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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

by Tim Regan — January 5, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

A beloved burrito stand on Columbia Pike has split off from its parent company and adopted a new name.

The business formerly known as Pedro and Vinny’s (2599 Columbia Pike) is now a standalone eatery called “Burrito Bros.” The change happened about a week ago, according to Richard Arnez, who co-owns Burrito Bros with Roger Coronel.

“We were kind of like a franchise,” Arnez explained. “But we just wanted to be independent.”

Since the name change, most customers haven’t noticed anything different, Arnez said. After all, they’re there for the burritos, not the branding. There are some slight changes, though. For instance, Arnez said he had to give up the recipes behind the sauces when he left the Pedro and Vinny’s family.

A visit to the restaurant yesterday revealed the burritos are indeed more or less the same as before. The sauces — though still piquant — do taste slightly different now.

Still, some longtime fans might wonder whether in-house animosity could have led to the break-up. Is a burrito battle looming on the horizon?

Probably not, said Pedro and Vinny’s owner John Rider, who still staffs the original burrito cart in downtown D.C. each day. The split was merely a business decision, he explained.

“There’s no animosity with the situation,” Rider said. “I wish him the best of luck.”

Still, Rider said he feels a twinge of pain every time he drives past his former Columbia Pike restaurant and sees it without its familiar sign.

“I was hoping that Richard would open more Pedro and Vinny’s,” Rider said. “It’s too bad it happened, but it wasn’t my choice.”

There’s no guarantee Rider, who has vowed to open another brick and mortar location, won’t return to his old stomping grounds. In fact, he said he’s eyeing a Columbia Pike storefront just down the block from Burrito Bros.

“I love Arlington. Those customers are awesome,” Rider said. “We’re looking around that area, but I don’t know where we’re going to end up.”

by ARLnow.com — January 4, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

Shirlington smoothie stop Robeks has closed, apparently to get an interior upgrade.

The windows of the store at 4115 Campbell Avenue have been papered over, and a sign on one of the windows says the store is closed for remodeling.

The newly-remodeled store will reopen tomorrow (Thursday), the sign says.

by ARLnow.com — January 3, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Happy New Year gear lying on a Clarendon sidewalk on a rainy day

Heavy Traffic, Metro Issues — Commuters were welcomed back to work and back to school with a soaking rush hour rain, heavy traffic and delays on Metro’s Yellow and Blue lines. [Washington Post, Twitter]

Are We In a Restaurant Bubble?At last count, more restaurants closed than opened in Arlington last year. There’s talk that certain parts of Arlington’s restaurant scene — sit-down restaurants in particular — are oversaturated. While there’s always room for top-notch restaurants, Arlington’s restaurant woes are seemingly consistent with the assertion that we are in a national restaurant bubble. [Thrillist]

Take Our 2017 Reader Survey — Once a year, we give our readers a chance to weigh in on how we’re doing and what we might do to improve. We also over-share potential changes that we’re considering (some more seriously than others). Now is your chance to share your insights and opinions about ARLnow. [SurveyMonkey]

by ARLnow.com — December 22, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Morning departure from Reagan National Airport DCA (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Two Arrested for McD’s Beating — Arlington County Police have arrested two men for the beating of a 17-year-old boy at a McDonald’s on Lee Highway last week. The victim’s mother said she “believes the attack is payback for her son reporting a crime against him months ago.” [Fox 5]

Ray’s Files for Bankruptcy — The parent company of Ray’s The Steaks has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in two years. Owner Michael Landrum says Ray’s is in no danger of closing, however. [Washington Business Journal]

Rosslyn Hyatt Changes Branding — The Hyatt hotel on Wilson Blvd is now the first “Hyatt Centric” in the Mid-Atlantic region. Hyatt Centric is described as “a full-service brand that aims to attract a younger traveler, as well as to engage more with the neighborhood in which the hotels are located.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by ARLnow.com — December 9, 2016 at 11:25 am 0

Shawafel, a fast-casual restaurant near Courthouse, quietly closed earlier this fall after about a year in business.

The eatery opened at 1910 Wilson Blvd in September 2015, offering “an ‘Americanized’ twist to traditional Lebanese cuisine.”

According to Yelp users, it closed in October.

There was no announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page; its phone number has since been disconnected. The original Shawafel on H Street NE in D.C. appears to still be open.

Though such restaurants often appeal to a lunchtime crowd, the Arlington Shawafel was located on a big hill between the employment centers of Rosslyn and Courthouse.

Hat tip to Christopher Cahill

by ARLnow.com — December 8, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Outback Steakhouse in Arlington ForestFirefighters responded Thursday afternoon to a possible fire in an air conditioning and heating unit at the Outback Steakhouse in Arlington Forest.

The restaurant at 4821 1st Road N., near Route 50, was initially reported to be filling with smoke due to a problem with its HVAC system. Firefighters arriving on scene said there was no active fire and that a haze inside was beginning to dissipate.

The smoke came from an overheated motor in the rooftop HVAC system, according to scanner traffic. No word yet on whether the incident will prevent Blooming Onion fans from getting their fix at dinner tonight.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — December 8, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Snow man painted on a restaurant window in Shirlington

W-L Student Pens Open Letter on Boundary Changes — The boundary changes approved by the School Board on Dec. 1 will decrease socio-economic diversity at Arlington’s high schools, despite diversity being a stated “core value” at Arlington Public Schools. That’s the argument made by a Washington-Lee student in an open letter to the School Board, published by the Crossed Sabres student newspaper. The article has been widely shared online and, we’re told, has broken traffic records on the newspaper’s website. [Crossed Sabres]

Rollover Crash Last Night — A crash involving an SUV that flipped on its roof was reported near the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Glebe Road just before 8 p.m. last night. Another crash, involving a person potentially trapped in a vehicle, was reported on Old Dominion Drive just over the border in McLean, around 6 p.m. [Twitter, Twitter]

AFAC Collecting Lots of Donated Food — Holiday-time food collections are bolstering supplies at the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Just yesterday AFAC said it had received around 3,900 lbs of food from property owner Vornado and 1,900 lbs from apartment operator Dittmar. Dittmar says its total holiday food drive goal this year is 5,500 lbs. Other organizations collecting food for AFAC include local real estate agents that have formed a group called Arlington Realtors Care. [Instagram]

More Special Needs Students at APS — The percentage of special needs students at Arlington’s public schools has remained steady, but due to enrollment growth the number of special needs students has increased, presenting budgetary and instructional challenges. [InsideNova]

Cruz and Cornyn’s Queso Comes from Ballston — When Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn needed some authentic Texas-style queso to square off in a taste test against cheese dip from Arkansas, they went to Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurant in Ballston. (The restaurant chain is based in Texas.) Unfortunately, the Arkansas cheese won the competition. [Roll Call]

by ARLnow.com — December 8, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Former Jerry's Subs and Pizza location on Ball Street near Potomac YardDomino’s Pizza is planning to open its first dine-in location in Arlington.

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.

by ARLnow.com — December 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Pio Pio, a Peruvian charcoal rotisserie chicken restaurant at 3300 Wilson Blvd, is “closed for maintenance,” according to a sign in the window.

The restaurant, located roughly between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations, was also closed yesterday, though the sign says the closure is “today afternoon.”

No maintenance could be seen being done inside the restaurant this afternoon. An employee who answered the phone at Pio Pio’s Wheaton, Maryland location said there’s a problem with the roof that needs to be fixed by the landlord before the Arlington location can reopen.

by ARLnow.com — December 5, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Struggling fast-casual restaurant chain Noodles & Co. has closed its location at the Pentagon Row shopping center (1201 S. Joyce Street).

The eatery closed last month after 14 years in business. The restaurant’s exterior sign has since been removed and its interior has been largely cleared out.

A sign on the front door directs customers to the Noodles & Co. location at 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City.

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