The new Conte’s Bike Shop in Virginia Square quietly opened for business last week.
The store, at 3449 Wilson Blvd, is awaiting some additional window signage and product inventory before holding its grand opening.
Located between two other well-established bike shops along the Orange Line corridor — Freshbikes in Ballston and Revolution Cycles in Clarendon — Conte’s hopes to compete on selection, price and service.
Revolution, by contrast, is primarily a Trek and Felt dealer, while Freshbikes offers brands like Cannondale, Specialized, Cervelo, Santa Cruz and others. It’s not dissimilar to there being a number of car dealerships offering different makes of cars along a given corridor.
It’s a return to Arlington for Conte’s, which previously lent its name to what its now Freshbikes. About five years ago Conte’s decided to stop franchising and the store at 3924 Wilson Blvd was renamed in 2011. Co-owner and store manager Charles Conte called Freshbikes and Revolution “great” stores, but said he’s looking forward to serving Arlington again.
“We create a level of professionalism in the marketplace that will give customers another choice,” he told ARLnow.com Friday. “There are too many people who cycle in this community without having enough choices.”
Conte’s, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, has seven other stores throughout Virginia, including one that opened at 7121 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church a few months ago. Conte said “several” new stores are in the works, but declined to provide additional details.
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a break-in and theft at Japanese Auto Service, a service station located between Clarendon and Virginia Square.
The service center, at 3413 Wilson Blvd, has been in business for 19 years, according to owner Ed Lahrime. It was broken into by an unknown suspect early Sunday morning.
From an ACPD crime report:
“At approximately 4:51 a.m. on March 27, an unknown male subject forced entry into a business and stole several items of value and an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as a white male, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and dark shoes.”
A customer provided ARLnow.com with some additional details about what happened.
“The thief took their cash register and a significant amount of money in cash and checks,” the customer told us. “The store owner was able to provide the police with video of the suspect and they are currently reviewing the footage. Poor guy looked heart broken that his business had been violated like that.”
Lahrime said that his motion detection security system didn’t go off during the break-in, for some reason, and has since been replaced by the security company. He also had to replace a broken window and his cash register. All told, the theft is costing him more than $1,500, along with some sleep and peace of mind, he said.
“I couldn’t sleep that night,” he said. “I had to put my phone [with a connection to the surveillance system] next to me to make sure he didn’t come back to rob us again.”
Police told Lahrime of a number of other recent burglaries and burglary attempts in various parts of the county, from Shirlington to Clarendon, he said. This was the first burglary at Japanese Auto Service since it opened nearly two decades ago.
“Arlington is not safe,” said Lahrime.
Tuesday afternoon Arlington County Police released multiple surveillance images of the suspect, describing him as “a white male in his mid-20’s to early 30’s, wearing dark clothing and a gray hoodie.”
“If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective Echenique of the Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit at 703.228.4241 or at [email protected],” police said in a press release. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
“This is an ongoing and active investigation,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
The video shows the thief returning to the scene of the crime a half hour after the initial break-in, apparently to steal some change from the floor, Lahrime added.
The university is warning of potential traffic and parking issues around its Arlington campus.
“This event is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community,” GMU said in a press release. “Though we expect no changes to operations at Hazel Hall and the Arlington Campus, there are likely to be parking and traffic impacts associated with the event.”
“We expect additional traffic on campus on Tuesday as Founders Hall is a designated polling place for Arlington County for the Virginia Primary Election,” the university added.
Photo via John Kasich/Flickr
A reported attempted stabbing in Quincy Park, near Arlington Central Library, didn’t actually happen, according to Arlington County Police.
The 19-year-old man who reported the crime has admitted that he made it up and has been charged with filing a false police report, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Police conducted a “significant investigation” into the crime because the purported victim claimed the suspect who tried to stab him said it was part of a gang initiation.
“Because it had gang affiliation, it was turned over to the Gang Unit,” Savage said. While re-interviewing the man and canvassing the area, detectives noted inconsistencies in the story.
“Things just started to not line up, they weren’t consistent with the original story,” said Savage. “He eventually admitted that the story was not true and he was looking for attention from his dad.”
According to Savage, the false police report charge was noted in today’s daily crime report to let the public know that the gang attack did not happen.
“We don’t encourage people to walk through parks at night, but we also want people to feel safe in their community,” she said.
FILING A FALSE POLICE REPORT, 160211049, 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 8:40 p.m. on February 11, officers responded to an attempted malicious wounding in the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. After significant investigation by patrol officers and members of the Gang Unit, it was determined that the incident did not occur. Julian Leiter, 19, of Arlington VA was charged with filing a false police report.
Update on 2/17/16 — Police say the attack did not happen and was made up by the purported victim. The man, 19, has been charged with filing a false police report.
Police are investigating a possible gang-related attempted stabbing in Quincy Park last night.
Police say a male victim in his late teens was cutting through the park — near Arlington Central Library and Washington-Lee High School — just after 8:30 p.m., when he was approached by an unknown male suspect, also in his teens.
The suspect had a knife and told the victim that he was about to stab him as part of a gang initiation, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The victim, however, used self defense to foil the suspect’s apparent gang rite of passage.
The victim grabbed the suspect’s wrist as he tried to stab the victim, Savage said. The victim then struck the suspect in the side of the face, possibly injuring him. At that point, three men in hoodies started running toward the victim, who ran across the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street, at which point the suspects fled, according to Savage.
Police are encouraging anyone with information about the crime, or any potential gang-related activity in Arlington, to call ACPD’s gang unit at 703-228-GANG (4264). Gang activity may be reported anonymously.
The crime report item on the attempted stabbing, including the suspect descriptions, is below.
ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 160211049, 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 8:40 p.m. on February 11, an unknown male subject approached a male victim and attempted to stab him. The victim was able to use self-defense in fighting off the suspect and then fled. The suspect was accompanied by three additional male subjects. The first suspect that brandished a knife is described as a white male in his teens, approximately 5’10” tall with a slim build. The three accompanying suspects are described as males wearing grey-hoodie style jackets.
(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of a house fire on the 1300 block of N. Nelson Street, a block from Washington-Lee High School.
The fire department was called around 10:15 a.m. after residents and passersby spotted smoke coming from the home’s attic.
The fire was extinguished quickly and no one was injured. Three people, including one disabled man, escaped from the house during the fire and are expected to be temporarily housed by the Red Cross.
The house has three apartments. Its roof partially buckled during the fire.
— Public Servant-33yrs (@CAPT258) February 3, 2016
You’ve probably watched everything Netflix offers, surfed the far corners of the internet, and will be ready to get off the couch. Well, you’re in luck because several snowball fights around Arlington could be the perfect way to release some pent up energy tomorrow.
The most hotly anticipated we’ve found, based on the nearly 630 people who have already responded on Facebook, will be near the Clarendon Metro station at noon on Jan. 24.
There will be another snowball fight less than a mile away in Virginia Square. That one begins at 1:00 p.m. in Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), and the organizer’s Facebook post claims the fun will keep going “until people have tired themselves out.” A similar Quincy Park snowball fight nearly two years ago attracted more than a hundred participants.
Not to be outdone, residents along Columbia Pike have posted a Facebook invite for a “neighborly” snowball fight at Penrose Square (2501 Columbia Pike). The snow flinging is set to start at noon tomorrow.
Metro will remain closed throughout the weekend and travel conditions are expected to be terrible, so it’s recommended that snowball fight attendees plan on safely walking to the events.
The office will be located at 3434 Washington Blvd, behind George Mason University’s Arlington campus and a few blocks from Clarendon. It’s expected to open in April, said Virginia DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker.
News of the new DMV follows news that Arlington’s current DMV, on S. Four Mile Run Drive, will close this spring and move to the Barcroft Plaza shopping center in Fairfax County. That announcement has stirred up some local controversy and prompted lawmakers from both Arlington and Fairfax County to schedule public meetings.
The new Virginia Square DMV will be 6,000 square feet — about half the size of the Four Mile Run office and the future Barcroft Plaza office. It will offer all DMV services with the exception of road tests, Brubaker said. Public parking will be available.
“What we like best about this site is that it is located in a large population center and is about a block and a half from the Virginia Square-GMU Metro station, which will make it convenient for folks who work or live in the area or who use the Metro for travel,” said Brubaker.
Unlike Virginia Square, the new Barcroft Plaza office will offer road tests, according to Brubaker. She noted that “test routes will not travel through residential neighborhoods.”
Photo via Google Maps
Water Main Break in Courthouse — Courthouse Road is closed between Route 50 and 14th Street N., near the police station, due to a water main break that was discovered overnight. Repairs are still underway as of this morning’s rush hour. [WTOP]
Arlington Scores New Office Tenant in Va. Square — Arlington County will fill 50,000 square feet of vacant office space in Virginia Square thanks to a new tenant. GW Medical Faculty Associates will be moving into 3811 N. Fairfax Drive this coming spring, creating more than 200 jobs. [Arlington County]
Secret Chopsticks Open Today — The previously secretive Secret Chopsticks is planning to open to the public today. The 120-seat upscale, white tablecloth Chinese restaurant is located at 1850 Fort Myer Drive, on the ground floor of the Turnberry Tower condominium. [Washingtonian]
Garvey Wants Strategic Plan for County — Should County Board member Libby Garvey become the board chair next year, she wants to develop a strategic plan for Arlington. “We really don’t have one,” she said over the weekend. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Police say the 23-year-old woman was walking down the 1200 block of N. Quincy Street around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown man. The man tried to pull her into some nearby bushes but quickly fled the scene.
“The victim screamed out for help causing the suspect to flee,” according to Arlington County Police. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20-30’s, approximately 5’6″-5’8″ and weighed 130-160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt, dark pants, loafer shoes, and a backpack at the time of the incident.”
Though the suspect description is similar to that of a man suspected in up to a half dozen similar attacks on women in August, police say they don’t think it’s the same person.
“It doesn’t appear that this is the same guy, but we’re not going to rule that out,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Sternbeck said there’s additional information or evidence that suggests it’s a different suspect, but so far that information is not being publicly released while investigators continue to work the case.
Kickboxing gym 9Round is planning to open two new Arlington locations, one in Ballston and another on Columbia Pike.
The new Ballston location at 927 N. Quincy Street may be open as early as next week, pending final approval from Arlington, said 9Round partner Michael Agrillo.
The company is looking to open the gym at the Penrose Square shopping center on Columbia Pike the end of the year or beginning of 2016, Agrillo said.
“We will be located by the new Starbucks under the Super Giant,” he said.
The company may also look at a new space in Pentagon City or Crystal City, bringing the total number of Arlington locations to four, Agrillo said. The company first opened in Arlington with a location in Courthouse, at 2250 Clarendon Blvd.
“We’re also residents,” Agrillo said of his partners in the business. “We know this area well.”
“9Round offers a 30 minute boxing/kickboxing fitness program that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular and circuit training regimens,” the company said in a press release about the openings. “There are no class times and no person to person contact; members can come to the studio whenever it fits their schedule and get started on the circuit right away.”
In addition to the three new Arlington locations, the company is planning to open up a new gym in Falls Church.
Disclosure: 9Round is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The owners of Conte’s Bike Shop are planning to open a new location at 3449 Wilson Blvd in Virginia Square by March 2016, said co-owner David Conte.
“We have always wanted to open up company owned stores in this market. My wife Angela is a graduate of George Mason University and we have many great friends in the area,” Conte said.
“We are opening in Northern Virginia because the market is still underserved,” Conte said. “There is some really good bicycle retailers in the market and then [there] are not, we believe that we will not only succeed but thrive in these markets.”
Conte’s will be the third cycling shop near the Virginia Square-Ballston area. Hybrid Pedals is located at 822 N. Kenmore Street, and Freshbikes is just down the road at 3924 Wilson Blvd. Freshbikes had been a Conte’s franchise until it changed its name in 2011.
The new store offers services for all cyclists, from those who ride competitively to the everyday recreational cyclist, Conte said. The shop sells top of the line road bikes, including from manufacturer S-Works, Giant and Specialized, as well as kids bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and electric bikes.
“We are a cycling store for everybody, not just enthusiasts but mostly for the recreation cyclist in particular,” he said.
Conte plans to get involved with local Arlington cycling events once the store is open in the spring, he said.
“We do ride support for charity rides and all kinds of cycling related events, and if it has two wheels and needs the help from Conte’s we will be there,” he said. “Bike race events are another animal in its own and with a lot of events that happen in a great cycling city like Arlington, if we can be involved we will do our best to help.”
Car2Go Coming to Arlington — Arlington County is giving the car sharing service Car2Go a try. The county will allow up to 200 Car2Go vehicles on the streets, in metered parking spots, as part of a one year pilot program. Car2Go will pay the county for use of metered spaces. [UrbanTurf, WTOP]
‘Jen’s Kitchen’ Now Open in Va. Square — “Jen’s Kitchen” has reportedly opened in Virginia Square, replacing the former Metro Cafe and Gourmet at 901 N. Nelson Street. [Twitter]
Texas Questioning New Office in Arlington — Senate Republicans and the Texas Attorney General’s office are asking the Obama administration for more information about an immigration services facility that’s bringing hundreds of jobs to Crystal City. The office was originally intended to help with processing related to Obama’s executive action on immigration, which is currently on hold due to legal challenges. [Breitbart]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Chafee Announces Presidential Run in Va. Square — Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee announced that he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for president yesterday at George Mason University’s Founders Hall in Virginia Square. This morning at 10:30 a.m., possible Democratic presidential contender and former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) will be giving a foreign policy speech of his own at the Virginia Square campus. [New York Times]
More Cameras Coming to School Buses — Arlington Public Schools is moving forward with plans for a private contractor to install cameras on the “stop arms” of about 15 percent of APS school buses. The school system is also aiming to increase the percentage of school buses with interior cameras from just over 50 percent today to 100 percent within five years. [InsideNova]
Democratic Battle for Kupricka’s Seat — Five Democrats are seeking to replace Del. Rob Krupicka in the Virginia House of Delegates, but there are few policy differences among the candidates. Krupicka represents Virginia’s 45th legislative district, which is mostly Alexandria but also includes five Arlington precincts. The candidates facing off in the June 9 primary are Craig Fifer, Julie Jakopic, Mark Levine, Clarence Tong and Larry Altenburg. [Washington Post]
2015 Women of Vision Honorees — Next week the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women will honor its 2015 Women of Vision. The honorees are Karen Darner, former member of the House of Delegates; Mary-Claire Burick, executive director of the Rosslyn BID; and Sarah Summerville, head of the African American Leadership Council of Arlington. [Press Release]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The Montana State Society is again hosting its annual Testicle Festival in Virginia Square this year.
The event, which lets participants dine on all-you-can-eat Rocky Mountain oysters while sipping all-you-can-drink beer and Crown Royal, is scheduled for this Saturday, June 6, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.
As usual the festival is being hosted at American Legion Post 139 (3445 Washington Blvd) and as usual the organizers have a colorful tagline for the event.
“The Montana State Society would like to invite you to have a ball (literally!) at the 11th annual D.C. Testy Fest, ‘Where Big Balls Meet The Beltway,'” said a press release. “You’d be NUTS to miss this!”
Tickets are $25. The event will feature live country music, from The Wil Gravatt Band. For those squeamish about sampling cowboy caviar, food trucks will offer alternative cuisine.
More than 700 people attended last year’s event, according to the society.