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by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Arlington County’s only Jerry’s Subs & Pizza is closed temporarily for what a sign on the door describes as “remodeling.”

A sign on the door of the eatery at 2041 15th Street N. in Courthouse does not say when it will reopen, and calls to the restaurant’s phone number were not returned.

On Tuesday afternoon when a reporter stopped by, a workman was on a step ladder doing what looked like painting of some light fixtures.

Jerry’s serves pizza, hot and cold subs and a variety of cheesesteaks. It is across the street from Arlington County jail, next door to a bond office and is a block away from an entrance to the Courthouse Metro station.

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

It’s official: signs are going up for a new kabob restaurant in place of the former Pio Pio restaurant between Clarendon and Virginia Square.

Naan Kabob at 3300 Wilson Blvd will serve Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food and offer carry-out and catering services. Its parking lot is currently taped off for renovations, while work is getting underway to revamp the inside too.

A copy of the menu suggests it will have kabobs, Karahi dishes (cooked in thick, circular pots) and curries, as well as traditional desserts. As of Monday, signs had gone up advertising its new name and food offerings.

Employees at the restaurant declined to say for sure when it would open, but are hopeful of getting underway “soon.”

by ARLnow.com September 15, 2017 at 11:35 am 0

An Indiana man walked into a Crystal City restaurant Wednesday night, wrapped his arm around the neck of a female diner and threatened her with a pair of scissors, police say.

The attack happened just before 5:30 p.m. on the 2200 block of Crystal Drive.

Police say the man was “in search of individuals that would acknowledge him” and “the incident occurred after the victim did not acknowledge the suspect.” The suspect was taken into custody after bystanders intervened, potentially saving the woman from being maimed.

Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage described to ARLnow.com what happened:

After the suspect placed his arm around the victim’s neck and threatened her, a male witness approached the suspect from behind, bearhugged him and took him to the ground. Additional witnesses assisted in gaining control of the suspect, disarming him of the scissors and detaining him until police arrived and took the suspect into custody.

The immediate intervention by good Samaritans stopped an active threat against the victim and potentially saved her from serious injury.

More from an ACPD crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-09130224, 2200 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 5:24 p.m. on September 13, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a restaurant, approached a female victim, placed his arm around her neck and threatened her with a pair of scissors. Witnesses came to the side of the female victim, intervened and detained the suspect until police arrived. Neal Jesspace, 49, of Jamestown, IN was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

by Chris Teale September 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

An Indian restaurant is set to be the latest to move into a Ballston space that has had several eateries come and go in recent years.

The restaurant, known as Urban Tandoor, hopes to be open at 801 N. Quincy Street on the ground floor of the Quincy Crossing office building around November, said owner Rajeev Mainali.

It will replace Republic Kitchen & Bar, which replaced the former Leek American Bistro, the replacement for Thai Terrace.

Mainali said there will be around 95 seats inside, with another 40 on an outdoor patio. He said it will have an “extensive” bar menu, while the food will mostly be Indian, with some subtle differences.

“It’s going to be mainly Indian food,” he said. “We have expanded the menu, and will be adding a lot of seafood and grill items. We put it as a tandoor. There’s going to be a little bit of a twist on the menu to cater to the young crowd.”

Mainali said he saw an opportunity to move in due to what he said is a dearth of ethnic food in the fast-growing neighborhood.

“They don’t have a lot of options for ethnic food in the Ballston area,” he said. “The area is growing so fast, we feel like it has been underserved as far as restaurants go. We feel like there are not enough good restaurants there. There are some, but not enough to serve the growing clientele there.”

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Those behind a Michelin-recognized Ethiopian restaurant that is now expanding into Arlington say they are hoping to open this winter.

Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant & Mart signed a lease earlier this year for a 2,500-square-foot space at 2000 14th Street N. in Courthouse. The Washington Business Journal first reported on the move.

At the time, owner Alemayehu Abebe said he was hopeful of opening this summer, but that timeline has been pushed back. Abebe told ARLnow in a brief interview last Wednesday that construction will start sometime around today (Monday). He did not say what has caused the delays.

The restaurant has applied for a license with Virginia ABC, and is hoping to have more than 100 seats inside as well as more outside on a patio. Chercher offers traditional Ethiopian food and drink on its menu. The restaurant at 1334 9th Street NW was included in Michelin’s D.C. dining guide and earned a “bib gourmand” for high-quality food at a low price.

The eatery previously filed for county permits to convert what was intended as an office space to a restaurant use. As of Tuesday, the space had been completely gutted, ready for work to begin.

The space on the ground floor of a large office building is close to the county courthouse complex and police headquarters, and across the street from the Tellus apartment building. Signs in the window indicate another ground-floor unit in the same building as the planned restaurant is available for rent by a retail tenant.

by Chris Teale September 8, 2017 at 11:25 am 0

A rarely-open restaurant near Clarendon could be set for some big changes.

Pio Pio at 3300 Wilson Blvd has been the source of fascination for months, with some calling the Peruvian restaurant’s unpredictable hours downright “mysterious.” Pio Pio closed earlier this year, reportedly for maintenance on its roof.

But a permit approved in late July by the county indicates that someone has filed to open a new restaurant with indoor seating in the space.

There are no other concrete details available about the future of the eatery, but a tipster said it would be a kabob restaurant.

“They are fixing up the building and parking lot,” said the anonymous tipster.

As of Friday morning when an ARLnow reporter visited, no work appeared to have been done, with tables and chairs still sitting in the vacant restaurant.

by ARLnow.com September 5, 2017 at 8:35 am 0

Today Is ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday’ — Today is the Tuesday after Labor Day, when students in Arlington and around the region go back to school. As a result of the extra school buses, parents and students on the roads, and the end of summer vacations, it is also dubbed “Terrible Traffic Tuesday” by AAA Mid-Atlantic. In reality, however, the day after — which now has a name: “Woeful Wednesday” — is worse in terms of commuting times, and next week should be even more woeful. [Washington Post, WTOP]

Chili’s Dying Out in D.C. Area — The Chili’s in Bailey’s Crossroads has closed. The restaurant chain closed its Crystal City location last year and its Reston location the year before that. The nearest Chili’s to Arlington is now along Route 1, outside the Beltway, in Fairfax County. [Twitter]

Roosevelt Profiled by Conservative Media — GOP candidate Adam Roosevelt is getting some attention from conservative media outlets. Roosevelt “is a moderate Republican running for the Virginia House of Delegates against current Democratic Delegate Alfonso Lopez, who has never before faced a GOP opponent during his six years in office,” writes the Daily Caller, calling the district he’s running in, which includes part of Arlington, “far left.” The lead sentence in Newsmax’s article about Roosevelt has a different focus: “A conservative Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, who happens to be black, has recently emerged as one of the most spirited advocates of keeping Confederate statues up in the Old Dominion State.” [Daily Caller, Newsmax]

Webb Removed from Civ Fed Debate — School Board candidate Mike Webb has had his invitation to tonight’s Arlington County Civic Federation debate — the unofficial kickoff to campaign season in Arlington — rescinded because he reportedly “failed to return required paperwork in time to allow participation.” Allison Dough, the other candidate to challenge Democratic endorsee Monique O’Grady, has said she has other commitments and will be unable to attend the debate. [InsideNova]

Arlington Man Evicted From ‘Big Brother’ House — Arlington resident Matt Clines, 33, has been evicted from the Big Brother house. Clines had advanced about half-way through the CBS reality show before being voted off. [Reality TV World, Parade, Hollywood Reporter]

DeVos to Make Big Announcement in Arlington — Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is reportedly planning to make a “major announcement on Title IX, the campus gender equality law,” from George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington on Thursday. [BuzzFeed]

Flickr pool photo by Jim Webster

by Chris Teale August 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

The last still-operating reminder of when Clarendon was known as “Little Saigon” is celebrating its reopening with an open house today (Wednesday).

Nam-Viet at 1127 N. Hudson Street closed temporarily last month for renovations, but is back in business today with a free lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It will reopen for regular business hours tomorrow (Thursday).

During the renovations, workers raised the restaurant’s ceilings, refreshed the ceiling tiles, added new tables, chairs and toilets and, literally, raised the bar. The eatery seats 90 people inside and another 60 on the patio outside. General manager Richard Nguyen said the refresh was the first since the restaurant opened in Clarendon in 1986.

“We figured, hey, we stayed here 31 years, have longevity, let’s see if we can stay here for even longer,” Nguyen said.

When customers walk into the restaurant, they will see photos of former prisoners of war, who Nguyen said have helped make Nam-Viet a success. The restaurant holds reunions for POWs as well as other private events.

Nguyen said customers can expect the same menu as before, filled with traditional Vietnamese food which has stayed more or less unchanged throughout its decades in business.

“The only thing that’s changed over 31 years is the décor,” he said. “Everything else has stayed the same.”

The renovation came a month after Nam-Viet closed its second location, in D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood. Nam-Viet’s full letter to its customers is after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale August 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

The successor to Chinese and Thai restaurant Lucky Pot in Courthouse opened earlier this year and is garnering positive reviews.

Buuz Thai Eatery opened a few months ago on the ground floor of the 1919 Clarendon Blvd apartment building, but with an address of 1926 Wilson Blvd. It is located between the Virginia ABC store and a realty office, across the street from the Colonial Village condos.

Buuz’s predecessor, Lucky Pot, opened in 2014. The interior looks largely unchanged, even after the business changed hands. One reader emailed to say he has visited Buuz twice already, “and it’s been packed and [the] food is good.”

Co-owner Zola Enkh is Mongolian, and said she wanted to combine her native country’s food with that of Thailand. The menu is filled with traditional Thai and Mongolian dishes, like stir fry, curry, pad Thai rice and vegetable dishes.

“I’m sure there’s many Thai restaurants, but there’s not many Mongolian restaurants here,” she said.

And while the restaurant seats only around 20 people in addition to its carry-out and delivery service, Enkh said she hopes those wanting Thai and Mongolian food in Courthouse will find it welcoming.

“Even those it’s small, it can be enjoyed,” Enkh said.

Photos 5-8 via Buuz Thai Eatery.

by Chris Teale August 16, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Clarendon restaurant Don Tito will host a viewing lunch and happy hour on Monday, August 21 for the solar eclipse.

The watering hole at 3165 Wilson Blvd will begin the festivities at noon, with the eclipse viewing expected to begin at approximately 1:21 p.m. The eclipse is anticipated to be at its maximum around 2:47 p.m., and the viewing and the eclipse itself will wrap us around 4 p.m.

To mark the occasion, the first total eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in decades, Don Tito will offer what it described as “eclipse-inspired refreshments” and taco specials.

Those interested in attending must RSVP online. Anyone that does RSVP will receive a pair of protective ISO-12312-2 glasses for viewing the eclipse.

This year’s eclipse is expected to be seen by more than 500 million people. The total solar eclipse will cross from Salem, Ore. to Charleston, S.C., with the rest of the country able to see a partial eclipse.

“This is truly a historic event and a wonderful opportunity to view one of nature’s stunning displays,” the Don Tito event’s organizers wrote.

So far, no other viewing events in Arlington have been widely announced, but The Connection pop-up library in Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive in the Crystal City Shops) gave out hundreds of free glasses with which to watch the eclipse, supplied by PBS. The free glasses proved to be popular and the supply quickly ran out.

by Chris Teale August 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

At least 20 local restaurants will participate in this year’s Metropolitan Washington Summer Restaurant Week, which begins today (August 14).

Restaurants throughout the greater Washington region will offer three-course lunch and brunch menus for $22 and a three-course dinner for $35 at fixed prices. The annual event is sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

The Arlington restaurants participating, as listed on the Restaurant Week website, are:

  • Ambar / Ba Ba (2901 Wilson Blvd)
  • Cheesetique Ballston (800 N. Glebe Road)
  • Cheesetique Shirlington (4056 Campbell Avenue)
  • Circa at Clarendon (3010 Clarendon Blvd)
  • Epic Smokehouse (1330 S. Fair Street)
  • Fyve at The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (1250 S. Hayes Street)
  • Hula Girl Bar and Grill (4044 Campbell Avenue)
  • Jaleo Crystal City (2250 A Crystal Drive)
  • Kapnos Taverna (4000 Wilson Blvd)
  • La Cote d’Or Cafe (6876 Lee Highway)
  • Lyon Hall (3100 Washington Blvd)
  • Mazagan Restaurant and Lounge (2901 Columbia Pike)
  • McCormick & Schmick’s – Crystal City (2010 Crystal Drive)
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse (1750 Crystal Drive)
  • Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
  • Pepita Cantina (4000 Wilson Blvd)
  • SER Restaurant (1110 N. Glebe Road)
  • The Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd)
  • The Melting Pot (1110 N. Glebe Road)
  • Yona (4000 Wilson Blvd Suite C)

by ARLnow.com August 10, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Advanced Towing Lobbied Hard for Bill — Advanced Towing spent $10,000 on lobbyists and made a $1,500 donation to state Sen. Barbara Favola while successfully pushing for a state bill to override Arlington’s second-signature towing requirement. Supporters of the bill say it passed and McAuliffe ultimately signed it because it had the support of the business community. Advanced is one of the largest towing companies in Northern Virginia and has drawn the ire of many local residents for its ruthless efficiency at trespass towing from private lots. [NBC Washington]

Russian Military Jet Flies Over Arlington — Yesterday an unarmed Russian military jet flew over the Pentagon, CIA headquarters, and the U.S. Capitol “as part of a longstanding treaty that allows the militaries of the United States and Russia to observe the other from the air.” [CNN, Axios]

Arlington Still Hiring Teachers — Arlington Public Schools is still hiring teachers for the upcoming school year. “A total of 280 full- and part-time contract positions were unfilled as of Aug. 1… as the school system continues to process applicants,” the Sun Gazette reported. [InsideNova]

Uber, Lyft Make Mark on Local Restaurant Biz — Although readers were skeptical in a poll late last year, the Washington City Paper reports that Uber and Lyft are having a significant impact on the local restaurant industry, drawing customers from a wider area geographically than would have visited before the ride hailing services existed. It’s also bringing more customers to hot non-Metro-accessible restaurants. And it’s not just hipster-y D.C. restaurants drawing customers from around the region: Lyft said Clarendon’s Don Tito was its most visited bar in the D.C. area in 2016. [Washington City Paper]

by Katherine Berko August 9, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

It takes a special talent to make strangers pause and smile during the rush of their busy days. Yet Adrienne Ellis does it on a weekly basis.

Ellis is the general manager at the Circa restaurant in Clarendon (3010 Clarendon Blvd), and she also provides the witty, colorful quotes that adorn the chalkboard on the sidewalk outside. In fact, Ellis’s work is so popular, she created an Instagram account to showcase it.

“Nothing is more fun than seeing someone stop out there and take a picture of [my work], or giggle and keep walking,” said Ellis.

Ellis has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She used to want to be an art teacher, until she led an art class in middle school. She began chalkboard painting at her previous job at Chef Geoff’s. She mainly did advertising on those chalkboards, but once she moved to Circa almost two years ago, she gained more creative liberties with her work.

“I free-hand everything,” Ellis said. “I just try to get an idea of what would be entertaining more than anything and catch people’s eye.”

Ellis uses the internet for inspiration and generally makes one new chalkboard painting per week.

“I’ll update funny quotes or do a new picture, a little bit of everything,” she said. “I do a lot of cartoons. If it’s Easter, [I’ll do a] Bugs Bunny, [or] something like that.”

Mainly, Ellis paints the current Clarendon trends, including brunch, kale and summer restaurant week.

“Clarendon, I think, is very particular,” Ellis said. “I mean, they love to brunch out here, they love their Champagne. Wine night is really big here so I pick those [things] to poke a little fun at and make people laugh.”

Ellis uses chalk paint for the illustrations and currently, non-waterproof chalkboard boards. The quote paintings usually take around 30 minutes to make while the more intricate paintings can take two hours.

“That’s just me being meticulous,” she explained.

Ellis said her favorite paintings so far have been a Scooby-Doo and a Bugs Bunny. However, passerby seem to have really enjoyed the food puns, like “Champangry,” a cartoon painting of Doug and the Disney figures.

“Any pop culture [reference], people respond really well to,” Ellis said. “I think, again, it’s the area. It’s a lot younger area and they appreciate that humor.”

by Chris Teale August 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

The McDonald’s on Arlington’s western end of Columbia Pike has reopened after a renovation.

The fast food restaurant at 5005 Columbia Pike closed on June 20 for the refit, and reopened to the public on this past Monday, a spokeswoman said, with updated decor and fixtures and the addition of some new ordering technology.

During the closure, workers added self-service kiosks for customers to place their orders electronically. A spokeswoman said that technology has been rolled out in more than 2,500 McDonald’s restaurants, which includes the recently-opened one at Central Place in Rosslyn.

The restaurant also introduced table service as part of the revamp, which a spokeswoman said “provides a more relaxing and custom dining experience.”

A grand re-opening ceremony is planned from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 5), and will include face painting, games, food and drink and music by local Spanish language radio station El Zol.

Courtesy photos.

by ARLnow.com July 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm 0

Healthy fast-casual eatery Bowl’d is closing, the restaurant announced via Facebook Friday evening.

Bowl’d opened in March 2015 at 1028 N. Garfield Street, in Clarendon, two blocks off the main Clarendon Blvd drag. It served gluten-free rice and salad bowls, plus fruit juice and smoothies among other options.

More via the Facebook post:

Dear BOWL’D Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve this community for the last 2+ years. We had a mission to help serve healthy food made to order to help you eat healthier more of the time. Our intent was to provide delicious and nutritious food for people who wanted that option without breaking the bank.

We thank you for all of your support and generous feedback. We have decided to close and wish all of our countless neighbors and friends all the best on their personal journeys to a healthy lifestyle.

Sincerely,
The BOWL’D Team.

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