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by ARLnow.com — February 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The second season of the Real Housewives of Potomac is promising all sorts of drama, including a storyline about Oz restaurant in Clarendon.

The restaurant, which opened in 2015, is apparently not living up to the expectations of co-owner Michael Darby, according to a teaser video released by Bravo.

“The restaurant, it’s not doing well as I’ve hoped,” Darby says to his wife and fellow co-owner, Ashley Darby. “We need to sort it out.”

Reality show filming at Oz restaurant in Clarendon 6/22/16“Shut down your restaurant and this marriage will be over, I am telling you that right now,” Ashley Darby says in a later clip, shot outside the restaurant along N. Garfield Street.

(ARLnow.com happened upon the filming of the scene, which took place on June 22, 2016.)

Despite moderately positive reviews, Oz — which serves Australian cuisine — has appeared to struggle to fill its large dining area most days of the week.

The second season of “RHOP” premieres April 2.

by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

A bike tire is all that remains of a bike parked in Shirlington (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Albino Squirrel Sighting — There has been another sighting of an albino squirrel in Arlington. Video of the snow white squirrel was posted to Arlington County’s social media accounts. [Facebook]

‘Day Without Immigrants’ Hits DoD Food Court — Yesterday’s “Day Without Immigrants” strike resulted in multiple restaurants being closed in the Pentagon food court and long lines at the restaurants that remained open. [Fox News]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Rosslyn skyline and birds (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Restaurants Closed for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ — A number of restaurants in Arlington will be closed for the pro-immigration “Day Without Immigrants” strike. Among the expected closures: Jaleo, Busboys and Poets, Pupatella, Capitol City Brewing, Circa and Sweetgreen. [Washingtonian, Twitter, Facebook]

New Photos of Bank Robbery Suspect — The Arlington County Police Department has released additional photos of the suspect in last Friday’s Navy Federal Credit Union bank robbery in Ballston. [Twitter]

Arlington Rapist Charged in D.C. Case — Ronald Berton, who was convicted of raping a woman in Lyon Village in 2010, “has been charged with kidnapping and raping a woman in Northwest Washington in 2007, according to police and court documents.” Berton is only serving 10 years in prison for his Arlington rape conviction, after the initial conviction was overturned and he was retried for the crime. [Washington Post]

Resolution Commending Wardian — A joint resolution in the Virginia General Assembly commends superhuman Arlington marathoner Michael Wardian for his World Marathon Challenge record, which he set last month. [Virginia Legislative Information System]

Facilities Committee Goes on a Ride — Last Saturday morning, Arlington officials and the county’s Joint Facilities Advisory Committee boarded an ART bus and went on a tour of sites that “could help the County Government and Arlington Public Schools resolve pressing capital facilities needs.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: More Potomac Paddling — “The National Park Service said it plans to expand public access for kayaking and rowing on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia’s Georgetown neighborhood,” according to the Associated Press. “The agency said in a statement this week it has approved a plan for the phased development of 42,000 square feet of facilities near the confluence of Rock Creek, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm 0

Virginia Square restaurant Water & Wall (3811 Fairfax Drive) has closed its doors for good.

The restaurant, which opened in November 2013 and served “creative American cuisine,” announced the closing on Facebook today.

“After 3 1/2 years, we have decided to close Water & Wall,” said the Facebook post. “We hope you’ll visit us at Kyirisan and Chase the Submarine. We have loved being a part of your lives.”

Water & Wall served its last dinner customers last night, the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema said on his “Ask Tom” chat today.

A year ago, during an ARLnow.com-organized panel discussion on the local restaurant industry, Water & Wall owner and acclaimed chef Tim Ma was asked about keeping customers coming back after the initial excitement of a restaurant’s opening.

“Everybody was coming through the door on day one, two years later, it’s all about retention,” Ma said. “Staying relevant is probably the hardest thing. There are so many new restaurants opening, so many different areas coming back to life, staying relevant is hard.”

The restaurant has previously launched limited-time, “pop-up” menus, offering new dishes for diners to try. It brought on a new chef in June.

by ARLnow.com — February 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Chevy's restaurant in Pentagon City (photo via Google Maps)(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) The Chevy’s Fresh Mex restaurant at 1201 S. Hayes Street in Pentagon City is being evacuated due to “elevated” carbon monoxide levels.

Fire department units are being dispatched to the scene to investigate the source of the CO, according to scanner traffic. Washington Gas is also responding to the scene.

Initial reports suggest the higher-than-normal carbon monoxide levels were detected in the kitchen and possibly related to a water heater.

So far there’s no report of anyone becoming sick, though the restaurant’s kitchen workers are being evaluated by firefighters.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — February 14, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Fairlington at night

Highest Monday Wind Gusts — According to the National Weather Service, the highest wind gusts recorded in Arlington Monday, after the initial squall line came through Sunday night, were between 47 mph in Barcroft and 53 mph in Cherrydale. [National Weather Service]

Arlington Man Arrested for Bank Robbery — A 41-year-old Arlington man was arrested in D.C. Monday and accused of robbing the HSBC Bank at the corner of 14th and I streets NW. Police say the man passed the teller a note claiming to have a bomb, fled on foot with cash but was then detained by a pair of witnesses and held until police arrived. [Washington Post]

County Defends Property Purchase — Arlington County says it did not overpay by spending $800,000 to buy a house, assessed for $519,200, which was needed for the Fire Station No. 8 expansion project. The county says the owner of the home was not anxious to sell and, essentially, making them an offer they couldn’t refuse helped save time and effort compared to trying to use eminent-domain to try to acquire the property at a fair-market value. [InsideNova]

Kudos for Arlington’s Affordable Housing Plan — “Arlington has set ambitious goals to tackle housing affordability, in part by making it easier for developers to build affordable housing in the first place. According to a recent report, Arlington made plans for new affordable units and brought its number of homeless residents down last year even as rents and housing costs went up.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Registration Open for Girls Fire Camp — The Arlington County Fire Department is now taking applications for its 2017 Girls Fire Camp, which “gives teenage girls, ages 15-18, a chance to experience firsthand what it takes to be an Arlington County Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician.” The camp will take place from July 6-9. [Arlington County]

Nearby: No New Taco Bell in Alexandria — A proposed new Taco Bell restaurant on Duke Street in Alexandria, which neighbors worried could bring “late night riff raff” and cause traffic problems, will not be opening after all. The company has withdrawn its plans for the new location. [Washington Business Journal]

by Tim Regan — January 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm 0

(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Dudley’s Sport & Ale, a long-awaited sports bar coming to the former Bungalow space in Shirlington, might finally open its doors this June or July.

That’s the latest from owner Reese Gardner, who also owns Copperwood TavernQuinn’s on the Corner in Rosslyn and Irish Whiskey in the District.

Though the original plan was to open Dudley’s last March, work associated with the planned rooftop deck greatly delayed those plans. But the bar is still inching toward an opening date, Gardner said.

“We’re 70 percent done inside,” he explained. “It’s taking a long time, but it’s a big project.”

The long wait appears to have disheartened some eager would-be patrons. Several people have taken to Facebook to complain about the delay over the past few months.

“I have been checking for news on the opening since last spring,” wrote one person, who gave the yet-to-open restaurant a one-star review. “They should at least give updates.”

“This is the restaurant that will never open,” said another Facebook user.

When it finally opens, Dudley’s will offer a 28-seat bar, another 125 seats in the dining area, a private room and bar for events and a “stadium style” viewing area with drink-holder-equipped seat that face a giant screen. Hot dog, popcorn and beer vendors will roam the stadium seating area to dispense cheap eats and drinks, Gardner said.

Dudley’s will also have a rooftop bar with a game area, a 15-seat bar and patio seating for about 114 people.

The tavern’s menu will consist of “traditional American bar cuisine,” Gardner said. The restaurant will also serve a “blue collar breakfast” menu all day and sling 16-inch cast iron pizzas.

“It’s a cross between a deep dish and a traditional pizza,” Gardner explained. “When you make it in these cast irons, the crust gets very flavorful.”

If the remaining construction work goes off without a hitch, Dudley’s could open on the Fourth of July, hopefully at the latest, according to Gardner.

by Tim Regan — January 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

A low-rise Best Western hotel along Route 50, in Rosslyn, could be slated for a big redevelopment project.

Alliance Hospitality, which owns the Best Western Iwo Jima hotel at 1501 Arlington Blvd, has filed a preliminary site plan for the property. The company proposes to redevelop the hotel and an adjacent garden apartment building it also owns — the Ellis Arms Apartments at 1523 Fairfax Drive — into a 250-room “dual brand hotel” and a 64-unit residential building.

Sketches included in the filing appear to show a hotel building that is 12-13 stories tall. According to the site plan, the redevelopment would also include a five- or six-level parking garage and amenities like public art; sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements; streetscape improvements and bicycle parking.

The Best Western, which would be torn down, currently houses a Ledo Pizza restaurant on the first floor.

The planned redevelopment is still in its early stages. The project must be reviewed by the Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC), then be presented to both the Arlington Planning Commission and the County Board.

Photo (5) via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

"Dog the Bounty Hunter" poses outside Don Tito in Clarendon (courtesy photo)

Duane “Dog” Chapman visited Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon over the weekend.

The bounty hunter and reality show star stopped by the restaurant on Saturday and ordered a plate of fajitas for lunch, we’re told. After chowing down, but before riding away in a black SUV, Chapman posed for a couple of photos.

Chapman was in town with his wife, Beth, attending presidential inauguration events. Beth Chapman, who is politically active as president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, donated to the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington Democrats participate in Saturday's Women's March (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Women’s March Crowds Local Metro Stations — Arlington County Police assisted with crowd and traffic control before and after the Women’s March on Saturday. The event resulted in crowded Metro stations and heavy traffic on routes into the District. [Twitter, Twitter]

Local Restaurant Owner Expands into D.C. — Javier Candon, the co-owner of SER Restaurant in Ballston, has opened a new Spanish restaurant, Joselito Casa de Comidas, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of D.C. [WTOP]

Reconsidering Virginia’s No-Bars Law — In Virginia, restaurants that serve mixed drinks must make at least 45 percent of their gross sales from food and nonalcoholic beverages. The rule is essentially intended to prevent the opening of bars and nightclubs devoted exclusively to the sale of alcoholic beverages. But some believe the rule should be repealed because it “infringes on the rights of restaurant owners, and limits choice for consumers.” [Reason, Virginian-Pilot]

Obit: Ruth Graze — Arlington resident Ruth Graze, a former advertising executive and former volunteer for the group Arlingtonians for a Better County, died on Dec. 23 at the age of 102. [Washington Post]

Reminder: Submitting Events — As a reminder to those who are planning events in Arlington, the best way to submit events to us is via our event calendar. Sending a press release is usually not necessary. [ARLnow]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — January 19, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Mad Rose Tavern closing party flyerAfter six years in business, Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) is shutting its doors.

The Clarendon bar and restaurant did not look like it was going to survive long after it opened in 2011 and within weeks underwent a management change and, later, a menu change.

However, survive it did, as it focused more on nightlife and events. One memorable moment: bringing in Sisqo of “Thong Song” fame to perform in 2013.

Now, Mad Rose is closing after a final blowout party starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday. (It’s also scheduled to host a Democratic brunch on Sunday.)

Replacing Mad Rose will be a new Asian restaurant called Bao Bar, which will specialize in Taiwanese street food. As reported by the Washington City Paper, restaurant owner Social Restaurant Group, which just opened Pamplona restaurant across the plaza from Mad Rose, is planning a “major renovation” of the space but is hoping to open Bao Bar as early as March.

by ARLnow.com — January 11, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

"Trump's Cessna Citation X corporate jet at Reagan Airport on 1/10/2017" (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Coffee With a Cop Today — The Arlington County Police Department’s district teams are holding “Coffee With a Cop” events today. The event “has no agenda or speeches” and “is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers and neighbors in your district.” [Arlington County]

Washington Blvd Closure Tonight — Expect lane closures and a 30-minute full closure of Washington Blvd (Route 27) over Route 110 overnight tonight. VDOT is replacing an aging bridge over Route 110; the project is expected to wrap up in 2018. [Twitter]

Boulevard Woodgrill Staff to Marble and RyeMarble and Rye on Columbia Pike has hired “the entire executive staff” from the former Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon, a restaurant rep says. The hires include longtime Boulevard executive chef Paul Murad and longtime general manager Kent Lawson. The hires, we’re told, “will provide a significant upgrade in service and menu options” and will help Marble and Rye “compete with other popular destinations in Clarendon, Ballston and Shirlington.”

Neighborhood College Applications Being Accepted — “Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County’s free Neighborhood College program, which will meet on eight consecutive Thursday evenings beginning March 16, 2017.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Tim Regan — January 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm 0

The beer taps at Clarendon’s Sehkraft Brewing are now permanently dry.

That’s because the bar, restaurant and hangout at 925 N. Garfield Street officially closed today, with the help of the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies showed up today around noon to evict the business, according to Major Susie Doyel, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. A representative for the landlord said the business had until noon today to vacate the building but declined to give more information about the eviction.

Court records show that legal proceedings leading up to the eviction were first initiated in October.

A number of people could be seen inside the business this afternoon, talking and taking stock of the contents while workers with tools walked in and out of the building.

Sehkraft held one last hurrah for customers last night, with live music playing and the college football championship on TV. The brewpub first announced it was closing on Friday evening.

We were unable to reach a Sehkraft Brewing representative for comment. The business first opened a little more than a year ago.

by ARLnow.com — January 10, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Snow on the pavement along Columbia Pike (Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards)

Clarendon Restaurant Opening Basement Lounge — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar is planning to open a cafe, restaurant and cocktail lounge called Baba later this month. The basement space will have a separate kitchen and will serve craft cocktails and La Colombe coffee. [Washington Post, Facebook]

Four Mile DMV Still Closed — Though it was originally supposed to reopen on Monday, the Four Mile Run Virginia DMV office renovations are taking a bit longer than expected. “The reopen date for the Four Mile Run office is now tentatively January 12,” a DMV spokeswoman told ARLnow.com. “Our contractor is working hard to put the finishing touches on everything.”

County Publishes Paperless ‘Citizen’ — Arlington County has published an online-only “bonus” version of its Citizen newsletter, which is usually mailed to every household in the county. “You’re probably recycling lots of tree-based products this month so we’re saving a bit of room in your curbside bin,” the top of the online publication says. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com — January 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm 0

Sehkraft Brewing in Clarendon

(Updated at 7:10 p.m.) Sehkraft Brewing in Clarendon will be closing next week, ARLnow.com has learned.

“With deep regret Sehkraft is announcing that we will be closing our doors,” assistant general manager Ricky Shepherd wrote via email Friday night. “Please come out and commemorate with us all weekend as we say goodbye to GREAT friends and to Sehkraft. Last call, last call!”

The brewpub and entertainment venue will close on Tuesday, Jan. 10, just over a year after it first opened. Located at 925 N. Garfield Street, Sehkraft’s opening was stymied by months of delays and what its owner described as regulatory wrangling with the county’s permitting office.

“[It] was an unbelievably arduous two years,” said owner and CEO Devin Hicks.

File photo

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