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Emergency response on scene in Shirlington

There’s a large emergency response in Shirlington following reports of an armed man suffering a mental health crisis.

Numerous police units are on scene, along with medics standing by, due to the incident on the 4200 block of Campbell Avenue. Some roads in the Shirlington Village area have been blocked during the response.

An Arlington County police spokeswoman confirmed the incident, which started around 2 p.m.

“Police remain on scene investigating,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Update at 3:50 p.m. — The situation has been resolved and officers are now leaving the scene, according to police.

Dumpling Week graphic (via ChiKo)

ChiKo in Shirlington (4040 Campbell Ave) will take part in the local chain’s Dumpling Week next week.

For Dumpling Week, co-owners Danny Lee and Scott Drewno are drawing inspiration from several cuisines to offer customers a different dining experience each day.

“The world needs dumplings,” Lee said.

The dumpling festivities will run from Monday, March 13 to Sunday, March 19, starting on Monday with a $58 tasting menu.

The tasting box hosts five pieces per flavor for a total of twenty-five dumplings — Chinese sausage and shrimp, chicken wonton, fried yachae mandu, shrimp and scallop siu mai, and classic pork and chive. Dipping sauces will be served with this dumpling smorgasbord at no extra cost.

On Tuesday — 3/14 — ChiKo plans to honor dumplings in dessert form with “Pie Day.” The restaurant’s second special includes fried apple dumpling hand pies with a vanilla glaze ($7).

China Chilcano’s head chef Will Fung has partnered with ChiKo to serve its customers handmade Hong Kong-style shrimp wontons with white pepper dashi on Wednesday.

The chef’s “Mama Fung” sauce is drawn from his mother’s culinary influence and included in the dish to accompany the wontons. The proceeds from Wednesday’s special will be donated to World Central Kitchen — restaurateur Jose Andres’s non-profit that works to serve international populations affected by humanitarian crises.

Fung’s feature precedes the week’s latter dishes: chicken dumplings with ghost pepper chili oil on Thursday ($12), St. Patrick’s Day-inspired Irish beef dumpling stew on Friday ($15) and Korean barbecue dumplings on Saturday ($13).

The celebration will close with Sunday’s crab rangoon special ($14).

ChiKo’s wide-ranging interpretations of the traditional dumpling parallel Lee and Drewno’s multifaceted culinary backgrounds. The owners use Dumpling Week to get creative and share their love of the doughy dish.

“Dumplings equal joy,” says Drewno.

All featured plates are exclusive to the annual event and are not included on the standard menu. Dumpling Week specials will be available during dinner hours; ChiKo will serve its regular lunch options throughout the week.

The new Jeni’s ice cream shop in Shirlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Jeni’s Ice Cream in Shirlington is giving away free ice cream next week.

While the new shop at 4150 Campbell Ave has already been open for a couple of weeks, there will be a “grand opening” event on Wednesday, March 8.

At the event, employees will be scooping free ice cream starting at 7 p.m. until closing at 11 p.m, the company announced in a press release.

“All ice cream, up to and including a signature (three flavors), will be free,” a Jeni’s spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.

Plus, the first 50 people in line at 7 p.m. will get “swag bags” with Jeni’s merchandise.

After nearly a year since the initial announcement, Jeni’s Ice Cream finally opened in Shirlington earlier this month. With the closings of Yogiberry and I-CE-NY over the last several years, there were no dedicated frozen dessert shops in the shopping center until the Columbus, Ohio-based ice cream shop made its debut.

The scoop shop is open every day from noon to 11 p.m., providing night owls a chance to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Jeni’s is not the only highly-anticipated opening in Shirlington. A block away, Astro Beer Hall (and its donut-making robot) plan to start serving in May.

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Astro Beer Hall set to open in Shirlington in May (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Astro Beer Hall and its “donut robot” are hoping to start serving by the late spring in Shirlington.

The long-planned Astro Beer Hall on Campbell Avenue is aiming to open its doors in May, co-owner Peter Bayne tells ARLnow. A banner is now wrapped around the side of the building announcing the May date.

It was back in December 2021 when ARLnow reported that the two-level bar and coffee shop was set to take over the vacant, 14,000 square feet space that was once home to Capitol City Brewing Co. That business closed almost exactly five years ago.

A few new details have emerged about the new Arlington venture from the owners of D.C.’s Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, as well as several other local bars and restaurants including CarPool, Highline RxR, and Quincy Hall in Ballston.

Astro Beer Hall will feature a “huge rectangular bar” with a movable glass wall that will open to a sidewalk patio, per Bayne. There will be a wide selection of draft beers, cocktails from an acclaimed New York City bartender, food from Astro’s long-time chef Chris Kujala, two pool tables, and a “large arcade section with the latest arcade games”.

As its name eludes, Shirlington’s Astro Beer Hall will be space-themed, with artwork and murals to match.

There will also be a donut robot.

Part of the 14,000 square-foot indoor space will be transformed into a take-out shop with coffee, sandwiches, and a robot making “fresh fried to-order donuts right in front of our customers,” Bayne told ARLnow.

No word yet if the robot will declare its love for customers in the process.

Astro Beer Hall was initially thought to be opening late last year since it was included in the restaurant group’s membership service that was announced in August 2022.

Besides Astro Beer Hall, several new businesses are expected to open in Shrlington soon. Our Mom Eugenia remains on the docket for later this month. Jeni’s Ice Cream has already started scooping but will be holding a grand opening celebration in March.

Just watch out for the Shirlington neighborhood’s abundant bird poop.

Approximate location of fatal crash (via Google Maps)

A young Arlington woman died today after a single-vehicle crash in the Shirlington area.

The crash happened around 1:45 a.m. on the 2500 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive, just west of Shirlington Village.

The driver, 20-year-old Mayra Cruz-Arriaza, was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said. Cruz-Arriaza was listed on a childcare hiring site as a part-time nanny who “love[s] doing arts and crafts, especially painting” with children and who helped to care for her brother with special needs.

More from a police press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal single vehicle crash that occurred in the early morning hours of February 21, 2023.

At approximately 1:47 a.m., police were dispatched to the 2500 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive for the report of a crash with injuries. Upon arrival, officers located the unresponsive driver inside the vehicle. She was transported to an area hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased. The deceased has been identified as Mayra Cruz-Arriaza, 20, of Arlington, VA.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver was traveling westbound on Arlington Mill Drive when the vehicle left the roadway, entered the median and struck a pedestrian crosswalk pole and two trees.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective S. Lafley at [email protected] or 703-228-4052. Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

A murder of crows is set to fly from Shirlington soon, which may mean less bird poop around a shopping center and apartment complex.

Droppings are once again scattered over pavement patches, planters and awnings around the retail center. The yearly return of crows to Shirlington is partly to blame, but so are a number of other birds, like sparrows, pigeons and grackles, says Catherine Sevcenko, of Diva Crows, an organization in Northern Virginia that cares for injured crows and ravens.

Every winter, crows have flocked to the neighborhood, bombarding surfaces with droppings. The crows largely hang out around a CVS at 4060 Campbell Avenue, a Village at Shirlington parking garage at 2700 S. Quincy Street, and The Citizen at Shirlington Village apartment complex at 3000 S. Randolph Street, according to Sevcenko.

Around this time last year, Federal Realty Investment Trust — which owns the shopping center — tried releasing a grape-scented artificial fog to deter the crows from perching in the trees.

This concerned Sevcenko, who says that at this point in the season “the best mitigation measure is patience.”

“The crows will be completely gone soon, as they are in the process of dispersing to their home territories to begin nest-building,” she said. “The chicks hatch early — at the end of March — because they take a relatively long time to mature, about 6-8 weeks.”

Not everyone has patience for the persistent poopers, however.

“This is disgusting!” one anonymous tipster, who sent a photo above, wrote to ARLnow. “The entire sidewalk surrounding the property is covered in bird poop. So many complaints and they won’t do anything about it. What’s the point in having a sidewalk when you have to walk in the middle of the street to avoid getting pooped on.”

A representative with the Citizen at Shirlington Village apartment complex said the area around the building is power-washed twice a week.

“We can’t control the crows or the poop,” he said. “It’s all around, everywhere — the shopping center, the restaurants — all have crow poop. It’s not just Citizen.”

Yesterday morning (Tuesday), before most shops were open, flocks of sparrows could be heard chittering and seen perching in leafless trees. Our poop-shoe reporting found that a few people who work in retail there appreciate the regular power-washing in the early morning hours, with a CVS employee noting that he thinks the scat situation has improved.

Two staff members at the smoothie shop Robeks described how the crows perch in the trees at night and likened the sound of falling feces to rain. They say the excrement doesn’t ruffle the feathers of customers, but added that they aren’t sure how effective previous deterrent efforts were.

That’s perhaps because there are other birds inexorably drawn to the neighborhood, says Sevcenko.

“If you look at the droppings, they are all different sizes, which would suggest they come from different birds,” she said. “The streaks on the planters come from a bird perching on the edge, which a crow is unlikely to do because it would not feel safe perching that close to the ground with people around. A sparrow or pigeon are the more likely culprits. Which is not to exonerate the crows completely, but people have to learn to live with their urban avian neighbors.”

Power-washing and a product called Poop Off will clean surfaces but the birds are likely to keep coming back, she said. Like the humans who come to Shirlington, birds are likely also fans of the local eateries.

“I imagine that there will always be some crows around because of all the restaurants and thus dumpsters with food,” said Sevcenko.

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The new Jeni’s ice cream shop in Shirlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The scoop in Shirlington is that Jeni’s Ice Creams is finally opening this week.

A reader tipped off ARLnow that they spotted the ice cream shop at 4150 Campbell Avenue holding a “friends and family night” earlier this week.

The shop is planning a public “soft opening” starting Thursday, Feb. 16, a spokesperson confirmed. A grand opening event is likely set for “early to mid March,” they said.

It’s been close to a year since we reported that the Columbus, Ohio-based premium ice cream chain was setting up shop in Shirlington. Besides window stickers, there were only a sprinkling of updates throughout 2022. Then, last month, the company confirmed they were looking to open early this year.

While the middle of February is usually not the ideal time for a cold treat, this Thursday’s weather looks to be unusually mild with temperatures expected to be in the mid-60s.

Jeni’s is filling a notable gap in Shirlington. With the recent closings of Yogiberry and I-CE-NY in late 2021, there were no dedicated frozen treat shops in the Village of Shirlington shopping center.

That has now been rectified.

“After a long wait we are looking forward to an ice cream store in the neighborhood!” our tipster said.

Elsewhere in Shirlington, Our Mom Eugenia still has yet to open though the plan was to start serving this month. The two-level beer-and-coffee venue Astro Beer Hall is also expected to open soon, with new banners around the building proclaiming a May 2023 date.

If you can’t wait until Thursday, there are also Jeni’s in D.C., Old Town Alexandria, and Tysons.

Hat tip to Thomas G.


(Updated 3:40 p.m.) Work is ramping up on a new Arlington County bus maintenance building and parking garage in Green Valley.

Crews are set to wrap up laying the foundation for the Arlington Transit (ART) Operations and Maintenance Facility at the end of this month, says Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Alyson Jordan Tomaszewski.

“The facility will perform regular preventive bus maintenance, repairs and other unscheduled maintenance work,” per a project webpage. “It also will include administration and operations functions and parking for buses and staff.”

Then, passers-by may notice a crawler crane on site, which will be used to install steel columns. That work is set to last until sometime in March, according to the project webpage.

Meanwhile, work on the foundation of the parking garage is planned to start at the end of January, she says.

Construction began in June 2022 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

“We have experienced both weather and supply chain delays with the ART Operations and Maintenance Facility,” she said. “However, we are still on track for completion in fall 2024. To mitigate the supply chain issue, we are expediting material approval and procurement as best we can.”

The Green Valley Civic Association welcomes the new facility.

“The county used to park about 60 ART buses right in Jennie Dean Park, next to the basketball court,” Robin Stombler, community-affairs chair of the civic association, tells ARLnow. “Moving the buses into a new operations facility adjacent to I-395 is not only a welcome change, but should mitigate noise and light disturbances on the residential community.”

Still, the civic association has some lingering concerns.

“We were vocal on the need for improved environmental conditions. This meant a state-of-the-art facility outfitted for a future electric bus fleet, better stormwater management and bioretention ponds, and lit signage that does not face the residential part of Green Valley,” Stombler said.

“The new county bus campus will house a staff-only, multi-story parking garage,” she continued. “We need some creative thinking to make sure this amenity is shared with the rest of the neighborhood.”

Next door, the general manager of the Cubesmart storage facility tells ARLnow that the county has “been very sensitive to the fact that we have traffic flowing in and out of there and has done great job keeping the road clean.”

The Cubesmart opened a second facility near the construction site back in March 2021. Between the original building, now “The Annex,” and the new building, there are nearly 2,400 storage units, she said.

This construction project follows on the heels of other recently completed ones in the Green Valley neighborhood, aimed at realizing a community vision of an arts and industry hub. The new John Robinson, Jr. Town Square, with a towering sculpture, as well as the renovated Jennie Dean Park opened with great fanfare this spring.

The County Board approved the purchase of the three parcels in Green Valley to build the ART facilities back in 2018.

“This project is essential for ART’s long-term sustainability and will address the current and future needs for parking, operations and maintenance of the County’s growing ART bus fleet,” according to the project webpage. “ART has significantly increased its number of routes and hours of service during the past 10 years and plans to continue growing during the next 20 years, supported by a fleet of more than 100 buses.”

The total cost to buy the land, plan and design the project and construct it is $81.2 million.

Work hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday, with some weekend work occurring between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.

This article was updated to add comments from the Green Valley Civic Association.

Great Falls-based Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia is set to open in Shirlington (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Our Mom Eugenia is hoping to opa next month in Shirlington.

The popular, family-owned and Great Falls-based Greek restaurant is looking to finally open its new 3,604 square-foot space at 4044 Campbell Avenue by mid-February, a restaurant manager told ARLnow. It’s moving into the former location of Aroma Indian Cuisine and next to RAMMY award-winning CHIKO, which opened in late 2021.

Our Mom Eugenia’s Shirlington opening has been delayed due to the familiar refrain of waiting on county permits. Initially, it was set to open in the fall of last year, then by the end of 2022, and, now, in February 2023.

ARLnow reported in May that the restaurant was expanding its local presence with a new Shirlington eatery.

This will be the restaurant’s third location, with the original in Great Falls and a second location in the Mosaic District that opened in 2020.

The restaurant is named after its co-owner Eugenia Hobson, a native of western Greece and a long-time local chef who cooked at several notable D.C. area Greek restaurants including Nostos in Tysons. She opened her own restaurant with her two sons in Great Falls in 2016.

The menu is full of traditional Greek dishes, including Greek salad, spanakopita, lamp chops, saganaki (fried cheese), pastitsio (Greek lasagna), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and grilled octopus.

Besides Our Mom Eugenia, Shirlington is expecting several other high-profile openings this year. Jeni’s Ice Cream is looking to start scooping by early spring while the two-level beer-and-coffee venue Astro Beer Hall has not yet revealed an expected opening timeframe.


The $50 million renovation of WETA’s headquarters in Shirlington is nearing completion.

After about two years, the local public broadcasting station WETA is set to finish off its 17,000-square-foot expansion on Campbell Avenue later this year. The refresh will include four floors of studios, offices, a consolidated headquarters, and more large spaces for public gatherings and screenings, Vice-President of External Affairs Mary Stewart told ARLnow.

It will also allow WETA to fully move out of the building down a few blocks at 3620 27th Street S, which was sold to the county in 2020 and is now scheduled to be torn down.

Some production is still being done out of the old building, which WETA first moved into in the 1980s, but that will stop once the renovation is completed on the building on Campbell Avenue, Stewart said.

The WETA building in Green Valley, set to be demolished soon (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Externally, much of the work appears to be nearing the finish line with the expansion extending into a space that was once a courtyard. It’s the internal renovations, said Stewart, that still need some time. Those are expected to be done in “late 2023,” despite some “supply chain hiccups.” Some of the studios and public spaces could be open to employees by the summer, though.

Two main studios and one flash (smaller) studio are set to be added. One of the main studios will be used by the PBS NewsHour.

The national nightly news broadcast, which recently debuted a new pair of anchors, will get an updated set, with modern tech, video walls, and an outward-facing TV screen on the ground floor. The goal for the new set is to be “flexible,” modern, and for the video screens to allow remote interviews to be more “natural and cohesive,” said Stewart.

Also set to start filming in the new studios will be the six-decade-old teen quiz show “It’s Academic.” In the fall, the longest-running TV quiz show in history announced it was moving into WETA’s renovated building with the hope it would start producing episodes there in early 2024.

The studios will also be home to PBS NewsHour Weekend and Washington Week, as well as local programming like WETA Arts. Additionally, the update will also allow pledge drives and special broadcasts to take place in the new studios.

“We will now be a 365-day, 7-day-a-week production,” Stewart said.

She said the biggest drivers of the expansion are to modernize, allow for more production flexibility, and consolidate all of WETA in one building.

The local PBS station actually first began operating out of Yorktown High School more than six decades ago, in 1961. It moved to D.C. for a time, before consolidating operations back in Arlington in 1983 at the still-standing 3620 27th Street S. location. In 1995, WETA purchased the building on Campbell Avenue and moved its headquarters there, while production remained mostly at the other building a few blocks away.

But with this $50 million expansion, WETA will be whole for the first time in its 62-year history.

“With this expansion of our building, it means WETA will have a permanent home in Arlington,” said Stewart.

Jeni’s is coming to Shirlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The spring warm-up may herald the arrival of some cold treats in Shirlington.

Jeni’s Ice Cream is aiming to open its first Arlington location by early spring, a spokesperson tells ARLnow.

“As of right now, we are aiming to open in Q1 of this year,” the spokesperson said via email. “We’ll hone in on the grand opening date in the next few weeks.”

The Ohio-based ice cream shop is set to move into 4150 Campbell Avenue, the former home of rolled ice cream purveyor I-CE-NY. While this will be Jeni’s first location in Arlington, there are nearby scoop shops in Alexandria, Tysons, and D.C.

Signs announcing Jeni’s arrival first went up at the Village of Shirlington early last year, but until now there was only a sprinkling of details about an opening date. The location is still not listed on the company’s website.

Due to recent closings, Shirlington currently lacks a dedicated frozen treat shop. Yogi Castle shuttered last year while I-CE-NY closed in late 2021.

Jeni’s Ice Cream is not the only notable business set to open in Shirlington in the coming months. The well-regarded Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia should be opening soon as well as Astro Beer Hall, in the former Capitol City Brewing space.


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