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Shirlington Road Closure Planned for Signature Theatre Open House

Signature Theatre’s annual open house will take place in the Village at Shirlington between noon and 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 5), accompanied by a road closure.

The Arlington County Police Department will close Campbell Avenue from S. Arlington Mill Drive to S. Randolph Street from around 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. for the event.

Harris Teeter shoppers should plan to use the alternate entrance to the store’s parking garage while the road closure is in place, and street parking will be limited in the area.

The open house aims to introduce Signature Theatre’s 2018-19 season. Attractions include free performances, discounted tickets to upcoming shows and show merchandise at clearance prices.

Photo via Arlington County

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Construction on Dudley’s Picks Up Steam, As Opening Nears

Work on a long-awaited Shirlington sports bar seems to be picking up steam.

Dudley’s Sport and Ale, set to be located at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive in the Village at Shirlington, could be open in time for football season to kick off, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Owner Reese Gardner has worked for years now to open up a new pub in the space formerly occupied by The Bungalow Sports Grill, which closed in June 2015.

Construction Update! We are making a push for the start of regular season. Depending on county inspections we should make it.

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Gardner told ARLnow that he still doesn’t have a firm opening date ready, though he hopes to have “a solid date after a big round of inspections next week.” As of late May, he was eyeing a grand opening sometime this month for the restaurant.

Most of the delays have been driven by wrangling with county inspectors over the bar’s planned steel rooftop, Gardner’s stressed in the past. He’s hoping to have 3,000 square feet of rooftop bar space to sit atop the 12,000-square-foot restaurant.

Gardner’s company also owns Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington and Irish Whiskey Public House in D.C.

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County Looking for Four Mile Run Valley Planning Feedback

With a key bit of planning work on the Four Mile Run valley in Nauck wrapped up, the county is pushing ahead with the development of additional design guidelines for parks and other features in the area.

Arlington is currently soliciting feedback on both a park master plan and an area plan to guide the valley’s future, and will accept comments on both through Aug. 20.

The County Board approved a “policy framework” for the area in May, sketching out general goals for the remainder of the planning process. Chiefly, the work is focused on the redevelopment of Jennie Dean Park, the evolution of pedestrian and cycling options along roads like S. Four Mile Run Drive and the promotion of the arts industry in the area.

In the framework, the Board endorsed one plan for the redesign of Jennie Dean to account for the county’s plans to someday acquire WETA’s building in the area (3620 27th Street S.).

The Board expects to approve a plan calling for two planned baseball and softball fields to be aligned closer to S. Nelson Street, with new basketball and tennis courts on the site of the WETA building, even though it attracted some fierce pushback from some in the Nauck community. Now, the public will get another chance to weigh in on the design, including the county’s plans to add a new “gateway” to the park near the Weenie Beanie on S. Four Mile Run Drive.

The plans also include details on how the county might manage stormwater in the area moving forward, and future tweaks to features throughout Shirlington Park. The area’s dog park, however, won’t see big changes under the proposed plans, after the Board declined to move forward with any reduction in size for the park.

The Board expects to vote on a final parks plan in September, and could sign off on the area plan in November.

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Ping by Charlie Chiang’s Closed Permanently

Modern Asian restaurant Ping by Charlie Chiang’s is closed in The Village at Shirlington.

A posting to the restaurant’s 4060 Campbell Avenue door dated Monday (July 16) thanked customers for their patronage over the past three decades.

The Shirlington site remained open after Charlie Chiang’s closed in Crystal City in 2015.

As of this morning, Charlie Chiang’s website was down. There was no answer to the phone at Kwai, Charlie Chiang’s Tysons restaurant, yesterday evening (Thursday) or this morning, though its website is still active.

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BREAKING: Police Arrest Man Following Shirlington Standoff

(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Arlington police have arrested a man after he barricaded himself inside an apartment in Shirlington while attempting to evade arrest.

Police were called to the 2700 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive, adjacent to the Village at Shirlington Shopping Center and the Arlington Trades Center, this afternoon (Thursday).

Officers were seeking 31-year-old Brian Covarrubias out of Alexandria, and managed to arrest him following an hour-long standoff, according to police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Covarrubias is now in custody in Alexandria, where he’s charged with robbery, malicious wounding, assault and battery, unlawful dissemination and “prevent summoning of law enforcement,” Savage said.

Police briefly had close off access to the area, but have since opened things back up.

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Firefighters Rescue County Parks Worker Stranded in Bucket Truck Near Shirlington

Firefighters were called out to a rescue a county parks and recreation worker from a malfunctioning bucket truck in the Shirlington dog park this morning (Thursday).

The man was stuck in the bucket after the arm of the truck stranded him near a tree at the park’s entrance at S. Four Mile Run Drive and S. Oxford Street.

First responders at the scene said the worker was not injured and brought down without incident.

Signs near the park said the area would be closed for tree trimming today.

The rescue effort briefly involved the closure of that section of the park, but it’s since reopened.

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Copperwood Tavern Planning ‘Shucktoberfest’ This Fall in Shirlington

Beer lovers will have not just one, but two Oktoberfest-themed events to enjoy in the Shirlington area this fall.

New District Brewing announced this week that it’s expanding its “Arlington ValleyFest” event to help pick up where Capitol City Brewing, long the hosts of an Oktoberfest celebration, left off after the brewpub closed this spring.

But restaurateur Reese Gardner tells ARLnow that he’ll also be hosting an Oktoberfest gathering along Campbell Avenue, in and around his Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue), ensuring that the Village at Shirlington will still have a fall beer festival even with Cap City gone.

Gardner is dubbing the event “Shucktoberfest,” as it will be co-sponsored by the Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, and it’s now set for Oct. 20. He says he secured an agreement from the shopping center’s landlord to host the event shortly after Cap City closed up shop in April, and recently finalized securing the necessary permits from the county.

Gardner said 19 Virginia breweries have committed to attend, many of which served up their suds at Cap City’s Oktoberfest events. Gardner says the event will feature “oyster tents” and other food options, as well as a “kids’ zone” and game area that will include cornhole.

Tickets will be available for the event on its website. Gardner is also looking for volunteers to help staff the festival.

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New District Brewing Plans ‘ValleyFest’ to ‘Pick Up the Mantle’ of Capitol City’s Oktoberfest

Capitol City Brewing might’ve closed up shop in Shirlington, but some of the area’s remaining brewmasters are trying to keep the spirit of the brewery’s popular “Oktoberfest” celebration alive.

Cap City started hosting an annual Oktoberfest event back in 1999 at its former location in the Village at Shirlington. The brewpub’s sudden closure back in March marked the end of that event, but the New District Brewing Company is hoping to fill the void with a similar event just across Four Mile Run.

The brewery is planning to host “Arlington ValleyFest” around its home on 2709 S. Oakland Street on Sept. 30, the same weekend Cap City traditionally convened Oktoberfest.

New District founder Mike Katrivanos told ARLnow that he envisions that ValleyFest can “pick up the mantle” of what Cap City started.

“With every end coming, there’s a new beginning,” Katrivanos said.

Katrivanos says New District hosted ValleyFest for the first time last year, but on a substantially smaller scale. They put on the festival the first weekend of November, but he says the chilly weather made that a “not very desirable date” moving forward.

But when he saw that Capitol City would be closing up shop, he decided to call around and check with other business owners to see if anyone else would be hosting Oktoberfest instead. He discovered that no one was especially interested in doing so, and he set about seeing if he could move up ValleyFest a bit.

Katrivanos quickly secured the county’s approval for the change, and even earned permission to double the festival in size. The event will now run nearly the length of S. Oakland Street, after it intersects with S. Four Mile Run Drive, running past the Shirlington Dog Park.

“We really hope to kind of replicate Oktoberfest, though hopefully not in the drunken mob type of sense,” Katrivanos said. “We’re not trying to get that crowd coming to consume too much, but we definitely are trying to create an enjoyable vibe centered around a large event.”

While Katrivanos says the event will have plenty of beer on hand, he also wants to be focused on local art, especially given the debate around the best ways to promote the arts in the Four Mile Run Valley as part of the county’s review of its plans for the area.

Katrivanos expects to have a variety of local artists on hand, as well as the Arlington Art Truck. He’s even planning a “pop-up” art installation he hopes will be a “Burning Man-style exhibit built in one day.”

He added the event will also include some of the same vendors who staffed Cap City’s Oktoberfest will be in attendance, with food trucks and even a “Ben and Jerry’s Dessert Truck” serving up treats.

The festival will run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. The event will be free, but New District is offering deals for beer tickets on the event’s website.

Photo via Facebook

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Ice Cream Shop Appears to be Coming to Shirlington

It looks like Shirlington will be getting its own ice cream shop.

An application has been filed to convert a storefront at 4150 Campbell Avenue into an “ice cream take out” business. There is a frozen yogurt store a block away, but no other ice cream shops in the neighborhood.

The exact storefront could not be confirmed, though Knits Etc. at 4150 Campbell Ave recently closed and is currently vacant.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Motorcyclist Injured in Crash on Shirlington Circle

Police and firefighters are on scene of a motorcycle crash on Shirlington Circle over I-395.

A motorcycling “wiped out” while driving around the circle, according to scanner traffic, and suffered a number of injuries. The injuries are believed to include broken bones but are not life-threatening.

One lane of Shirlington Circle traffic is squeezing by the crash scene; it is unclear if any ramps are blocked.

The crash comes as thousands of bikers descend on the area for the annual Memorial Day weekend Rolling Thunder rally.

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Dudley’s Pushes Back Opening Once More, Eyes August Kickoff

(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) A long-delayed Shirlington sports bar could open in late summer, as its owner revises his timetable once more.

Reese Gardner has been hoping to open Dudley’s Sport & Ale in a 12,000-square-foot space at 2766 S. Arlington Mills Drive. The bar would replace the former The Bungalow Sports Grill, which closed in June 2015, and Gardner envisions it including a 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar as well.

Yet the project has encountered persistent delays over the last few years, related to both construction and Arlington County’s permitting process. But these days, Gardner tells ARLnow that he’s “getting close” to finally finishing the restaurant.

He’s eyeing an August opening for Dudley’s, and he hopes to be able to formally set a date by early July.

Dudley’s also posted on its Facebook page that it received its “final steel delivery” on May 15. The material is largely reserved for the rooftop, which Gardner says will hold up to 300 people when it’s finished.

Final Steel delivery today. Look for an August opening.

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gardner’s company also owns Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington and Irish Whiskey Public House in D.C. He’s previously said that Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo joined his ownership team for his restaurants.

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VDOT Seeking Feedback on Shirlington Circle Improvements

State transportation officials want to hear from you about how to best improve the I-395 interchange at exit 6 near Shirlington.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is in the midst of studying safety and operational improvements to the area, known as Shirlington Circle, and they’re convening a public meeting on the project this Monday (May 21). The gathering is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street), and VDOT staff plan to give a presentation on potential improvement options at 7 p.m.

VDOT is also eyeing changes to several other roadways in the area, including:

  • The ramp from S. Glebe Road (Route 120) to southbound I-395
  • The intersection of S. Shirlington Road and S.Arlington Mill Drive
  • The intersection of Gunston Road and Martha Custis Drive

VDOT is examining ways to “reduce congestion, crashes, and boost the interchange’s overall performance,” according to a press release.

The agency plans to wrap up the public comment period for the Shirlington improvements on May 31, then study a few alternatives in more detail starting this summer. VDOT plans to issue a report on a “preferred alternative” by this fall.

Anyone looking to comment on the project can do so at the meeting, send comments by e-mail, or even mail them to Olivia Daniszewski, Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, by May 31.

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County Board Poised to Approve Construction of Shirlington Road Improvements

Some long-awaited improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians on S. Walter Reed Drive in Shirlington could soon move forward.

Arlington County has been hoping for years to add a series of new features to the road as it runs between S. Arlington Mill Drive to S. Four Mile Run Drive, and the County Board is poised to award a roughly $1.8 million contract for the construction this weekend.

County planners are looking to improve access to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and the Four Mile Run Trail along the road, and the county is aiming to add new crosswalks and curb ramps, ADA-compliant bus stops, upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals and additional street lighting in the area.

The plans also call for a slight widening and resurfacing of S. Walter Reed Drive, and the elimination of a westbound turn lane on Arlington Mill Drive to improve the crossing for walkers and cyclists. County officials started testing the latter change last summer, briefly prompting a few traffic back-ups in the area. According to a report by county staff, transportation planners managed to resolve those problems by tweaking the timing of traffic signals around the end of 2017.

The Shirlington Civic Association is supportive of the project. Its president said in a letter that the association hopes, among other things, that the project will improve access to the western end of the Shirlington dog park.

The county is hoping to start construction sometime this spring or summer, pending the Board’s approval of the contract. The Board is set to vote to vote on the matter on Saturday (May 19), as part of its “consent agenda,” which is generally reserved for noncontroversial items that are approved all at once.

The total cost of all phases of the project, including the current contract, is listed as $2.8 million.

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Morning Notes

Fedorchaks on Why They Love Arlington — Mark and Stephen Fedorchak — the brothers behind Northside Social, Lyon Hall and Liberty Tavern — reveal in a Q&A why they built their lives and restaurant empire in Arlington, and whether they’ll stay. [Washingtonian]

Hula Girl Makes Best Restaurants List — Shirlington’s Hawaiian-influenced restaurant, Hula Girl, made the list of the 30 best restaurants in America, according to Yelp reviewers. The restaurant, whose owner competed on the cooking show “Chopped” last year, came in at #27. [The Daily Meal]

Fire Recruit Graduation — The Arlington County Fire Department will hold a graduation ceremony tonight for more than two dozen fire and EMS recruits. Class members will receive their badges and helmets after being sworn in. The ceremony takes place from 6-8 p.m. at the Founders Hall Auditorium (3351 Fairfax Drive) on the George Mason University campus in Virginia Square.

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Two Public Hearings Scheduled For Four Mile Run Valley Concept

The public will get a chance to give feedback on the draft Four Mile Run Valley policy framework at two upcoming hearings.

The two park concepts detail proposed outlines for redeveloping the area. Both propose two different developmental phases, and at first glance are quite similar. They concepts initially maintain PBS member station WETA’s building, but both anticipate eventually acquiring the space for redevelopment.

The main difference between the concepts is the location of a small baseball field. In concept two, the field ends up where the WETA building currently stands. In concept one, it’s closer to Four Mile Run Drive. The basketball and tennis courts are in different locations in both concepts, and the second concept shows a large shelter in a more southerly spot than in the first concept.

The study aims to codify a long term plan for the area, and its focus includes Jennie Dean Park, Shirlington Park, Shirlington Dog Park, and portions of both the Four Mile Run stream and trail.

According to the county staff document, Jennie Dean Park already has two lighted athletic fields, two lighted tennis courts, a lighted basketball court, a picnic shelter and restroom area, a playground, open space, and natural areas.

The first concept would flip the diamond fields so that the smaller field is closer to Four Mile Run Drive, with a new fenced-in playground and restrooms along Four Mile Run Drive.

The Four Mile Run Valley working group has suffered several setbacks as park stakeholders have weighed in with drastically different viewpoints about how the area should be developed.

During work on the latest two concepts, there was still division. Representatives with the Jennie Dean Park Committee were concerned that the first concept situated the small baseball field’s third baseline is 70-80 feet from Four Mile Run Drive. Nauck’s working group representative “voiced that breaking up [this] open space… along Four Mile Run Drive was undesirable to the community.”

The JDPC also had several concerns with the second concept, according to the county document, including that the overall design had “particularly fewer opportunities for connected casual use… along the riparian area.”

The first public hearing will take place before the Planning Commission on May 7, and the County Board hearing will be on May 19.

Photos via Arlington County

Reporting contributions from Anna Merod

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