Now sporting a fresh look to go along with its fresh beef, a Wendy’s along Route 7 has reopened following renovations.
The fast food outpost now features an electronic order status display, a faux fireplace, a Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machine and a flat panel TV currently tuned to ESPN.
Located at 5050 S. Chesterfield Road, not far from Wakefield High School, the renovated Wendy’s sits next to a 7-Eleven store and a Taco Bell, on a small peninsula of Arlington County surrounded on three sides by the borders of Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.
The renovations are nearly identical to those at the recently reopened Wendy’s at 3431 Columbia Pike.
More from a press release:
With revitalized decor, comfortable seating and other amenities, customers will enjoy a stunning new Wendy’s® experience when they visit the remodeled restaurant at 5050 Chesterfield Road, Arlington, VA beginning March 16.
The restaurant was remodeled using an innovative interior and exterior design, which is part of an ongoing effort to provide an enhanced customer experience — from the high-quality food to the restaurant environment.
“This restaurant has bold curb appeal and features a compelling design–inside and out,” said Arif Islam, Wendy’s Region Manager. “It’s very different from what our customers in Arlington are used to, but we think they’ll really like the fresh look and feel of the new Wendy’s.”
The interior showcases open, bright dining areas with multiple seating options, including private booths, cozy lounge seating and a Wi-Fi bar. A Coca-Cola® Freestyle® beverage dispenser that allows customers to customize their drink choices is also available. The touch screen, self-serve fountains offer over 100 regular and low-calorie beverages, including a variety of branded waters, sports drinks, lemonades and sparkling beverages.
“Our ultimate goal is for our customers to have the best dining experience, and we think they will be surprised and excited about their new Wendy’s,” Islam said.
Map via Google Maps
Woman Injured When Scooter’s Brakes Fail — “An Arlington, Virginia, woman says she had to jump off of an electric scooter moving 15 mph to avoid oncoming traffic because the rented scooter’s brakes weren’t working.” [NBC 4]
Could Goody’s Challenge Sign Rules? — Goody’s restaurant in Clarendon painted over its outdoor mural after running afoul of Arlington’s sign ordinance, but one attorney says a 2015 Supreme Court ruling may point to an avenue to challenge the county’s regulations. [Reason]
Refugees Get Car from Arlington Diocese — “A Catholic family fleeing religious persecution in their native Pakistan [received] a car Monday in Arlington.” [WUSA 9]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The outside of Goody’s is now sporting eye-watering lime green and red paint after county zoning regulations forced the pizzeria to cover its colorful, culinary mural.
Tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, cheese, slices of pizza, and gyros adorned the creme-colored walls along with an Italian flag after Goody’s commissioned the mural from a local artist.
The county’s planning department warned the Clarendon staple that Arlington’s zoning ordinance requires permits for artwork that “relates to the advertisement of a business and its services” and that without a permit they’d be forced to paint over the mural.
Goody’s is owned by Glenda Alvarez who took the reins from Vanessa Reisis last spring and was unavailable for comment Friday morning.
Alvarez’s husband Danny Sabouni owns Arlington Watch Works next door and told ARLnow that Alvarez had to repaint Goody’s yesterday (Thursday) but she was not fined.
“We can put bicycles or cars outside, whatever else. But we cannot put posters or signs advertising what we sell,” Sabouni said of the zoning ordinance’s requirements. “It’s pathetic.”
A spokesperson for the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development did not respond in time for publication.
Sabouni says Alvarez is considering commissioning a new mural for the eatery, but it’s a difficult process because the language of the ordinance doesn’t clearly distinguish between what’s a sign and what’s art.
“It’s so vague that nobody can understand it,” he said.
Previously, Alvarez said she painted the building to make it more “attractive” to customers, adding “We just wanted to get a little more attention from people walking by.”
County inspectors famously cracked down on artwork judged to be advertising in 2010 when Wag More Dogs on S. Four Mile Run Drive included dogs in their mural.
Slowly, but surely, restaurants in Ballston Quarter’s food court are opening to diners.
When the development opened up its “Quarter Market” to customers earlier this month, just one restaurant (Mi & Yu Noodle Bar) was open for business. In the days since then, two more have joined the club.
The first was Copa Kitchen and Bar, a Spanish restaurant serving up small plates, flatbreads and sangria from its “sangria garden.”
Copa opened for business last week, according to Ballston Quarter’s social media accounts, and the restaurant space is now adorned with all manner of soccer-themed apparel. Eventually, Copa also plans to offer outdoor seating in the development’s plaza.
Chef Kevin Tien, who also backed the Petworth restaurant Himitsu, plans to use Sichuan spices to flavor the sandwiches, which should pack plenty of punch. Diners will also be able to order chicken tenders, but those aren’t available on the restaurant’s menu just yet.
Ice Cream Jubilee, a local chain offering exotic ice cream flavors of all kinds, could well be the next shop to open. The stand is mostly set up, and an employee there said the eatery could be ready to serve up scoops as early as next week.
Nearby, another restaurant backed by Timber Pizza’s owners, the Ballston Service Station, also seems to be nearing an opening.
Details are still scarce about what, exactly, the location will serve up, but a quick glance behind some construction screens revealed what appeared to be a line of beer taps. State records show that the restaurant is asking for a permit to serve both beer and wine at the location.
It’s been a series of false starts for Quarter Market, and the development as a whole, though shops at Ballston Quarter did start opening slowly this fall. A project to build a new pedestrian bridge linking the development to the area’s Metro station via the Ballston Exchange building has also faced some hold-ups.
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year — meaning more events for everyone looking for their fix of “kegs and eggs.”
There are plenty of local restaurants and bars hosting green-themed shenanigans — too many to list here. But it’s a safe bet that if you go to one of Arlington’s Irish pubs this weekend, it’s going to be crowded.
Whether you’re Irish or want to be Irish, here are some of the St. Paddy’s highlights around Arlington:
- Pamplona and Bar Bao (3100 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon: Attendance is free and this outdoor event will feature food, DJs, party favors, and prizes, per the Eventbrite invite.
- The G.O.A.T. (3028 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon): The bar is hosting both March Madness games on TV and an Irish breakfast buffet all day Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 a.m. The buffet costs $21.95 per person, and the pub’s drink deals include $4 Guinness, $6 Jameson or $5 Tullamore, and green beer and mimosas.
- Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington): On March 17, the bar will open at 9.a.m. to host live music from Aidan Croke, Ciaran Quinn, and the Shamrockers (no cover charge) and a performance by the Irish dance group from the Boyle School of Dancers.
- Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant (2500 Columbia Pike): The restaurant is serving brunch on Saturday (from 10 a.m.) and Sunday (from 9 a.m.) and features Irish musician Pat Garvey on Saturday from 7-8 p.m. Garvey returns to the restaurant Sunday at 2 p.m., along with Irish dancers.
- O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd in Clarendon): The pub will host two performances by the Boyle School Irish Dancers on Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., as well as showcase performances by musicians Greg Snyder, Britton James, Mike Leverone and Willem Dicke.
- Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard in Courthouse): The bar will have a heated tent for bar-goers along with live music, Irish dancers, and traditional food served all weekend. March Madness will also be on the screen for any die-hard fans not wanting to choose between watching college sports and listening to bagpipers. Four Courts is also hosting daily events (listed on its website) this week leading up to the big day.
- O’Malley’s Pub (2650 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City): Enjoy Irish food favorites like fish and chips, and bread pudding, along with a $4 Guinness special at this pub from Friday to Sunday.
- Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon): The restaurant is serving a bottomless brunch buffet of traditional Irish fare from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. After 3 p.m. the restaurant will offer drink specials, and will add “beer bucket” specials and DJ music at 8 p.m.
- Wilson Hardware (2915 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon): The three-story bar is throwing a 90’s party promising songs from Irish artists and plenty of their “shareable” pub food appetizers. Party will start at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
And of course the holiday offers more than just booze. Here are two St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities that are family friendly and bound to get you moving:
- Four Courts Four Miler: If you’re a runner, the annual Four Courts Four Miler offers a challenging course from Courthouse, through Rosslyn, and back. Registration for the Saturday morning race is currently priced at $43.
- 50th Anniversary Ceili: The O’Neill James School of Irish Dance is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a traditional Irish dance party (called a “céilí” in Irish Gaelic) at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Rd) Sunday from 5-8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 online, $15 at the door, families pay no more than $60. Kids 5 and under are free.
Photo by Cobalt123 via Flickr
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Clarendon’s Mexican-Asian restaurant Le Kon is closed and rescheduled to re-open as “La Finca” later this week.
An employee of the restaurant said management needed to close the restaurant while finalizing the new liquor license but that the eatery is expected to re-open under its new name tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday. ARLnow was unable to reach the restaurant’s management for more information prior to publishing.
The restaurant’s new name,”La Finca,” refers to a traditional Mexican farmhouse. The menu now posted outside the blue doors reflects the shift to Mexican cuisine with a focus on burritos, chimichangas, quesadilla, and tequila.
Le Kon opened six months ago as the D.C.-debut of chef Katsuji Tanabe who appeared on the reality television program Top Chef in 2014. Tanabe’s restaurant served Asian-Mexican fusion fare with items like crab guacamole, per Yelp reviews. At the time it replaced another establishment, Park Lane Tavern, that closed after eight months.
It’s unclear why the restaurant changed hands, and whether Tanabe is still involved. Tanabe last tweeted about the restaurant in September, and the restaurant’s last Instagram post was a table flower arrangement on Feb. 18.
Today (Monday), the backlights on the “Le Kon” sign were off and construction equipment rumbled as crews continued work on the Washington Blvd and Wilson Blvd road projects, which is expected to continue all year.
As of Monday afternoon, Le Kon’s website reads “Thank you for visiting — Le Kon Restaurant has closed. This Website is not available anymore.”
A dine-and-dash in Clarendon turned violent this week after police say a man tried to run out on his bill and assaulted an employee who confronted him.
Police say they were responded to a call along the 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd at 8:52 p.m Tuesday, after a patron allegedly left the establishment without paying. The block is home to popular bars including Mister Day’s, Bar Bao and Pamplona.
Police believe the customer struck a restaurant employee in the face before attempting to flee the scene. But when he tried to take off, bystanders stopped him, and held him, until officers arrived.
Police identified the man as 28-year-old Arlington resident John Strittmatter.
Strittmatter was charged with malicious wounding, a crime punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine of to $100,000, according to the Virginia criminal code.
Police also charged him with “defrauding an innkeeper,” which is Virginia legalese for leaving unpaid bills and is a non-jailable offense, but may carry a fine depending on the size of the unpaid bill.
Full details from the county crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-03050244, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 8:52 p.m. on March 5, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect left a restaurant without paying his bill. When confronted, the suspect allegedly struck an employee in the face before fleeing the scene on foot. Additional citizens detained the suspect until police arrived. John Strittmatter, 28, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding and Defrauding an Innkeeper.
Two of the three restaurants moving into the space formerly occupied by La Tasca in Clarendon now expect to open their doors later this month.
The TTT Mexican Diner and Buena Vida, set to occupy the first and second floors of the building at 2900 Wilson Blvd, are now set to open on March 18.
Street Guys Hospitality, the restaurant group backing Clarendon’s Ambar and Baba, laid out menu details and released concept photos of the new restaurants in a release yesterday (Thursday). The group had previously targeted a February opening for the space.
Owner Ivan Iricanin has been hard at work on the new eateries since last April, shortly after La Tasca closed its doors following a 14-year run in the neighborhood. He’s also planning a rooftop bar on the building’s third level, though he’s not expecting that to open for a while yet.
On the first floor, Street Guys says that the TTT Mexican Diner — initially dubbed “Tacos, Tortas and Tequila” — will feature 86 dining rooms seats across a 3,500-square-foot space. It will also include a bar area and a 30-seat outdoor patio.
The restaurant will serve brunch, lunch and dinner, and the restaurant group says the “tacos and tortas will be the main attraction,” with both tortillas and tortas made fresh in-house.
TTT will also boast a full bar with “agave cocktails as well as classic margaritas,” the release said.
As for Buena Vida, the second-floor restaurant will showcase “traditional, indigenous fare that incorporates recipes that have been handed down through generations.” The 3,700-square-foot space will include seating for 101 people, including a bar and private dining room.
The menu will include a raw bar, plenty of soups and seafood, in addition to an “approachable list of wines from Mexico.”
Iricanin previously opened a similar pairing of TTT and Buena Vida in Silver Spring last year. He’s also planning to bring a new Ambar location to Northwest D.C. sometime this year, which will be his second in the city.
The new Ted’s Bulletin restaurant that will soon open up shop in the Ballston Quarter development also looks to be getting an attached bakery.
Signs posted at the storefront, located at 4238 Wilson Blvd, advertise a new “Sidekick Bakery” bound for the space next to the Ted’s location.
Details about the bakery, and how it might differ from the baked goods offered at other Ted’s Bulletin locations, are sparse at the moment. The local chain is already renowned for its homemade Pop-Tarts and other pastries (in addition to its array of comfort food offerings and alcoholic milkshakes), but “Sidekick” appears to be a new concept for the restaurant.
Federal records show that Ted’s Bulletin filed for a trademark for the “Sidekick Bakery” name last May, but the application offers few other details on the bakery.
The restaurant chain did not respond to a request for comment seeking more information on Sidekick.
Signs posted at the soon-to-be Ted’s location at Ballston Quarter say that the restaurant is set to open sometime this spring. The chain won permission to set up outdoor seating at the development last fall.
The new eatery will be located just above entrances to the newly opened “Quarter Market,” the development’s much-anticipated new food court. One restaurant is now open in that “food hall” space, but it remains unclear when the other 13 restaurants bound for the food court will start serving up meals.
Other stores at Ballston Quarter have slowly been opening to customers since the fall.
(Updated at 4 p.m.) The Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop in the Pentagon City mall has shut down for renovations.
All evidence of the small store on the first floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is now gone, but an employee says they’re hoping to reopen by the end of the week.
The shop is located near the mall’s Sunglass Hut and the new dumpling eatery Yong Kang Street.
An ARLnow reader first reported that the store was closed last Wednesday (Feb. 27). An employee subsequently told ARLnow that the store “is being updated to the newest Haagen-Dazs finishes,” including “counters, wall tile, floor tile and equipment.”
Anyone hoping to get their ice cream fix from Haagen-Dazs in the meantime will now have to venture to the store at the Pentagon, or to one of the company’s two D.C. locations — or to a local grocery store.
Ballston Quarter’s long-awaited food court is now open, but the wait continues for most of its restaurants.
The space, dubbed “Quarter Market,” occupies 25,000 square feet in the renovated Ballston Quarter mall. As of today (Monday) Mi & Yu Noodle Bar is open for business, but all other eateries remain shuttered as construction continues and “coming soon” signs adorn the industrial digs.
Developer Forest City described the food court as an “indoor/outdoor eatery” with 14 restaurants scheduled to open:
- Ballston Service Station
- Cucina Al Volo
- French Exit
- Hot Lola’s
- Ice Cream Jubilee
- Local Oyster
- Mi & Yu Noodle Bar
- Pinch Dumplings
- Rice Crook
- Sloppy Mama’s BBQ
- Turu’s by Timber Pizza Company
Forest City previously told ARLnow that Quarter Market will “begin to open” on Feb. 27 after public signs promised a February opening date for months. But diners showed up that day to blocked-off entrances, and Forest City revised its timeline for the “food hall” until early March.
Delays have plagued the mall’s redevelopment with Forest City missing its September and October store opening deadline, with some stores opening in mid-November. The company also planned to open its pedestrian bridge spanning Wilson Blvd in time for that fall opening, but the bridge remains under construction five months later.
The County Board approved permits in September allowing six restaurants in the mall to build outdoor seating for diners in the 5,000-square-foot public plaza off of Wilson Blvd, despite some county staff who worried private outdoor dining would cut into the public plaza area.
The September permits will allow Bartaco in Quarter Market to serve diners outdoors in warmer weather, along with five restaurants in other parts of the mall: Compass Coffee, South Block, Ted’s Bulletin, True Food Kitchen, and Union Kitchen, according to the mall’s online directory.
Hot dog food truck Swizzler and sushi burrito chain Buredo also previously announced they would be joining Quarter Market, but are not listed on the online directory.
The lineup of restaurants has fluctuated over the past several months: in May, Forest City announced that Chick-Fil-A, French Exit, Mezeh, Slapfish, South Block, and All About Burger were all slated to join. Those eateries will now be located elsewhere in the development.
Crystal City now has a new restaurant open on its burgeoning 23rd Street S.
Los Tios Grill opened its doors in mid-February in a small space at 515 23rd Street S. The location was once home to Cantina Mexicana, which closed last December, after first opening under a different name in 1978.
The menu offers a variety of Tex-Mex favorites, and some Salvadoran specialties, from fajitas to quesadillas and more. The restaurant also boasts a full menu of tequila, margaritas, sangria and draft beers.
Los Tios got its start in Alexandria, where it has two locations. The small chain also recently opened a restaurant in Leesburg.
The eatery will sit adjacent to the newly re-opened Federico Ristorante Italiano, formerly Cafe Italia, and its opening represents the latest in a series of big changes for the popular block.
The neighborhood’s landlords previously cited the expansion of popular Arlington diner Bob and Edith’s on the street as a prime factor in keying the area’s revitalization. Freddie Lutz, who also runs the eponymous Freddie’s Beach Bar, decided recently to help relaunch Cafe Italia to bring more business back to the area.
The former Tortoise and Hare Bar and Grill space at the end of the block will also soon become home to another Alexandria-based bar: Fiona’s Irish Pub.
One of Arlington’s busiest restaurateurs is bringing a new fast-casual taco joint to Rosslyn.
Chef Mike Cordero plans to open “Taco Rock” in a space at 1501 Wilson Blvd, he announced today (Thursday). He’s targeting a May opening date for the new restaurant, taking the place of the long-shuttered Spinfire Pizza.
In a news release, Cordero’s company promises that the new eatery will feature “affordable, gourmet tacos” served on homemade, blue corn tortillas. Per the release, specialty taco options will include:
- The Figgy Piggy — Slow roasted pork with sweet and savory fig glaze
- Bourbon BBQ Short Rib — Short ribs with caramelized onions and crispy fried onions
- Pork Belly Banh Mi — Grilled pork belly, Vietnamese slaw and cilantro
- Ya Mon Caribbean Jerk Chicken — Grilled chicken, cabbage, jerk sauce topped with a mango pico de gallo
- TNT — Fresh blue fin tuna seared with seaweed and cucumber wasabi sauce
- Land & Sea — Skirt steak and beer-battered shrimp with caramelized onions and horseradish sauce
The menu will include breakfast offerings, homemade ice cream and stuffed churros as well.
Cordero also expects to offer “an extensive tequila bar,” with specialty cocktails and Mexican beers on tap too. The roughly 2,500-square-foot space will include an 18-stool bar and room for about 50 diners.
“Taco Rock offers the best of both worlds – upscale, out-of-the-box tacos without hurting your wallet,” Mike Cordero wrote in a statement. “We anticipate the Rosslyn community will deem Taco Rock as the go-to spot for a quick bite or the place to hang out and grab a tequila or beer.”
The restaurant will be Cordero’s ninth across the Northern Virginia area, and his first fast-casual establishment. It will sit adjacent to a Roti location and across the street from the neighborhood’s Target.
Update on 2/27/19 — The planned opening has now been delayed until March.
Ballston Quarter’s newly revamped food court, dubbed “Quarter Market,” is now set to open this week.
A spokeswoman for Forest City, the company working to redevelop the former Ballston Common mall, told ARLnow that the food court will “begin to open” on Wednesday (Feb. 27).
She did not, however, provide additional details about which restaurants in the 25,000-square-foot space will be open to hungry customers this week. Stores in the rest of the newly renovated mall began opening last fall, even as others remain under construction, and Quarter Market could follow a similar path.
So far, the developer has confirmed that the following restaurants will be included in the space:
- Ballston Service Station
- Cucina Al Volo
- French Exit
- Hot Lola’s
- Ice Cream Jubilee
- Local Oyster
- Mi & Yu Noodle Bar
- Pinch Dumplings
- Rice Crook
- Sloppy Mama’s BBQ
- Turu’s by Timber Pizza Company
The sushi burrito chain Buredo and hot dog food truck Swizzler also previously announced that they’d open up locations in Quarter Market, but they’re not currently listed on the mall’s online directory.
Compass Coffee, South Block, Ted’s Bulletin, True Food Kitchen and Union Kitchen are all set to have locations nearby as well, with outdoor seating included.
Another Food Hall Coming to Rosslyn — “Two local hospitality ventures have already announced plans for food halls in Rosslyn, and now a third food hall-type venue is being floated for the Arlington neighborhood. Even weirder? All three are on the same block of North Moore Street, the street where the Rosslyn Metro station is located.” [Washington Business Journal]
HQ2 Boosting Real Estate Market — “Real-estate professionals from across the local area already are seeing spring-level interest among prospective buyers, raising hopes for a solid start to the year. ‘The Amazon HQ2 announcement, plus favorable interest rates and a relatively mild winter, have all contributed to bringing the buyers out early this year,’ Northern Virginia Association of Realtors president Christine Richardson said.” [InsideNova]
Local Healthcare Firm Makes Acquisition — “Arlington-based Advantia Health LLC has acquired Illinois-based OB-GYN practice Heartland Women’s Healthcare in a deal that nearly doubled the local group’s size overnight.” [Washington Business Journal]
‘Coffee with a Cop’ Next Week — “The Arlington County Police Department, in partnership with the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is hosting its next Coffee with a Cop event on February 26, providing the public with an opportunity to meet and interact with the department’s Community Outreach Teams.” [Arlington County]
‘Tree Action Group’ No Fan of Bike Trails — The Arlington Tree Action Group, a vocal local activist organization that often speaks out against plans to cut down trees, is apparently no big fan of bike trails. In response to a photo of a dog in front of the Eden Center after Wednesday’s snow, the group wrote on Twitter: “To [sic] bad the County doesn’t care how icy the sidewalks are as long as the bike trails and the other trendy County thoroughfares are clear.” The Eden Center, however, is in the City of Falls Church. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf