Chip City appears to be on track to open its first Arlington location in Clarendon as early as next month.
The New York City-based cookie shop announced earlier this year it planned to open two new locations in the county: at The Crossing Clarendon, at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, and the Village at Shirlington, at 4014 Campbell Avenue.
The Clarendon location is currently undergoing renovations and an electrician was on-site installing hardware when ARLnow stopped by last week to take a peek.
While an exact opening date has still yet to be confirmed, Theodore Gailas, the company’s co-founder and chief brand officer, told ARLnow that the Clarendon location is likely to open between “late October” and “early November.” Gailas noted Shirlington location is still slated for “early January.”
“That is of course you know, assuming no surprises,” he said.
Known for its large, gooey 5.5-ounce cookies, Chip City has a rotating weekly menu of 40 different flavors, including the classics, chocolate chip and triple chocolate, and more unique flavors, from cannoli to horchata.
If the Clarendon location opens this fall, as projected, patrons may get to squeeze in a seasonal pumpkin spice latte cookie.
Chip City’s move into Arlington is part of a 40-store expansion in the D.C. area and across the country. This includes a Bethesda location Gailas also says could open in “early October.”
But Chip City will have some competition as cookie stores continue to gain popularity locally.
Captain Cookie and the Milkman opened in Courthouse earlier this year. Crumbl Cookies has plans to open this fall at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. And delivery-only local cookie purveyor MOLTN has a mobile kitchen at a parking lot across from Whole Foods in Clarendon.
(Updated at 3:10 p.m. on 9/15/23) The long-anticipated Astro Beer Hall will open next week in Shirlington, serving decadent donuts by day and “astronomic” sandwiches and apps late into the night.
Ahead of the Tuesday opening, owners Elliot Spaisman and Peter Bayne are running around, making finishing touches on the 14,000-square-foot, galactic-themed space, while the team trains and awaits deliveries.
“We’ve got a lot going on over here,” Spaisman tells ARLnow.
The Village at Shirlington location is the second for the hall, which debuted in D.C. in 2019. The owners are bringing over some famed foods — including fried chicken sandwiches made with savory doughnuts — and debuting new bites. There will also be arcade games and, eventually, billiards.
The beer hall, with a sprawling 140-seat patio and adjacent coffee shop, took over the old Capitol City Brewing Co. space at 4001 Campbell Avenue, which closed five years ago. The Tuesday opening caps off two years of work in the midst of Covid and supply chain and permitting issues, the co-owners say.
The owners say they’re more than ready to open their doors.
“There’s a million pounds off my shoulders. It’s been such a whirlwind and a beast to get this thing open,” Bayne said. “It was so frustrating along the way, so to get to this moment where we can have a beautiful spot we can open up, feels so good.”
He and Spaisman opened the first Astro Beer Hall location all of four months before Covid lockdowns. While the location is faring well now, Bayne said the downtown D.C. scene is still stifled post-pandemic and he is excited to come to Arlington, which he says is “where it’s at.”
“This is nice because it’s a dense residential area in Shirlington with commercial and offices, a nightlife strip, and a ton of great options around us,” Bayne said. “It’s a hub people want to go to on a Friday or Saturday. It’s a little bit of something for everyone.”
That seems to be the plan with Astro Beer Hall, too.
There will be a coffee shop open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving baked goods, compliments of a doughnut-frying robot, and Compass Coffee beverages.
Over in the beer hall, patrons can watch sports from what Spaisman says is “a massive amount of TVs.” They can play classic arcade games such as skee ball and Ms. Pacman and, in the coming months, billiards in the basement.
Once it is beer o’clock — as early as 11 a.m. on the weekends but 4 p.m. on Mondays — the hall will start serving snacks, sandwiches and salads for lunch, happy hour and dinner.
A 7-Eleven store near Shirlington was robbed early this morning by a pair of suspects, one of whom was armed.
The robbery happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. at the convenience store on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street, just down the hill from the Fairlington neighborhood.
A man and a woman allegedly each stole items from the store, and the man displayed a gun when a store employee tried to stop the woman from leaving, according to an Arlington County police crime report.
More from ACPD:
ROBBERY, 2023-08300027, 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street. At approximately 2:43 a.m. on August 30, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined Suspect One entered the business, collected merchandise and exited the store without payment. Suspect Two then entered the business and collected merchandise during which a store employee attempted to prevent her from leaving without payment. Suspect One, who was outside the glass door entrance, lifted his shirt, exposing a firearm and made threatening statements towards the employee. Suspect Two then exited the business with the stolen merchandise and fled the scene on foot with Suspect One. Officers canvassed the area for the suspects yielding negative results.
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Cookie shop Chip City is making its move into Shirlington.
The New York-based cookie purveyor is opening a location in Shirlington at 4014 Campbell Avenue, next to Best Buns Bread Company. That’s the former home of Yogi Castle, which closed last year.
The 1,023-square-foot-shop is set to open in January 2024, the company tells ARLnow. The possibility of Chip City raising its flag in Shirlington was noted in May when ownership announced it was also moving into Clarendon. That location is set to open later in November of this year, we’re told.
“We liked Shirlington because it is a great neighborhood with lots of families and restaurant co-tenants,” a Chip City spokesperson wrote in an email.
Chip City is known for its “big, gooey five and half ounce cookie,” as CEO Peter Phillips told ARLnow earlier this year. It has a rotating weekly menu encompassing 40 different flavors, including classics like Chocolate Chip and Triple Chocolate and more unique flavors like Pina Colada, S’Mores, and Italian Rainbow.
Shirlington has recently seen a mini-boom in notable eateries opening in the private, open-air development. Jeni’s Ice Cream, Our Mom Eugenia and Taco Bamba all have opened within the last nine months, while Astro Beer Hall in the old Capital City Brewing Co. space is aiming for next month.
A man was stabbed and seriously injured last night in the Shirlington area.
The stabbing happened just after 10:30 p.m. at an apartment complex on the 4400 block of 31st Street S. It led to a suspect search that resulted in the arrest of a 28-year-old Arlington man who knew the victim, according to police.
It’s unclear what prompted the stabbing.
“At approximately 10:40 p.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing,” Arlington County police said in a crime report today. “Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was outside of the residential building when the male suspect, who is known to him, approached him and allegedly stabbed him with a knife. A struggle ensued over the knife during which the victim suffered additional injuries.”
“The suspect then left the scene and the victim entered the building where the reporting party called police,” the crime report continues. “Upon police arrival, officers immediately began rendering medical aid to the victim and he was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening.”
While police and medics treated the victim, officers also established a perimeter and searched for the suspect, who was still at large and believed to be nearby.
“During the course of the investigation, officers determined the suspect was inside another residential building in the 4400 block of 31st Street S., established a perimeter and took him into custody without incident,” ACPD recounted. “The suspect was transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.”
The suspect, 28, was charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and held without bond.
Court records show the suspect was charged last year in Arlington with being a violent felon in possession of a weapon, but charges were later dropped. Soon thereafter he was arrested on a felony marijuana charge and later convicted of an amended misdemeanor charge, which came with a fine but no jail time.
A condo association in Shirlington rolled out tips both smoking and non-smoking homes can implement to prevent the spread of stray smoke.
One suggestion, targeted to marijuana users, is blunt: consider switching to edibles.
Confronted with mounting complaints from residents about smoke from neighbors infiltrating their homes, management for Fairlington Villages reminded smoking residents to be mindful of their neighbors.
The issue is most acute within multifamily buildings in the community, which consists of townhomes and apartments in 2-4 story buildings around S. Abingdon Street in the Shirlington neighborhood. General Manager Gregory Roby told ARLnow his office gets complaints from tenants roughly once a month about tobacco and marijuana smoke drifting from one unit to another.
“This problem was on the decrease, corresponding to the decreasing number of people smoking tobacco products, but has started to turn around with the legalization and ready availability of marijuana,” he said.
On its website and on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, management suggested different tips for smokers and non-smokers to smoke-proof their homes.
2. Place a wet towel at the bottom of your door to prevent the smoke and odor from entering the hallway.
3. For marijuana consumers, consult your prescribing physician to determine whether edibles may be an effective and non-intrusive delivery method in lieu of smoking.
— Fairlington Villages (@NFairlington) August 9, 2023
In the thread, Fairlington Villages thanked residents in advance for any steps they take to mitigate the negative effects of smoking. While cigarette smokers have to find ways to keep the smoke in, or purify what does escape, the message notes marijuana users can talk to a doctor about switching to edibles.
People need a doctor’s note to get medical marijuana from a dispensary. Arlington’s first medical dispensary opened earlier this year — about a year and a half after Virginia legalized marijuana possession. State efforts to build up an industry around the plant have stalled.
Roby attributes the issue of smoke transferring among units to the age of Fairlington Villages, built more than 75 years ago. He said the walls have large gaps behind cabinets and appliances, as well as open spaces between units, through which smoke pass and even seep into common stairwells.
“Sealing these openings, as well as common-wall outlets, etc., can help decrease unit-to-unit transference,” he noted. “Creating negative pressure in the unit, either by opening a window (depending upon outside pressure) or turning on exhaust fans, helps draw fresh air into the stairwells and units, minimizing the possibility of unit-to-hallway transfer.”
As we move through the dog days of August, several highly anticipated local restaurants are looking ahead to openings in the coming late summer or early fall.
Coco B’s is finally set to open on the roof of Clarendon’s B Live next week, pending permits, co-owner Christal Bramson confirmed to ARLnow. Besides the roof, the “tropical glam bar” consists of nearly 4,000 square feet of bars, dining rooms, and a back patio. Coco B’s has been in the works for a year and was originally supposed to open this past spring. This comes as B Live continues to revamp, including shifting away from hosting original acts and debuting a new beach bar concept this weekend.
Astro Beer Hall in Shirlington was also finally hoping for an opening this month, but that’s being pushed back at least a few weeks. While no exact timetable has been set for the two-level bar and coffee shop, a spokesperson confirmed a debut is likely coming next month. So, it will be a bit before its donut robot starts its world takeover, one pastry at a time.
Peruvian Brothers is aiming for a “soft opening” at Amazon HQ2 as soon as later this month, co-owner Giuseppe Lanzone told ARLnow. A grand opening is scheduled for September in Pentagon City, he said. It was July 2022 when the fast-casual Peruvian restaurant announced it was moving into 1400 S. Eads Street. The initial hope was to open earlier in the summer, but permitting is again the culprit.
Westover Taco also had planned to start serving this month, but that’s been pushed back. Co-owner Scott Parker told ARLnow that the new spot in Westover will “for sure” open this year but couldn’t provide an exact timetable yet. It was almost exactly a year ago when ARLnow first reported that Parker, along with owners of Lost Dog Cafe, was taking over the space once home to Forest Inn.
Carbonara, the self-described “old school” Italian restaurant in the Ballston area, is now aiming for a November debut, a spokesperson told ARLnow. The Italian eatery and wine bar is moving into the former home of Next Day Blinds on Wilson Blvd and was originally supposed to open this summer. But “difficulty with [the] mechanical system” and permitting hang-ups has pushed it to later in the fall.
Wagamama in Clarendon is coming along. While the British restaurant chain has announced several timelines for opening, none have proven to be the case. Construction does appear underway, but a spokesperson declined to give ARLnow any substantial information. “There are no updates to share regarding the opening timeline for Wagamama Arlington,” they wrote in an email.
Update at 3:40 p.m. — Lanes have reopened after the tanker was brought upright and towed away, according to VDOT.
Update at 3 p.m. — The southbound lanes of the highway are expected to remain closed until around 4 p.m., according to VDOT.
Update Fairlington/Shirlington: 395SB still closed at Shirlington Circle. Est reopening: 4PM. Towing making great progress (as always!). Pls avoid area. https://t.co/6JNnKyZI3u pic.twitter.com/7InbxIBci5
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) July 26, 2023
Earlier: Three people are being hospitalized and southbound I-395 is blocked after a truck crash.
A propane tanker and another vehicle crashed near Shirlington Circle around 1:15 p.m., leading the tanker to overturn prompting a large emergency and hazmat response. Firefighters are on scene, hosing down the truck to try to prevent a fire.
According to initial reports, three people are being transported to the hospital after the crash and crews are working to vent at least some of the pressure from the damaged tanker to reduce the risk an explosion.
The highway “will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time,” according to the Arlington County Fire Department. Southbound traffic is currently being re-routed into Shirlington.
Update: 3 patients have been transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. HAZMAT crews working with law enforcement and the tow company to upright the truck. All units are remaining on scene.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) July 26, 2023
Breaking: Propane tanker overturned on I-395S between Shirlington Circle & King Street. At least 3 injured. Likely going to be a rough afternoon on I-395S through Arlington. @ARLnowDOTcom @CordellTraffic #safety #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/uL2JwgGr7U
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) July 26, 2023
Astro Beer Hall is aiming to finally debut its donut robot next month.
The long-planned, two-level bar and coffee shop in Shirlington is hoping to open sometime in August, a spokesperson tells ARLnow. While no specific date is set as of yet, the 14,000 square-foot, space-themed Astro Beer Hall expects to open its doors in a matter of weeks.
Part of that space will be taken up by a take-out shop featuring a robot making “fresh fried to-order donuts right in front of our customers,” as co-owner Peter Bayne told ARLnow earlier this year.
The initial hope was to start serving in May, as a banner wrapped around the building noted in the spring before it was removed.
The spokesperson said construction and permitting delays — a common refrain for Arlington restaurants — pushed the debut back a few months.
Back in December 2021, it was announced that Astro Beer Hall was moving into the former home of Capitol City Brewing Co. The large space at the corner of Campbell Avenue and S. Quincy Street had been vacant since 2018.
Along with a donut robot, the establishment will feature a large rectangular bar with a moveable glass wall opening to a sidewalk patio, two pool tables, and a section filled with arcade games. The artwork, murals, and color scheme are expected to match the venue’s space theme.
(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) As historic Green Valley Pharmacy moves closer to being transformed into a restaurant, the owner of the new business remains “very frustrated” with the years-long redevelopment process.
Last month, the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) held its regular meeting, during which the board reviewed updated plans for the former pharmacy. The building at 2415 Shirlington Road is being transformed into a burger and pita restaurant called “Halal Spot,” as ARLnow first reported in 2021.
The board’s discussion in June centered on a proposed pergola and bioretention planters. While the planter plans were approved at the meeting, the pergola was deferred due to having not the most updated plans. At the meeting, a restaurant spokesperson said they intended to resubmit plans with a sloped awning and the pergola no longer covering the window.The window is original to the historic building and “reflective of the storefront nature of the property,” as was noted at the meeting.
The Board asked the project representative to re-submit updated plans.
Since the pharmacy building is protected in the Arlington County local historic district, any proposed exterior alterations must be approved by the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board’s design review process.
County historic preservation planner Serena Bolliger has confirmed to ARLnow that the pergola is the last element that needs to be approved for the Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA) permit but the civil engineering plan remains under review.
Restaurant owner Nasir Ahmad told ARLnow that this is his understanding as well, and aims to re-submit civil engineering plans this month. If that does happen and everything gets approved, the hope is that exterio construction can begin by mid-September. The build-out should take about six months, Ahmad said, meaning Halal Spot could open by early spring 2024.
But Ahmad remains frustrated with how long it’s taken to this point, even if it appears that approvals are finally wrapping up.
The Energy Club gym in Shirlington is closing in August after never fully recovering from a drop in membership due to Covid.
The independently-owned gym in the Village at Shirlington (2900 S. Quincy Street) announced the impending closure on Aug. 15 “with a sad heart,” per an email from President Richard Mandley and General Manager Justin Greene to members. The email was shared with ARLnow and confirmed by Mandley yesterday (Thursday).
“We had hoped that our membership would return to pre-pandemic levels, but the landscape has changed, and many people continue to work from home,” Mandley and Greene told members. “Fitness habits have changed too, with people shifting to virtual workouts or exercising from home. As a small independent business with local ownership, it became increasingly difficult to compete with franchises and ‘corporate-owned’ gyms.”
Over the years, The Energy Club offered a host of social and fitness events to distinguish itself from other gyms. It attracted a significant number of commuters, who made up around 35% of members. When Covid hit, these commuting members largely canceled their memberships, Mandley told ARLnow.
“Although we have a very loyal membership who supported us throughout the pandemic, it became apparent that we could longer support our occupancy costs with the loss in membership, and we were unable to reach a new long-term agreement with our landlord,” he said.
The Energy Club had tried to negotiate for lower rent while it worked to increase membership. The landlord’s lender did not approve this request, Mandley’s email to members said. Negotiations ended in May.
A reader told ARLnow this was “sad news for many in Shirlington.”
Mandley and Greene, however, already have a plan. They say they are scouting out new locations nearby and pledged to keep members apprised of their progress.
Meantime, virtual classes continue and outdoor classes could start next month. Members will also be able to train at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria (510 Dulany Street).
Mandley and Greene say they are grateful for the 17 years they were able to serve the Shirlington community and work with talented fitness professionals.
“We are proud to say that we have changed lives and know that many relationships with the community and within the membership have been established and will continue,” they said.
Photos via The Energy Club/Facebook