The long-awaited and long-delayed Dudley’s Sport & Ale in Shirlington appears to still be far from ready to open.
Owner Reese Gardner had hoped the sports bar would be open in either June or July, but in a brief email he said the planned sports bar at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive is still plagued by the same permitting problems “as before, unfortunately.”
Gardner said the county has still not approved all of its necessary permits. A 28-seat bar, a 125-seat dining area, and a “stadium style” viewing area are planned, as well as a rooftop bar — Shirlington’s first — with a game area, a 15-seat bar, and patio seating for about 114 people.
A spokeswoman for the county’s department of community, planning, housing and development confirmed the project has been going through the administrative change process. The spokeswoman referred further questions to the county’s lead planner on the project, who did not respond to requests for more information.
Gardner, who also owns the nearby Copperwood Tavern, Quinn’s on the Corner in Rosslyn and Irish Whiskey in the District, said he would have further information on an opening date once permits are approved.
Next Friday, thousands of area commuters will celebrate Bike to Work Day, including at sites across Arlington.
The free event is open to all area commuters, who are encouraged to meet up with neighbors and co-workers at one of 85 pit stops across the region and ride bicycles to work in a commuter convoy.
In Arlington, seven sites will provide food and drink, as well as nearby Capital Bikeshare stations for the easy docking of bikes. In the mornings, the pit stops will be open from 6:30-9 a.m., while those open in the afternoons will last from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Rosslyn’s morning pit stop will be hosted at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), while in the afternoon it will be at the Heavy Seas Alehouse (1501 Wilson Blvd). Shirlington will also hold pit stops in the morning at the Shirlington Library (4200 Campbell Ave) and in the afternoon at New District Brewing (2709 S. Oakland Street).
Pit stops can also be found in the mornings at FreshBikes Bike Shop (3924 Wilson Blvd) in Ballston, Penrose Square at 2503 Columbia Pike, the East Falls Church Metro station (2001 N. Sycamore Street) and the Crystal City Water Park (1750 Crystal Drive).
Registration is required for the pit stops, which enters attendees into local and regional raffles and guarantees a free Bike To Work Day T-shirt.
The regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving. More than 17,500 bicyclists are expected to register across the D.C. area.
“Each year, Bike to Work Day attracts commuters who choose to bike to work for the very first time, and after the event, 10 percent of them continue to bike to work an average of 1.4 days per week,” said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections, in a statement. “That’s an impressive conversion rate and it’s why we are committed to making every Bike to Work Day bigger and better than the one before it.”
A new massage business is coming to Campbell Avenue in Shirlington.
Massage Forever “provides full-service body massages to alleviate chronic pain, stress and tension using therapeutic massage techniques,” according to the Village at Shirlington website. “Trained and licensed personnel will provide quality professional massages in a high-end therapeutic massage spa facility that serves as a one-stop shop for all massage needs.”
No word yet on an opening date.
McAuliffe Visits New District Brewing — Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) made a “quick stop” at New District Brewing near Shirlington yesterday, touring the brewery and posing for photos. [Twitter, Twitter]
Caps Continue Playoff Fan Activities — For their Round 2 playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals are continuing a series of fan activities, including free yoga classes and viewings of team practices, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. [Washington Capitals]
County Gets Planning Award — Arlington County is one of a dozen recipients of the American Planning Association’s Gold 2017 National Planning Achievement Award. “County government and the community have together built Arlington into one of the nation’s best places to live, work or play,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. [Arlington County]
APS Pushes Solar Power — “Clearing a legal hurdle that may affect other Virginia school systems, Arlington Public Schools has created a new type of purchasing authority so it may enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar power.” [Blue Virginia]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The 7-Eleven at 2815 S. Wakefield Street was robbed by a group of three suspects, one of whom had a gun, according to police. No one was hurt during the robbery.
The same store, located down the hill from the Fairlington neighborhood, was robbed by a pair of suspects in October 2015.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-03220254, 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street. At approximately 10:49 p.m. on March 22, officers were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Three unknown suspects approached a store, however one remained outside while the other two suspects entered. Once inside, one suspect displayed a firearm and demanded money from the register. All three suspects then fled the area with an undisclosed amount of cash and items of value. The first suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, approximately 5’05”-5’11” tall, weighing approximately 150-180 lbs, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants and white shoes. The second suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, approximately 5’05”-5’11” tall, weighing approximately 150-180 lbs, wearing a tan jacket, blue jeans and white shoes. There is no physical description for the third suspect.
Photo via Google Maps
The crime happened around 12:35 a.m., early Sunday morning, on the 4000 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive, according to police. Retail businesses on that block include a pair of gas stations with mini marts.
No one was injured during the robbery. More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-03190011, 4000 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 12:35 a.m. on March 19, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred. Three masked male suspects entered a store and confronted the employee and a customer inside. One suspect brandished a firearm and demanded money from the register, while another suspect demanded money from the customer. The suspects then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. The first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10”-6’00” tall and weighed 140-170 lbs. He was wearing a black winter coat, dark jeans, dark colored shoes, black gloves, and a black mask. The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’03”-5’06” tall and was wearing a black coat, black pants, black shoes, black gloves, and a black mask. The third suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’03”-5’06” tall and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, dark shoes, black gloves, and a mask. The investigation is ongoing.
Florida Men Arrested for Credit Card Skimming — Three men from Miami, Florida were arrested earlier this month on the 5600 block of Columbia Pike, in Fairfax County. They’re suspected of using Bluetooth-enabled credit card skimming devices to steal credit card numbers from gas station customers. [Falls Church News-Press]
School Board to Consider Wakefield Modifications — The Arlington School Board is expected to approve a $4 million internal modification project at Wakefield High School that will increase its student capacity to 2,300 from 1,900. [InsideNova]
School Board Members Can Now Get Raises — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a state bill that removes a cap of $25,000 on the salaries of Arlington School Board members. Arlington was the only jurisdiction in the state the salary cap applied to; school board members will now have the ability to approve a salary increase in 2021. [InsideNova]
Northern Virginia Restaurant Week Kicks Off — Nineteen Arlington restaurants are participating in Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, which starts today and runs through Monday, March 27. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Top 10 Shirlington Area Restaurants — Eater has compiled a list of the top 10 restaurants to try in and around Shirlington. And yes, the Weenie Beenie is on the list. [Eater]
It’s the First Day of Spring — “While warm spring days will be tough to come by in the short term, the equinox is a reminder that the sounds of chirping birds and humming lawn mowers aren’t too far off.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
(Updated at 9:40 p.m.) Police responded to a home invasion robbery on the 4500 block of 31st Street S., between Shirlington and Fairlington, Tuesday evening.
Initial reports suggest a group of people armed with at least one gun broke into an apartment, possibly pistol whipped one of the occupants and stole some items. They then reportedly fled the in two cars.
The initial police dispatch went out shortly before 5:30 p.m. Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said it appears to be an isolated incident.
Just prior to 5:30 p.m., police were dispatched to the 4500 block of S. 31st Street for the report of a robbery. The investigation revealed that four suspects forced entry into a residence, brandished a firearm and stole items of value. The suspects then fled the area. The investigation is ongoing. Police do not believe there is a larger threat to the public. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Arlington County Police.
A Shirlington restaurant owner brought her Hawaiian-influenced cooking to one of the Food Network’s most recognized shows.
Mikala Brennan, owner of Hula Girl Bar and Grill, competed on season 32 of “Chopped,” the competitive cooking show where four contestants are handed a basket of mystery of ingredients with which to cook across three rounds.
A panel of expert judges tries the creations and after each round one contestant is eliminated — “chopped” — from the competition.
Brennan’s episode, entitled “Raw Deal,” was the 400th in the show’s history. She competed against Steven Londono and Timothy Walker, both from New York City, and eventual winner Marie Yniguez, from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Brennan was eliminated after the second round and did not reach the final course, and said that while she enjoyed the experience, being chopped was still emotional.
The corridor chopped contestants exit through “is a hall of shame when you walk down that thing,” she said. “I was definitely trying not to pop a tear, because it’s really upsetting.”
Brennan’s episode was filmed in the network’s New York studio in August, one month after the show’s production staff descended on her Campbell Avenue eatery to film and gather background information. Brennan and her staff signed non-disclosure agreements promising not to share the news, then had to wait until the Food Network announced an air date.
The episode premiered on February 28, and will be re-run at various times throughout the network’s schedule.
In the first round, Brennan and her fellow competitors had to make an appetizer using sushi burgers, fresh wasabi, longan berries and pork floss as main ingredients, with the help of the show’s well-stocked pantry and fridge.
Then the entrée round called for the use of buffalo top sirloin steaks, porcini mushrooms, aji dulce and sea buckthorn juice.
In the dessert round, held after Brennan was eliminated, the final two chefs used polenta cake, bechamel sauce, plums and pink Himalayan sea salt.
Such ingredients required some creative thinking to prevent the episode’s judges Chris Santos, Amanda Freitag and Maneet Chauhan from eliminating her.
“It’s one of those things where you almost go into a surreal mode,” Brennan said. “You start flipping through every single recipe you’ve ever done or come across, and you’re trying to figure out what you can do. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t have a plan that quickly.”
Brennan has some experience with the Food Network, having previously competed on the show “Rewrapped” which aired in 2014 and asks chefs to recreate classic snack foods before making a new dish using that same snack food as the main ingredient.
But she said the experience of cooking in the “Chopped” kitchen, surrounded by cameras and being asked questions by host Ted Allen while planning and executing a meal against the clock, is a whole different ball game.
“It’s a very weird experience, because as a chef you’re just trying to figure out what you’re cooking, and then you’re also jumping over cables to get the things in the pantry, then you’re trying to get around camera people and other people you’re competing against,” Brennan said. “Then there’s Ted Allen over there asking questions. It’s a high-stress situation, but that’s the whole point of it.”
Rumors of the Shirlington dog park’s demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated.
The latest round of drafts released by the county for the Four Mile Run Valley initiative include the park in the plans for Jennie Dean Park. Three alternatives put forward for a meeting of the Four Mile Run Valley Working Group held Tuesday night all include the dog park in some form.
The first option keeps the park as it is, while the second option proposed reconfiguring the dog park but keeping it the same size. The third alternative would also keep the dog park in place, but renovate it.
Notably, the second alternative would divide the dog park into two sections: one for larger animals and another for smaller.
The alternatives also make suggestions for programming to the west of South Nelson Street, which could include more arts and recreation space. It also suggests a number of amenities for the park in the site’s northeast corner, like sport courts, baseball fields, a playground and a trail. All three alternatives also propose adding to the site’s 136 existing parking spaces.
The park’s future had been the cause of some concern earlier this year on social media.
The Shirlington Dog Park Page cited a presentation of early land use proposals generated in January as part of the Four Mile Run Valley planning process. However, the presentation appeared to show that the area of the dog park is being considered generally for “outdoor parks/rec/cultural” uses — which could include a dog park.
“The County recognizes the popularity and importance of the Shirlington Dog Park and does not plan to move it from the park or the park plan,” division chief Chikwe Njoku wrote in an email to a dog park page subscriber last month.
“As part of any planning effort we have to do our due diligence and evaluate the existing site in addition to making recommendations on potential alternatives that are based on a variety of factors such as environmental regulations, overall design/impact, usage, and other County standards, then make recommendations that are discussed with the 4MRV Working Group who also takes input from the community.”
The Four Mile Run Valley Working Group will meet again March 15 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Park and Natural Resources Operations Building at 2700 S. Taylor St.
Osteria da Nino
2900 S. Quincy Street (Shirlington area)
There’s a lot new at Shirlington’s Osteria da Nino since we last checked in with owner Nino Pino.
The chef who’s hard at work in the kitchen started last summer, bringing some new flair to the menu, which changes with the seasons to incorporate the freshest ingredients.
The crowds have grown since this time last year, in particular those booking the private event space, which now sports a brand new 65-inch TV.
On our Arlington Agenda you might have seen one thing that started last year and is bringing in new customers, also known as future regulars: wine seminars featuring some of Italy’s best and most interesting wines.
What else drives Osteria da Nino’s increasing popularity and stellar online reviews? There’s the food, of course. It’s delicious. There’s the service, which is attentive. And then, naturally, there’s Nino.
The owner and seven-day-a-week public face/greeter/manager/avuncular converser of Osteria da Nino knows your name and possibly your birthday and anniversary and pet’s name if you’ve been to his restaurant twice. Maybe just once.
He is, as of this sentence being typed, sitting at the bar, grabbing a quick bite (it’s 9 p.m., guests come first) and conversing in Italian with a fellow who’s visiting from Italy. Nino’s practice of chatting with every guest is remarkable for its dichotomy: when he’s talking with you, he’s focused on you and how you’re doing today and how the dog/kid/business is doing, to the extent that it’s almost like no one else in the restaurant matters. But they do, and then with a “grazie” he’s off to seat a couple that just walked in or to chat with another table. Most of them, by the way, are regulars.
Before you finish your meal, he has talked and seated everyone. And then he’s back to you, with little sense of being rushed even if the place is packed, checking on just how great, exactly, your dinner (or lunch) was. It’s amazing.
There’s just one thing that bugs the most patient, Old World restaurateur in town, and that’s the relatively new habit of diners going home and giving so-so reviews online. (Nino has been running restaurants since well before the internet was a thing.)
Granted, Osteria da Nino doesn’t get a lot of bad reviews, but when he does it’s personally disappointing. Because he has checked once, twice, thrice to make sure everything is up to everybody’s expectations. And if not, he’s gracious and quick to offer to fix whatever’s wrong.
But Nino insists the customer is always right and will try to make his guests happy even after the fact, after the review — and yes, he reads every single one — is out there. Everybody has an occasional off day, a day that hasn’t gone well, that then leads you in your frustration to being particularly persnickety on Yelp because your ravioli wasn’t at your preferred temperature. And that’s okay.
Mi scusi, Nino will say the next time you’re in, above the din of conversation as Dean Martin plays over the sound system, and bentornato mio amico.
Be sure to check out mouth-watering food videos from the kitchen of Osteria da Nino, courtesy of Nino’s daughter, on the restaurant’s Facebook page. And if parking is an issue, phone ahead and see if any of ODN’s reserved parking spaces are available across the street.
The preceding was a sponsored profile of Osteria da Nino written by ARLnow.com.
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.