Press Club

The growing cadre of tech employees working in Pentagon City and Crystal City now have new places to go for their sneakers and hoodies.

Two new stores recently opened at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall on S. Hayes Street. SneakerMat is on the second level near Nordstrom and specializes in sneaker cleaning, restoration, and repair. It also has a collection of footwear for purchase.

The shop is local to the D.C. area and independently-owned, with its only other location in Hyattsville, Maryland.

“I became very proficient in shoe care and restorations [because] of a passion to always keep my shoes clean,” Nathan Hawkins, the shop’s co-owner, wrote on its website. “Growing up there were times I had to wear the same shoes an entire school year; so making sure my shoes were clean and could last was very important to me.”

Custom World, located next to the GameStop on the mall’s food court and Metro level, is a customized hoodie and t-shirt retailer. The store claims that it can “customize everything in 15 minutes” — something, presumably, that fast-moving startups may appreciate.

The stores join other recently-opened retailers at the Fashion Centre, including Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty. Back in September, a cereal bar, a Levi’s store, a furniture store, and an LA-based luxury goods seller all set up shop there.

The mall, popular with local shoppers as well as out-of-town tourists, is located only a block from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2.

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The CVS inside of 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn is closing next month after more than twenty years in that location, the company confirms.

The store is located in the lobby of the same building as local TV station WJLA (ABC 7), near the busy intersection with N. Lynn Street. It has been there since December 1999, according to the company.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to close our pharmacy at 1100 Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn, VA on April 15,” a CVS spokesperson said in a statement to ARLnow. “All prescriptions will be transferred to the nearby CVS Pharmacy at 1788 N. Pierce St. in Arlington, which is just three blocks away, to ensure that patients continue to have uninterrupted access to service. All employees are being offered comparable roles at other CVS locations nearby.”

The exact reason for this particular closure wasn’t directly addressed in the statement, with the spokesperson noting that “maintaining access to pharmacy services in underserved communities is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions.”

The company also cited population shifts, a store’s density, local market dynamics, and the proximity of other CVS stores as reasons.

The remaining CVS in Rosslyn on Pierce Street is relatively new, having opened in the last few years. While just a few blocks away from the closing store, it’s something of a journey, given the steep hill one has to walk up from N. Lynn Street.

All told, there are 15 other Arlington CVS locations.

Sitting at 31 stories, 1100 Wilson Blvd is one half of a pair of twin towers and a well-known Rosslyn skyline landmark. Besides being the long-time home of WJLA, it’s also home to cybersecurity company Shift5, pasta house Sfoglina, a satellite location for the University of Virginia’s business school, and Raytheon.

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Visual Health optometrist in Clarendon (via Google Maps)

An optometrist office one block from the Clarendon Metro station was the latest apparent victim of a band of eyeglass bandits.

The robbery happened last night shortly after 6 p.m. at Visual Health (3012 Wilson Blvd). Police say a group of three suspects entered the store, grabbed handfuls of glasses, and ran to a getaway vehicle that then sped off.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report today:

GRAND LARCENY (significant), 2022-02160206, 3000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:13 p.m. on February 16, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, officers determined the incident was a grand larceny. The investigation determined that Suspect One entered into the business and began grabbing eyeglasses. A short time later, Suspects Two and Three entered into the business and also began grabbing eyeglasses. All three suspects then ran out of the business with the stolen merchandise and entered into a vehicle before fleeing the area. The three suspects are described as Black males, approximately 5’8″ – 5’10”. Suspect One was wearing all black clothing and a black ski mask. There is no clothing description for Suspects Two and Three. The suspect vehicle is described as a black sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

The suspect descriptions and modus operandi are similar to a group implicated in a series of smash-and-grab eyeglass heists around the region over the past month or so.

Among the half-dozen or more previous incidents was a $60,000 eyeglass theft from Arlington’s EyeSee Optique on Columbia Pike on Jan. 11; another eyeglass smash-and-grab at Bauer’s Optical, near Fairlington in Alexandria, on Jan. 20; and a Feb. 1 smash-and-grab at Village Eye Center in McLean.

“Based on the similar circumstances of the incidents, the Arlington cases are being investigated as a series,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The investigation into these incidents is ongoing and Arlington detectives continue to collaborate with our regional law enforcement partners to identify crime trends in the region and apprehend suspects involved.”

The thieves are believed to be targeting eyeglasses due to their relatively small size and high resale value.

Photo via Google Maps

Steadfast Supply in Ballston (Staff Photo)

Steadfast Supply in Ballston will be closing this Saturday, June 27.

Last week, a handwritten sign was spotted on the glass doors noting the store’s last day and reduced, weekend-only hours. The store is located in an open-air section of Ballston Quarter mall.

Steadfast Supply’s founder and creative director Virginia Arrisueño confirmed the store’s closing in an email to ARLnow, noting that ownership made the decision to not to renew the lease.

“We have sincerely enjoyed our time at Ballston Quarter! We met so many new and wonderful customers. Sadly, we decided to not renew our lease and will be closing our doors on Sunday June 27,” Arrisueño wrote. “We are incredibly grateful for the warm welcome that we received in Arlington, and forever thankful for your support. ⁠Please feel free to visit our Washington, DC location at The Yards or online at www.steadfastsupplydc.com.”

The D.C.-based boutique shop opened in Ballston Quarter in July 2019, offering handmade goods from small vendors, including jewelry, home goods, clothes, and leather bags.

When Steadfast Supply opened two years ago, Arrisueño told ARLnow that she hoped the shop would be a supportive space for artisans to test out products and learn.

“My goal with Steadfast Supply was to create a cool retail setting where talented creatives can grow their brands,” she said. “As a designer myself, I know how tough and competitive the retail industry is, and I wanted to provide a supportive space where brands can ask us questions about line sheets, packaging, etc., receive direct feedback and suggestions on how to improve their products.”

The store started as a pop-up in Navy Yard in 2016 before expanding to a 3,000-square foot space in Southeast D.C. at The Yards shortly thereafter. That location remains open.

Ballston Quarter has had plenty of comings and goings just in the past month. Sloppy Mama’s BBQ closed earlier this month, while a 6,200-square-foot combination restaurant and art gallery opened just last week. A new dog daycare, grooming, and veterinarian business opened in late May.

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Morning Notes

Report Details ACPD Actions at Lafayette Park — “The ACPD civil disturbance unit commander told us that ACPD officers were not equipped with chemical irritants other than rounds similar to pepper ball but said the ACPD did deploy inert smoke and a flash bang grenade on 16th Street during the clearing operation.” [Dept. of Interior, DCist]

Arlington Sit-ins Remembered With Art — “Sixty-one years ago this month, several Howard University students and allies walked into the People’s Drug Store on Lee Highway in Arlington. For the next two weeks, they participated in sit-ins to protest white-only lunch counters across the county. Now, there is a special exhibit and letter pressed cards to mark this moment of Arlington’s civil rights history.” [NBC 4]

Cicada Sundae at Local Ice Cream Shop — “Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee in Arlington is offering a Cicada Sundae. Don’t worry. It’s not made with real cicadas. The frozen treat comes with one scoop each of chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and café au lait, topped with chocolate sprinkles, two red M&Ms and a waffle cone…  The waffle cones are fashioned to look like wings and the M&Ms as eyes.” [Patch, WTOP]

Del. Levine’s Farewell Message — From Del. Mark Levine, after falling short in his reelection bid and run for lieutenant governor: “I’ve had the honor of impacting positive change in the world in so many ways already through decades of activism, thousands of radio and tv shows, and dozens of laws. Whatever the future holds for me, I know I will never stop speaking out against injustice.” [Twitter]

Candidate Adds Military Rank to His Name — “Major Mike Webb, who has floated around the periphery of the Northern Virginia political scene for nearly the past decade, qualified for the School Board ballot. He will be the lone opposition to [Mary] Kadera, who last month won the Democratic endorsement over Miranda Turner… (‘Major’ was Webb’s military rank but now also is a formal part of his name, as he did requisite legal paperwork add it.)” [Sun Gazette]

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Fans of pink patterned ladies apparel will have to travel a few extra miles to get their Lilly Pulitzer fix.

The fashion brand’s Clarendon outpost at 2871 Clarendon Blvd recently closed. A sign posted on the door encourages customers to visit the Lilly stores in Tysons, Alexandria or Georgetown instead.

“We will miss you, Arlington!” the sign says. No explanation for the closure was given.

The storefront was previously home to The Pink Palm, a privately-owned Lilly Pulitzer signature store that also sold items from preppy non-apparel brands.

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Many Arlington residents seem to be in the market for new furniture, according to Google Trends.

Perhaps after more than a year of sitting at home during the pandemic, your chairs are getting squeaky or your table is getting scratched. Whatever the reason, ARLnow averaged online rankings of every furniture store in Arlington and within two miles of the county on this side of the Potomac.

Our rankings are below.

1..Casa Furniture (5013 Columbia Pike) — 4.9 out of 5 stars

2. Gala Futons and Furniture (2622 N. Pershing Drive) — 4.65 out of 5 stars

3. Oriental Rosewood Imports Furniture (4050 Lee Highway) — 4.5 out of 5 stars

4. Hardwood Artisans (2800 S. Randolph Street) — 4.45 out of 5 stars

5. Lovesac (1100 S. Hayes Street) — 4.4 out of 5 stars

T-6. Furniture Max (6250 Seven Corners Center) – 4.05 out of 5 stars

T-6. Ethan Allen (2900 Wilson Blvd, Suite 102) – 4.05 out of 5 stars

8. Crate & Barrel Outlet (1700 Prince Way) — 3.8 out of 5 stars

9. Sweet Home Furniture (3501 S. Jefferson Street) — 3.6 out of 5 stars

10. Crate & Barrel (2800 Clarendon Blvd) — 3.5 out of 5 stars

11. Macy’s (1000 S. Hayes Street) — 3.4 out of 5 stars

12. Bob’s Discount Furniture (5845 Leesburg Pike) — 3.3 out of 5 stars

13. Value City Furniture (5516 Leesburg Pike) — 3.2 out of 5 stars

14. Pottery Barn (2700 Clarendon Blvd) — 3.15 out of 5 stars

T-15. Macy’s (685 N. Glebe Road) — 3 out of 5 stars

T-15. West Elm (925 N. Saint Asaph Street) — 3 out of 5 stars

17. Ashley HomeStore (5871 Crossroads Way) — 2.95 out of 5 stars

Photo via Furniture Max/Facebook

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Another business is closing at Pentagon Row.

The Unleashed by Petco store is closing on Saturday, Jan. 23, according to signs in the window. The store is currently holding a 10-50% off sale ahead of the closure.

Unleashed, a smaller-format version of the big-box Petco stores, opened at Pentagon Row in January 2013, replacing a Hallmark store.

Signs in the window direct customers to two other stores that are remaining open: an Unleashed location at 3902 Wilson Blvd in the Ballston area, and a full Petco location at 5825 Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

The closure is the latest at the shopping center, which is in the process of being rebranded as “Westpost” and which now allows to-go alcohol consumption in common areas.

Other recent closures include Siné, Aabee Express, A Deli, Bed Bath & Beyond, Champps, Starbucks, World Market, and the Mike Bloomberg campaign office.

There are a number of new businesses, replacing some of the closures, including the currently open Bun’d Up, Wild Tiger BBQ, and Napoli Salumeria, as well as at least two that are coming soon: Nighthawk Pizza, Origin Coffee Lab and a Virginia ABC store. Signs for the latter recently went up in the windows of the former Bloomberg office.

https://twitter.com/CartChaos22202/status/1346162560110895106

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Morning Notes

Police Called for Man Spitting on Bus Passengers — An incident on a bus prompted a police response Thursday afternoon. Per ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage: “At approximately 1:38 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject on a Metro bus in the area of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street. The suspect left the area prior to police arrival and a search by responding officers returned with negative results… The call for service alleged the subject was acting disorderly and spitting on individuals on the bus.”

Arlington Company Is Among Fastest-Growing — Ballston-based Hungry is the fastest-growing technology firm in the D.C. area and the 18th fastest growing tech company in the nation, according to a new list from Deloitte. Another Ballston tech company, Evolent Health, ranked No. 402 in the U.S. [Deloitte]

NAACP Statement on H-B Incident — “We are pleased that the principal took swift action to notify families and meet with affected students and that the Superintendent followed up with a letter to APS families with an honest depiction that did not minimize the significance or harm it caused. This act of racial violence is the latest and most egregious in a progressive pattern of racist incidents occurring within our schools.” [Press Release]

Grant to Help Local Tourism Recover — “Arlington Convention and Visitors Service has received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Recovery Marketing Leverage Program, designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of state grant funds.” [Arlington County]

ACFD Hosting Kids’ Bedtime Stories — “We are extremely excited to host our 4th Virtual Bedtime Story/ Fire Engine Tour! Spots are limited and previous events have maxed out quickly. If you are interested in joining please email [email protected] Can’t wait to see you Monday night.” [@ArlingtonVaFD/Twitter]

More County Website Problems — Arlington County’s website again suffered technical difficulties yesterday afternoon. The issues were resolved within a few hours. [@ArlingtonVA/Twitter]

Gondolas Gaining in Popularity — “Air gondolas — ski-lift-type conveyances that have become common sights in South American cities like Medellín, Mexico City and La Paz — could one day dot the U.S. urban landscape, some transportation planners say.” [Axios]

Nearby: Car Plows Into CD Cellar — The CD Cellar store in Falls Church was damaged after a car came crashing through one of the front windows earlier this week. “Someone thought we were a drive-thru record store,” CD Cellar quipped on social media. [Facebook]

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Royal Pawn in Crystal City was burglarized this week by a pair of thieves who smashed their way in and stole a number of valuables.

The burglary happened early Tuesday morning. Police were dispatched to the store at 507 23rd Street S. around 4 a.m.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that two suspects forced entry to a business, causing damage, and stole numerous items of value,” according to the Arlington County Police Department.

“Suspect One is described as a male, 18-25 years old, 170-190 lbs., wearing a black mask, hoodie with the hood up, sweat pants, white sneakers, and wearing gloves,” ACPD said. “Suspect Two is described as a Black male, 18-25 years old, 160-170 lbs., wearing a white mask, a jacket with the hood up, pants, white sneakers, carrying a backpack, and wearing gloves.”

The suspects reportedly fled in a dark-colored Dodge Challenger.

Royal Pawn opened its 23rd Street location in Crystal City in 2017, replacing the former Grill Kabob restaurant. Alexander Rizer, vice president of the family-owned company — which some might recognize from its cable TV commercials that air during football games — said that he’s worried about a recent increase in crime.

“It seems more like the police department in the area has been stifled and has not been able to do their full duties,” Rizer said, adding that he has “nothing against the police department.”

“What it used to be before, we’d see Arlington PD going up and down the streets, everything was taken care of,” he explained. “Now we’re not seeing that as often anymore. Now we’re having to take measures into securing spaces much heavier.”

“We’ve made some drastic changes and it won’t be happening again, I can tell you that,” Rizer said of the burglary.

The store is currently “100% open” for business, he noted.

Jo DeVoe contributed to this report. Photo via Google Maps.

Morning Notes

Italian Deli Coming to Pentagon Row — “Napoli Pasta Bar, the Bib Gourmand-designated Italian restaurant in Columbia Heights, will expand into Northern Virginia next month when it adds a sister deli in Arlington. Napoli Salumeria is expected to open in early October at 1301 South Joyce Street… The Pentagon Row space was largely turnkey ready, as it formerly functioned as a deli called A Deli.” [Eater]

Shirlington Movie Theater Reopens — The AMC Shirlington 7 theater reopened earlier this week, after closing over the weekend. A PR rep said the closure was due to a “plumbing issue.”

More Hazy Skies Possible — “More smoke from western wildfires likely to stream into DC area tonight and into Wednesday. Skies unlikely to be as blue as the past several days.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Restaurant Break-in on Pentagon Row — “At approximately 10:41 a.m. on September 21, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:25 a.m., two suspects forced entry to a business, causing damage, and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and items of value. The suspects are described as males, wearing hooded sweatshirts, masks, and gloves. The investigation is ongoing.” [Arlington County]

Cooking School Adapts During Pandemic — Cookology at Ballston Quarter mall was just hitting its stride when the pandemic hit. After shutting down for weeks, the cooking school reopened via “Cookology Live” virtual classes. And now, the business has secured outdoor space at the mall’s covered “Instagram Alley” in which to hold in-person classes. [Washington Business Journal]

Apartment Building Designated as Historic — “The Glebe Apartments (now known as Knightsbridge Apartments) in the Ballston area has been placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register… The apartment complex, located in the 200 block of North Glebe Road, is an example of garden-style apartment units that were constructed in Arlington from the 1930s to the 1950s to provide moderately priced housing for a growing number of federal workers and, after World War II, returning veterans.” [InsideNova]

Today: ‘Spirit of Community’ Event — “Please join us for the 2020 Spirit of Community celebration on Wednesday, September 23 at 12 p.m… The program will include interviews with Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton, and Steve Presley, Chairman and CEO of Nestle USA.” [ARLnow Events]

Confederate Costumes Cause Controversy — ” Party City is racing to clear its shelves of children’s costumes celebrating the Confederacy. An Arlington, Virginia mom of two adopted Black children, was shocked to find the Party City store at Bailey’s Crossroads selling Civil War rebel costumes emblazoned with the Confederate flag.” [WUSA 9]

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