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Christmas decoration in the Pentagon City Costco on 9/14/22 (photo courtesy John Antonelli)

Christmas items are now on display at the Pentagon City Costco.

Reader John Antonelli sent the photo above, which is perhaps jarring given the current beautiful, 80 degree weather — and the fact that many of us have not even started thinking about Halloween.

“Ho ho ho,” Antonelli said in his email.

But perhaps Christmas items in September are fine. Maybe there’s a subset of the population that appreciates getting to prepare for the holiday more than three months in advance.

Which of the following do you most associate with?

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The fall beers on store shelves are not the only sign heralding the imminent arrival of spooky season.

A Spirit Halloween store opened in Bailey’s Crossroads last week, the first of the seasonal chain’s stores to open within a relatively short drive of Arlington.

With it feeling a bit more like early fall outside, with most of you likely suffering summer fatigue after the recent heat wave, and with pumpkin spice season kicking off next week at Dunkin’ and elsewhere, we thought it might be a good time to list some of the Halloween stores near Arlington.

There may be others we’re missing here — if so, please list them in the comments.

Currently open

Spirit Halloween (5800 Crossroads Center Way, Bailey’s Crossroads)
The shelves might not yet be fully stocked, but it’s already Halloween in the former A.C. Moore space next to Old Navy.

Party City (5522 Leesburg Pike, Bailey’s Crossroads)
Unlike the somewhat disconcerting temporary Spirit Halloween locations inhabiting the dessicated husks of dead stores — which, come to think of it, seems on-brand — Party City is open year-round, hawking various party supplies, before stocking up for Halloween.

Opening soon (as of Aug. 12)

Spirit Halloween (3536 S. Jefferson Street, Bailey’s Crossroads)
Are you sensing a theme here? Bailey’s Crossroads seems to be the hub of big-box Halloween retail for Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs. This location is a short walk away from the aforementioned Party City and a mile away from the currently-open Spirit Halloween. Speaking of short walks, the store is a brisk 10 minute walk from Arlington’s Wakefield High School. For what it’s worth.

Spirit Halloween (7950 Tysons Corner Center, Tysons)
For those in the far northern reaches of Arlington and those taking Metro, this is your Spirit Halloween store of choice. Now, if you’re wondering why we’re filling the text here with random factoids, it’s because we realized too late that no one tried to call Spirit Halloween HQ (in beautiful-ish Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey) and ask when the actual opening date of these two locations will be. But don’t worry, we saved the best random factoid for last. The former Lord & Taylor store that this Spirit Halloween location is temporarily occupying is… wait for it… haunted. Specifically, paranormal activity was reported around the ladies restroom over the years, our sister site FFXnow reported. Plus, after Lord & Taylor closed in 2020, the vast retail space served as a mass vaccination site. Now if that isn’t a recipe for a successful and legitimately creepy Halloween store, who knows what is.

Happy two-and-a-half-months until Halloween!

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Legend Kicks has moved across the Pike (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Legend Kicks has found a new home across the Pike, after moving because of Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center’s pending redevelopment.

The sneaker reseller and clothing store has moved from its home for the past four years at 2609 Columbia Pike to a storefront about a half block away at 2514 Columbia Pike, a few doors down from the Celtic House.

The shop opened its doors at its new location this past weekend, according to an Instagram post.

The step was necessitated by imminent demolition and redevelopment of Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center. In March, the Arlington County Board approved replacing the one-story, aging retail strip with “The Elliott,” which will feature 247 market-rate apartments, a renovated CVS, a relocated Burrito Bros, and a new grocery store that could end up being an Amazon Fresh.

Legend Kicks first opened on Columbia Pike in 2017, but in April 2018 the store fell victim to arson. It reopened four months later a few doors down. Now, four years later, Legend Kicks is on the move again, but this time it’s because of redevelopment.

In an Instagram video from late last week, owner Layth Mansour claimed he was only given a few days to move.

“The first Legends got burned down. The second Legends I put so much money into, but then I got a letter saying that someone bought the whole building and I got three or four days to move,” Mansour says in the video. “Literally, I got a new place in, like, two days.”

Legend Kicks owner Layth Mansour on Instagram talking about Legend Kicks’ move (image via @legends_va/Instagram)

That timeline may not be totally accurate. ARLnow reported in January that all tenants received a notice that told them they needed to vacate by May 31. In those preceding six months, a number of businesses have since closed or moved including the Columbia Pike Partnership, the Black Heritage Museum, and Atilla’s Restaurant.

ARLnow has reached out to Mansour and Legend Kicks several times but has yet to hear back.

Mansour also owns the alcohol-free restaurant Eska on Columbia Pike. In April 2021, he took over the troubled, former location of Purple Lounge with the pledge to make it “family-friendly.” However, more than a year later, that restaurant has yet to open despite hopes it would be in business by February 1.

With Legend Kicks moving out, the only remaining tenant remaining in Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center is CVS. It’s not immediately clear when the store will make the planned shift to a trailer in the parking lot next door.

Though no demolition permit application has been filed for the now-mostly abandoned building, a county spokesperson says that work should begin late this year after all the needed permits are obtained.

If that timeline is followed, The Elliott could be completed and be move-in ready by early 2025.

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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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