A longtime Lee Highway seafood shop has closed its doors.
America Seafood Corp., a standalone store located in the Lee Heights Shops parking lot at 4450 Lee Highway, served its final customers on Dec. 31. Owners Gary and Martha Royce were clearing out the last of the store’s equipment today.
The shop has been open for nearly 35 years — a sign in the window sign says 44 years, but that’s a typo, Gary says — and has served legions of locals seeking the freshest seafood and Key lime pies around.
Royce said he his wife were planning to move back down to his native Key West within a month. He plans to stay there at least a year before potentially coming back up to Arlington and deciding what to do next.
“Just wanted to get out of here, we have been here for 35 years already,” Royce said. The response from customers, he said, has been one of shock and sadness.
“Two ladies came here crying,” he said. “The people love this place. I mean, we have been here longer than any shop in this whole place.”
The secret, according to Royce, was “good seafood, good banter.” Royce said he sourced his seafood primarily from New England and Florida fisheries, which set his offerings apart from those in grocery stores.
“We sold a lot of Florida fish: grouper, snapper, yellowtail, swordfish, tuna,” he said, listing some of his best sellers. “I sold two different size shrimp from Key West, Florida… we sold all different kinds of fish, some of them were not even the same week, sometimes we sold trout, Chilean sea bass, we sold salmon.”
“I think I sold quality stuff, that’s why the people want to know where can they go buy quality fish around here,” he continued. “I bought it all direct, nothing from around here… that’s all CO2 [carbon dioxide] treated. They inject it with stuff and freeze it then you thaw it. That’s what they sell at grocery stores.”
So where should customers go to find fresh seafood now that America Seafood has closed down? Gary wouldn’t say for publication, but he did suggest that customers weren’t happy with the recommendation.
“I tell them and they say, ‘that place is terrible.'”
Hat tip to John B.
A pair of long-time local stores are either closing or have already closed at the Lee Heights Shops on Lee Highway.
Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes (4532 Lee Highway) is holding a going-out-of-business sale, offering 20-50 percent off remaining merchandise.
The owners, who are in their 70s, said that they’re closing the store because they’re retiring, but also cited rising rents and competition from online retailers and big box stores like Target.
According to the store’s website, Bradshaw’s is “one of the nation’s oldest shoe stores” and has been “serving Northern Virginia continuously since 1834.”
The store was the source of an unusual police dispatch earlier this year, after a drunk woman reportedly walked into the store holding an open bottle of wine, demanding adult shoes and refusing to leave.
Another Lee Heights store, meanwhile, has already closed.
Lemon Twist (4517 Lee Highway), which sold women’s clothing and accessories from brands like Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines, has closed but, according to a sign, will be reopening under new ownership.
“Lemon Twist Arlington will be reopening soon with a new name, ownership and look,” says a sign posted on the door. “Stay tuned for more information and an opening date for Lemoncello Boutique, Women & Children’s Apparel and Gifts!”
The store, part of a small retail fashion chain, opened on Lee Highway in the late 1980s, according to Arlington Magazine.
Dominion Pet Center, which first opened in 1981, is closing.
The pet supply store is located at the Lee-Harrison shopping center at 2501 N. Harrison Street. It has survived for five years following the opening of a large chain competitor, Unleashed by Petco, across the street.
In a Facebook post, Dominion blamed its closing primarily on the internet. The store will be holding a going-out-of-business sale over the next few weeks, before it closes for good.
This is probably the hardest post I have ever written. We have spent the past 35 years serving our community. We absolutely love what we do. But recently, too many people have chosen the convenience of online ordering over coming in to our store.
So, Dominion Pet Center will be closing in the next few weeks.
Everything must go. Starting tomorrow, EVERYTHING is at least 25% off. All shelving, fixtures, freezers, etc are also for sale. No reasonable offer refused. If you are local, PLEASE SHARE THIS POST. We need to clear out the store and need your help.
The store’s owners, Steve and Kendra Green, said in a separate post that the business was their “heart and soul.”
“I hope our customers know how much we loved that store,” the post said. “It’s like losing a child. Words cannot begin to express how hard this is.”
Photo via Facebook
Grateful Red, a quirky local wine shop in Clarendon, has closed its doors after almost four years in business.
The store opened in 2012, with a wine selection focused on independent and local wine producers, along beer, gifts and gourmet items. It was located at 2727 Wilson Blvd, next to Revolution Cycles — and across the street from Whole Foods and its large beer and wine selection.
A sign in the window says the space is for lease.
So far, there’s no word on why the store closed. The storefront next to Grateful Red — formerly B&C Jewelry — also remains available for lease.
The owners of Grateful Red also own nearby Screwtop Wine Bar, which remains open at 1025 N. Fillmore Street.
Update at 2:15 p.m. — Owner Wendy Buckley has shared an email she sent to customers last month.
Dear Wine & Craft Beer Lovers,
Grateful Red Wine and Gift Shop (brick and mortar) will be closing Sunday March 13th. We will continue to successfully operate a gift basket delivery and online business at GratefulRedWine.com.
This comes after a lot of soul searching within myself over the holidays on whether or not to renew our lease, and in the end I decided that the online and gift basket side of the business was the strongest and most worthwhile for us at the moment.
Current store employees will be absorbed into screwtop or website staff. Our last Beer & Wine Club pick up for Grateful Red will be held on Saturday March 5th. If you are a wine club member you may continue on with screwtop’s wine club, which is a wonderful club that features wines from all over the world. We will, however discontinue the beer club after March 5th.
If you have purchased or received a Grateful Red gift card, please try and use it before March 13th. Any gift card not used by the 13th, will of course be honored at screwtop. Please see the website on the back of your gift card to periodically check the balance, as these gift cards slowly lose value after long periods of time not used.
Thank you so much for all the love & support these last few years, and your continued support of screwtop.
If you have any questions you may reach me via email – [email protected]
If you know a business that might be a perfect fit for the space at 2727 Wilson, the broker in charge of re-leasing can be reached at [email protected]
I will also be looking for homes for some of the wine shelving and other fixtures, so shoot me an email if you have any interest. FREE to good home! 🙂
-Wendy Buckley, Owner
The Tennis Factory, a long-time tennis specialty store at 3865 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, recently closed its doors.
Signs in the window say the store closed Feb. 21 after losing its lease.
Tennis Factory was noted for its local business eccentricities. Run by a brother-and-sister team, the store had enough merchandise strewn about to have one tipster joke affectionately about it being a “fire hazard.” The store conducted especially thorough shoe fittings — which could turn shoe shopping into an hour-long affair even with few other customers inside.
On its website, the Tennis Factory says it’s hoping to reopen in a new location and revamp its website.
The Tennis Factory is Under Reconstruction
After 40 years of doing business in Arlington, VA, serving tennis enthusiasts in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area and from around the world, the Tennis Factory is undergoing a makeover.
Look for our new location and brand new website including a new online store.
The Tennis Factory has been providing the best in sales, services and products since 1976. We thank our longtime customers as well as those who have just discovered our store for your patronage. We will continue to provide your favorite brands along with the exceptional service you have come to expect.
If you would like to follow our progress or receive information on our grand re-opening, please send your name and contract information to: [email protected]
(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) A long-time convenience store and deli has closed in Ballston.
Richmond Market & Deli, on 9th Street N. between N. Randolph and Stafford Streets, apparently shut down last month. A sign in the window says “business closed down… enquiries welcome.”
It’s unclear why the store closed nor what will replace it.
Photos courtesy Bill Colton
Public Shoe Store in Clarendon, which first opened its doors in 1938, will close after Saturday, Feb. 27 to make way for a new 7-Eleven store, according to the daughter of store owner S.H. “Doc” Friedman.
“We’ll have an open house from noon to 6 that afternoon to say goodbye to our friends and customers and to give them a chance to say ‘happy retirement’ to Doc,” Karen Friedman Widmayer tells ARLnow.com.
The store was originally slated to close last summer, but lease negotiations and planning stretched longer than expected. After Public Shoe Store closes, a new 7-Eleven store will move in following some interior construction and exterior changes. Friedman, 82, is retiring from the shoe business but is leasing the space at 3137 Wilson Blvd to the convenience store.
Widmayer described the lease as “long term,” but declined to provide other details. She said the space would have been challenging for a restaurant and 7-Eleven was “very accommodating” and “terrific to work with.” The store is planning a “fitting” art deco-style sign, she said.
Public Shoe Store reopened over the weekend after closing due to the blizzard. The store is still “stocked with comfort and orthopedic shoes and sandals plus lots of good sale shoes,” Widmayer noted. Customers and well-wishers are both welcome to stop by between now and the 27th, she said.
A well-loved local gift shop will be closing this month in Clarendon.
Knightsbridge Trading Company has been in business for just over two years at 2871 Clarendon Blvd, after moving from Rockville. The store stocks a variety of gifts and goods, including hard-to-find European items.
Owner Murat Etili, a graduate of Washington-Lee High School, has told customers that the store has lost its lease and will close in about two weeks, around mid-January. A “big clothing brand” wanted the space and will be moving in, Murat reportedly said, but he declined to give additional details.
Knightsbridge is holding a closing sale, offering 65 percent off leftover Christmas items and 25 percent off everything else.
“It’s with sadness we announce our store closing as we have lost our lease,” the store said on Facebook. “We’ve loved being a part of the Clarendon and Arlington community and appreciate all of our wonderful customers! The whole store is on sale, so please come by and stock up!”
A long-time Arlington business is preparing to close its doors next week.
CD Cellar, purveyor of compact discs and vinyl records at 2607 Wilson Blvd, is planning to close on Friday, Jan. 15. The business is moving its inventory to a new location in Falls Church, where it opened its original store on West Broad Street back in 1992.
“Our flagship location in Falls Church is relocating to a bigger and badder space,” CD Cellar said on its website. “As of Dec. 31, 2015, CD Cellar will live at 105 Park Avenue, just a hop, skip and a jump away from our longtime home on West Broad Street. What’s more, we are moving our fantastic Arlington stock into the new Falls Church space, combining two stores into one super-awesome megastore.”
The new location in Falls Church is in a shopping center a block from the State Theater. The center is also home to Action Music, a guitar store; Hi-Fi Heaven, a high-end audio-visual equipment store; and Cue Recording Studios.
“We are thrilled about the change,” CD Cellar said. “In our new home on Park Avenue, we’ve got loads more parking and several very cool neighbors.”
Photos by Justin Funkhouser
Tri360 opened at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street, just off of the W&OD Trail, in 2012. It sold athletic apparel, accessories and shoes — everything a triathlete needs to swim, cycle and run — and also had a “full service” bike shop.
“They were doing fine business-wise but the couple who owned it found that managing the store, etc. was overwhelming in addition other responsibilities,” she said.
The store held a big going-out-of-business sale before closing late last month. Bonzai Sports in Falls Church now appears to be the closest triathlon specialty store in Northern Virginia.
Hat tip to Carol B.
School Bus Cameras Stop Issuing Tickets — The stop arm cameras on Arlington public school buses are no longer sending citations to those who drive by the buses while the stop signs are activated. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring determined that Arlington does not have the legal authority from the General Assembly to issue summonses from school bus cameras by mail. [Washington Post]
Laundry Room Fire at The Shelton — Yesterday around 6 p.m. a dryer in a laundry room at The Shelton apartment building (3125 24th Street S.) in Nauck caught fire. The fire was reportedly controlled by a sprinkler system, but not before filling the third floor of the building with heavy smoke and prompting an evacuation. [Twitter]
Last Weekend for Hudson Trail Outfitters — The local adventure retailer Hudson Trail Outfitters says this will be their last weekend in business. The company, which has a store on Pentagon Row, is offering 50-80 percent off remaining items. [Hudson Trail Outfitters]
Rep. Beyer Wins Spelling Bee — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) won the National Press Club’s annual Politicians vs. Press spelling bee Wednesday night. Beyer won by correctly spelling “apostasy” in round 23. The win keeps the spelling bee title in Virginia, after Sen. Tim Kaine won last year. [Politico]
‘Most Interesting Man in Arlington’ Contest — Don Tito in Clarendon will be hosting its first ever “Most Interesting Man in Arlington” contest Saturday night. Hosted by Mel, of 107.3’s morning show, the contest will judge based on looks and a series of challenges. [Clarendon Nights]
Discover Cherrydale This Weekend — The Cherrydale Business Alliance will hold its second annual “Discover Cherrydale” festival on Sunday afternoon. The event will feature vendor booths, a beer garden, food trucks and various family-friendly activities. [ARLnow Events]
Red Top Given Green Light for Stickers — An Arlington County Board-ordered review of new stickers on the back window of Red Top taxicabs has found no safety hazard. Lou Gatti, a long-time cab driver who is now an industry critic and who was the one who raised concerns, was disappointed by the findings. “There are no checks and balances in this industry, except for me,” Gatti is quoted as saying. “I can’t understand why no one seems to care about the facts and the laws, except me.” [InsideNova]
Blue Line Issues This Morning — A faulty switch near the Pentagon prompted Metro to route Blue Line trains over the Yellow Line bridge for a significant portion of this morning’s rush hour. [Twitter]
The frozen yogurt store FroZenYo has closed its doors.
The store opened in 2011 amid a boom in local froyo joints. That expansion has gone cold and turned into a contraction.
A sign recently taped to the door said the FroZenYo at 2231 Crystal Drive is no more.
“This location is permanently closed,” the sign says. “Thanks for all of your business. Please visit our Eye Street location [at] 1634 I Street NW, D.C.”
The Maryland-based company, which has four D.C. area stores, announced today that it will begin winding down its operations after nearly five decades in business.
Among the stores set to close are locations in Fairfax, Rockville, Tenleytown (D.C.) and Pentagon City, the latter of which is at 1101 S. Joyce Street on Pentagon Row.
The Pentagon Row store was open as normal today. Employees said they had not yet been told when exactly the store would close.
Hudson Trail Outfitters CEO Sandy Cohan wrote the following email to customers today.
It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that after nearly fifty (50) years in business, HTO will be closing its remaining four stores and shutting down the business.
HTO has been an institution in the DC Metro Area since 1971. From day one the mission was simple: open a store that sells the greatest outdoor gear and apparel on the planet, hire only those who love the outdoors and who are passionate about health and happiness, and provide Positively Outrageous Customer Service to everyone. The retail landscape has changed so much within the last 36 months and the Company has decided that the time has come to begin to ‘wind down’ all company affairs, knowing that it never had to compromise any excellence standards on behalf of the community.
The community and the Company have always supported each other with such dignity and respect, and the Company will always be proud of the role that it played in helping to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people, employees and customers, within the DC Metro Area. During this transition, all customers and all employees can count on continued excellence and pride from all associations with the Company. HTO firmly believes that an orderly wind-down of affairs provides the best opportunity for professional closure and maximum success and efficiency in what are otherwise sad and nostalgic circumstances.
The Company wishes to thank all of its customers and team members (past and present) for nearly five (5) decades of committed loyalty, high standards, professionalism, association, trust, support, partnership…and most importantly…. friendship. And what a ride it has been – who would have ever imagined that Ground Zero for what is now internationally known as Specialty Active Outdoor Retail was going to be Kensington, Maryland, or, that a passionate and creative outdoorsman from Washington, DC would one day grow up to both pioneer an entire industry, and, to become the example and trend setter for how that industry would grow and evolve for nearly half of a century?
In advance, thank you for your continued support during this transition.
Owner Nolan Forness, who owns the store with his wife, daughter and son, said that they wanted to go back to owning two stores instead of three. The company has two other stores in Alexandria.
The Clarendon store also received less foot traffic than the two Alexandria store, he said. He declined to comment more about the closing in order to stay in good standing with his landlord.
“We’re happy that people come to visit us here and we’ll see them in Alexandria,” Forness said.
The Clarendon branch of B&C Jewelers opened in December 2012.
Sweetgreen, Taylor Gourmet Coming to Crystal City — Venture capital-funded salad purveyor Sweetgreen plans to open a 1,700 square foot store in the former Corner Bakery space in Crystal City later this year. And that’s not the only trendy eatery coming to the neighborhood. Sandwich shop Taylor Gourmet is expected to open in a storefront next door. [Bisnow]
Sunglasses Store Closes on Pentagon Row — There’s still more than a month until Labor Day but sunglasses store Specs New York, which opened up three months ago on Pentagon Row, appears to be closing. [Twitter]
New Law Allows Cocktail Pitchers — A new Virginia law that took effect July 1 finally allows restaurants to serve pitchers of cocktails. Previously, it was against the law to serve any mixed drink other than sangria via pitcher. Pepita, which opened last week in Ballston, is taking advantage of the new law by selling margaritas in a skull-shaped pitcher for $40. [Washington Business Journal]
TV Station Profiles Arlington Fugitive — Rosslyn-based WJLA featured an Arlington fugitive as part of an “ABC 7 On Your Side” segment. Police say Jessie Kim, 25, assaulted the new owner of what had formerly been his family’s dry cleaning business. Kim is also accused of destroying the owner’s phone and other property before driving off in a silver BMW. [WJLA]
Bus Accident in Ballston — A minor collision between an ART bus and a Metrobus happened around 5:00 p.m. yesterday in front of the Ballston Metro station. No injuries were reported.
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi