed and house fire in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County last week. The blaze was caught on video by a neighbor. [Statter 911]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Vihstadt Wants Ads Atop Aquatics Center — County government could raise some extra money by placing corporate logos atop the future Long Bridge Park aquatics center, which could be seen by those flying in and out of Reagan National Airport, says County Board member John Vihstadt. He is also pushing the idea of ads on ART buses, transit stops and Capital Bikeshare stations. [InsideNova]
Pupatella Named Best Pizza in Va. — The expanding Pupatella Pizza has been named the best pizza in Virginia again, this time by USA Today. The Bluemont pizzeria will celebrate its seventh anniversary on Saturday. [USA Today]
Plaudits for The Bartlett — The Bartlett, an amenity-filled, 699-unit apartment tower in Pentagon City, has been named the year’s best residential project by the Washington Business Journal. The building, the design of which was “inspired by buildings in New York City,” leased up so quickly that plans for a “pop-up hotel” utilizing vacant units had to be pulled back. [Washington Business Journal]
Pebley Recognized for Civic Leadership — Jim Pebley was honored with a resolution of thanks from the Arlington County Republican Committee this past Wednesday. Pebley, who never ran for office but has a long resume of civic service in Arlington, is retiring to North Carolina this summer. “It is safe to say Jim Pebley is one of the most active citizens in Arlington, and has been for decades,” said one well-wisher. “[He is] extremely well-respected across the political spectrum.” [InsideNova]
Condo Resident Opposes VRE Expansion — In a WaPo op-ed, a condo resident who lives next to the VRE station in Crystal City says he opposes the planned expansion of the station because it will “will mar our precious green space” and “derail the lives of Crystal City residents through more noise and possible destruction of property during station construction.” [Washington Post]
Nearby: Threats to Falls Church Abortion Clinic — A building housing an abortion clinic in Falls Church was evacuated twice yesterday due to perceived threats. In the first instance, someone set off fireworks in the building’s elevator; in the second, someone stamped the word “bomb” on pieces of paper found near the rear entrance. An Arlington County Police K-9 unit assisted with the investigation “because F.C. police’s own K-9 unit is still in training.” [Falls Church News-Press, DCist]
Pete’s New Haven Apizza is preparing to downsize its space in Clarendon, and Dunkin’ Donuts is considering filling it.
Multiple sources tell ARLnow.com that Dunkin’ reps have taken a close look at the space at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street. A leasing chart for the building, however, still lists the space as unfilled.
Permits have been issued to alter the existing Pete’s dining room and kitchen, reducing the overall size of the restaurant. Co-owner Joel Mehr says the pizzeria remain open during the process.
“We plan to stay open during construction,” he said. “We may have to close for a lunch here and there.”
Vanessa Reisis, along with her husband and kids, have been running Goody’s Pizza (3125 Wilson Blvd) since it opened in Clarendon in 2006.
When we checked in with “Momma Goody” last summer, she said the family-owned shop was struggling to keep up with high rent and lots of competition.
But there’s good news: since then business has picked up and Reisis is confident that Goody’s will be able to renew its lease and keep serving the shop’s loyal customers for years to come.
Also, be sure to check out this week’s sponsor, Crystal Couture, which starts next Thursday, Feb. 2, in Crystal City.
As detailed in an item on the County Board’s Saturday agenda, Domino’s is planning to move its current pizzeria at 2923 S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center, to the ground floor of the Camden Potomac Yard Apartments.
That’s the same location, at 3535 S. Ball Street, as a former Jerry’s Subs and Pizza restaurant. The new location will include 18 dine-in seats, a first for a Domino’s in Arlington County.
The County Board item is a site plan amendment to allow delivery service from the new storefront. Domino’s is proposing delivery hours of 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with up to five drivers making deliveries at any given time.
The robbery happened around 11:40 p.m. The men fled on foot with cash from the business’ cash register.
Police would not reveal which store was robbed, but the only business in the shopping center that is open past 10 p.m. is the Brick’s Pizza shop.
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 161010039, 4800 block of N. 1st Street. At approximately 11:39 p.m. on October 10, three unknown black males entered a business armed with handguns wearing black ski masks. The suspects stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and fled the area on foot. Investigation is ongoing.
A new quick-service pizza restaurant on Columbia Pike is offering free pizza tomorrow as the eatery holds its grand opening.
1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, billed as “a fast-casual American spin on authentic, hand-tossed Neapolitan pizza,” is opening at 3400 Columbia Pike, near the intersection with S. Glebe Road.
The first 10 customers will get free pizza for a year, according to a press release, while anyone else stopping by on opening day will get a free 10-inch personal pizza for following the restaurant on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
From the press release:
To celebrate the new restaurant, the first 10 guests through the doors on Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. will win free pizza for a year. In addition, all guests who visit the grand opening between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. and like 1000 Degrees on Facebook or follow on Instagram or Twitter will receive a free 10″ pizza of their choice.
1000 Degrees serves personalized, made-to-order authentic Neapolitan pizza. Each pizza starts with fresh, never frozen, hand-tossed dough, created with authentic Neapolitan flour and available in both a personal 10″ and sharable 14″ sizes. Guests then choose to create their own pizza or order one of the 1000 Degrees Favorites.
The Arlington 1000 Degrees is the first location in the D.C. area, and is owned and operated by long-time, local entrepreneur of the area. Prior to 1000 Degrees, the owner had owned several different businesses in the area, and chose to open 1000 Degrees after being drawn to its fresh, quality ingredients and fun atmosphere.
“We’re thrilled to open the doors of our third 1000 Degrees restaurant in Virginia,” said 1000 Degrees CEO and Founder Brian Petruzzi. “I’m confident that we serve the best hand-tossed Neapolitan pizza in the area and provide an unparalleled customer experience that will keep people coming back for more.”
Customizing a 1000 Degrees pizza is truly a unique experience, as guests can choose to top theirs with any of the more than 50 high quality cheeses, sauces, meats, vegetables and other toppings all for one flat price. While choosing their toppings, customers are guided down an assembly line of pizza consultants to create a pizza that is totally unique to them.
Outside of the build your own option, there are more than 12 varieties of specialty pizzas including favorites like The Smokey Pollo, also known as Barbecue Bourbon Chicken, which features sweet and smokey bourbon barbecue sauce, roasted chicken, red onion, pineapple, shredded Grande brand mozzarella and blue cheeses, and The Philly, which is a cheese steak pizza topped with thinly sliced rib-eye, caramelized Spanish onions, balsamic glaze, shredded Grande brand mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Pizzas are then fired to perfection at 1000 degrees in a custom, handmade, revolving Neapolitan brick oven in just two minutes.
Unlike traditional Neapolitan pizza which has a slightly undercooked center and requires a fork and knife to eat, 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza has fused this classic style with American flare. The result is a thin crust pizza that maintains the light and airy appeal of a Neapolitan style pizza.
1000 Degrees pizza captures American appeal and old world Neapolitan flavor. The company currently has more than 18 domestic restaurants open and one international location in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 1000 Degrees is growing at a rapid pace, on target to have more than 25 units open by the end of this year.
1000 Degrees Arlington is open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Originally founded as a food truck, Pupatella opened its current Bluemont location, at 5104 Wilson Blvd, in 2010. Co-owner Enzo Algarme is now teaming up with the partners behind Elevation Burger to expand via franchising.
“After a decade of perfecting their craft, the owners have joined forces with two of the founding partners of Elevation Burger to begin offering franchises,” said a PR rep.
Additional Pupatella locations may be in store for the D.C. area, according to a press release. Other potential expansion locations, should franchise owners sign on, include Philadelphia, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Raleigh-Durham, Chapel Hill, Wilmington and as far away as the Middle East.
The full press release from Pupatella is below.
Started as a food truck in 2007, today Pupatella is a favorite Neapolitan Pizzeria among Northern Virginians, winning loyal fans with its classic artisan Neapolitan pizza. Due to high demand, Pupatalla has decided to expand through corporate development and franchise opportunities. To accomplish this, Enzo Algarme, Pupatella’s founder and owner, has joined forces with founding partners of Elevation Burger who grew the country’s first organic burger chain from one to more than 50 restaurants worldwide. Pupatella is now seeking entrepreneurs and franchisees that have a passion for classic, artisan pizza to help grow the brand.
Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Algarme takes tremendous pride in Pupatella’s “back to the basics” philosophy. The restaurant proudly possesses aVPN certification, a designation given to qualifying pizzerias by the Naples-based Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. To obtain the VPN certification, the pizza is made according to the 200-year-old Neapolitan technique. Only wood-fired ovens are permitted; the dough is made of only four ingredients: 00 Italian flour, sea salt, fresh yeast and water. The toppings for the D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) pizza may only include sauce made of San Marzano tomatoes grown in Italy, fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella made with buffalo milk or fior di latte, sea salt, fresh basil and olive oil.
“I came to the U.S. for college and the one thing I missed the most was classic Neapolitan pizza that you could find on every corner in Naples,” said Algarme. “Cooking was a huge part of my upbringing in Italy and I felt a calling to start a business that was true to my roots. We’ve experienced tremendous success, with lines out the door everyday, and I feel confident that our pizza will be embraced around the world as we move forward with our expansion plans.”
Pupatella is consistently named as one of the country’s best pizzerias by media and has received accolades by Business Insider and Washington Post. Its current location has experienced solid growth and high profit, totaling nearly 2.5 million dollars in gross sales in 2015. Pupatella has a top rating from more than 1,200 reviewers on Yelp. In addition to its classic artisan food, Pupatella is also known for it’s fast and affordable format. From a family outing to a romantic date night, guests appreciate Pupatella’s commitment to simple, true Neapolitan pizza served in a casual atmosphere where all are welcome.
Pupatella is now seeking entrepreneurs to help expand the pizzeria in key markets across the United States and Middle East. The ideal franchise partner has restaurant experience and a passion for executing a proven system. Specific areas for U.S. expansion include Washington D.C Metro, Philadelphia Metro, Richmond, VA, Virginia Beach, VA, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Chapel Hill, NC, Newark, DE, and Wilmington, DE. Franchise opportunities are also available in the Middle East.
To learn more about franchise opportunities, visit pupatellafranchise.com to submit an online application or call 703.825.6334.
A Stone Hot Pizza is coming to Arlington’s bustling Clarendon neighborhood, according to a construction permit application.
The eatery will be located on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartments (1200 N. Irving Street). That’s according to the permit application, which was filed on Thursday, Sept. 1.
The small Northern Virginia pizza chain has three existing locations, in Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax. Its menu includes specialty pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, pastas, salads, wings, meat pies and various appetizers and desserts.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt
NAACP Wants War Memorial Plaque Changed — The Arlington chapter of the NAACP wants a plaque on the war memorial in Clarendon updated. The plaque lists Arlingtonians killed in World War I, but separates two “colored” military members from the rest of the local war dead. The NAACP says it would like to get the plaque removed and replaced. “We owe it to those who fought and died,” said local NAACP president Karen Nightengale. [InsideNova]
Two Restaurant Chains Coming to Arlington — Two regional franchise operators have signed agreements that will bring two expanding restaurant chains to Arlington. A former Domino’s Pizza franchisee is planning to open an Arlington location of Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza, in addition to locations elsewhere in Northern Virginia. Meanwhile a Five Guys franchisee says it will be opening 10 Newk’s Eatery locations in Arlington and Fairfax counties. The Mississippi-based soup, salad, sandwich and pizza chain is big in the Southeast U.S., with more than 100 locations in 13 states and an aggressive expansion plan. [WTOP, Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Hotels Hacked — Two Arlington hotels have reportedly had their payment systems compromised by hackers. HEI Hotels and Resorts says malware was found on its systems at 20 hotels, including the Le Meridien in Rosslyn and the Sheraton Pentagon City on Columbia Pike. The hack potentially exposed the credit card information of hotel guests and customers. [Associated Press]
Pokemon Go at the Pentagon — Department of Defense officials have put the kibosh on DoD employees playing Pokemon Go on government phones, citing concerns about the game tracking the movement of its employees. The DoD has also reportedly told Pentagon employees to only play the game outside of the building. A Pokemon “gym” inside the Pentagon has been removed. [The Guardian, Twitter]
Bethesda Man Bought $1 Million Lottery Ticket in Arlington — The $1 million-winning Powerball ticket that was sold at a Ballston 7-Eleven store last month was sold to a Bethesda resident. Larry Elpiner says he plans to “share his winnings with family and friends,” in addition to paying for his daughter’s college education. [WUSA 9]
Photo courtesy Noah Kaufman
Goody’s Pizza in Clarendon is a small restaurant struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly expensive neighborhood.
The owners, Nick and Vanessa Reisis, say they’ve put a lot of time and effort into their family-run business, located at 3125 Wilson Blvd, but they are having trouble competing with the wave of newer, more upscale restaurants in Clarendon.
There is “a new generation that’s coming in, they’re all young people and they all have good jobs, and… they’re not looking for a little mom and pop shop anymore,” said Vanessa, who’s known to some customers as “Momma Goody.” Business has been “a little down lately,” she acknowledged.
Goody’s is tiny compared to some of Clarendon’s cavernous restaurants and nightspots. But even larger restaurants face the threat of closing. Earlier this month long-time local fixture Hard Times Cafe closed over Independence Day weekend.
Reisis said the feeling of community that was once unique to Clarendon businesses is dissipating.
“It’s not the friendly little neighborhood places anymore,” Vanessa explained. “[At] all these upscale kind of places, it’s just cold.”
Reisis was sad to see Hard Times close — the two restaurants had enjoyed a close relationship, she said. “We recommended them, they recommended us. We were working together.”
This isn’t a new issue — Reisis was once the main subject of an article with the tagline “Can Arlington’s mom-and-pop eateries survive in an increasingly upscale restaurant landscape?” Five years later, Goody’s is still open, still serving a voracious late night bar crowd, and still offering only two types of pizza by the slice: plain and pepperoni.
Despite being an old school spot in a neighborhood full of shiny new places, Goody’s is looking to the future. Tentative plans include getting new furniture and maybe a new outdoor sign.
“We love this restaurant, it’s our passion, it’s like our little baby,” said Reisis.
“We’re thinking of upscaling,” she added, “but that costs money, which we don’t have in our budget.”
A pizza delivery driver was T-boned in a crash near Clarendon this afternoon.
The crash occurred shortly after noon at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Kirkwood Road.
A pickup truck slammed into the passenger side of the Paisano’s Pizza delivery car at the intersection. The circumstances leading to the crash are unclear at this point.
According to scanner traffic, one person was bleeding from the head and required medical attention following the wreck.
NKD Pizza, the pizza chain formerly known as Naked Pizza, has closed its Pentagon City location.
The pizzeria, in the Pentagon Row shopping center at 1101 S. Joyce Street, opened in July 2011, touting unique pizza recipes and all-natural ingredients. Subsequently a Ballston/Virginia Square location opened in 2012.
Today, the Pentagon City’s location was closed, with brown paper covering the windows and a sign posted on the door.
“Thank you so much for your past patronage — we’ve enjoyed serving you at this location for the past five years!” the sign read. “We would love to continue serving you as a carryout guest at our Ballston location.”
The Ballston NKD Pizza store is located at 933 N. Quincy Street.
Signs are up for a new pizza restaurant on Columbia Pike.
1000 Degrees has over 100 locations nationwide. The business is based around $7.99 personalized pizzas which are cooked in two minutes.
Customers can build their own personalized pizzas or choose from 15 neapolitan flavors including margherita and tuscan chicken. Breadsticks, wings and build your own salads are also offered.
The restaurant has yet to announce an official opening date. The Arlington location’s Facebook page was last updated on March 31.
Working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police say there were able to locate the vehicle in D.C. and take the suspect into custody.
From an ACPD crime report:
GRAND THEFT AUTO, 160428031, 1400 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 1:10 p.m. on April 28, a pizza delivery vehicle was stolen while the driver was on a delivery. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in Washington D.C. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Warrants were obtained for grand larceny auto for James Lee Thomas III, 38, of Washington D.C.