Arlington’s Irish Bars on St. Patrick’s Day — Today is St. Patrick’s Day and that of course means that Guinness will be flowing like water at Arlington’s half dozen Irish pubs. Among them: The Celtic House on Columbia Pike (recently lauded by Yelp and Travel + Leisure), Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse, O’Sullivan’s in Clarendon, P. Brennan’s on Columbia Pike and Sine Irish Pub on Pentagon Row.
Arlington’s High-Earning Millennials — “Arlington has more millennials with a household income of $350,000 or more than any other jurisdiction in the country, with 8.7 percent of millennials among that wealthy cohort.” [Washington Post]
Donaldson Run Neighborhood Profiled — “Tracy and Jeremy Penfield bought their first house in Donaldson Run in Arlington County because they liked the location and the price. After living close to Metro for almost a decade, they welcomed the hilly, wooded neighborhood, which is largely car-oriented.” [Washington Post]
WeWork Creator’s Awards — WeWork, which has both co-working and co-living space at an office building in Crystal City, is giving out $20 million in grant awards to creators around the world, including here in the D.C. area. Applications to pitch an idea in D.C. are due this coming Monday. [WeWork]
The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant on Columbia Pike is the No. 1 place in the U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, at least according to online review site Yelp.
The pub, at 2500 Columbia Pike, has a stellar 4.6 star rating on Yelp, leading to its selection at the top of the “50 Best Bars in the U.S. To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day” list.
“Yelp determined the list by first identifying bars frequently reviewed with the word ‘Irish,’ and then ranking the establishments by ratings and the number of reviews,” said Travel + Leisure, which published the list.
The interactive “Don’t Press Your Luck” event will highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills, and is free. It will be hosted at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18.
Police will close Hudson Street from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. from noon until 9 p.m. to accommodate the event. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be up, and illegally parked motorists could be ticketed or towed.
The event is part of a push by local police to remind partygoers of the dangers of drink-driving. According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, between 2011 and 2015, 252 people died in car crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday in the United States.
Earlier this week, ride-hailing app Lyft announced it will partner with SoberRide to provide free and safe transportation home during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the D.C. region.
In addition to next week’s event, tonight (Friday) Arlington County Police will be trying out another initiative aimed at Clarendon bar-goers: blocking off some of the parking spots on Clarendon Blvd to create a pickup zone for Uber and Lyft riders.
On Friday, March 10, 2017 the Arlington County Police Department is conducting a pilot program in Clarendon providing a designated rideshare pickup location. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary no parking signs in the 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard beginning at approximately 11:00 p.m. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.
The region’s anti-DUI free ride service is switching from taxicabs to ride-hailing service Lyft, starting this St. Patrick’s Day.
Officials with nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program announced the new partnership last week. Lyft, a competitor of market leader Uber, will provide the SoberRide service throughout the D.C. region through the end of the year.
The free St. Patrick’s Day Lyft rides begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17, and continue until 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 18.
During the 12-hour period, area residents aged 21 or older can enter the code SOBERRIDE in the Lyft app’s “Promo” section to receive safe transportation home worth up to $20 for free. The code is valid for new and existing Lyft users.
Lyft will also donate $1 to WRAP for each new Lyft customer using the SoberRide code in 2017.
“We are excited to partner with WRAP in providing safe, reliable transportation to area residents,” said Steve Taylor, general manager of Lyft’s D.C. area office hub in Crystal City, in a statement. “Lyft is committed to improving access to transportation and reducing drunk driving.”
Previously, the SoberRide program partnered with local taxi firms, including with Red Top Cab of Arlington, to provide free rides. WRAP president Kurt Gregory Erickson did not respond to requests for further comment on the switch. Just over 330 people in the D.C. region used the cab-based SoberRide service this past New Year’s Eve.
Besides Lyft, the sponsors of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide program include O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Clarendon and Sine Irish Pub in Pentagon Row.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one quarter of traffic deaths nationwide during the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations involved drunk drivers.
Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said officers do a great deal of outreach to educate revelers of the risks involved in drinking and driving.
In previous years, Savage said, that outreach has coincided with the Shamrock Crawl bar-hopping event in Clarendon. But even with those festivities canceled this year, Savage said the outreach and education will continue.
“Anytime there are alcohol-related holidays, we always make a point to be extra cautious as officers for those driving under the influence,” she said.
Since 1993, the SoberRide program has provided 66,296 free safe rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
Wakefield Boys Fall in State Tourney — An outstanding season for the Wakefield boys basketball team ended Friday when the Warriors fell to Bethel 62-56 in the state tournament quarterfinals. The Lady Warriors also lost in the state quarterfinals last week. [Twitter, Daily Press]
Logistics May Have Sunk St. Pat’s Bar Crawl — There’s no St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl in Clarendon this year, and the reason may be due to logistics, not lack of interest. Organizers might have been able to get bars on board and their permit applications in on time, one police official suggests. [CityLab]
Volunteers Needed to Bag Meals — The Clarendon United Methodist Church is seeking volunteers to help “pack 20,000 meals for distribution around the world” on Saturday. [InsideNova]
Superintendent Presents Proposed Budget — Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy presented his proposed, $617 million budget to the School Board last night. The budget includes $9.2 million for student enrollment growth and $8.7 million for teacher and staff pay increases. [Arlington Public Schools]
Wakefield Girls Advance to Regional Finals — With a semifinal win in Leesburg, the Wakefield High School girls basketball team has advanced to a regional championship game for the first time in the program’s history. They will play defending champs Edison tomorrow (Saturday) at Edison. The boys team, meanwhile, lost in the regional semifinals; both teams will also advance to the state tournament. [InsideNova, Facebook]
More on the County Budget — County Manager Mark Schwartz presented his proposed FY 2018 budget to the County Board Thursday afternoon. His budget presentation suggested that Arlington will make service delivery and customer service a priority in the upcoming fiscal year. Among the initiatives that may be coming soon: building a one-stop county permitting system and providing “virtual access to public meetings.” [PDF]
‘Blarney Blowout’ Coming to Arlington — The Shamrock Crawl bar crawl may not be coming back to Clarendon this year, but its organizers are planning a new event dubbed the Blarney Blowout. Four Clarendon and Courthouse bars are participating in the event, on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, featuring a “free all-you-can-eat breakfast Buffet, St. Paddy’s Day shenanigans, entertainment, party favors and more.” The event is “not your traditionally tame “kegs and eggs,” its website says. [Blarney Blowout]
If you like sports, beer and corned beef, tomorrow just may be the best day of the year.
Tomorrow is both St. Patrick’s Day and the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness.
There will be more basketball and green beer this weekend, including the annual Shamrock Crawl bar crawl in Clarendon on Saturday, but below are a sampling of ten St. Paddy’s Day and March Madness-related events happening Thursday at bars and restaurants around Arlington.
- Celtic House (2500 Columbia Pike) — The festivities start at 9 a.m. with a traditional Irish breakfast and lasts all day with Irish music from Pat Garvey, Irish dancers and March Madness on the TVs.
- Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) — As previously reported, Four Courts, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Wednesday, will open at 9 a.m. for the usual St. Daddy’s festivities: live music all day and a heated tent in the back to help accommodate the crowds.
- Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) — Mad Rose will be open from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. and will be showing NCAA basketball games, serving green beer and giving away green beads. DJs will start spinning at 7 p.m. and the happy hour will run until 8.
- A-Town Bar and Grill (4100 Fairfax Drive) — A-Town will be open at 11 a.m. for St. Patrick’s Day. NCAA games will be on TVs all around the establishment.
- Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) — Iota will be opening at 5 p.m. for their St. Patrick’s Day party, with rock and blues band Westmain taking the stage at 8 p.m.
- O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd) — O’Sullivan’s St. Paddy’s party will be kicking off bright and early at 8 a.m. with Irish dancers and a full live music lineup until 1:30 a.m.
- P. Brennan’s Irish Pub (2910 Columbia Pike) — P. Brennan’s will be opening at 10 a.m. with all-day music and Irish dance.
- Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street) — Shirlington’s airy Irish bar will open from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., with performances by Michael Darcy and the ShamrockRs.
- Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd) — The party at the Don begins at 11 a.m. for brunch. NCAA basketball games will be on and a live DJ will be performing.
- Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue) — Copperwood Tavern will be hosting a farm-to-table St. Patrick’s Day featuring special Irish menu items and gourmet craft cocktails.
Update at 4 p.m. — Addition to the list above, Whitlow’s in Clarendon (2854 Wilson Blvd) will be holding a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The roof opened at 2 p.m., live Irish music started at 4, bagpipes will be played at 9 and a DJ will start spinning at 9:30.
Justin Funkhouser contributed to this report
The free rides (up to a $30 fare) will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday and end at 4 a.m. Friday. Those wanting to take advantage of the program have to call the SoberRide hotline at 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) to book their ride.
SoberRide is sponsored by alcohol companies, cab companies and a number of other brands and local organizations, with the goal of reducing drunk driving on local roads.
“During the evening hours immediately following the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, nearly half of all U.S. traffic fatalities involved drunk drivers,” noted Kurt Erickson of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program.
From a WRAP press release:
Preparing to combat that time of year when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of all U.S. traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers*, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout Arlington County, Virginia on Thursday, March 17, 2016 (St. Patrick’s Day).
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2016 St. Patty’s Day SoberRide® program will be in operation beginning at 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) and continue until 4:00 am on Friday, March 18 as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.
During this 12-hour period, area residents celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide® phone number 1-800-200-TAXI(8294) and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $ 30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.
Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.
“During the evening hours immediately following the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, nearly half of all U.S. traffic fatalities involved drunk drivers,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.
SoberRide® is offered in the District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.
Today from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is hosting its second ever pop-up beer garden, in the plaza at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Streets.
“In a busy urban area like Rosslyn with a large amount of pedestrians walking around, pop-up events like this do well since they maximize open space, grab attention and present something new and exciting,” Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick told ARLnow.com in an email. “With Plaza on 19th, an area that was previously just sidewalk, we now have a great space to regularly hold events like these.”
The food will be served by the Urban Bumpkin BBQ truck, an Asian and barbecue fusion staple of the Rosslyn food truck lineup. Playing music during the whole event will be Rew Smith, a “pop/rock singer-songwriter” from Maryland.
Last year’s Oktoberfest beer garden — the first at the new plaza — drew more than 600 people, and event organizers are hoping the holiday and the warm weather will draw an even bigger crowd today. The BID will be passing out green koozies as a bonus for beer drinkers.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day — Looking for a place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today? Take a look at the list of Arlington Irish bars we compiled last month. [ARLnow]
Ted Cruz in Arlington Tonight — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) is scheduled to make an appearance tonight at an event at Sobe Bar and Bistro in Clarendon. The event is being hosted by former Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, former lieutenant governor candidate Pete Snyder and the Alexandria-based Disruptor Fund. [Facebook]
NYT On Arlington’s Streetcar Cancellation — The New York Times interviewed Arlington County Board members Jay Fisette and John Vihstadt for an article today entitled “Streetcar Revival Is Wavering in Some Cities.” In addition to Arlington’s streetcar cancellation, the article examines D.C.’s troubles in getting its streetcar line operational. [New York Times]
WeWork Revises Crystal City Plan — The coworking office company WeWork, which has been planning to open microunit apartments in an older Crystal City office building, as part of its new WeLive brand, has revised its plan. WeWork and building owner Vornado are now seeking county permission to build two floors of offices in the building. [Washington Business Journal]
Concept for Abingdon Elementary Revealed — Arlington Public Schools staff have presented plans for a 27,000 square foot expansion of Abingdon Elementary School in Fairlington. The project is expected to cost $29 million and be complete in time for the 2017-2018 school year. [InsideNova]
The Shamrock Crawl, an annual bar crawl in Clarendon for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, is back again this year, on March 21.
The Saturday following the annual celebration of the Irish spirit, thousands of carousers will be wearing green and holding commemorative mugs for the event hosted by Arlington’s Project DC Events.
To take part in the festivities, drinkers can register online for $15. After 11:59 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), the price goes up to $20.
The crawl will start at 2:00 p.m., with participants registering at either the Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street) or Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) before 5:30 p.m. Crawlers will get a shamrock mug to be refilled at participating restaurants, party favors, St. Patrick’s Day beads and $2 slices at Bronx Pizza (3100 Clarendon Blvd).
The participating businesses are:
- Clarendon Grill
- Clarendon Ballroom
- Mad Rose Tavern
- Whitlow’s on Wilson
- American Tap Room
- Hard Times Cafe
- Spider Kelly’s
- Hunan One Restaurant
- Mister Days
- IOTA Club & Cafe
- Don Tito
Last year, thousands of revelers packed the streets all day, including one woman who allegedly tried to visit her husband in the Arlington County jail sans clothing.
— I Love Arlington VA (@ilovearlingtonv) March 17, 2014
With three weeks to go until St. Patrick’s Day, ARLnow.com has compiled a list of Irish bars in Arlington, Va. to help you decide where to celebrate the holiday.
We sent a questionnaire to each of the following bars, asking everything from the cost of a pint to the hours of operation.
The Celtic House
2500 Columbia Pike
♣ Open: Daily from 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
♣ Happy hour: Weekdays from 3-7 p.m.
♣ Established: Dec. 2014
♣ Pour of Guinness: $7
♣ Shot of Jameson: $7
♣ Describe the establishment: “We are a cozy, Irish-owned-and-run pub with a gorgeous bar, a flair for true & traditional Irish food, and the perfect spot to slide into a booth with your kids, friends, or date for beer and bite — root beer for the kids, of course. We love soccer, so the games are always on. And if you ask nicely, we might just show March Madness as well.”
♣ St. Patrick’s Day plans: “Join us on Paddy’s day for an experience that could only compare to spending the day in Ireland itself. Hot pub food, cold beer — and none of that green, American beer! We’ve got the real stuff! Be on the lookout for guest appearances from local dance troupes, sounds of Ireland, and all for no cover charge!”
Ireland’s Four Courts
2051 Wilson Blvd (Courthouse)
♣ Open: Weekdays from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., weekends from 9 a.m.-2 a.m.
♣ Happy hour: Weekdays from 4-8 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
♣ Established: March 1996
♣ Pour of Guinness: $7.50
♣ Shot of Jameson: $7
♣ Describe the establishment: “We are a friendly Neighborhood Pub that serves Irish/American Traditional food and drinks. Our decor is authentic dark
wood, fireplaces and the memorabilia and decor all came from Ireland. Many of our regulars drink from our Pewter Mugs from also Ireland (we have sold almost 2500 since we opened). We have entertainment 7 nights a week, including open mic, Solo Musicians, Bands, karaoke and Pub Quiz. It can also be a very romantic place! We have had three engagements in since Thanksgiving! ”
♣ St. Patrick’s Day plans: “Not a day for the faint hearted. Doors open at 9 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day. We will be serving traditional Irish breakfast and lunch and the party will be in full swing with music starting at 10 a.m. Join in this all-day celebration with, satellite bars, a heated outdoor tent, Irish dancers performing, and six bands playing live music from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.”
The Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the parade, announced this morning that it will not be held tomorrow night, on Fat Tuesday, as scheduled. Instead, the parade is being rescheduled for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).
Six to ten inches of snow are expected to fall overnight.
Multimeters Blamed for Parking Ticket Drop — The multimeters that allow drivers in Arlington to pay for parking by using a credit card and displaying a slip of paper on their dashboard are being partially blamed for a nearly 25 percent drop in parking ticket revenue. The meters make it easier for those without change to pay for parking and, thanks to having to search for the slips on dashboards, slow down parking enforcement aides. [InsideNoVa]
Hope Wins Arlington Straw Poll — Del. Patrick Hope, who’s hoping to replace Rep. Jim Moran in Congress, has won a straw poll held at Arlington Treasurer Frank O’Leary’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party. Hope captured 44 percent of the vote, followed by 24 percent for Don Beyer and 20 percent for state Sen. Adam Ebbin. A straw poll held at Rep. Gerry Connolly’s St. Patrick’s Day party, meanwhile, had Beyer placing first, Charniele Herring second and Lavern Chatman third.
New Candidate in 8th District Race — Nancy Najarian, a community activist and Arlington resident, has announced that she is joining the fray in the Democratic primary for Rep. Jim Moran’s 8th District congressional seat. There are now 11 candidates running in the race. [Armenian Mirror-Spectator, InsideNoVa]
Four Courts Sees Uptick in St. Paddy’s Business — Thanks to the snow keeping many residents at home, Four Courts in Courthouse saw an uptick in their already busy St. Patrick’s Day business. Last night manager Dave Cahill affirmed to ARLnow.com an earlier estimate that the bar would serve 50 kegs of Guinness and 20 kegs of other beer over the course of the day. [Washington Business Journal]
Old Carlin Springs Map — A map from 1890 shows the original plan for the Carlin Springs subdivision of Alexandria, now Arlington County. [Ghosts of DC]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
Irish PM Visits Shirlington — Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny visited Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street) in Shirlington over the weekend to watch an Irish rugby game. The Taoiseach, as the position of Irish prime minister is also called, is in the U.S. celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. [Facebook, The Independent]
County Board Approves Ashlawn Addition Revision — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a revised plan for an addition to Ashlawn Elementary School but not before making Arlington Public Schools officials explain how the project went wrong. Local residents have complained about several aspects of the plan, including tree removal the building of a parking lot. [InsideNoVa]
‘Intersection of Doom’ Left Out of Rosslyn Planning — A draft Rosslyn sector plan framework doesn’t include any solutions for the so-called “intersection of doom” — the intersection of N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway that has been the site of numerous pedestrian and bicyclist vs. vehicle accidents. Some believe a pedestrian tunnel or bridge may be the best solution for the busy intersection. [Greater Greater Washington]
County Board Approves New Synthetic Field Surface — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved up to $701,000 to replace a 10-year-old synthetic turf field at Wakefield High School. [Sun Gazette]
Photo courtesy @mindpivot