Work is underway on a new kabab restaurant in Shirlington.
Moby Dick House of Kabob will be opening later this year in the former Medi space. The fast casual Mediterranean restaurant, which served pitas, salads and rice bowls, closed this past fall.
Moby Dick serves Persian cuisine, including various salads, pita bread sandwiches, rice plates and kabobs. The company has around 20 locations in the D.C. area, including one in Clarendon at 3000 Washington Blvd.
So far, no opening date has been announced. A call Thursday morning to a spokesman for the company has not been returned.
Arlington County, the page said, has a plan “to move the dog park and make it much smaller, or do away with it.” It’s unclear who exactly posted that on behalf of the page — there is no contact information on the page’s “About” section — but the reaction from its more than 2,500 fans was swift.
“Whaaaattt??? Noooo!!!!” and “This is bullshit. (Sorry for the language, but it’s that serious)” were typical responses.
“That’s insane,” said another person. “The dog park is one of the biggest draws of the area for people when considering places to live; plus, people come from all over to use it = lots of money into [Shirlington]!”
In all, there have been some 200 responses and comments on the post and another 175 shares, so far. It has been re-posted, separately, by concerned residents on a Fairlington neighborhood Facebook page and elsewhere around the social network.
The Shirlington Dog Park Page cites a source for its alarming assertion: a presentation of early land use proposals generated last month as part of the Four Mile Run Valley planning process. However, the presentation appears to show that the area of the dog park is being considered generally for “outdoor parks/rec/cultural” uses — which could well include a dog park.
Only one of seven alternative scenarios presented shows the dog park apparently replaced — by a “riparian zone” and a promenade.
Virginia Farris, a member of the Four Mile Run Valley working group who’s also active in the Shirlington Civic Association, offered one of the 75 comments on the Facebook post.
“There is no proposal from the County yet, nor will there be for awhile yet,” she wrote. “The Working Group meets twice a month and the planning process still has a long way to go. The Dog Park has solid supporters among Working Group members — it’s definitely not going to be closed!”
Her post received seven likes as more than a dozen additional comments from people upset about the possibility of the park closing followed. Dog park supporters, in the meantime, are being encouraged to write emails to all five County Board members, with some pledging to do so every day until they get a favorable response.
The page, and Farris, are also encouraging dog park supporters to attend a meeting of the working group Tuesday night. The meeting, scheduled from 7-10 p.m. on the second floor of 2700 S. Taylor Street, will include a discussion of the land use plans and a 15 minute public comment period at the end.
“If you come… you can expect to hear a lot of questions and push-back from the Working Group members on many aspects (including the dog park) of the second set of conceptual drawings,” Farris said.
County officials have struggled to respond to the rumors as they spread like wildfire, with thousands of Facebook users likely seeing the original dog park post.
The Dept. of Parks and Recreation did respond to the post, just an hour after it was first published (see gallery above), but the response was buried since it was made to a comment on the post rather than the post itself.
At 5:35 p.m. Tuesday evening, six hours after our first enquiry about plans for the dog park, a county spokesperson responded to ARLnow.com but did not directly address what was being considered.
“There will be four ideas proposed at tonight’s 4MRV meeting,” said Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish. “This is just a first step to get feedback. There will be another meeting solely on getting input on the dog park on March 18 from 9-11 a.m. at the Park Operations Building.”
A county webpage for the March meeting says it will “discuss opportunities for improvements to the Shirlington Dog Park as part of the overall 4MRV Parks Master Plan.”
“This is an opportunity to share your ideas for the dog park with DPR staff and learn more about the 4MRV park planning process,” the page said.
“To look at the bright side,” concluded Kalish, “there is obviously a lot of support for the dog park and we should be able to get lots of great input to make it better through the Parks Master Planning process.”
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Dudley’s Sport & Ale, a long-awaited sports bar coming to the former Bungalow space in Shirlington, might finally open its doors this June or July.
“We’re 70 percent done inside,” he explained. “It’s taking a long time, but it’s a big project.”
The long wait appears to have disheartened some eager would-be patrons. Several people have taken to Facebook to complain about the delay over the past few months.
“I have been checking for news on the opening since last spring,” wrote one person, who gave the yet-to-open restaurant a one-star review. “They should at least give updates.”
“This is the restaurant that will never open,” said another Facebook user.
When it finally opens, Dudley’s will offer a 28-seat bar, another 125 seats in the dining area, a private room and bar for events and a “stadium style” viewing area with drink-holder-equipped seat that face a giant screen. Hot dog, popcorn and beer vendors will roam the stadium seating area to dispense cheap eats and drinks, Gardner said.
Dudley’s will also have a rooftop bar with a game area, a 15-seat bar and patio seating for about 114 people.
The tavern’s menu will consist of “traditional American bar cuisine,” Gardner said. The restaurant will also serve a “blue collar breakfast” menu all day and sling 16-inch cast iron pizzas.
“It’s a cross between a deep dish and a traditional pizza,” Gardner explained. “When you make it in these cast irons, the crust gets very flavorful.”
If the remaining construction work goes off without a hitch, Dudley’s could open on the Fourth of July, hopefully at the latest, according to Gardner.
The robbery was reported just after 11:30 p.m. Monday on the 4400 block of 31st Street S., which is about halfway up the hill from Shirlington to Fairlington.
A police dog was brought in but was unable to track down the suspect.
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-01160301, 4400 block of S. 31st Street. At approximately 11:37 p.m. on January 16, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that two male suspects approached a male victim near his vehicle, both displayed knives, and told the victim to put his hands up. The suspects then rifled through the victim’s pockets and stole his belongings. The suspects then fled the scene. A K9 search was conducted with negative results. The suspects are described as approximately 5’9″ tall with a bulky build. They were dressed in all black, with black gloves, and black ski masks at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A brewery in Shirlington is planning to celebrate its one-year anniversary with a special beer release.
New District Brewing Co. (2709 S. Oakland Street) will officially kick off its four-day birthday celebration later this evening, said general manager Anna Waigand. The brewery opened its doors last January.
But the focal point of the festivities will be Saturday, when the brewery begins selling bottles of a spiced Belgian beer dubbed “Abbey Ale.” The beer is the first to be made and bottled in Arlington in nearly 100 years, Waigand said.
The limited-release beer is $11.99 per bottle, and each patron is limited to buying just two.
New District’s employees spent all day last Saturday bottling and corking the beer.
“We bottled them all by hand,” said Waigand. “Saturday was a very long day. We all needed a beer at the end of that one.”
The brewery will also hold a beer-themed trivia night later this evening, revive one of its most popular IPAs on Friday and sell growlers at a discount on Monday.
“It’s like a thank-you to our community,” Waigand said.
Update at 5:35 p.m. — Power has been restored to all Arlington customers, according to Dominion’s website.
Thousands of Dominion customers in south Arlington are without currently without power.
Nearly 2,500 customers are without power in Arlington, primarily in the Shirlington and Fairlington areas, and another 700 or so are in the dark across the border in Alexandria, according to Dominion’s power outage map.
Starting around S. Arlington Mill Drive, the Walter Reed Drive and N. Beauregard Street (in Alexandria) corridor is without power, according to the map. Police have been called to the intersection of Walter Reed and S. Dinwiddie Street for a report of traffic problems.
According to the Dominion website, power is expected to be restored at some point between 4-9 p.m.
Arlington Public Library says the Shirlington branch is among the places affected by the outage. The library will close at 5 p.m. if power is not restored by then.
Shirlington Branch Library will close at 5p.m. tonight due to a current power outage in the area (unless power comes back on before then).
— Arlington VA Pub Lib (@ArlingtonVALib) January 11, 2017
Shirlington smoothie stop Robeks has closed, apparently to get an interior upgrade.
The windows of the store at 4115 Campbell Avenue have been papered over, and a sign on one of the windows says the store is closed for remodeling.
The newly-remodeled store will reopen tomorrow (Thursday), the sign says.
Polling Place Changes in the Works — Thanks to population growth, Arlington may be adding new polling places in Clarendon and Pentagon City areas. A number of other polling place changes have also been proposed following the Nov. 8 election. [InsideNova]
A Tale of Two Bishops — The Diocese of Arlington’s retiring bishop, Paul Loverde, prioritized parishioners on the periphery, posits a profile. His incoming successor, Michael Burbidge, “hopes to heal division in society.” Burbidge is set to be installed today at a mass at Arlington’s St. Thomas More Cathedral. [Angelus News, Crux]
Shirlington Light-Up Night Cancelled — After being postponed last week, the Shirlington holiday light-up event rescheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to rain. [Facebook]
A Burial at Arlington — Arlington National Cemetery conducts nearly 7,000 burials per year. The recent burial of a Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, was especially heart-wrenching. McEnroe, 30, was one of three Green Berets killed in a shooting outside an air base in Jordan, where they were reportedly training moderate Syrian rebels. [Stars and Stripes]
It’s going down on Tuesday, Dec. 13, kicking off a seven-week run that will stretch through Jan. 29. The ambitious production features “a cast, crew and orchestra of more than 50 artists and an inventive new 360 degree staging in Signature Theatre’s intimate 330 seat MAX Theatre,” according to a press release.
Signature’s Artistic Director, Eric Schaeffer, promises a first-class experience.
“I’ve always loved the musical Titanic and I have felt that Signature should reinvent this musical for our audiences in an exciting new way,” said Schaeffer, in a statement. “Audiences will feel they are aboard this ‘ship of dreams’ surrounded by Maury Yeston’s beautifully haunting score. It truly will be the musical event of the season in Washington and an experience like none other.”
The epic disaster tale comes at a busy time in the Washington area — it will overlap with Christmas, New Year’s, president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and possibly a Redskins playoff run.
Those who want to get on board for the musical performance will need to take the plunge to the tune of $40 to $109 per ticket.
The full press release about “Titanic” and its casting is below.
Arcland Property Company, which owns a swath of industrial land near Shirlington, wants to swap those 3.5 acres for 2.3 acres of the 6.1 acre “Buck property” site across from W-L, which the county has an option to purchase for $30 million.
Arlington, which is already leasing a portion of the Shirlington property for parking, would get an even larger piece of property for its expanding ART bus fleet — it’s expected to grow from 65 to 90 vehicles by 2020 — and would save $4 million in lease payments.
Arcland would get the piece of the Buck property closest to N. Quincy Street, in the Virginia Square area, and would use it for a six-story, 150,000 square foot self-storage facility. (The company also developed the CubeSmart storage facility, which is located adjacent to I-395, next to the land it proposes to swap.)
Neighbors might object to the facility — they objected to a county proposal to use the Buck property for school bus parking — but the property is zoned for light industrial use and the facility could be built by right. The county says it will require tasteful building design as part of a deal.
“The land exchange agreement, if reached, would require high quality architecture from Arcland compatible with the surrounding neighborhood,” the county said in a press release. “The proposed facility must also comply with M-1 (light industrial) zoning regulations including set back and height restrictions, as would any use the County makes of the Shirlington site.”
Arcland only expects to use 1.2 acres of the Quincy Street property for the storage facility. The remaining 1.1 acres would be leased back to the county “at below market rate.”
“This is a rare opportunity for the County to secure land in Shirlington, zoned for light industrial use, that could accommodate our growing bus fleet,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “We have a critical need for support facilities, and must make smart, tough decisions about land to meet those needs. If the Board is interested in pursuing this proposal, I will work to shape an agreement with Arcland. I am confident that we can put facilities on these sites that will both serve our community’s needs and allow us to be a good neighbor.”
The deal will be discussed at next month’s Arlington County Board meeting. From the press release:
The proposed exchange, if approved, would take place after November 20, 2017, the date on which the County must exercise its option to purchase the N. Quincy Street site. The land exchange would involve no additional cost beyond the $30 million that the County has already agreed to pay for the N. Quincy Street site.
The Manager plans to seek the Board’s approval to pursue negotiations with Arcland at the Board’s December meeting. If the Board approves negotiations, any agreement that might be reached would come before the Board for consideration in 2017.
Update at 11 a.m. — Jim Todd, president of the Cherrydale Citizens Association, sent the following email to residents last night regarding the potential deal.
This is a complex issue and there are a lot of potential trade offs. On the plus side, the land swap would end the potential for the County to move the bus depot from Shirlington to the Buck property. But on the down side, it would also limit the County’s ability to use all of the Buck property for other, larger purposes (as the Buck property is also adjacent to Hayes Park, across the street from Washington-Lee High School, etc.).
This seems like its happening fast, but there is still plenty of time for us to better understand what’s going on, and to learn what other trade-offs and potential upsides and downsides there may be. I understand that the next step is for the County Board to talk about whether to further entertain this idea at its December 13 meeting. But I have been told that the Board will not be making a final decision at that meeting.
Arlington County says it’s hoping to get a stretch of non-working streetlights near Shirlington switched back on by the end of the year, but residents are complaining that the repairs have taken too long.
The dark streetlights are located along the S. Four Mile Run Drive service road, in front of the West Village of Shirlington condo complex.
Last Thursday, condo management sent an email to residents, encouraging them to press the county to expedite repairs, saying that the lights “have been out for over a year now.”
As many of you are aware, Management has made several attempts to have the county make repairs to the street lights on S. Four Mile Run Drive. Unfortunately, we have not been able to make any headway. The County representatives continue to advise us that these repairs are not a priority for them.
In our experience, it is usually helpful for (tax paying county) residents to contact the county. Fortunately, one of your neighbors has done so, and has provided the contact information below. So please bombard the County with your sincere concerns about the community’s safety. Please do remember to include the fact that these lights have been out for over a year now.
Residents say they are concerned about their safety.
“It is pitch black for those walking our pets or those walking to/from our cars,” said resident Chrissy Limetti. “How disappointing to read that resident safety is not a priority.”
The county, however, says that they’ve been working on the issue and expect the lights to be back on by the end of the year.
“Preliminary work on the streetlights in this area has occurred and crews will begin underground repairs in the next month,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien tells ARLnow.com. “Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of December.”
The repairs are taking longer than usual because of the nature of what caused the outage in the first place.
“In this particular case, the outage is an underground issue caused by an old cable that will be replaced,” O’Brien said. “The complexity of the underground issue determines the response time which may take 45 days or longer. For an above ground issue (e.g., bulb replacement), repairs take about 14-21 days but more extensive equipment is required to repair an underground utility problem.”
O’Brien could not confirm whether a county employee actually said that the repairs weren’t a priority.
“To our knowledge, no one on our streetlights team told this person that their issue wasn’t a priority,” she said. “We are still investigating this to see if they may have spoken to someone else. Every outage is a priority and the type of outage and availability of crews and equipment determines the completion time.”
Streetlight outages can be reported to the county online.
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.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Sometimes business is booming, branding is on point and more customers pour in without prompting. Other times, a business might need an extra punch. That’s where Punch Digital Strategies comes in.
In the crowded field of digital marketing, the creative strategists at Punch aim to set themselves apart by offering clients the “whole package.” Co-Founder and Creative Director Joe DePalma explains that Punch is a boutique agency and competitors in that space often only focus on one thing, such as brand identity or development or design.
“The success stories we have had is when we started to merge the idea of strategy and content with design,” he says. “From a product delivery standpoint we have a unique approach to how we collaborate. Being in control of not only the content but also the design and development, every facet, makes the final project come to life.”
Co-Founder Brian Tillman adds that “clients are often good at knowing their technical content, but not marketing.” That creates a “mismatched user experience and message. We’re trying to fuse those two things,” he says.
The agency consists of writers, designers and developers who focus on producing digital elements — such as websites, mobile apps, videos and downloadable content — to create the “next generation” for each client’s brand identity and message. The digital aspect allows Punch to be browser-based both internally and while interacting with clients.
“Instead of the old way where you’d do a big reveal on a poster board and send versions back and forth and have long email chains where things get lost, we do things in a much more efficient way,” Tillman says. “For clients it’s a lot quicker, more collaborative and more involved. And it helps to reduce errors and miscommunication.”
Even though the business is mostly web-based, the co-founders think it’s important to also have an office presence where the employees can collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other in front of a white board, rather than all employees working remotely. “You’re going to get a better product and the client’s going to see value in that,” DePalma says.
Part of offering high-quality deliverables involves researching and incorporating the most up-to-date digital elements and new media. For example, Punch recently created a virtual reality video that users could access on their mobile phones and view through disposable cardboard VR goggles.
“As people consume things differently our tactical delivery will change,” Tillman says. “The medium is constantly evolving. We have to stay ahead of the curve.”
Plus, Tillman says, having a cache of tech and cybersecurity clients means constantly coming up with compelling ways to present dry material. For instance, the VR project was for a business that makes software, but “making software is boring,” he says. “We needed to figure out a really interesting and immersive and creative way to get people excited about it.”
Tillman and DePalma met while working at another agency and decided to break off to start their own business about two years ago. They now have a 10-person creative team and moved into an office in Shirlington earlier this year. Although launching a startup can be a daunting endeavor — especially because they chose to be self-funded — the Punch co-founders say it was worth taking the risk.
There’s a new sign at the Shirlington dog park that states what should have been obvious: that riding a bike or a scooter through an area where dogs are running around off leash is a bad idea.
“It’s been an ongoing issue that we hope the sign will rectify,” said Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish. “We’ve noticed that people are riding bikes and scooters down the paved trail in Shirlington dog park. The off leash dogs get excited and chase, creating an unsafe environment for both man and beast.”
“As there are loads of trails in Arlington for bikes, we are asking people not to bring their bikes and scooters into the park to reduce the risk to park-goers,” Kalish added. “This… is an example of our ongoing work with the community to make Arlington parks fun and safe for all.”
The sign asks that anyone who spots a violation of the rules call Arlington’s park rangers at 703-525-0618.
Medi, a fast-casual restaurant offering Mediterranean pitas, salads and rice bowls, has closed.
The restaurant, at 4037 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington, opened in 2012. It touted a variety of unique flavors and healthy food options, all customizable in a Chipotle-like counter service format.
A note on the door of the restaurant suggests that lease renewal negotiations with landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust failed and that another Medi location may eventually open elsewhere.
“We’ve loved making family and friends with all of you over the past 4 1/2 year, but as of October 30, Medi is closing its doors. Our lease will not be renewed,” the sign says. “Thank you so much for all your support… Our team will focus on our full service restaurant Delia’s as it expands. As well as our next Medi location.”