Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

More on Arlington’s Drive-Through Testing — “Arlington County and the Virginia Hospital Center launched a coronavirus sampling site Wednesday, but a short supply of test kits and limited lab processing ability are forcing them to be selective with who they see.” [WAMU]

Grocery Stores With Senior-Only Shopping Hours — “Some DC-area grocery stores are offering or plan to offer special shopping hours for senior citizens, and in some cases other vulnerable people, during the coronavirus crisis. [Washingtonian, Twitter]

County Asks Landlords for Leniency — “We ask that you consider now what you can do to ease burdens for tenants who may have difficulty paying their rent in the coming months because of illness or financial hardship related to ongoing business disruptions and closures.” [Arlington County]

Cristol to Commercial Landlords: Don’t Fire Cleaners — “These men and women are the unsung heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic and they can least afford to lose wages and benefits during this crisis. At the same time that cleaners and security officers have stepped forward to do their jobs during this outbreak, they are now being threatened with layoffs and reductions.” [Press Release]

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Questioned — The Celtic House on Columbia Pike is closed now, but it was one of the only local bars to stay fully open on St. Patrick’s Day. Some are questioning that decision as governments and medical professionals urge people to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the deadly disease. [Facebook, Twitter]

Some Restaurants Decide to Close Completely — Galaxy Hut in Clarendon, which initially stayed open for takeout meals, is instead “shutting this puppy down.” [Twitter]

Arlington Musician Takes Shows Online — “Singer and songwriter Justin Trawick’s livelihood as a stage performer who did more than a dozen shows a month ground to a halt recently as the coronavirus pandemic shut down his concert venues.” [Reuters]

County Permit Office Closed — “The Arlington County Permit Office is now CLOSED for in-person customer service. Many services remain available online.” [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Mass Cancelled at Catholic Churches — “On Monday, March 16, 2020, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington… announced that the public celebration of all Masses in the Diocese is suspended until further notice.” [Press Release]

Food Donations Needed — “We have already seen a sharp decrease in food donations from our local grocery stores. AFAC has begun to purchase more food to offset the drop of food available on our shelves. Please think about making a donation to AFAC to help us keep our warehouse full for our families in need.” [Arlington Food Assistance Center]

Regional Park Facilities Closed — “While park and facilities are open for individual use, programs organized by NOVA Parks are canceled. All NOVA Parks facilities and buildings will be closed beginning at the close of business on March 16 and remaining closed for at least two weeks. Many parks will remain open for passive use – trails, general visitation, etc.” [NOVA Parks]

Community Centers Closed — The following Arlington rec centers are closed: Aurora Hills Community Center, Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center, Carver Community Center, Charles Drew Community Center, Gulf Branch Nature Center, Gunston Community Center, Hendry House, Lee Community Center, Long Branch Nature Center and Madison Community Center. The Fairlington, Walter Reed, Arlington Mill, Thomas Jefferson and Langston-Brown community centers remain open with modified hours. [Arlington County]

Pentagon City Mall: Before and After — Photos of the Pentagon City mall food court before and after the coronavirus outbreak shows a stark difference: bustling before vs. nearly deserted after. [Twitter]

White House: Avoid Gatherings of 10+ — “The White House’s coronavirus task force announced tougher guidelines on Monday to help slow the spread of the disease, including limiting social gatherings of more than 10 people.” [Axios]

It’s St. Patrick’s Day — Enjoy a Guinness at home because most places to celebrate are closed, or at least should be. [Old Farmer’s Almanac]

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How seriously are people in Arlington taking the coronavirus outbreak?

Probably not seriously enough, in some cases, but at least enough so that Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse is cancelling St. Patrick’s Day.

The venerable local Irish pub announced tonight (Sunday) that it would be closing indefinitely after the close of business, just two days before St. Patrick’s Day.

Despite a presumably massive loss of business as a result, Four Courts said in a message to customers that it’s the right thing to do, given the need for social distancing to stop the spread of the disease, known as COVID-19.

“The safety and well-being of our customers and staff is our greatest concern,” the restaurant said. “We will reopen again when the time is right.”

Four Courts did, at least, hold a “St. Practice Day” event on Saturday. Amid the crowds at bars across the D.C. area this weekend, there were calls to put an end to such gatherings.

Several states — including California, Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts — have ordered restaurants and bars closed, though with allowances for take-out and delivery. On Sunday night the Centers for Disease Control recommended that all gatherings of 50 or more people be cancelled for the next 8 weeks.

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This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). Sign up for Nick’s email newsletter and also receive exclusive discounts and offers.

I’m a good percentage of Irish descent — Cork, to be specific — so I enjoy St. Patrick’s Day but since the more wayward days of my youth I avoid going out for St. Paddy’s as religiously as I avoid being out for New Year’s.

Now, I like Guinness Draught enough that I’ve always listed it as my desert island beer, but as it appears most of us will be celebrating St. Patrick’s inside this year I figured I should offer up some interesting alternatives to stock up on for your celebration, wherever that may be.

Evil Twin Even More 8 lb 6oz Newborn Infant Jesus (Queens, NY; contract brewed at Two Roads Brewing Co., Stratford, CT):

A heads up for those sensitive, this Milk Stout does contain lactose so your mileage may vary. While it’s worth it for the name alone, this newly arrived Stout from Evil Twin makes for a fine change of pace from Guinness Draught. Slightly sweet from the lactose, more complex in malt than you might think, and at 5% ABV only a touch stronger than Draught, this is one to try while it’s available.

Three Notch’d Brewing Hydraulion Irish Red Ale (Charlottesville, VA; 5.3% ABV):

Part of the year-round Three Notch’d line since the beginning. Its name pays homage to a 19th century UVA fire company and its sole engine, a pump wagon called the Hydraulion. Its recipe pays homage to classic Irish Reds with Cara/Crystal malts and Goldings hops, set off with the modern touch of a Warrior hop bittering addition.

Commonwealth Brewing Scrumdiddilyumptious (Imperial Cream Ale, Virginia Beach, VA; 9.5% ABV):

I swear I’m not trying to pick out lactose-added beers, but it’s kinda working out that way. This fun experiment from Commonwealth is basically a Baileys-inspired Cream Ale using coffee and vanilla beans, cacao nibs and lactose. With its higher ABV it’ll knock you around a bit, but that might be what the moment calls for, no?

Greenbrier Valley Irish Dave’s Maple Bourbon Porter (Maxwelton, WV; 6% ABV):

My most blatant shill of the week, as this little treat is my featured draft this weekend at Arrowine. “Irish Dave” is Greenbrier’s head brewer who adds West Virginian maple syrup to this Porter before aging it in 13-year old bourbon barrels from Smooth Ambler. A little boozy, a little sweet and at 6% you can get more than a little in before it bites you — hard to ask for more.

Stay safe and have a great St. Patrick’s! Until next time.

Upcoming Arrowine Events:

Saturday, March 14, 1-4 p.m. — Virginia Tasting with Walsh Family, Early Mountain and Dr. Joy Ting
Sunday, March 15, 1-4 p.m. — Super Sunday Tasting! Three importer/distributors; 18 outstanding wines at standout prices
Tuesday, March 24, 6:30-9:30 p.m. — Spanish Wine Dinner at SER with winemaker Issac Fernanadez and importer Aurelio Cabestrero of Grapes of Spain. RSVP here.
Saturday, April 18, 1-4 p.m. — Port City Brewing feature tasting with Lager Series and other draft-only specialties

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Morning Notes

AWLA Announces COVID-19 Policies — “Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with CDC recommendations, AWLA is cancelling all public events, classes, tours, and clinics for the rest of March. We feel that this in the best interest of our staff, volunteers, animals, and the public.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]

Rep. Beyer Couldn’t Get Coronavirus Test — “People ask ‘did @RepDonBeyer get tested for COVID-19?’ No he did not. We tried to get a test for him… But there aren’t enough tests, he didn’t meet the risk threshold.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Pentagon Makes Coronavirus Changes — Tours at the Pentagon have been cancelled, while a Pentagon clinic is offering coronavirus tests to employees who meet certain criteria. [Twitter, Twitter]

Crosshairs Garage Races Cancelled — “Hey everyone, we’ve made the decision to cancel the remaining weeks of the @crystalcityva Garage Races. I will be issuing refunds for everyone who pre-registered. We will let you know if any plans to reschedule in the coming months materialize.” [Twitter]

Restaurants and Bars Stay Open — Local restaurants like Bakeshop in Clarendon are staying open, and many have been posting about stepped-up sanitation measures. Among the local venues taking extra sanitation steps is Four Courts in Courthouse, which is still planning to host St. Patrick’s Day festivities. [Twitter, Twitter]

SAT Testing Cancelled — SAT tests that had been scheduled on March 14 at Wakefield and Yorktown high schools have been cancelled. [Twitter, Twitter]

Police St. Patrick’s Day Event Cancelled — “To ensure the health and safety of our community… the Don’t Press Your Luck Anti-Drunk Driving Event has been canceled.” [Arlington County]

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Getting a DUI “could cost you a pot of gold.”

That’s one of the messages Arlington County Police are looking to send at an upcoming St. Patrick’s Day-themed anti-drunk driving event. Another: “don’t press your luck” by driving buzzed.

The event is scheduled to take place from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 in Clarendon’s bar district. A portion of N. Hudson Street near Wilson Blvd will be closed for the free event, which will include activities “designed to highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills.”

Police have held similar anti-DUI events in the recent past around St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween. Before that, earlier anti-drunk driving efforts have included appearances by a superhero named Soberman.

More from an ACPD press release:

Green beer, leprechauns, and elusive pots of gold are all hallmarks of St. Patrick’s Day. Make sure you and your friends celebrate responsibly by remembering one important piece of advice: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. This means that if you plan to drink any alcoholic beverage, even a watered-down green beer, it’s essential that you plan for a designated driver.

In 2018 alone, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration reports 73 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18). For this reason, the Arlington County Police Department is hosting an interactive event highlighting the dangers of impaired driving. Because even one drink can be one too many.

Don’t Press Your Luck Event Information

On Saturday, March 14 from 8-10 p.m., join officers on N. Hudson Street at Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon for the Don’t Press Your Luck anti-drunk driving event. This free event is open to the public and designed to highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills.

Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs in the event area. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

A Safe Way Home

As you continue your celebrations, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s 2020 St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide® program, in partnership with Lyft, will be offered from 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 until 4:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For additional information on WRAP’s program to ensure area residents have a safe way home on high-risk holidays, visit their website.

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A Courthouse pub is again lending its name to an annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed race.

The Four Courts Four Miler will start and finish in front of Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd). It’s taking place on Saturday, March 14, starting at 9 a.m.

New this year, the race is now a part of the St. Pat’s Run Fest, a two-day event that offers three races, including a 5K and 10K in the District on Sunday, March 15.

“Join us for an entire weekend of celebration and running as we combine two of our favorite iconic events,” wrote organizer Pacers Running. “The Four Courts Four Miler (Arlington) and the St. Pat’s Run (DC) merge across our community into one Run Fest. A region-spanning, shamrock-shaking, running event with adult beverages, Double Challenge and Triple Challenge finisher custom medals for our multi-event competitors, post-race fun and the most beautiful views in Arlington and DC.”

The registration fee for the Four Courts Four Miler is $48. Those who register can pick up their bibs from Pacers Clarendon and Pacers 14th Street beginning March 2, up until the morning of the race.

The Four Courts Four Miler course will take runners down Wilson Blvd into Rosslyn, then down Route 110, and back. It famously includes a steep climb at the end and a leprechaun that passes and heckles runners — for a good cause.

Shreeya Aranake contributed to this report. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography.

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Police are encouraging people not to drink and drive during Arlington’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities this weekend with a free event about blood alcohol levels.

The annual event, called “Don’t Press Your Luck,” will be held Saturday from 5-7 p.m. on N. Hudson Street between Wilson Blvd and 13th Street N. by the James Hunter Dog Park and Don Tito restaurant.

Police will be using the “Virtual Bar” app by Responsibility.org to show how a person’s gender, weight, and food consumption affects their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and impairs their ability to drive.

Officers plan to close the two blocks of N. Hudson Street from 4-8 p.m. Saturday for the event, and are warning drivers to look out for temporary “No Parking” posted signs nearby.

Virtual Bar was touted as “way to help promote responsible drinking decisions, especially as people explore how foods they are likely to consume when out drinking.”

Arlington County Police are organizing the event together with Responsibility.org and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), which advocates for ways to reduce drunk driving across the Greater Washington region.

WRAP’s annual St. Paddy’s Day $15 Lyft discount to discourage drunk driving also returns this year. The promo code will be posted on WRAP’s website at 3 p.m. Sunday and the code will work for the first $1,500 customers between the hours of 4 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.

From ACPD:

St. Patrick’s Day can be a celebratory time, often including alcohol. The green beer and merry-making of the holiday unfortunately lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, 59 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over St. Paddy’s Day holiday weekend across the nation. And, more than one-third (37% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) and Responsbility.org are teaming up to remind that if your plans include drinking, plan ahead to take a sober ride home.

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(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year — meaning more events for everyone looking for their fix of “kegs and eggs.”

There are plenty of local restaurants and bars hosting green-themed shenanigans — too many to list here. But it’s a safe bet that if you go to one of Arlington’s Irish pubs this weekend, it’s going to be crowded.

Whether you’re Irish or want to be Irish, here are some of the St. Paddy’s highlights around Arlington:

  • Pamplona and Bar Bao (3100 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon: Attendance is free and this outdoor event will feature food, DJs, party favors, and prizes, per the Eventbrite invite.
  • The G.O.A.T. (3028 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon): The bar is hosting both March Madness games on TV and an Irish breakfast buffet all day Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 a.m. The buffet costs $21.95 per person, and the pub’s drink deals include $4 Guinness, $6 Jameson or $5 Tullamore, and green beer and mimosas.
  • Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington): On March 17, the bar will open at 9.a.m. to host live music from Aidan Croke, Ciaran Quinn, and the Shamrockers (no cover charge) and a performance by the Irish dance group from the Boyle School of Dancers.
  • Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant (2500 Columbia Pike): The restaurant is serving brunch on Saturday (from 10 a.m.) and Sunday (from 9 a.m.) and features Irish musician Pat Garvey on Saturday from 7-8 p.m. Garvey returns to the restaurant Sunday at 2 p.m., along with Irish dancers.
  • O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd in Clarendon): The pub will host two performances by the Boyle School Irish Dancers on Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., as well as showcase performances by musicians Greg Snyder, Britton James, Mike Leverone and Willem Dicke.
  • Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard in Courthouse): The bar will have a heated tent for bar-goers along with live music, Irish dancers, and traditional food served all weekend. March Madness will also be on the screen for any die-hard fans not wanting to choose between watching college sports and listening to bagpipers. Four Courts is also hosting daily events (listed on its website) this week leading up to the big day.
  • O’Malley’s Pub (2650 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City): Enjoy Irish food favorites like fish and chips, and bread pudding, along with a $4 Guinness special at this pub from Friday to Sunday.
  • Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon): The restaurant is serving a bottomless brunch buffet of traditional Irish fare from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. After 3 p.m. the restaurant will offer drink specials, and will add “beer bucket” specials and DJ music at 8 p.m.
  • Wilson Hardware (2915 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon): The three-story bar is throwing a 90’s party promising songs from Irish artists and plenty of their “shareable” pub food appetizers. Party will start at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

And of course the holiday offers more than just booze. Here are two St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities that are family friendly and bound to get you moving:

  • Four Courts Four Miler: If you’re a runner, the annual Four Courts Four Miler offers a challenging course from Courthouse, through Rosslyn, and back. Registration for the Saturday morning race is currently priced at $43.
  • 50th Anniversary Ceili: The O’Neill James School of Irish Dance is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a traditional Irish dance party (called a “céilí” in Irish Gaelic) at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Rd) Sunday from 5-8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 online, $15 at the door, families pay no more than $60. Kids 5 and under are free.

Photo by Cobalt123 via Flickr

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Free Lyft rides will be available to those looking for a safe ride home on St. Patrick’s Day this weekend.

The promotion is being offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, a local nonprofit, and will run from Saturday, March 17 at 4 p.m. through March 18 at 4 a.m..

“During this twelve-hour period, area residents age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download Lyft to their phones, then enter a SoberRide code in the app’s ‘Promo’ section to receive their no cost (up to $15) safe transportation home,” the organization said in a press release. “WRAP’s St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide promo code will be posted at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 on www.SoberRide.com.”

Last year, 460 people used WRAP’s SoberRide Lyft services on St. Patrick’s Day in the D.C. area.

“Almost three-fourths (69%) of all U.S. traffic deaths occurring during the six evening hours following St. Patrick’s Day [in 2016] involved alcohol-impaired drivers,” noted WRAP President Kurt Gregory Erickson.

Courtesy photo

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday, March 13

Trivia Night: Are you smarter than a Catholic sister?*
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Test your pop culture and general knowledge against a team of Catholic Sisters, with drink specials and free appetizers. Prizes for top trivia teams.

Wednesday, March 14

Shaping Arlington for a Smart & Secure Future*
County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Listen to a panel discussion on how technology will shape Arlington, featuring government and cybersecurity experts. A reception with light refreshments will also be held.

Arlington Committee of 100 Virginia Hospital Center Expansion*
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Committee of 100 is hosting a panel discussion on Virginia Hospital Center’s expansion, the county’s population growth and evolving community healthcare needs. Optional dinner served.

Thursday, March 15

Parenting Lecture: Parenting an Anxious Child
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Dr. Christine Golden will discuss the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety and offer some helpful strategies for managing behaviors. The lecture is free to attend.

Friday, March 16

St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.

Saturday, March 17

Whitlow’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9 a.m. – Close

Live Irish music and an open rooftop welcome you at Whitlow’s On Wilson’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Special Irish menu and March Madness games on the TVs all day.

WJAFC Open Day*
Virginia Highlands Park (1600 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A co-ed, free clinic to learn the Australian football game. Kids from 5-15 will learn starting at 9 a.m., with an adults clinic and co-ed non-contact game at 10:30 a.m.

Guinness and Gold*
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

Tour the Clarendon apartment building with a free Guinness and cash in on leasing deals. Leasing specials are subject to terms and conditions.

Wine Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Tre Monti winery over a four course meal with five wines, including theThea Passito 2012 Romagna Albana DOCG raisin wine. Tickets are $75 per person.

Yorktown High School Presents “Almost, Maine”*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Boulevard)
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.

Students will be performing John Cariani’s “Almost Maine,” about a remote, mythical town and the effect of the northern lights on the lovestruck residents. Tickets are $10.

Sunday, March 18

St. Joseph’s Table Celebration
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Join the church following the noon mass for a procession to celebrate this feast day with a potluck lunch, live music, and a kids woodworking shop.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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