Arlington, VA

It’s dwarfed by an adjacent apartment building and it’s unclear when it was first built, but if you’ve ever wanted to own a commercial building in the middle of Ballston outright, now’s your chance.

The vacant Sichuan Wok building at 901 N. Quincy Street went on the market in the fall for an asking price of $3.2 million.

Sichuan Wok closed in 2018 and its owner, who ran the restaurant with her late uncle, is now offering the building for sale, according to listing agent Virginia Smith. It’s still configured as a restaurant, with nearly 3,000 square feet of total floor area and a full kitchen, though the property also presents a redevelopment opportunity.

The 5,200 square foot lot is zoned C-2, which permits smaller “service commercial” uses, as compared to some of the high-rise offices and apartments around it.

“Excellent opportunity for an investor, developer, or user to acquire a rarely available fee simple retail property in such a dynamic, vibrant Arlington location… 2 blocks from the new Ballston Quarter,” says a sales flyer.

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Morning Notes

Tow Truck Chase Ends in Arlington — “A suspect involved in a domestic dispute in Prince George’s County lead officers on a chase through D.C. and into Arlington, Virginia, Tuesday night… police believed the suspect was armed and had kidnapped a young child, but the child was safe in Maryland.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

New D.C. United Player Dines at El Pollo Rico — “Great to see legendary #ArlingtonVA business, El Pollo Rico in @dcunited’s video introducing their new #10, Peruvian Edison Flores.” [Twitter]

Rave Review for New Rosslyn Restaurant — “Sfoglina exceeds the preview offered by the sfogline in the window. The fare is comforting to the core and will leave you wanting more of Trabocchi’s cooking. You’re in luck, he’s considering opening more restaurants in Northern Virginia.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

ACFD Helps Retrieve Wayward Pentagon Flag — “When the flags came loose earlier this month at the #Pentagon, Truck 105 from Crystal City was called in for a rescue. Good work everyone!” [Twitter]

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You have until 10 p.m. today to get your pizza and pasta at Alto Fumo (2909 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon, then the restaurant goes dark for two months.

A manager at Alto Fumo said the restaurant will be closed for two months for extensive remodeling and renovation, then will reopen in March.

Temporary closures around Arlington have a way of becoming permanent, but the manager insisted the restaurant plans to reopen in the spring.

This is not the first time a pizza shop at the location has temporarily closed. The location was once Faccia Luna, but rebranded to Alto Fumo after a closure in 2017. The manager said some other changes could be in the works for the restaurant, but for now, “it will stay a little surprise.”

Staff photo by Vernon Miles

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Don’t be fooled by the signs on the building, the notoriously green shack in Clarendon is still long-time local pizzeria Goody’s.

The “Goody’s NY Style Pizzeria” sign has been taken down from the building at 3125 Wilson Blvd. and replaced with a sign that says “Tacos Mexicano,” while the windows advertise tacos and pupusas. Inside, however, there’s still rows of pizza and staff still call it Goody’s.

While Goody’s has sold tacos for nearly a year, according to their Facebook page, a manager at the restaurant said the sign change was reflective of a new emphasis on the Mexican cuisine. In addition to the classic “two slices of pizza and a soda for $5.99” deal, the restaurant also offers quesadillas, tacos, burritos and more.

The majority of the menu, however, remains various types of pizza like Goody’s Deluxe — pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions — as well as subs and burgers.

Goody’s changed hands in 2018 after its original owners retired. It reopened with new owners, whose colorful new mural on the diminutive building at 3125 Wilson Blvd didn’t fly with county regulators. It was later re-painted red and two shades of green.

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Shirlington restaurant Aroma Indian Cuisine is planning to reopen later this month, immediately adjacent to the carved-out husk of its old space.

The new Aroma at 4044 Campbell Avenue — where Hula Girl Bar and Grill was until it closed in September — is nearly complete, manager Jose Rios told ARLnow. Rios said the plan is for the restaurant to open sometime around Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The new bar will have a totally different alcohol setup, with a full counter for seating, Rios said, and a few new dishes are being added to the menu, though that hasn’t been finalized yet.

Aroma was one of several restaurants on the corner of Campbell Avenue and S. Randolph Street that moved or closed to make way for a new CVS. Ping by Charlie Chiang’s, the restaurant on the corner, closed in 2018 while Cheesetique moved to a larger location down the block at 4024 Campbell Avenue.

Construction is still underway inside the 10,906 square-foot space, but Rios said the CVS is scheduled to open sometime this spring.

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Two more Cosi locations have closed in Arlington.

The Cosi restaurants in Crystal City (2011 Crystal Drive) and Virginia Square (3503 Fairfax Drive) appear to have closed.

The closures follow the shuttering of the chain’s Ballston location late last month. Additional Cosi closures have been reported in D.C.

As of today (Monday) the Cosi in Rosslyn was still open.

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Cosi Closes in Ballston

A long-time Cosi location has closed in Ballston.

The restaurant at 4250 Fairfax Drive, near the Ballston Metro station, closed over the holiday break.

“Thank you for being such wonderful Cosi supporters over the last 2 decades,” a sign in the window reads. “We still have 3 locations around Arlington, VA and many more in DC… Happy holidays, and thank you for letting us serve you!”

Cosi’s remaining Arlington locations are in Rosslyn (1801 N. Lynn Street), Crystal City (2011 Crystal Drive) and Virginia Square (3503 Fairfax Drive).

The Boston-based chain — which serves flatbreads, sandwiches, soups and salads — declared bankruptcy three years ago but has been opening new locations this year.

A Cosi location in Courthouse closed in 2016.

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This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

Let us show you the best spots to eat in Clarendon!

Today, our team members take you on a culinary tour of the Clarendon neighborhood in Arlington, showing you 4 of our favorite eateries in the area. These awesome spots all offer tasty food and drink, and the variety of atmospheres means that you’ll surely find a place to suit your style, no matter what!

Did we miss your favorite place to eat in Clarendon? Let us know your favorite Clarendon restaurant in the comments — we’d love to check it out!

Are you interested in moving closer to some of this tasty fare? Contact The Keri Shull Team today to learn how we can help you find your dream home, for a price that you’ll love — whether it’s in Clarendon, or any of the other unique neighborhoods in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia!

Do you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the DMV? We’d love for you to introduce us! Click here to contact us today.

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The Arlington County Board has voted 4-1 to revoke the live entertainment permit for a Columbia Pike nightlife venue with a history of violations.

The County Board held a rare “off-cycle permit review” for Purple Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge (3111 Columbia Pike) during its meeting this past Saturday, after county staff recommended revoking the restaurant’s ability to host music and dancing due to safety concerns.

Between last January and this November, the Arlington County Police Department answered a total of 69 calls to the restaurant/hookah bar/nightclub, per a staff report. Of those, 58 calls were made during live entertainment events, and reported incidents ranged in severity from noise complaints to security using pepper spray against patrons to assault.

Notably, one person was shot outside the lounge early on a Thursday morning in September, resulting in a non-life-threatening injury and an arrest.

“Purple Lounge is contributing to alcohol-related harm, and that is affecting public safety,” said county planner Kristen Walentisch during a staff presentation. “Its live entertainment use is intensifying that situation.”

Adding to concern, the restaurant also faces multiple health code violations and is the process of appealing a violation from the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau for sales to a minor. The County Board also noted the Fire Marshal’s Office found 10 violations of Fire Code last year, which have since been addressed.

In effort to improve the situation, last month the County Board tasked Purple Lounge with participating in ACPD’s Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI), which was established last year “to raise the standards of restaurants that serve alcohol.”

According to ACPD’s Nightlife and Restaurant Liaison Officer Jim Mastoras, since the Thanksgiving holiday, police officers and fire marshals have trained Purple Lounge staff on a number of safety issues, including:

  • De-escalation techniques
  • Bar bystander training to reduce assault
  • Active shooter training
  • Responsible alcohol service

“I think with this training, the staff will be fully accountable — we acknowledge there were mistakes,” said a Purple Lounge representative during the board meeting, noting the restaurant had reduced its alcohol sales during weekdays and now firmly upholds a last call on the weekends at 1:30 a.m.

The County Board concluded, however, that there was sufficient evidence from ACPD to suspend the restaurant’s live entertainment license, with the opportunity to apply again in a year.

“When it comes to minority communities, we have to be very mindful that we’re not giving unequal treatment, inequitable treatment, and in this case I do not believe that is the case,” said Board Chair Christian Dorsey. “I believe there are some problems that need to be corrected — we’ve got issues with drinking, impact on patrons, late night hours, and inspection concerns.”

Nearby residents, Board members said, were rightfully concerned about violent incidents — many occurring in the early morning hours, well after posted closing times — just steps from their front yards.

Dorsey called the revocation “the ultimate last step” and suggested the Board was doing it reluctantly, but out of necessity.

The dissenting vote was cast by County Board member Katie Cristol, who noted the restaurant’s cooperation with ARI training over the last month.

“I’m having a harder time with this decision than I was a month ago,” Cristol said. “We asked them to work, to train their staff to address these issues, and they did.”

Purple Lounge is not the first business at this address known for its nightlife issues. Pines of Italy restaurant had its live entertainment permit similarly revoked in 2014 — an action that notably led to someone calling Board members an obscenity after the vote.

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A Mexican restaurant just off Columbia Pike has temporarily closed, with plans to reopen in the new year.

The owners of Cantina Mexicana, located at 922 S. Walter Reed Drive, told ARLnow.com they needed some time off after a family member suffered from a stroke.

“We’ll reopen sometime right after the new year, hopefully during the first week even,” said owner Gloria Arias.

Several ARLnow readers reached out and asked whether the restaurant had closed for good, after a sign was posted to the door saying the restaurant had closed on December 4 “due to a power failure.”

“We will be back, we just needed to take some family time,” said Richard, a restaurant employee.

Cantina Mexicana opened on the Pike seven years ago. It closed its Crystal City location in 2017.

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Morning Notes

Confusing Lane Markings on I-395 — “Drivers are complaining about mis-matched lane striping on… 395 South near Shirlington.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

New Taco Restaurant Eyeing Arlington — Wild Tacoz, which recently opened in the Falls Church area, is aiming to become a local chain with future locations in Arlington and elsewhere. [Tysons Reporter]

Pedestrian Struck Near Clarendon — “A woman was just struck by a car on N. Pershing Drive at Fillmore Street in Lyon Park. Only minor injuries reported. Police and firefighters on scene.” [Twitter/@ARLnowDOTcom]

Dems Push for Higher Wages at DCA — “Delegates have signed a letter urging the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority to ensure contracted workers at Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport reach $15 per hour by 2023. Their $12.15 hourly wages are far lower than D.C.’s $15 minimum wage and many East Coast airports.” [Press Release]

Crystal City Hilton Sold — “Starwood Capital Group has made its second acquisition in the area around Amazon HQ2 this year. The Miami-based firm acquired a 393-room hotel in Crystal City from a fund affiliated with JBG Smith for $73M.” [Bisnow, Washington Business Journal]

Housing May Dominate Budget Discussion — “Board members directed, as part of their fiscal 2021 budget guidance to County Manager Mark Schwartz, that budget plans include an option to increase affordable-housing funding to as much as $25 million, a 56-percent increase from the $16 million Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) funding approved for the current fiscal year…. [but] raising expectations of affordable-housing advocates could pit them against proponents of other budget priorities.” [InsideNova]

Local Defense Attorney to Serve as Fairfax Prosecutor — “Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect Steve Descano… announced last Wednesday (Nov. 27) that he intends to have Terry Adams, a private defense attorney in Arlington, take on the role of Chief Deputy, lauding his 14 years working on criminal and civil cases in Virginia.” [Tysons Reporter]

ACFD Assists With School Project — “Tower 104 assisted students [at] Science Focus School today with their annual egg drop. The students were able to collect some data & a good time was had by all.” [Twitter/@ArlingtonVaFD]

Photo courtesy Dave Statter

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