‘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
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]
Virginia Square restaurant Water & Wall (3811 Fairfax Drive) has closed its doors for good.
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.”
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
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]
(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.
“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.
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
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.
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]
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.
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 Rye — Marble 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
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.
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]
(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.
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.”