Community Garden Fundraiser Fizzles — Arlington County’s attempt to crowdfund a community garden accessible to those with disabilities has not gone so well. As of Sunday the county has only raised $465 out of the $10,000 it sought, with only five days to go in the fundraiser. The failure raises questions about local government use of crowdfunding, the Post suggests. [Washington Post]
Meeting on Career Center Changes — Some major changes could be coming to the Arlington Career Center. Arlington Public Schools will be discussing that and other South Arlington school projects at a meeting Tuesday. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Career Center, at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive. [Taylor PTA]
More on Notable Tree Planted at Fire House — A Southern Magnolia tree planted outside Fire Station No. 4 in Clarendon was recognized as a “Notable Tree” last week. The tree was planted in 1965 in memory of ACFD Capt. Archie Hughes, who died while responding to a house fire at the age of 33. [NBC Washington]
New Movie’s Arlington Connection — A new indie flick, “Green Room,” follows the travails of a fictional Arlington-based punk band. The film was written and directed by Alexandria-born filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier. [DCist]
Spotluck Launches in Crystal City — Restaurant discovery and discount app Spotluck has launched in Crystal City. Participating restaurants include Crystal City Sports Pub, Kora and Kabob Palace. [Spotluck]
Arlington’s Diversity Highlighted — The world is learning about Arlington’s diversity. The Voice of America notes that Arlington is home to more than 130 ethnic groups, particularly around Columbia Pike. [VOA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
La Côte d’Or Café in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood is under new ownership.
Chef Jacques Imperato bought the restaurant in February, according to a press release, and has since set about adding “more authentic French food options.”
Now on the menu: escargots, frog legs and foie gras.
The restaurant, located at 6876 Lee Highway, has been in business for more than two decades.
The full press release is below.
The well-loved restaurant, La Côte d’Or Café in Falls Church, has a new owner and is more authentically French than ever before. The restaurant was purchased in February of 2016 by Chef Jacques Imperato, the past owner-chef of three other successful French restaurants in Northern Virginia. Chef Jeanmarc Drimille who has been with La Cote d’Or for the past 13 years will still head up the kitchen.
Imperato’s changes include adding more authentic French food options from the province of Burgundy, providing an enhanced wine list, and refining recipes already on the menu. Some of the classics gracing the menu include:
- Burgundy Escargots
- Beef Bourguignon
- Coq au Vin
- Frog Legs
- Fois Gras
Possibly the most exciting news is Imperto leading a return to excellent French wines at La Côte d’Or Café. The La Côte d’Or region in Burgundy is famous for some of the best wines in the world. The wine list has increased already to 22 wines, 14 of which are Burgundy, with more selections to come.
“I hope to educate people on real French cooking,” Imperto remarks in a classic French accent as pure as the day he arrived in the U.S. decades ago. “Everyone thinks of heavy creams in sauces when they think of French food, but there are many regions in France with different cooking styles. In Burgundy, we use olive oil and fresh herbs. Also, in La Côte d’Or Café we cook a healthier style of Burgundy cuisine using fresh seasonal ingredients, grass fed beef, specialty high quality fish and low calorie alternatives in our sauces.”
Some of these healthier sauce substitutes translate to a menu with many gluten free options. Also, everything on the menu is made from scratch, a practice that is a tradition in French cafe’s but not in typical North American restaurants.
The restaurant is perfect for date night with details that seem to be all too rare, like tables adorned with white linens and fresh flowers. During nice summer days, a wall of doors lining the sidewalk are opened, turning the atmosphere into that of a lovely Parisian cafe.
Imperato attended culinary school in Nice, France, and has worked with some of the most prestigious chefs known in the Côte d’Azur area today.
He has previously worked at Washington, D.C.’s Maison Blanche, Le Lavandou, and Tiberio. In the past, he owned Chalet de la Paix in Arlington as well as Mediterranee Restaurants in Great Falls and Arlington.
If you love La Côte d’Or Café, if you are a long-time follower of Chef Jacques Imperato’s flair for French cuisine, or if you would like to experience authentic cuisine from Burgundy, come and enjoy an exceptional dining experience. You can also contact them at [email protected] and ask to be put on the restaurant’s mailing list so you can receive a daily email with specials.
La Côte d’Or Café has been in business for over 20 years serving lunch and dinner daily from either à la carte or prix fixe menus. They alter the menu for certain holidays such as Mother’s Day. Saturdays and Sundays offer a special brunch menu. They can accommodate private parties up to 30 people in a designated party room. The restaurant provides catering as well.
An employee told ARLnow.com that the brewpub’s last day will be Sunday, May 8 — Mother’s Day. The restaurant’s corporate office could not be reached for official confirmation.
Rock Bottom is located in Ballston Common Mall, which will soon undergo two years of renovations before reopening as Ballston Quarter. A spokesman for mall owner Forest City declined comment, referring us to Rock Bottom.
Woman Struck By Metrobus Files Suit — A woman who was struck and pinned under a Metrobus in Crystal City last month is suing WMATA for $25 million. The woman, who suffered a broken arm and crush injuries to her left leg, worked as a personal trainer and bartender. She’s still recovering in a hospital, according to the lawsuit. [Associated Press]
Rhodeside Grill Anniversary — Rhodeside Grill (1836 Wilson Blvd) is celebrating its 20th anniversary tonight. [ARLnow]
Letter Writer: Muslim Town Hall Was Partisan — A Muslim Town Hall at Arlington Central Library billed as a “non-partisan community event” included lots of criticism of Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, says an attendee who wrote to the Sun Gazette. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
District Taco Gets New Neighbor — The new District Taco in Rosslyn will soon have a new neighbor at 1500 Wilson Blvd. A Wells Fargo bank is “coming soon” to a next-door ground floor retail space. There is an existing Wells Fargo branch down the street at 1300 Wilson Blvd. A branch in Courthouse recently closed. A bank spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment. [Twitter]
Scaled-Down Long Bridge Aquatics Center Proposed — Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz last night proposed a scaled-down version of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. The original aquatics center design was shelved before it could be built due to construction estimates and an operating budget that were higher than expected. [InsideNova]
Congressional Delegation Writes to NPS Director — Arlington’s congressional delegation — Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Don Beyer — has written to National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, urging him to make sure NPS applies for a “FASTLANE” grant for reconstruction of the decaying Memorial Bridge, before the April 14 application deadline. However, the Park Service is said to be likely to miss the deadline. [Scribd, Washington Post]
Maker Economy Event in Crystal City — TechShop in Crystal City will be hosting a discussion of the “the maker economy and local manufacturing in the DMV region” next Wednesday, April 20. Early bird registration ends tomorrow. [LERCPA]
Beginning of the End for Metro’s 1000-Series — Metro retired the first of its aging 1000-series rail cars from service yesterday morning, calling it the “end of an era.” [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Crystal City Bus-Only Lanes Opening Soon — Bus-only lanes in Crystal City, part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway, are set to open April 17. It’s the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit line. [Washington Post]
Civ Fed Wants Lower Taxes — The Arlington Civic Federation voted Tuesday to call for a one cent reduction in property taxes. The current annual rate is 99.6 cents for every $100 of assessed value. [InsideNova]
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Visits Today — Anthony Doerr, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” will discuss this best-selling novel at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium from 7-8:30 tonight. The discussion is part of Arlington Public Library’s 2016 Arlington Reads program, the theme of which is “the human displacement of World War II.” [ARLnow]
WW2 Exhibit at Library — In addition to the Doerr event and two other author talks, Arlington Central Library is hosting “an artifact-rich exhibition on Arlington County in World War II. It’s the story of a community undergoing rapid transition from fading farms to new home to the Pentagon, all while sending its young men to fight in Europe and the Pacific. ” [Arlington County]
GMU to Hold Talk With Camille Paglia — On Tuesday, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University’s Arlington campus will be holding a discussion with Camille Paglia, the “cultural critic, intellectual provocateur, and feminist icon.” The discussion will be hosted by GMU’s noted economics professor Tyler Cowen. RSVP is required. [Mercatus Center]
Former Willow Team is Now at the Watergate — Tracy O’Grady, the chef and owner of the former Willow restaurant in Ballston, is now running Campono, an Italian restaurant in the Watergate complex. O’Grady’s husband Brian, who also worked at Willow, is on the Campono team as well. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
What you hear of less often are the transactions in between — like when a business is sold to a new owner — even though business sales are quite common.
We took a look through the Arlington listings of a major business broker marketplace and sure enough, there are a number of businesses you’ve heard of offered for sale.
Often the business is not named, but there are details that provide clues as to which business it may be. (Worth noting: because of the nature of an online platform like this, we can’t be 100 percent sure that all listings are up to date.)
Here are just some of the businesses that are currently listed on the site. We are only naming the business if a name or website is provided in the listing.
- Il Forno restaurant in Ballston. “Reason for selling: investor owned. Needs operator-owner.” Listed for $400,000.
- A “profitable frozen yogurt biz” in Rosslyn, located near Ben’s Chili Bowl. Listed for $145,000.
- A “Tex / Mexican restaurant” that “has been established for nearly 10 years” and is located in a “stand alone building with 20 parking space[s].” Listed for $299,000.
- A “profitable, clean, new pizza shop” located in a “small strip center on high traffic roadway.” Listed for $150,000.
- A “grill & diner in busy restaurant district. Gross annual income of $1.4 million. Paying $16,000 per month in rent for 2,900 square feet. Listed for $350,000.
- A “leading national smoothie/fresh juices franchise” in a “great location.” Listed for $149,000.
- The Auntie Anne’s store in the Crystal City Shops. “Possible to add coffee & franchise ice cream.” Listed for $130,000.
- A restaurant in Clarendon that’s located “on a main road with outside seating.” Listed for $199,000.
- An “absentee owned branded gas station” that’s “very profitable” with $214,000 in annual cash flow. Listed for $550,000.
- A “high end salon and spa” in a “busy urban-mall type setting with restaurants, shops and movie theater.” Listed for $699,000.
- The Fast-Fix Jewelry & Watch Repair store in the Pentagon City mall. “A very experienced staff, a built-in salary for the owner and an annual six-figure profit.” Listed for $715,000.
- A “currently operating restaurant with large format bar, 8000 s.f. of interior restaurant space, grand commercial kitchen, significant outdoor patio and modern, sophisticated build out in the heart of Clarendon.” Listed for $295,000.
The original District Taco at 5723 Lee Highway reopened at 11 a.m. this morning, after closing last month for renovations.
The restaurant doesn’t look all too different than it did before the renovations. We’re told much of the work focused on the kitchen; if anything, District Taco has been a victim of its own popularity in the form of out-the-door lines during the lunch and dinner rushes.
District Taco will be hosting raffles and giveaways today in celebration of its reopening, founder and CEO Osiris Hoil tells ARLnow.com.
The restaurant, at 900 N. Glebe Road, will close permanently at its normal midnight closing time tonight, a tipster told us and an employee confirmed.
The Greene Turtle first opened in January 2012, in an expansive space featuring more than 50 TVs on the walls and in booths. It struggled to attract enough customers to make it viable, we’re told, owing at least in part to its location across busy Glebe Road from Ballston’s main business district.
“Greene Turtle has been starving from the moment it opened,” an insider told us last month. “That side of Glebe is just brutal.”
Another tipster told ARLnow.com last month that the Greene Turtle would be replaced by an Applebee’s restaurant later this summer. An employee today said that was true. So far, the company has not confirmed the news.
Restaurant staff was informed of the closure on Friday, we hear.
The Burger King on Columbia Pike is getting a makeover.
Located at 3627 Columbia Pike, Burger King’s realm was looking a bit less-than-regal as of late. Over the past few days, however, workers have spruced up the interior.
More remodeling — including exterior changes — appears to be in the works.
During the interior renovation, the restaurant’s dining room was closed but its drive-thru remained open.
Hat tip to John Fontain
Power Outage at Courthouse Metro Station — A power outage has been reported at the Courthouse Metro station. The outage turned off most of the lights and trapped some customers in the station’s elevator, according to Twitter accounts. The station is said to now be operating on emergency power. [Twitter, Twitter]
Interview with John Vihstadt — Washingtonian has published a Q&A with Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt. During the interview, Vihstadt said of county government: “by and large, it’s well managed.” Before he was elected, however, Vihstadt said the county was in danger of losing its way. “There was a growing consensus that we were too self-congratulatory. There was too much ‘Aren’t we doing great?’ And if there was room for improvement, it was nothing another taxpayer dollar couldn’t solve.” [Washingtonian]
Another AAA Rating for Arlington — Bond rating agency Fitch Ratings has again assigned Arlington County its top AAA rating. The high rating allows the county to borrow money more cheaply than less creditworthy jurisdictions. [BusinessWire]
Rising Sea Levels and Arlington — A new interactive map shows what rising sea levels would mean for D.C. and Arlington. The good news is that the two meters of sea level rise predicted to occur by 2100 would result in little impact for most of Arlington; the most vulnerable areas are portions of Reagan National Airport, East Potomac Park in D.C. and other areas along the banks of the Potomac. [Washingtonian]
Arlington Little League Opening Day — It looks to be a cool and cloudy start to the local little league season this weekend. Arlington Little League’s 30th anniversary season kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Barcroft Park. [Twitter]
One Year Anniversary for Shirlington Restaurant — Osteria da Nino in Shirlington (2900 S. Quincy Street) is celebrating its one year anniversary on Sunday. The restaurant will offer a complimentary glass of Prosecco and appetizers for guests from 4-6 p.m. [ARLnow]
Flickr pool photo by Airamangel
Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon occupies one of the most iconic restaurant locations in Arlington, directly across from the Clarendon Metro station. After more than 20 years in business at 3028 Wilson Blvd, it appears that the local eatery is preparing to leave.
While Hard Times in Clarendon remains open, its 8,240 square foot space is being offered for lease. A marketing flyer says the “trophy restaurant or retail space” is “available immediately.”
The space consists of three levels, including a basement kitchen and storage area. It’s being marketed by the Maryland-based firm H&R Retail.
So far, Hard Times has not responded to a request for comment emailed to the store.
Hard Times was founded in Old Town Alexandria in 1980 and has a dozen locations around the D.C. area.
It’s going to be a busy six days at Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse.
On Saturday morning, the local watering hole will again sponsor the sixth annual Four Courts Four Miler race. After the 9 a.m. race, the bar will be packed with runners enjoying their complimentary beverage and other post-race libations. There will also be a live band.
Registration is still open and will be available at Four Courts on the day of the race.
On Wednesday, Four Courts will mark its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, the bar will be offering Guinness for the original 1996 price of $4.50 from 4-8 p.m. Live music will follow, with Sanford Markley taking the stage at 6 p.m. and Sheen Righter at 9 p.m. There will also be a giveaway of $1,000 cash and other prizes, “in support of your loyal patronage.”
On Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, Four Courts will open at 9 a.m. for the usual St. Daddy’s festivities. There will be live music all day and a heated tent in the back to help accommodate the crowds.
Dave Cahill, an Irishman and Four Courts’ long-time general manager, credits the establishment’s longevity, amid all the change in Arlington, to its core mission of being a community-oriented place to eat and hang out.
“I think we’ve never lost sight of the fact that we’re a neighborhood restaurant,” he told ARLnow.com today. “We have a great relationship with the community, we sponsor sports teams and donate to charities. We have a home-like atmosphere.”
The evidence of customer loyalty is literally hanging from the walls: Four Courts has sold 2,750 pewter mugs to its regulars. The mugs are proudly displayed around the bar, available for use when a customer comes in. Want more proof? Some of the staff are the now-grown children of Four Courts’ first customers.
In addition to pouring Guinness and running Four Courts, Cahill has another race day duty. He’s the race’s official running leprechaun, of course.
Ten minutes after the race starts, Cahill will take off down the course, dressed in green and accompanied by a lady leprechaun on a bicycle, announcing his approach. By the end of the four mile race, Cahill, 44, will have passed about two-thirds of the field.
“I usually catch the first people around the mile and a half mark,” he said. “I catch more people on the mile 2-3 turn. Then, coming up the hill [on Wilson Blvd between Rosslyn and Courthouse] people start looking over their shoulder waiting to see the leprechaun coming.”
Those who beat the leprechaun get a prize from Pacers. For every runner Cahill passes, $1 is donated to the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund.
How does he do it? It’s not by tricks or the luck of the Irish. Cahill happens to be a very accomplished amateur runner. At last year’s Potomac River Run Marathon, he clocked a 3:10 finish time, good enough to qualify for his first Boston Marathon, in April.
The Four Miler will result in some road closures Saturday morning. The traffic alert from the Arlington County Police Department, after the jump.
Republic Kitchen & Bar (801 N. Quincy Street) has been shuttered for the past several days and may be closed for good.
The Ballston eatery has a sign in the window that reads “We close [sic] to make some changes today, sorry for your inconvenience.” Its phone number, meanwhile, has been disconnected, as has its website. The restaurant’s Facebook page was last updated Jan. 16.
Another sign in the window — this one handwritten — states that the local backgammon club has moved its meeting to Carpool, at least temporarily.
Republic served “modern comfort food” and took on something of a lounge atmosphere at night. After it opened, Republic’s owner bragged that the food was so fresh the microwave in the kitchen wasn’t even plugged in and was being used for storage.
Last night, the finalists for the 2016 RAMMY Awards were announced and a number of Arlington restaurants made the cut.
Organized by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, the RAMMYs recognize excellence among D.C. area restaurants. Typically the awards are pretty District-centric. In 2011, for instance, only two Arlington restaurants were nominated.
This year, Arlington restaurants garnered a half dozen or so nominations. Among them:
- Favorite Gathering Place of the Year – Northside Social Coffee & Wine
- Employee of the Year – Andrea Raiello, Water & Wall
- Manager of the Year – Carlos Fernandez, Best Buns Bread Company
- Pastry Chef of the Year – Bridie McCulla, Northside Social, The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall
- Pastry Chef of the Year – Tressa Wiles, Bayou Bakery
- Rising Culinary Star of the Year – Jonah Kim, Yona
- Restaurateur of the Year – Mike Isabella Concepts (Graffiato, Kapnos, G, Kapnos Taverna, Pepita, Yona, etc)