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by Heather Mongilio — August 27, 2015 at 11:25 am 617 0

3600 S. Four Mile Run Drive

The LaPorte property at 3600 S. Four Mile Run will be the temporary home of ART buses until a new facility is finished in the Crystal City area.

The temporary housing of buses is one of the topics on the agenda for a Sept. 1 community meeting, said county spokeswoman Catherine Matthews. The meeting will also discuss street parking, the upcoming Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run planning study and Jennie Dean Park.

“The meeting on September 1 (with residents from Nauck, Shirlington and Fairlington) will really just be to communicate about and implement some community planning efforts and address some outstanding neighborhood concerns,” Matthews said in an email.

County officials will attend the meeting to answer questions about any of the agenda items, Matthews said.

Buses will be housed at LaPorte property until 2017, when the new facility at the corner of S. Eads and 32nd Streets  is expected to be finished, she said.

“In terms of parking buses here, the County does not foresee any major changes or delays to existing traffic patterns. All of our ART buses are CNG (compressed natural gas) powered and run on natural gas, making these buses cleaner and quieter in operation,” Matthews said.

Construction to build the new ART facility begins Sept. 9 and is expected to last 18 months, according to the project’s website. The new two-story facility will have spaces for bus maintenance, bus washing, a gas station and parking.

The meeting will also discuss planning efforts for the Jennie Dean Park and Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run area. Both projects are in preplanning phases, Matthews said.

Shirlington Crescent- Four Mile Run Study area (Via Arlington County)

The Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run Planning Study is planned for 2015, according to the project’s website, and will look at the land use in the area.

“The goal will be to develop a vision and long-term planning guidance for the area, which includes primary industrially zoned properties,” Matthews said in an email. “We will be examining potential land use changes, transportation improvements; and environmental issues, given the proximity of the Four Mile stream.”

At the same time, the county will also be creating a master plan for Jennie Dean Park, but the project is still in the early stages, she said.

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 10:30 am 5,132 0

The Bungalow Sports Grill in ShirlingtonShirlington won’t have to go too long without a sport bar.

The Bungalow Sports Grill closed in June but a replacement is already in the works. The owners of Copperwood Tavern, another Shirlington restaurant, are planning a new sports bar called “Dudley’s Sport and Ale.”

Dudley’s will open in the 12,000 square foot Bungalow space at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive), but amazingly the owners also planning a big addition. The sports bar will have a 3,000 square foot rooftop bar — a first for Shirlington.

Dudley's Sports and Ale logo“I’ve called the Shirlington Village home for about 12 years,” co-owner Reese Gardner said in a Facebook post. “Shirlington not only needs a sports bar it also needs a rooftop bar.”

In a separate post, Gardner said Washingtion Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo has joined his ownership team. Gardner’s company also owns a trio of D.C. bars: Irish Whiskey Public House, Orange Anchor and the soon-to-open Union Social.

Dudley’s is hoping to open early next year, according to its Facebook page.

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 9:05 am 2,285 0

Bird on a bridge (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Arlington Inmate Dies — A 48-year-old convict died early Saturday morning in the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse. The man, who had a “history of medical issues,” was found unresponsive in his cell and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. [Arlington County]

More Sequestration Could Hit Virginia Hard — Virginia, and in particular Northern Virginia, is bracing for more sequestration cuts to the Defense Department, which are set to take effect in five weeks. Virginia’s two U.S. Senators are pushing for new budget legislation to replace the sequester. [Washington Post]

Cemetery Superintendent Removed — One year after taking the position, Arlington National Cemetery superintendent Jack E. Lechner has been given the boot. The Army says Lechner’s job performance was unsatisfactory. [Washington Post]

DAK Chicken Opens in Shirlington — DAK Chicken, a Korean-style chicken restaurant, welcomed customers on Friday for its soft opening. In addition to chicken wings the new Shirlington eatery offers other Korean and Asian-fusion dishes like kimchi, bulgogi and ramen. [Northern Virginia Magazine, Facebook]

Arlington Company Makes Fortune List — Courthouse-based Opower has made Fortune Magazine’s inaugural “Change The World” list. Opower is ranked No. 45 on the list of 51 companies “that have made a sizable impact on major global social or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy.” How long Opower remains in Arlington remains a question: the company is currently considering a move to the District. [Fortune]

by Heather Mongilio — August 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1,276 0

Wags and Whiskers 2011 (courtesy photo)The Village at Shirlington’s annual pet expo will return this Saturday.

The eighth annual Wags N’ Whiskers event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature more than 60 exhibitions, ranging from pet supplies to onsite adoptions.

In addition to shopping for food, treats, toys and other pet goods, owners can get their pets’ portrait taken for $5. There will also be strolling entertainment and kids activities, including face painting and balloon art. Visitors are encouraged to bring their pets with them.

The event will also have live music from Dan Haas, from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and Taylor Carson, from 1:15-4 p.m.

The Arlington County Police Department will close Campbell Avenue and S. Randolph Street from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the event. Campbell Avenue will be closed from S. Quincy Street to the parking garage in front of the Harris Teeter (4250 Campbell Avenue). S. Randolph Street will be closed from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley just south of Campbell Avenue. Street parking will also be limited.

by Mariah Joyce — July 28, 2015 at 10:00 am 2,101 0

Alexandria Restaurant Partners, a local restaurant management and consulting company, is planning to open new restaurant Palette 22 at the Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) in December.

The restaurant is envisioned as following in the footsteps of ARP-managed restaurant Cafe Tu Tu Tango in Orlando, Florida, a small-plates eatery which boasts the theme of “Food, Art, Fun.” The company describes Palette 22 as Cafe Tu Tu Tango designed “for the local, millennial crowd,” and says the restaurant will emphasize authentic international street food, street art and a creative craft bar program.

According to Paul Beckmann, the architect on the project, the building permits for the restaurant were submitted on July 13 and are currently under review. Beckmann anticipates that construction will start mid to late August and last about three months.

Palette 22 is opening in the space formerly occupied by Italian restaurant Extra Virgin, which closed in 2013.

“The space right now is pretty rough,” said Beckmann. “Much of the equipment has more than lived out its life span. We’re having to clear out the entire space.”

Once completed, the restaurant will be able to seat 168 inside and an additional 34 on an outdoor patio running along Campbell Avenue.

This will be ARP’s first restaurant in Arlington. The company currently owns Old Town Alexandria restaurant The Majestic, manages Virtue Feed & Grain, and has plans to open Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap in Alexandria in September.

Photos via Beckman Architects

by Mariah Joyce — July 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm 1,380 0

Lloyd Dobler EffectArlington County has enjoyed near-perfect weather today, with blue skies, plenty of sun and a high of only 82. What better way to celebrate the end of a beautiful summer day than to attend one of three outdoor concerts taking place this evening?

Summer concert series Rock at the Row kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. in Pentagon Row’s plaza area (1101 S. Joyce Street) with Bon Jovi cover band Slippery When Wet. The concert series also includes a VIP section with craft beers and food samples.

Residents less enamored of Bon Jovi can head over to Rosslyn for its “Throwback Thursday” concert in Freedom Park (1101 Wilson Blvd). Tonight’s concert features Baltimore-based cover band Sly 45. It’s the last scheduled Throwback Thursday concert until September.

Also tonight, the Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) will hold its weekly Shirlala music festival, which started in June. Playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will be alternative rock band Lloyd Dobler Effect. In addition to the live music, there will be $5 wine tasting courtesy of local cheese and wine bar Cheesetique.

All three concert series are free and open to the public. Rock at the Row’s lineup was announced earlier this summer. Shirlala’s remaining performances are below.

Photo via lloyddoblereffect.com

by Heather Mongilio — July 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm 1,276 0

Le Village Marché, a Parisian-inspired store in Shirlington Village, is expanding across the river just in time for Bastille Day tomorrow (July 14).

Owner Angela Phelps opened the store’s second location in Cathedral Commons (3318 Wisconsin Ave. NW) in D.C. on June 25.

The new store is very similar to the one in Shirlington, Phelps said, though it stocks more furniture. Both stores have a French theme and sell items that range from French glassware to cookbooks and doormats.

“It appeals to people, not just because we have great items, but it’s like a trip to Paris without actually going there,” Phelps said.

Developers in Cathedral Commons reached out to Phelps, prompting her to open the second location, she said.

For local Francophiles looking to throw a Bastille Day party, Phelps recommended serving French baguettes, wines and cheeses, perhaps followed by a French martini and an entrée Coq au vin for the party. She also recommended some French decor and little gifts, like fluers de lis, which she bien sûr carries at the store.

On the 14th, both stores are offering a free gift with a $25 purchase, Phelps said.

by ARLnow.com — July 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm 2,791 0

Dak Chicken in ShirlingtonA large window sign is up for a new Korean-style chicken restaurant that’s coming to Shirlington.

The Village at Shirlington announced late last month that DAK Chicken would be opening in the former Bonsai space on Campbell Avenue.

“DAK Chicken, a modern Korean fusion restaurant will offer Korean style soy garlic, spicy, or honey glazed chicken, as well as a variety of Korean style fusion food and unique Korean drinks,” the shopping center said via Facebook.

The concept is similar to Bonchon, a Korean-style chicken restaurant that opened on N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park in 2013.

DAK, which will serve lunch and dinner, is expected to open “later this summer.” It joins two other restaurants that are planning to open relatively soon in Shirlington: Hula Girl and Palette 22.

by Heather Mongilio — July 9, 2015 at 10:05 am 3,630 0

ABC Distributors, Inc., a lumber yard near Shirlington, will be closing its doors at the end of the summer.

The 50-year-old company is currently holding a liquidation sale to sell off the store’s entire stock. The sale started today and will last about six weeks, said Bernard Lynch, the president of the company and one of the owners.

Merchandise has been marked down by 10 to 40 percent, depending on the item, and prices will be reduced as the sale goes on, Lynch said.

“So everything has to go,” he said.

The store is also raffling off a 60-inch Visio Smart TV; customers can enter to win when they buy something.

The business’ closure comes after the owners of the property it sits on decided to sell. ABC Distributors is a part owner, but it owns a much smaller percentage of the property than those that decided to sell, Lynch said.

“It’s been a struggle, to be honest with you, in the last seven years to stay in business,” he said.

The home building business has been struggling as well after housing market crashes, Lynch said. He has seen multiple customers who were contractors go out of business or lose their jobs. And others just do not have the need to shop for housing materials as often because fewer people are building houses, at least according to Lynch.

ABC Distributors must be out of its location by Sept. 1, Lynch said. There are no current plans to bring the business to a new location.

The property was bought by an investors group, but Lynch said he does not know what their plans are.

by ARLnow.com — July 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm 2,119 0

Former Lucy's ARL near Shirlington (photo via Google Maps)(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A new billiards hall and neighborhood bar is coming to the former Lucy’s ARL location near Shirlington.

Chester’s Billiards Bar & Grill will be located at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, which has been without a restaurant tenant since Lucy’s closed in December 2013.

Co-owner Derrick Fulghum, Sr. told ARLnow.com today that he’s hoping to open by mid-August, should all go well with his permits and licenses.

Chester’s will largely pick up where Lucy’s left off. No interior construction of note is planned — the pool tables and bar will be in about the same place. Two things that are changing: more of a focus on live entertainment and on families.

Fulghum said he will be applying for a live entertainment permit, to allow him to offer performances by standup comics, bands and DJs.

As for his customer base, Fulghum said he hopes to attract families and local residents around the Shirlington area. That’s a bit of a contrast from Lucy’s, which proudly displayed the motto “Shrews. Brews. Cues.”

“I have a family and I’m planning on bring them here,” he said. “It will be very inviting, a fun atmosphere. We look forward to giving back… and becoming part of the Shirlington community.”

Chester’s will serve American cuisine — “good food,” Fulghum promises. He said local residents he’s talked to have been positive about the concept. Plus, he’ll benefit from reduced competition: The Bungalow Sports Grill in Shirlington, which had billiards tables, closed last month.

This will be Fulghum’s second South Arlington and third D.C. area establishment. He and his business partner own Andalusia Tea Room, a hookah bar in Crystal City, as well as a bar and grill in Rockville, he said.

Photo via Google Maps

by Heather Mongilio — May 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm 2,946 0

Israel Fest logoThe Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is bringing its annual Israel Fest to Arlington this weekend.

The free event — dubbed Israel@67 — is billed as a celebration of Israel and Israeli culture. It will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Village in Shirlington.

The event will include live entertainment, Israeli dancing and hands-on activities. There will be food to purchase and an Israeli-styled market.

While the festival has been held in the past in other Northern Virginia locations, this is the first time it has come to Arlington, said Laurie Albert, the center’s Director of Community Engagement.

“The location is wonderful,” she said.

The JCC decided to bring the festival to Arlington because it is a family-friendly area and the organization would reach a community it had not previously, Albert said.

The event will feature nine live musical acts, including Israeli pop singer Hadar and singer-songwriter Yoni Jahasi. There will also be a teen area with a live DJ.

More than 10 synagogues and community partners will have booths for visitors to stop by, and there will also be a moon bounce and balloon artists for children.

To accommodate the festival, Arlington County Police will shut down Campbell Avenue in Shirlington from S. Quincy Street to S. Randolph Street between 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — May 26, 2015 at 10:35 am 7,052 0

Johnny Rockets in Shirlington (photo via Google Maps)

Johnny Rockets has closed its doors in Shirlington.

A sign posted in the window of the retro burger restaurant at 4251 Campbell Ave this weekend stated that it had closed its doors permanently. No reason for the closure was given.

Johnny Rockets closed sign (photo courtesy @EdwardRyder)The lone remaining Johnny Rockets in Arlington is located inside the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, at 1100 S. Hayes Street.

Johnny Rockets is the seventh business to close in Shirlington since last October. Other shuttered businesses have blamed high rent and slow business.

Photo top via Google Maps. Photo right courtesy @EdwardRyder.

by ARLnow.com — May 15, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,980 0

View of Key Bridge, the Potomac River and D.C. from the Waterview building in Rosslyn

‘Hula Girl’ to Open Shirlington Restaurant — The founder of the Hula Girl food truck, which specializes in Hawaiian style food, will be opening a new brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former Aladdin’s Eatery space in Shirlington. Mikala Brennan says Shirlington is “a very friendly place for families and dogs and everyone, and I always thought it’d be a great fit for what I do.” [Eater]

Bike to Work Day is Today — Hundreds of people stopped by the half-dozen Arlington pit stops for Bike to Work Day this morning. Among them were Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and a guy on an old-timey penny farthing.

Candidates Want Manager to Live in Arlington — The candidates for Arlington County Board said they would like Arlington’s next county manager to live in Arlington. Retiring county manager Barbara Donnellan lives in Clifton, Va. [InsideNova]

by Ethan Rothstein — May 14, 2015 at 11:30 am 12,929 0

Cakelove in Shirlington closes(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Next month, the Bungalow Sports Grill plans to close its Shirlington location. Yesterday, the doors of Bonsai Grill were locked and the lights were off in the restaurant, indicating the Japanese restaurant has likely closed.

If Bonsai doesn’t reopen and Bungalow indeed closes on June 10  — when manager Carla Marquina tells ARLnow.com it will — the two businesses will be added to the growing list of Shirlington establishments that have fallen by the wayside, and more could be on the way.

Since last October, counting Bonsai and the Bungalow, seven businesses in the Village at Shirlington have closed: Bloomers, Periwinkle, Aladdin’s Eatery, Cakelove and The Curious Grape are all gone. Other than the Curious Grape, whose space was quickly taken over by an Italian restaurant, all of the spaces remain vacant.

With the vacancies have come less foot traffic and rising frustrations, business owners say. Some are blaming Village of Shirlington owner Federal Realty Investment Trust for their woes, saying the company keeps raising rents even as tenants struggle in a local economy that seems to be slowing.

The Bungalow Sports Grill in Shirlington“We are struggling to survive,” one Shirlington restaurant owner told ARLnow.com, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of landlord repercussions. “The landlord should reduce the rent or at least keep it the same. They don’t care about the business.”

Marquina, the Bungalow manager, said landlord problems are the reason that the neighborhood sports bar, which has occupied its large space off S. Randolph Street for decades, is shutting down.

“The owners have had disputes with the landlord,” she said. “They haven’t been fixing things that they should fix, and it’s not worth it to us to fix it.”

Bungalow owner Win Froelich spoke to ARLnow.com this afternoon and said Marquina “was not involved with what was going on,” and added “Federal has been lovely to work with.”

“We had an extended negotiation over renewing the lease, and the economics of renewing for us just didn’t work,” Froelich said. “There’s nothing that the landlord is obligated to repair that the landlord hasn’t repaired. The total package that worked for us and the total package that worked for them didn’t match up in price… They’ve been a great landlord and we’re sorry that we’re going to be leaving the Shirlington Village.”

While some vacancies have filled — the Extra Virgin space that has sat empty for two years will soon be home to an art-themed restaurant called Palette 22 — many others remain, and even store owners who say they have “a great relationship” with FRIT say they wish the Bethesda-based real estate firm would step up its effort.

“Walking down this really small area and seeing a bunch of empty spaces is depressing,” another store owner, who claims to be “doing fine” with no complaints about his relationship with FRIT, said. “[FRIT] could be doing a lot more to bring in new business.”

Aladdin's Eatery closes in ShirlingtonWhen Periwinkle closed, its owner told ARLnow the rent was too high, a refrain repeated by at least five business owners we contacted. According to multiple business owners, FRIT raises rent every year — a not uncommon practice for commercial and residential real estate — despite what they see as declining foot traffic.

Shirlington isn’t the only place FRIT is losing tenants either; in Pentagon Row, Denim Bar closed in April and another retailer is expected to announce its closure soon. When asked for comment, FRIT spokeswoman Jill Powell said she “was unable to reach the appropriate people at corporate.”

Along with Palette 22, FRIT is renovating Shirlington’s AMC movie theater and Powell said they are expecting to make “another exciting new lease announcement” soon. Regardless of Shirlington’s future businesses, some of its current tenants remain deeply dissatisfied.

Bonsai“Business has been slower,” the second store owner said, “and I’ve heard from a lot of people that property management is the issue.”

The first owner said she’s not sure how much longer she’ll be able to stay open. She said she doesn’t take home a salary and works 14 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We signed a contract and agreed to the rent. We can’t blame [FRIT],” she said. “But people aren’t going out to eat anymore. If the landlord understood about the economy, they’d stop raising the rent every year.”

by Ethan Rothstein — May 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm 3,440 0

The old Extra Virgin space in Shirlington (photo via Google Maps)A new restaurant that puts a focus on the arts is planning to move into the Village at Shirlington, in the former Extra Virgin space.

The venture, called Palette 22, was announced by Village at Shirlington’s owner, Federal Realty Investment Trust. The new restaurant, at 4053 Campbell Ave., will be the first business in the corner storefront since Extra Virgin closed in March 2013.

In between, Italian restaurant La Tagliatella had signed a lease to move into the vacated shop, but the international chain’s planned U.S. expansion fizzled out, and it never moved in. It has since closed its location in Clarendon.

It’s unclear when Palette 22 will open, or who will be running it when it does. Multiple calls to Federal Realty today have not been returned.

“Palette 22 combines food, art and fun, focusing on modern street food small plate dishes with an international flavor,” The Village at Shirlington’s website says. “It will integrate local art and artists into the whole dining experience.”

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