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
Fmr. Arlington Resident John Glenn Dies — John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, has died at the age of 95. In an article first published in 2012, the Arlington Public Library blog recounted the five years that Glenn and his family lived on N. Harrison Street in Arlington. [Arlington Public Library]
Soon: Central Place Apartments, Restaurants — Residents are expected to start moving into the new Central Place apartment tower in Rosslyn at some point during the first three months of 2017. Restaurants coming to the ground floor of the building include Sweetgreen, Little Beet, Nando’s Peri-peri and McDonald’s, while Cava Grill and Compass Coffee has signed leases for the Central Place office tower. [Washington Business Journal]
Fort Myer Getting Drone Detector — Officials from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall said at a recent Arlington civic association meeting that the base is working to procure a drone detection system. The base commander said he’s worried about “miniaturized tools of terror, specifically drones carrying home-made bombs.” [Pentagram]
Video: Ovi Delivering Pizzas in Arlington — Okay, it’s just a commercial and didn’t really happen. But a new 30-second TV spot from Papa John’s imagines Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin delivering pizzas in Arlington in 2001 as he pursues a childhood dream to become “the best pizza delivery boy in the world.” [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
Local Startup Scores Big Military Contract — Clarendon-based cybersecurity firm Endgame has won a $18.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force. It’s believed to be “one of the largest endpoint protection software purchases in the Air Force’s history.” [Fedscoop]
Startups Recognized By County — Arlington County recognized four of the county’s fastest-growing companies this week as part of its second-annual “Fast Four” competition. The honorees were the Nicecream Factory ice cream shop in Arlington, Ballston-based Deep Learning Analytics, Clarendon consulting firm Enterprise Knowledge and Ballston-based software company Convoke. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Rosslyn’s Holiday Market Festival + Bonfire kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday with the opening of an artisan holiday market in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The market will be feature more than 25 vendors with “a full variety of unique and high quality gifts.”
That will be followed at 5:30 p.m. by the opening of a number of local food trucks and a bar serving spiced red sangria, mulled cider, beer and wine. At 7 p.m. a bonfire will be lit and a DJ will start spinning. From 8-11 p.m. 80s cover band The Reflex will perform.
On Saturday, the Great Chocolate Race, a five mile chocolate-themed race, will start at 7:30 a.m. on N. Kent Street. That will be followed by a finish festival in Gateway Park, with food trucks and the bar opening early to serve hot chocolate and bloody marys.
The holiday market will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue until 3 p.m., with live musical performances, gingerbread house workshops and a visit from Santa in between.
A number of road closures are planned for Saturday’s race. From ACPD:
The Great Chocolate Race will take place on Saturday, December 10, 2016. The following roadways will be closed for this event:
- Wilson Blvd. between N. Lynn St. and Route 110 will be closed from 5:00am until 12:00pm.
- Kent St. between Wilson Blvd. and N. 19th St. will be closed from 2:00am until 12:00pm.
- Route 110 between Wilson Blvd. and I-395 will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00 am.
- Route 27 from Route 110 to Columbia Pike (Westbound Only) will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00am.
- Columbia Pike from Route 27 to the Air Force Memorial Entrance (Westbound Only) will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00am. Eastbound Columbia Pike will be routed to Joyce St.
- Southgate Road will be closed at Columbia Pike from 6:00am to 11:00am.
- Joyce Street heading north from Army Navy Drive will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00am.
- Traffic from the Pentagon South Parking Lot will not be allowed west on Columbia Pike, all traffic will be routed on Route 27 toward the George Washington Parkway.
Street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.
A body was found this morning on the 1600 block of N. Kent Street, a narrow one-way that runs by the Rosslyn Spectrum theater.
At this point the death is not considered suspicious and is being investigated as a probable suicide, said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Police are expected to remain on scene for some time, interviewing witnesses and conducting a death investigation.
@ARLnowDOTcom dead body here under a white sheet in rosslyn @ 1701 Kent St. Heavy police presence
— Gregorio (@Agent_Greg) December 1, 2016
POLICE ACTIVITY: ACPD conducting death investigation in 1600 block N Kent Street. Death is not considered suspicious. Expect police in area.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 1, 2016
Photo (top) via Google Maps
Quinn’s on the Corner, a new bar at 1776 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is hoping to open next month, its owner tells ARLnow.com.
Billed as a neighborhood bar with an emphasis on sports and Belgian and Irish food and drink, Quinn’s is expected to open in “early December,” said Reese Gardner.
Much of the bar’s interior has taken shape and could be seen through an open door this afternoon.
Another bar under development by Gardner, Dudley’s Sport and Ale, is continuing to face regulatory hurdles. There’s still no word as to when Dudley’s might finally open in the former Bungalow Sports Grill space in Shirlington.
“I won’t know until exterior permit comments come back,” Gardner told us.
Gardner is the proprietor behind Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington.
Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey says the county will be reviewing the findings of a study on the potential for a Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola system, which was released this morning.
The study found that a gondola system would cost $80-90 million to construct and $3.25 million annually to operate. The gondola would have a “projected minimum average daily ridership of 6,500 people (primarily workers and residents) and a capacity of 2,400 people per hour per direction.”
“Like Washington D.C.’s leadership, we find the results of the study interesting,” Garvey said in a statement. “We will be reviewing the report and doing significant analysis before making any decisions. We also will be talking with our regional partners.”
“It is important to note that no proposals have been made yet about how the gondola would be funded,” Garvey continued. “Should we decide to continue to explore whether or not to build a gondola, funding proposals would also affect the Board’s decision on whether to actually build the project.”
The full press release on the gondola study is below.
The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola Feasibility Study was released this morning on GeorgetownRosslynGondola.com. The study, conducted by a consulting team led by ZGF Architects over a five-month period, identifies and details the demand, financial, regulatory, design and real estate considerations of an aerial gondola lift connecting the Arlington, Virginia Rosslyn neighborhood and Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood.
The consulting team, along with Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) President and CEO Joe Sternlieb and Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick, will discuss the study’s findings and their implications at a public information meeting later today from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Theater on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington.
“The charge for this study was not to sell the idea of a gondola, rather it was to evaluate if a gondola is technically feasible, from a multi-disciplinary approach, and to conceptually define the feasibility parameters.” said Otto Condon, Principal, ZGF Architects. “With our finding that a gondola is feasible, the decision to move forward is a discussion for both sides of the Potomac to have, both individually and collaboratively.”
Key findings include:
- System can operate seamlessly with Metro system, using same fare media and rates, and allowing cost-free direct transfers.
- A projected minimum average daily ridership of 6,500 people (primarily workers and residents) and a capacity of 2,400 people per hour per direction.
- A four minute ride door-to-door with 8-12 people cabins arriving every 20-60 seconds.
- Multiple feasible alignments, with the most favorable station locations along N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn and around the Exxon Gas Station on M Street in Georgetown.
- Significant potential economic benefits on both sides of the river.
- The potential to reduce as many as 100,000 bus trips per year across the Key Bridge
- Estimated $80-90 million in capital costs assuming high-quality design to enhance the public realm.
- $3.25 million in annual operating costs assuming operation 365 days a year.
- Relatively high operating cost recovery from fares.
“To put the study findings in context, as the region grows in population, we need to be exploring new ways to efficiently move people. If the Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola was viewed as Georgetown’s Metro station, ridership would be higher than over half the Metro stations in the DC-area while capital and operating costs would be lower,” said Joe Sternlieb, president and CEO, Georgetown BID. “This could be an attractive, cost-efficient regional transportation option that would give thousands of daily commuters, students, residents and tourists a quick, affordable, and reliable way to travel between neighborhoods.”
Gondola Study Says System is ‘Feasible’ — It is “feasible” to build a gondola that brings riders from the Rosslyn Metro station to Georgetown, according to a study supported by the Georgetown and Rosslyn BIDs and other entities. The gondola system would cost $80-90 million to build and about $3.25 million per year to operate, according to the study. [Washington Business Journal, Washington Post]
Gun Store’s Lawsuit Dropped — Lyon Park gun store Nova Armory has dropped its lawsuit against 64 residents and elected officials who, it claimed, conspired to try to ruin its business. It previously contended that the actions of “local crazies” who spoke out against the store could be a case of “tortious interference.” [Washington Post]
GOP Candidate: Nov. 8 Will Be ‘Sad Day’ — Election Day will be “a sad day for American voters because they have been let down by the system,” says Charles Hernick, the Republican candidate for Congress who’s challenging Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). Hernick said that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump “has brought the bar so low that he’s making Hillary Clinton look like a shining star,” even though Clinton’s presidency would be “damaged goods.” [Telegraph UK]
Commission Members Wanted — Arlington County is looking for residents to serve on a Joint Facilities Advisory Commission that will “provide input on capital facilities needs assessment, capital improvement plans and long-range facility planning for both the County Government and Arlington Schools.” The deadline to apply is Nov. 16. [Arlington County]
Caffe Aficionado in Rosslyn (1919 N. Lynn Street) is closed following a police raid this morning (Friday).
Police say the cafe’s owner, Adiam Berhane, was involved in a scheme to profit from cloned credit cards. She and her business partner, Clark Donat, were both arrested and charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.
From an Arlington County Police Department press release:
Following a joint investigation by local, state and federal partners, two suspects involved in a large-scale credit card cloning fraud have been identified and taken into custody. Adiam Berhane, 44, of Arlington VA and Clark Donat, 44, of Arlington VA have been arrested and charged with money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. Both suspects are being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility. Additional charges are pending.
In November 2015, a victim with no known ties to Arlington County reported numerous attempted credit card transactions in the County. Law enforcement began an investigation into possible credit card cloning and through investigative leads, Adiam Berhane was identified as a possible suspect. Further investigation revealed that Berhane’s coffee shop, Caffé Aficionado located at 1919 N. Lynn Street, redeemed hundreds of thousands of dollars in pre-payable gift cards. It is believed that these gift cards were purchased using cloned credit cards.
The investigation into the activities of Berhane and Donat are ongoing. Anyone with information about these incidents or who believes they may be a victim of this fraud is asked to contact the Arlington County Financial Crimes Unit by email at [email protected]
. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
The arrests of Berhane and Donat are the direct result of outstanding police work and the leveraging of resources during the joint investigation by the Arlington County Police Department, the United States Secret Service National Capitol Region Fraud Task Force, Metropolitan Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland National Capital Park Police Montgomery County Division, City of Bowie Police Department, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and with assistance from various financial institutions and retailers.
Police also executed a search warrant Friday morning at a residence at the high-end Gaslight Square apartments in Rosslyn (1700 Clarendon Blvd), hauling out boxes of evidence and at least one computer.
Update at 1:50 p.m. — A reader points out that it appears Berhane was previously convicted of credit card fraud in New York City. Police tell ARLnow.com that Berhane has used numerous aliases in the past, including Carole Jones, Deborah Hyman and Adiam Testamichael.
Update at 3:15 p.m. — An individual who met an ARLnow.com employee at Caffe Aficionado, while our office was in Rosslyn, was apparently a victim of the fraud. The individual, who did not want her name used, sent an email to our employee a few days after the meeting in 2014, warning that her credit card information might have been stolen from the cafe. Her credit card had been used to buy three $500 Macy’s gift cards. The incident was reported to police.
Photos (top) by Samantha Moore
The Rosslyn BID is scheduled to transform the site of the forthcoming Continental Beer Garden at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street into a pop-up Oktoberfest beer garden on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 4-8 p.m.
During the event, attendees can buy drinks such as Spaten Oktoberfest, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse and glasses of wine from Continental Pool Lounge. Additionally, the Rocklands BBQ food truck will be on hand to serve barbecue.
The pop-up beer garden will also have live music from The Polka Brothers and “fun fall temporary tattoos done by a local artist,” according to the BID.
Though admission is free, all attendees must be 21 years of age or older.
Photo via Rosslyn BID
Driving and parking around Rosslyn, Crystal City and other parts of Arlington could become a particularly challenging experience later this month.
Several streets in the county are set to close to traffic for the 41st Marine Corps Marathon Sunday, Oct. 30.
The race is scheduled to start about 7:55 a.m. on Route 110 between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive. Thousands of people then are expected to run on a 26.2-mile course through Arlington and the District.
During the marathon, Crystal City is slated to have an all-day family party with moon bounces, face paintings and crafts. Rosslyn also is set to throw a finish festival with live music and a beer garden.
The Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency plan to close the following roads, starting at 3:30 a.m.:
3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Marshall Drive from North Meade Street to Route 110
3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. North Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street
3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Route 110 from I-66 to Jefferson Davis Highway
3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Wilson Boulevard from North Nash Street to Route 110
3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Lynn Street from North Meade Street to Lee Highway
3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Fort Myer Drive from North Meade Street to Lee Highway
3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. North Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway
3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 19th Street North from Lynn Street to North Nash Street
3:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. N. Kent Street from Wilson Boulevard to N. 19th Street
3:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Route 110 ramp from Washington Blvd. to Pentagon North parking
6:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Lee Highway (eastbound) from Lynn Street to North Kirkwood Street
6:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Spout Run Parkway from southbound George Washington
Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Lee Highway
6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. GWMP from Spout Run to Memorial Circle Drive
7:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Francis Scott Key Bridge (all lanes)
7:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to HOV ramp at South Eads Street
5:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. South Eads Street from South Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive
7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Army Navy Drive from South Fern Street to 12th Street South
7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. 12th Street South from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive
7:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. Crystal Drive from 12th Street South to 26th Street South
7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street South to I-395
7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Boundary Channel Drive from I-395 to Pentagon North Parking
7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Washington Blvd. from Columbia Pike to Memorial Circle
Image via Arlington County
Arlington County is in the process of installing a new, protected bike lane on Wilson Blvd through part of Rosslyn.
The bike lane will help cyclists safely traverse a busy, challenging stretch of Wilson Blvd, between N. Oak and N. Quinn streets. County officials say that stretch was being repaved, presenting an opportunity to reconfigure the bike lane.
“We are always looking for ways to improve safety and accessibility for all modes of travel as described in our Master Transportation Plan,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
“Our Transportation, Engineering and Operations Bureau worked closely with the Rosslyn BID and received input from the Bicycle Advisory Committee on the final design — which should be completed in the next few weeks,” she added.
A protected bike lane is typically separated from traffic using some combination of plastic bollards, landscaping, curbs and car parking. The county’s first protected bike lane project, in the Pentagon City area, moved the bike lane next to the curb and placed the street parking zone between the bike lane and traffic.
Photo via @BikeArlington
The Arlington County Board has approved adding pedestrian-only streets and low-speed “shared streets” to its transportation repertoire.
The amendments to the county’s Master Transportation Plan were approved unanimously at the Board’s meeting on Saturday.
As we reported in September, the county’s long-term plan for Rosslyn includes a multi-block, pedestrian-only stretch of 18th Street to replace Rosslyn’s skywalk system. Additionally, sections of 14th and 15th streets in Courthouse are slated to become shared streets.
Before the Board’s vote on Saturday, the Master Transportation Plan did not permit either street type.
More information, from an Arlington County press release:
The Arlington County Board adopted today proposed amendments to the Master Transportation Plan Street Element, incorporating two innovative changes: a new pedestrian priority street type — a car-free street that provides pedestrians access to adjacent buildings — and “shared streets” — for pedestrians, bicyclists and low speed vehicular traffic. These amendments will accommodate street variations as envisioned in the Rosslyn and Courthouse Sector Plans and provide guidance for potential use in other parts of the County.
In the Rosslyn area, nine block-length pedestrian priority street segments are planned to replace the remaining skywalk segments, break up north-south blocks and enhance access to the Rosslyn Metro Station. Segments of 18th Street North (from North Lynn Street to North Oak Street) will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists only, without regular motor vehicle access. Implementation of the pedestrian priority street segments are expected to occur over time as private properties on those blocks are redeveloped.
In the Courthouse Square area, segments of 14th and 15th Streets North (between North Uhle Street and Courthouse Road) will be prioritized as low-speed “shared streets,” emphasizing needs of both pedestrians and bicyclists through use of distinctive paving materials and level travel areas. These streets will be primarily intended for pedestrians, but open to slow-speed vehicle traffic.
“Arlington is a varied community that puts an emphasis on various modes of travel – be it walking, biking, taking transit or driving,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “These street variations are very exciting and an important step in improving access and safety for the many residents, visitors and commuters that walk and bike around Arlington each and every day.”
The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the amendments.
In July 2015, the Board adopted an update to the Rosslyn Sector Plan that called for eventual development of several new street segments. In September 2015, the Board adopted the Courthouse Square sector plan update and its proposal of creating sections of shared streets.
The idea of new street types is the result of considerable public involvement. The two new street types were initially envisioned during the development of the sector plan updates, with the names and definitions further refined in hearings by the Arlington Planning and Transportation commissions.
Now that these changes have been accepted, the new street types can be applied elsewhere in the County when approved through a community planning process and action by the County Board.
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) “Girls” star Lena Dunham campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Rosslyn Tuesday afternoon.
The actress, writer, producer and director attended a lunch with Arlington young professionals at Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd) around 12:30 p.m. She spoke of the importance of electing Mrs. Clinton and defeating GOP candidate Donald Trump.
“The message I just wanted to share with millennials, with people my age… is just to say that voting isn’t the only way that you engage civically, but it’s one of the most important ways,” Dunham said. “So many people don’t [vote] and it’s so important that we take advantage of that power. None of us wants to see a country that Trump is imagining… and the only way we can prevent that is getting out on November 8th.”
“Something that I say a lot is that I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton because she is the lesser of two evils, I’m voting for her because she’s the president that I’ve wanted since I was six years old,” she said. “I know so many women and men who feel that way and it’s so heartening to see a room full of people who I know are ready to advocate for that.”
After the Rosslyn event, Dunham was scheduled to attend subsequent events at George Mason University and in Falls Church, where she was to encourage Northern Virginia residents to check their voter registration status and register to vote by the Oct. 17 registration deadline.
“Dunham will lay out the stakes of this election, discuss with voters why Donald Trump’s pattern of disrespecting and demeaning women makes him unfit to hold our nation’s highest office, and share her support for Clinton’s agenda to make us stronger together and raise the minimum wage, fight LGBT discrimination, ensure women have access to reproductive health care, and tackle climate change,” according to a Clinton campaign press release.
A rush transcript of Dunham’s remarks at the restaurant, after the jump.
Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd) will kick off its first annual Oyster Fest this Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.
The bar and restaurant will turn its patio into “a big, beautiful outdoor raw bar” for the party, which will include all-you-can-eat oysters and an oyster eating contest, live music, a cigar rolling station, instructions on how to properly shuck oysters and free giveaways.
During the event, attendees can sip on chilled white wine, beer and whiskey while noshing on a variety of dishes including oysters Rockefeller, oyster po’boy sandwiches and oyster ceviche. The shellfish will also be available grilled, fried, stewed, raw and in made-to-order shooters.
Tickets cost $49 online and $59 at the door.
New Restaurants Coming to Rosslyn — A bunch of new restaurants and a cafe are coming to Rosslyn as part of the under-construction Central Place project. Fast casual eateries Sweetgreen, Nando’s Peri-Peri and The Little Beet are signing deals with developer JBG. A Compass Coffee is also set to open and negotiations are reportedly underway with Cava Grill. [Washington Business Journal]
Sidewalk Cafe for Pike Beer Garden — The Arlington County Board last night approved a use permit that will allow the future beer garden at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive to operate a 32-seat outdoor cafe. The outdoor seating will “enliven the restaurant space and provide greater activity on this corner” of Columbia Pike, county staff wrote. County Board members expressed enthusiasm for the business, from the owner of nearby Twisted Vines, with Jay Fisette calling it “a fabulous use for this site.” [Arlington County]
Neighborhood Conservation Projects Approved — Last night the County Board approved $4.7 million in funding for six neighborhood conservation projects. The projects include a neighborhood sign for the recently-renamed Arlington Mill neighborhood; street improvement projects in Yorktown, Waverly Hills and Lyon Park; new LED streetlights in Arlington Heights; and a vegetation and sidewalk project in Boulevard Manor. [Arlington County]
Guas Appears on ‘Chopped Junior’ — Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Courthouse was back on national TV last night, starring as a judge on the Food Network show “Chopped Junior.” [Patch]
WERA Anniversary Nears — Arlington’s own community radio station WERA will be celebrating its first anniversary in just over two months. The low-power FM station is “having an impact,” with some ninety producers generating local programming. Fundraising for the station, however, has been sluggish. [InsideNova]
Fmr. Sen. Warner to Endorse Clinton — At an event in Alexandria this morning, five-term former U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) is expected to endorse the presidential ticket of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). It will be the first time Warner has endorsed a Democrat for president. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann