Arlington, VA

Two weeks after the Trader Joe’s in Clarendon temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 case, it has closed again.

The store at 1109 N. Highland Street is closed today after an employee, who was last at the store on Monday, tested positive for the disease, according to a sign on the door.

“We are temporarily closing the store for precautionary cleaning and sanitation because a Crew Member has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19),” the sign says. “As soon as the store has been fully cleaned and restocked, we plan to reopen.”

“The Crew Member was last present at the store on April 13, 2020,” the sign continues. “Our focus remains on doing whatever is necessary to safeguard the health and safety of our Crew Members and customers and [to] best support our communities.”

Trader Joe’s is not the only store in Arlington where employees have tested positive for coronavirus, though it may be the most forthcoming with customers.

The Washington Business Journal reported yesterday that at least two employees at the Pentagon City Whole Foods have also tested positive and are currently in quarantine. The store “performed an additional cleaning and disinfection” after the cases were confirmed, a spokeswoman told WBJ, though it apparently remained open during regular business hours and did not post signs to notify customers.

The paper’s reporting seems to confirm a tip received by ARLnow on April 1, which we were unable to confirm at the time.

“I have a friend… whose roommate works at the Whole Foods in Pentagon City,” the tipster said. “There have been reports of two employees. diagnosed with COVID-19. This information was held from some employees and possibly from the many customers shopping at this location.”

Another store in Pentagon City may also have at least one COVID-19 case among its employees. On Friday, ARLnow received a tip that the neighborhood’s Costco store notified employees of a coworker who tested positive after last working on March 20.

“Costco Pentagon has an employee that has tested positive for coronavirus,” the tipster said. “Last day work was March 20… they just let their other employees know today, April 10.”

As of publication time Costco had not responded to a request for comment from ARLnow.

Grocery stores and other stores offering consumer staples have been deemed essential and allowed to remain open. After the coronavirus crisis prompted a crush of customers in stores many, like Costco, have started limiting the number of people in the stores at any given time and have instituted other social distancing measures.

In Maryland and across the country, a number of grocery employees have died after contracting COVID-19.

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The ever-busy Trader Joe’s store in Clarendon was closed this morning, with a sign on the door saying an employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

The store is now closed for a thorough cleaning and restocking, according to the sign, after which it plans to reopen.

The sign says the employee was last in the store on Sunday. The full text is below.

TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR CLEANING

We would like to notify customers of this store that we are temporarily closing the store for precautionary cleaning and sanitization because a Crew Member has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). As soon as the store has been fully cleaned and restocked, we plan to reopen.

The Crew Member was last present in the store on March 29, 2020. We encourage customers who have health-related concerns to review CDC and local health department guidelines and to contact their healthcare providers with any questions. Our focus remains on doing whatever is necessary to safeguard the health of and safety of our Crew Members and customers and best support our communities.

Photo courtesy Peter G.

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Shoppers at Whole Foods before a predicted snowstorm March 4, 2015With forecasters calling for up to 8 inches of snow on Thursday, Arlington residents are hunkering down for yet another snow day.

Part of the ritual preparation for many includes heading to the grocery store to stock up on food and supplies, in particular milk, eggs, bottled water and bread.

“It’s going to be a freaking zoo in here,” an employee of Clarendon’s Trader Joe’s said, declining to give her name because company policy doesn’t allow staff members to speak to the media.

This afternoon, shelves were fully stocked at many of the grocery stores in the area, but that won’t be the case for long. Katie Butris was shopping at Trader Joe’s and used to work there. She said “crazy lines” are the norm before a storm.

“You can’t keep the shelves stocked,” she said. “Everyone gets here at once. And then the delivery trucks can’t get here so we were out of [many items] for days.”

Carolyn Marsh was shopping before taking off for a ski trip — benefiting from the snow many of her neighbors are dreading it — and said she was glad she could get the trip out of the way before everyone else was out of work.

“It’s awful,”she said. “The places look like they’ve been ravaged.”

A native of New York, Marsh said she never worries about loading up on milk and bread. She lives in Westover and can walk to get her food if need be.

“Washington sort of feeds on itself in these situations,” she said. “People see the big news stories and figure they should load up when everyone’s out and about a day later anyway.”

(Shortly thereafter, an ARLnow.com reporter was told by Trader Joe’s management to leave the store.)

Arlington and the D.C. area is under a Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight until 9:00 p.m. Thursday, with the heaviest snow predicted from late morning to early afternoon.

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Broken water pipe at Trader Joe's in Clarendon Broken water pipe at Trader Joe's in Clarendon

Update at 10:00 a.m. — The store is back open, a tipster tells us.

The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store (1109 N. Highland Street) was closed tonight after a water pipe burst near the entrance.

The incident happened between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The burst pipe also set off the fire alarm, prompting a response from the Arlington County Fire Department. Water gushed out onto the sidewalk in front of the store and also flooded part of the store.

The water on the sidewalk quickly turned to a sheet of ice. Firefighters cordoned off the area with caution tape to prevent pedestrians from slipping and falling. Employees, meanwhile, could be seen trying to mop up water inside the store.

Trader Joe’s was closed during the clean-up. No word yet on when it will reopen.

Numerous burst pipes have been reported around Arlington today (Tuesday), the apparent result of the frigid temperatures.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Funeral Home Demolition — Arlington Funeral Home in Virginia Square has been torn down to make way for a new office building. Arlington funeral home first opened in April 1956. [Arlington Public Library]

Election Day Today — Arlington voters are going to the polls today to cast their ballots in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and the Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives (see candidate essays for Rep. Jim Moran and Bruce Shuttleworth). Arlington has a complete list of polling places here.

Trader Joe’s Asks for Display Cases — Trader Joe’s in Clarendon is asking the Arlington County Board for permission to put display cases in the store’s windows along N. Garfield Street. Currently, the windows — which are legally required to remain transparent, per a site plan — look in on the store’s storage area. [Arlington County]

APS Accepting Applications for Committee — Arlington Public Schools is inviting applications from parents and community members for its Pupil Services Committee. The committee meets once a month during the school year and “reviews the services offered by psychologists, social workers, substance abuse counselors, school counselors, and attendance specialists.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Photo courtesy Bill Colton

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Morning Notes

Lawmakers Punishing Arlington for HOT Lanes Suit — Arlington may have succeeded in blocking a state-backed plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395 last year, but the lawsuit the county filed against the HOT lanes project is coming back to haunt it in Richmond. State lawmakers have proposed budget amendments that would reduce Arlington’s share of road maintenance funds by $100,000 — a form of punishment for the county’s legal tactics. [Washington Times]

Wardian Wins D.C. Marathon — Arlington’s Michael Wardian won the SunTrust Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon in the District on Saturday, completing the race with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 35 seconds. The 37-year-old father of two had previously won the race’s predecessor, the National Marathon, five times. [Competitor]

Sliced Shopper Demands Wi-Fi — A woman has penned an open letter to the Clarendon Trader Joe’s insisting that the store install free public Wi-Fi internet service. The letter writer says the store’s lack of Wi-Fi led her to accidentally slice her finger while cutting avocados at home. [Patch]

Signature Production Connects with Younger Audience — A production at Shirlington’s Signature Theater is accomplishing the difficult feat of connecting with a younger theater-going audience while at the same time shining a critical light on their generation. “Really Really,” by 26-year-old playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo, examines “the self-absorbed mindsets often exhibited by the twentysomething members of ‘Generation Me.'” The show runs through March 25. [Variety]

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) At long last, Trader Joe’s has opened in Clarendon.

A crowd formed outside the store entrance at 1109 N. Highland Street this morning, awaiting the scheduled 8:00 opening. Following a brief “lei cutting” ceremony with County Board Vice-Chair Mary Hynes — which was held a bit early so as to not keep people waiting in the cold — shoppers flooded through the double doors and began christening the store with commerce.

‘Crew members,’ decked out in leis, the company’s signature Hawaiian shirts and — in one case — a turkey costume, enthusiastically greeted the first shoppers and began talking up the store’s wares.

“It’s never too early for cheesecake,” said one employee, who was handing out free samples. Hot cider samples, free leis and a reusable gift bag filled with treats were also handed out.

Hynes, meanwhile, used the opportunity to catch up on some shopping.

“I think it’s awesome… it’s great to have another grocery store choice,” she said. “People have been asking for a Trader Joe’s in our community for as long as I can remember.”

Trader Joe’s ‘captain’ (store manager) Perry Zettersten said employees will work hard to try to avoid the long check-out lines that plague the Trader Joe’s location in Foggy Bottom. The store has handheld “line buster” barcode scanners that crew members will be able to use to scan items while customers wait in line. Those customers will receive a receipt that they will then pay at the register. Still, Zettersten said the store’s popularity will make it hard to keep lines from forming.

“We don’t know if we can avoid it,” he said.

The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store is about 12,300 square feet and will carry approximately 2,500 items at any given time. In the U.S., the typical grocery store carries 15,000 to 60,000 items and has a median store size of 46,000 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute.

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It’s official: the long-awaited Trader Joe’s store in Clarendon will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning. The company will celebrate the opening with a “ceremonial lei cutting” featuring Trader Joe’s officials and “local dignitaries.”

Trader Joe’s a press release about the opening tonight.

Trader Joe’s, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, will celebrate the grand opening a new store located in Clarendon on Friday, November 18 at 8AM. To commensurate the official opening Trader Joe’s Captain (store manager) Perry Zettersten, Regional Vice President Scott Lane, local dignitaries and the crew will gather at 8:00AM for a ceremonial lei cutting to welcome new customers– Trader Joe’s style. The celebration will continue throughout the day with live music, food demonstrations, balloon artist and face painters.

The store is located at 1109 North Highland Street and is approximately 12,300 square feet. The grocery store will be open from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm, daily. Inside will feature a festive décor mixing traditional Trader Joe’s cedar covered walls, Hawaiian inspired elements throughout the store combined with a local flare including art that celebrates the neighborhood. Throughout the grocery store there are several amazing hand painted murals that pay homage to the old Clarendon Trolley, hot air balloons used during the Civil War, the Clarendon Metro and more.

Trader Joe’s is pleased to announce the appointment of Perry Zettersten, as Captain (Store Manager). Perry comes to the new store from the Trader Joe’s in Washington D.C. and has been with the company approximately 15 years.

Trader Joe’s was originally named in recognition of its distinct grocery buying process, because they search the world for great values and distinctive products. Crew members (store employees) consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas.” Crewmembers sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the light-hearted air of the store.

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Shelves are being stocked at the new Trader Joe’s in Clarendon, a sign that the store’s long-anticipated opening day may be nearing.

Interior construction on the 12,300 square foot grocery store appears to be wrapping up. Multiple calls and emails to Trader Joe’s HQ have gone unreturned in recent days, but several tipsters tell us that staff members have been saying the store will open on Friday, Nov. 18, in time for Thanksgiving.

The new Trader Joe’s store is located at 1109 N. Highland Street.

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Trader Joe’s has been interviewing potential employees all week to help fill positions at its new Clarendon store.

A “now hiring” sign outside the store advises interested job seekers to apply at the Arlington Employment Center, at 2100 Washington Boulevard. The employment center’s blog indicates that hourly wages start at $10 per hour.

Interior construction on the store, located at 1109 N. Highland Street, seems to be progressing swiftly. The company’s signature blue walls and wood-accented aisles are visible through the large front windows.

Last we checked, Trader Joe’s is planning to open the store at some point next month.

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Trader Joe’s Sets Opening Month

The opening of the new Trader Joe’s in Clarendon is about two months away.

The company announced today that its grocery store at 1109 N. Highland Street will open at some point in November. The store is 12,300 square feet in size and will offer underground parking.

Interior construction started early last month. Freezer cases and other food-related accoutrements are now visible inside the under-construction store.

With the opening forthcoming, Clarendon residents will soon start receiving Trader Joe’s sales flyers.

“Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s ‘Fearless Flyer’ in their mailboxes,” the company said. “The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe’s products. It’s been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine.”

There are more than 350 Trader Joe’s stores in 30 states.

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