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by ARLnow.com — January 19, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Robin Stombler, a Nauck resident, business owner and past chair of the Arlington Committee of 100, regarding revitalization plans for the Shirlington Crescent area.

Dear Editor:

Over 80 Arlington residents and elected officials joined the Nauck-Shirlington Crescent neighborhood launch on Sunday, January 10, 2016. Nauck residents led groups of citizens on walking tours throughout the Crescent. We anticipated some of the reactions:

  • Arlington is home to a concrete factory?
  • Floods up to 19 feet have occurred at Four Mile Run?
  • Jennie Dean Park honors the founder of the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth?
  • Arlington’s first distribution brewery since 1916 opened this week in the Crescent?
  • Artists from Stephen Sondheim to Dave Grohl have walked the Crescent streets?

The answers are yes. Beyond the auto repair stores, towing facilities, and ART bus storage, many people pass the Crescent without really seeing what it has to offer. We have a vision to change that perception.

The Nauck-Shirlington Crescent is unique for many reasons, and chief among them is its diversity. We aim to embrace the economic, social and cultural diversity of our neighborhood from our nonprofit neighbors to our commercial entrepreneurs and from our established citizens to our newer residents.

We also see a significant opportunity to revitalize the Crescent into a creative, industry and arts cluster. This cluster would build and support an environment that encourages businesses and workforce development, protects and preserves the natural resources of the area, and fosters innovation. Space for new housing, tree-lined vistas, and parking also figure into our design.

The Arlington County Board has declared the Nauck-Shirlington Crescent a top priority for 2016. Our ideas, expressed briefly here, will be part of a fuller conversation on the future of the Crescent. The energy and excitement expressed at the launch portends well what that future holds.

Sincerely,

Robin Stombler

ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity.

by Jennifer Currier — January 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm 0

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

Arlington County has pledged to start an extensive community planning effort in 2016 for the area known as Shirlington Crescent, a process with the goal of bringing major economic, environmental and cultural changes to the area.

Plans for revitalizing and possibly redeveloping parts of Nauck and the Four Mile Run corridor began with a study conducted in 2014. This study outlined approximately 95 acres along Four Mile Run Drive and Shirlington Road for the community planning process to focus on.

The goal for this planning effort is to “develop a vision and area plan which could re-evaluate land use goals and objectives.” To do this, the County will consider various aspects of the existing Crescent and how to improve or change them, including:

  • economic development
  • environmental sustainability
  • relationships to neighboring areas
  • open space
  • transportation
  • affordable housing
  • connectivity
  • urban design
  • previous planning work
  • cultural resources
  • historic preservation

In a letter sent to ARLnow over the summer — which also appeared on InsideNoVa — Nauck resident Robin Stombler shared her thoughts on the need for change.

“A swath of South Four Mile Run and Shirlington Road has been neglected for too long,” she wrote. “Our Nauck neighborhood is often the location for industrial activities and unused vehicle storage. While much of the industry is welcomed, the Shirlington Crescent could be so much more.”

Stombler and her fellow Crescent residents will be a part of the planning process this year, starting with a gathering on the subject this weekend.

This neighborhood revitalization meeting starts this Sunday, Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. According to a public notice, members of the Arlington County Board will also be in attendance.

During the meeting, small groups will depart from the children’s playground at Jennie Dean Park at 3630 27th Street S. for a walking tour of the Crescent, lead by neighborhood guides.

Tours will end at the Arlington Food Assistance Center at 2708 S. Nelson Street around 1:45 p.m. Hot chocolate will be served as some residents and community members — and possibly County Board members, who will be attending the meeting — will give remarks about the neighborhood and their thoughts on which issues should be a priority.

Stombler is also responsible for organizing the walking meeting. In her letter, she expressed her neighborhood’s excitement and dedication to the start of the planning process.

“Shirlington Crescent is uniquely positioned to become an industry and arts cluster for Arlington,” she said. “[My neighbors and I] recognize that there is a long process of deliberation ahead, but we want to jumpstart the conversation. Input to our plan from the public is welcomed and encouraged.”

by Jennifer Currier — January 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Beer samples L-R: 1821, Brown Ale, Strong Ale, Pilsner

After first announcing its plans to open late last summer, a new brewery near Shirlington is ready to open its doors this weekend.

New District Brewing Co. (2709 S. Oakland Street) is scheduled to open to the public this Saturday, Jan. 9 at noon, according to co-owner Steve Katrivanos. The 5,200 square foot space is off S. Four Mile Run Drive near the Shirlington dog park and the W&OD Trail.

Though Katrivanos and his brother Mike — who built the brewery’s brewhouse system — had hoped to open before the end of 2015, inspection processes delayed the opening.

This Saturday’s grand opening will feature nine beers on tap, accompanied by food trucks to be on location all afternoon. There will also be t-shirts and hoodies for sale and growlers available for purchase.

After it opens, New District Brewing Co. will boast the title of the first production brewery to open in Arlington in nearly 100 years.

New District will have full brewing operations on site and will distribute its beer to restaurants and bars. The brewery also has its own bar, with up to a dozen beers on tap at once, a tasting room with tables and a small retail space.

According to Katrivanos, more details about Saturday’s opening will be announced later this week via the company’s Facebook page.

by Jennifer Currier — December 18, 2015 at 10:45 am 0

Pink Friday at Chesters (via Twitter:Eryca Nolan)Shirlington’s revived pool hall will highlight female comedians in a showcase event shortly after the new year.

Chester’s Billiards Bar & Grill at 2620 S. Shirlington Road is hosting the first Pink Friday Comedy Showcase on Jan. 22.

The showcase is advertised as a “Ladies First” comedy series at the restaurant and pool hall, which opened this fall in the former home of Lucy’s ARL, another pool hall that closed in 2013.

As the name suggests, the show is produced by women and will feature up-and-coming female comics in the greater metro area.

Hosted by D.C. Improv and Broadway Comedy Club alums Eryca Nolan and Alexx Starr, the lineup currently includes three comedians and additional, unnamed guest performers. However, the lineup is subject to change.

Tickets are available online for $10 (not including fees), but the first 25 people to reserve tickets will get them free.

On show night, doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show will start around 8:30.

by ARLnow.com — December 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A new Hawaiian-inspired restaurant has opened in Shirlington.

Hula Girl Bar and Grill, a restaurant based on a popular food truck, originally opened last week at 4044 Campbell Avenue. It closed unexpectedly over the weekend due to a power issue, but reopened for dinner last night (Monday).

Hula Girl’s furnishings are unmistakably Hawaiian, down to flip flops on the wall, surf boards hanging from the ceiling, Spam cans on the tables, surf films on the TVs and the Outrigger Canoe Club hat on chef/owner Mikala Brennan’s head.

The food menu includes Poke, a Hawaiian raw fish dish, along with a Hula Girl teriyaki plate, grilled mahi-mahi and barbecue ribs. There are also salads, sides and desserts to choose from, all island inspired.

On the beverage menu, beers from Maui Brewing and Kona Brewing are featured along with local brews. A wine menu has selections from relatively exotic non-Hawaiian locales: Texas, New York, Michigan, New Mexico and Maryland, among other more standard winemaking regions.

The cocktail menu includes plenty of tropical fruit and names like “Hawaii Kai Margarita,” “Blue HI,” “Say Pineapple 5X Fast” and “Never Below 75,” along with a signature Hula Girl Mai Tai.

While overworked, Brennan said she “feels great” about the new brick and mortar extension of her food truck vision.

“I had been looking for a location for 2 years — and we finally found our home here in Shirlington,” she told ARLnow.com. “The community has been so supportive and positive with us opening — feels like the Aloha Spirit is coming alive!”

Hula Girl is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Lunch service is expected to begin “late December.”

by ARLnow.com — December 1, 2015 at 9:55 am 0

Puddle runner (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Shirlington Tree Lighting Rescheduled — Due to rain, the Shirlington tree lighting event scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled. The holiday event is now set for Monday, Dec. 7 from 6-8:30 p.m. [Facebook]

Yona Now Open in Ballston — New ramen restaurant Yona opened for lunch yesterday in Ballston, attracting a “packed house” for $15 bowls of ramen. The restaurant, at 4000 Wilson Blvd, plans to start serving dinner on Friday. [Yona, Twitter]

Pothole Attracts Attention of Pentagon Police — A pothole on a stretch of roadway near the Pentagon attracted the attention of security forces after at least three cars became disabled due to running over it. Pentagon police are sent to investigate any time a vehicle stops on the site of the highway in view of the building. In 2010 a man fired shots at the Pentagon from his car on the side of I-395. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by Jennifer Currier — November 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm 0

Jivon Lee Jackson (courtesy of Mara Doss)

Family members of the man who was critically injured earlier this month after he jumped from a bridge while running from police are searching for answers about what exactly happened that night.

The man has been identified by his family as 36-year-old Jivon Lee Jackson of Fort Washington, Maryland. According to Jivon’s father Richard Jackson, he is currently in a coma and stable at George Washington University Hospital.

“What’s murky is how the situation escalated so quickly from getting pulled over to Jivon jumping from a bridge,” Jackon said. “We believe there will be a moment in time when we get those answers, but the longer it takes, the colder information gets. We’re trying to jumpstart that process now.”

On Nov. 3, the night of the incident, Jackson said Jivon was on his way to a friend’s house and was supposed to pick up his mother from Union Station later that night.

Around 11 p.m., he was pulled over after being spotted driving recklessly on I-395, weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the shoulder at excess speeds, Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told ARLnow shortly after the incident.

Jackson exited the highway at Shirlington and pulled into the Exxon parking lot. When he stopped the car he got out of the vehicle and started running, according to police; shortly after, he jumped from the Shirlington Road bridge and fell approximately 20 feet onto the rocks below. Police reported he suffered from a “severe head injury” and was bleeding profusely.

As of this morning, police could only confirm that the process to transfer Jivon to a rehabilitation facility began last week. No police report on the incident was available.

According to Jackson’s sister Mara Doss, Jivon is a well-known theater producer, director and actor throughout the D.C. area. He earned a degree in communications from Howard University in 2001 and got a master’s in management and marketing from the University of Maryland University College. In 2012, he was named to the inaugural Prince George’s County Forty Under 40 list.

At the time of the incident, Jivon was producing and directing a play called Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues at the Anacostia Playhouse in Southeast D.C.

Doss described Jivon as an active, energetic and health-conscious young man who prioritized work and family.

“Jivon is sort of the glue of the family,” she said. “Right now, the family is kind of broken, and we just want to get some answers.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — November 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

The AMC movie theater in Shirlington (2772 S. Randolph Street) has reopened after extensive renovations.

The AMC Shirlington 7 closed about a month and a half ago. It reopened yesterday, showing only one movie, and will fully resume a full slate of showings on Friday.

Much like the renovated AMC theater in Courthouse, the Shirlington theater now features big, plush seats that recline. Other upgrades include:

  • A redone lobby and upgraded interior
  • New lobby concession stand with a soon-to-open bar called “MacGuffins”
  • More hot foods, like pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and curly fries
  • Coke Freestyle soda machines
  • A new theater sound system
  • Bathrooms are now on the first floor

The theater will begin offering assigned seating “in a couple of weeks,” around when the bar opens, an employee said.

The mix of movies will change a bit: the employee said the theater will be showing a mix of indie and mainstream films, whereas is previously focused mostly on indies.

by Jennifer Currier — November 12, 2015 at 3:35 pm 0

Shirlie Lights Up The Village (via Facebook:The Village at Shirlington)Update on 12/1/15: “PLEASE NOTE: Due to the forecasted inclement weather, Shirlie Lights Up the Village has been RESCHEDULED to Monday, December 7th from 6-8:30pm. We hope to see you there!”

Thanksgiving will barely be over before celebrations for the next holiday begin in Shirlington.

The annual “Shirlie Lights Up The Village” festival is planned for Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature holiday-themed performances and activities for all ages.

The tree lighting is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. at The Village at Shirlington at 4280 Campbell Ave. and will be hosted by a special guest, to be announced at a later date.

Other festival events include pictures with Santa beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the UPS Store (2776 S. Arlington Mill Drive), holiday cookie decorating, face painting and live musical performances.

There will also be horse and carriage rides for guests who bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.

The festival is free and open to the public.

Photo via Facebook/The Village at Shirlington

by ARLnow.com — November 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

A new sushi and ramen restaurant is coming to Shirlington.

Signs for “Ichiban Sushi and Ramen” appeared in the windows of the former Blue Sea Seafood and Bar space at 4251 Campbell Avenue within the past couple of days. Blue Sea closed last week, after less than two years in business.

A logo on the sign appears to be the same as that of Ichiban Sushi House in Old Town Alexandria.

So far, there’s no word on an opening date for the new restaurant.

There are other changes afoot at the Village at Shirlington, meanwhile. Interior construction is underway at the new art-themed restaurant Palette 22, which is opening in the former Extra Virgin space.

Colorful new “coming soon” graphics have been placed in the windows of the restaurant while the construction takes place.

by ARLnow.com — November 4, 2015 at 11:45 am 0

Update on 11/17/15: The opening date has been pushed back to Nov. 23.

Hula Girl, a restaurant based on a popular local food truck, is set to open in about two weeks in Shirlington.

Located at 4044 Campbell Avenue, the restaurant says it will open its doors on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Hula Girl will serve Hawaiian-inspired fare like teriyaki steak, sesame tuna and even a sushi-like dish made with Spam. It will also offer Hawaiian cocktails and a mix of local and Hawaiian beer.

From a press release sent out last night:

Mikala Brennan, the owner and operator of the popular Hula Girl food truck is pleased to open her first brick and mortar space in the Washington area, located in The Village at Shirlington, 4044 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, 22206 on November 19. Guests can enjoy their favorite Hula Girl truck dishes in the 3,600 square foot space created by the local design firm Hapstak Demetriou. The space will have a retro vibe with seating for 100 guests, as well as an outdoor patio with seating for 25. Brennan’s goal is to create a warm and whimsical space, welcoming to everyone, including the family dog, which can join their people on the patio.

The restaurant will offer Hula Girl food truck’s classic Hawaiian fare such as teriyaki, plate lunches and Spam Musubi, as well as traditional chef-driven dishes like Poke – a traditional raw tuna dish with sesame, shoyu, ginger & green onion. Fans of the Hula Girl food truck will now have the option to enjoy Brennan’s take on Hawaiian cocktails, as well as mix of local and Hawaiian beers. To perfect her menu, she spent time in Hawaii this summer researching around the island to develop new concepts and dishes for the restaurant.

Born & raised in Hawaii, Brennan wanted to bring the Aloha spirit of her youth to DC. Decked out like a 1960’s Woody, her Hula Girl truck launched in 2011 serving up authentic and grilled to order teriyaki steak, chicken and tofu and authentic tastes of Hawaii to eager Washingtonians. Featured on the Travel Channel twice – on Andrew Zimmerman’s Bizarre Foods American (one of Andrew’s top 5 picks) and Street Eats – the Hula Girl Truck has gained enormous momentum in DC. Hitting up the local scene through social media, Brennan has also been published in the Washington DC – Chef’s Table cookbook and more recently in Behind the Food Carts. She was also on the Food Network competing on ReWrapped in 2014 – where she beat two contestants for the win.

Brennan is no stranger to the restaurant scene. She opened her first restaurant in 1998 in San Diego, CA, becoming one of the market leaders in a small group of women chefs & restaurateurs in the area. She sold the venture to a business partner in Canada and was tapped by Marriott International to lead their new food and beverage department, bringing her hands-on, from scratch cooking approach into this hotel giant’s corporate structure. Then in 2001, she struck out again on her own to create Evolve Consultants. Under this company, Brennan created, designed and opened over 40 concepts both domestically and internationally.

A member of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, Brennan is a tireless supporter of Habitat for Humanity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Ovarian Cancer, My Sister’s Place, the American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association, Wounded Warriors, and Red Cross.

by ARLnow.com — November 3, 2015 at 11:05 pm 0

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) A man has been badly injured after jumping off a bridge while running from Arlington County police.

The incident happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday on Shirlington Road, between the Shirlington and Nauck neighborhoods

The man was pulled over after being spotted driving recklessly on I-395, weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the shoulder at an excess rate of speed, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. He exited the highway at Shirlington and pulled into an Exxon parking lot.

After stopping the car, the man got out and started running, shouting that officers would have to shoot him to stop him, Sternbeck said. While fleeing he jumped from the Shirlington Road bridge over Four Mile Run and fell onto rocks some 20 feet below.

The man was still breathing but was bleeding profusely from a “severe head injury” in which brain matter could be seen, according to scanner reports. He was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University hospital.

The car the man was driving was reported to be a rental car. Police say he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

No word yet on the man’s identity, but police said he is 37 years old and from Fort Washington, Maryland. He’s currently listed in critical condition, clinging to life but unresponsive, we hear.

The Shirlington Road bridge was closed in both directions for a period of time while investigators documented the scene.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm 0

The remnants of a recent car fire were still sitting on a busy road near Shirlington around lunchtime Monday.

A BMW 3-series sedan, with its front end burned out, is parked along 31st Street, a road that connects Shirlington and the Fairlington neighborhood.

The acrid stench of burned vehicle components was still fresh in the air for residents walking their dogs near past the car. There were no fire department vehicles or tow trucks in the vicinity when ARLnow.com walked by the wreck.

No word yet on when the vehicle will be removed.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Arlington County police carA 7-Eleven store in the Shirlington area was robbed Tuesday night.

Police say a man and a woman robbed the convenience store on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street around 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday. They also allegedly assaulted a 55-year-old man who works at the store.

“The first suspect is described as a black male in his thirties, approximately 6’2″ and weighed 225 lbs, He was wearing a black zip-up hoodie, black sweatpants, black hat, black/red sneakers, and gloves.,” according to an Arlington County Police crime report. “The second suspect is described as a black female in her late twenties, approximately 5’5″ and weighed 130 lbs. She was wearing a black puma sweatshirt, black leggings, and black sneakers.”

The store is popular with residents of Shirlington and the nearby Fairlington neighborhood.

by Heather Mongilio — October 8, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

"Secrets of Crystal City" graphicGroups of cyclists will get to explore the “secrets” of three Arlington neighborhoods this month.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is organizing the 5-6 mile evening rides with Bike Arlington.

First up tonight is the Secrets of Crystal City. The ride will start tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Crystal City Water Park, on the 1700 block of Crystal Drive, and end just down the street at TechShop around 8 p.m.

“On our ‘Secrets of Crystal City’ ride, we’ll open your eyes to a whole new side of one of Arlington’s signature neighborhoods,” WABA said on the event’s website.

The rides continue weekly, with a tour of Shirlington on Oct. 14 and a ride through Ballston on Oct. 28. Another ride will take cyclists across the river on a haunted ghost ride on Capitol Hill in D.C. on Oct. 23.

Reservations for each tour costs $10, but it’s half off for WABA members and free for Capital Bikeshare members. Participants must provide their own bikes and helmets. The rides are open to anyone over 14 years old.

The tour is also accepting walk-ups depending on the amount of available space in the tour group. Walk-up riders can participate for free.

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