46°Fog

by Tim Regan — January 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm 0

(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.

That’s the latest from owner Reese Gardner, who also owns Copperwood TavernQuinn’s on the Corner in Rosslyn and Irish Whiskey in the District.

Though the original plan was to open Dudley’s last March, work associated with the planned rooftop deck greatly delayed those plans. But the bar is still inching toward an opening date, Gardner said.

“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.

by Tim Regan — January 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

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

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

"Dog the Bounty Hunter" poses outside Don Tito in Clarendon (courtesy photo)

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.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington Democrats participate in Saturday's Women's March (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

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]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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

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