Despite the cancellation of the Mardi Gras Ball and the Jester Jaunt, Clarendon let the good times roll and carried on with the annual Mardi Gras parade.
One resident told ARLnow.com that the parade seemed to have far fewer attendees than last year’s parade, despite last year’s rain storm.
Costumed revelers glittered down Wilson Boulevard, trumpets blaring. Few families and groups watching the parade seemed to mind the lack of fireworks and marketing that The Clarendon Alliance’s executive director Matt Hussman cited as the reason that many were flocking to Washington’s southwest wharf for that neighborhood’s Mardi Gras festivities.
A longtime pizza restaurant in Clarendon is soon to shutter and reopen under new management.
Signs posted on the doors of Faccia Luna at 2909 Wilson Blvd show it will soon become Alto Fumo, another Italian restaurant. Faccia Luna first opened in Clarendon in 1992.
Permit applications filed with Arlington County indicate that the restaurant is under new management, but for now little is expected to change other than the name.
“Alto Fumo means ‘high-rising smoke’ in Italian, like smoke rising from a pizza oven,” the sign reads. “You will enjoy the highest quality customer service and foods and also enjoy our new additions.”
Faccia Luna also has locations in Old Town Alexandria and State College, Pennsylvania. A sign on the door at the Alexandria location thanked customers “for all the support.”
In 2015, co-owner Joe Corey said Faccia Luna has been a spot for successful first dates, with hundreds of couples ending up married after eating together at the Clarendon pizza joint.
Northern Virginia office space is most expensive to rent on Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, according to a study.
Commercial real estate firm JLL found that rents on the street in Rosslyn average between $56 and $65 per square foot, and that those rents are increasing.
The study found that average rent increase is due to new high-end “trophy class” offices coming online, as well as the unobstructed views of Washington, D.C. and the Potomac River. Those “trophy” offices include top amenities, good views of their surroundings and are connected to transit options like Metro and bus routes.
“The new trophy buildings not only deliver high-end modern office space, but will help transform Rosslyn from a sleepy 9-5 business district into a vibrant live-work-play neighborhood,” Michael Hartnett, senior research manager in JLL’s Northern Virginia office, said in a statement.
Across the region, average rents on office space remain high even as jurisdictions battle with a high vacancy rate. Arlington County’s office vacancy rate is just over 17 percent, even with the likes of Nestle moving to Rosslyn.
“Despite the U.S. office market posting 81 million square feet of net absorption the past 24 months and posting rent growth of 8.2 percent, the Metro D.C. market has posted nearly 700,000 square feet of occupancy losses and a rent decline of 6.9 percent,” John Sikaitis, managing director of research at JLL, said in a statement. “In this challenging market, there are an equal mix of winners and losers and on the demand side, these nuanced high-priced corridors at the intersection of Main and Main have attracted the most demand and been some of the more resilient segments of the market.”
Photo via Monday Properties
A woman walking down the street witnessed a man wearing a mask, lying atop a car and pleasuring himself last night in the Courthouse area, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
The incident was reported around 10 p.m., on the 1900 block of Wilson Blvd. The masked man fled on foot after the woman screamed. Police were called but officers were unable to find him.
More from ACPD:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-11280270, 1900 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on November 28 police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:45 p.m. a female victim was walking in the area when she observed a male suspect wearing a mask laying across the hood of a car masturbating. When the victim screamed, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect is described as a male, with light skin, wearing light brown pants, black shoes, a black sweater and a black mask. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Police and firefighters are on scene of a rollover crash on Wilson Blvd involving an Arlington County Park Ranger.
A car reportedly struck the back of the park ranger’s SUV, causing it to flip on its roof. Wilson Blvd is currently blocked at Patrick Henry, near Upton Hill Regional Park, while police investigate and the wreckage is cleared.
No serious injuries were reported.
Update at 1:20 p.m. — The westbound lanes of Wilson Blvd have reopened.
A fast-casual Greek restaurant is set to move into a shopping plaza in the Colonial Village neighborhood near Rosslyn.
The Simple Greek will arrive at 1731 Wilson Blvd, according to signs posted on the long-vacant storefront. It will be between the Guajillo Mexican restaurant and the Beangood! Coffee Pub, in the former Virginia ABC store space.
According to its website, the restaurant “is redefining the traditional Greek restaurant with an interactive concept that combines high quality ingredients, open kitchens and Greek atmosphere in a fast casual setting.”
Customers build their own meal by ordering from a combination of proteins, toppings and sauces, with sides, drinks and desserts also available. A Greek yogurt can also be built, with various sweet and savory options.
Already, The Simple Greek has 15 locations in Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, Florida and Arizona.
More are set to come in Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Indiana, Connecticut, North Carolina and Rhode Island. The Arlington location will be the first in Virginia.
Representatives with The Simple Greek did not respond to questions on an opening date. So far, no permitting applications have been filed with the county.
A new co-working space will move into Ballston next year, across the street from the under-construction Ballston Quarter mall.
TechSpace will move into the eighth floor of Two Liberty Center (4075 Wilson Blvd); its 10th location in the United States. It expects to open in June 2018. TechSpace already has similar co-working spaces in New York, California and Texas.
The new 20,000-square-foot Arlington office will include 56 private, interconnecting office suites with 198 workstations as well as open co-working desks and spaces for working. That will include fully-equipped conference rooms and lounges. Members who work in the space will also have access to building amenities like a rooftop terrace, bike storage, locker rooms and showers.
“Our new Arlington location extends TechSpace’s heritage of delivering extraordinary flexible, modern office space and technology services to all businesses as well as enterprise companies,” said Victor Memenas, Chief Executive Officer for TechSpace, in a statement. “We’re excited to bring our model of creative flexible office space and collaborative social experience combined with our exceptional customer service to the Arlington community.”
More from a TechSpace press release:
TechSpace Arlington will be prominently positioned along the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor within easy reach of Washington DC, The Pentagon, Tyson Corner, Maryland Suburbs, the Ballston-MU Metro, I-66 and Route 50. The campus is also close to retailers including Sweetgreen, Taylor Gourmet and celebrity Chef Mike Isabella’s 3 concept restaurants, Kapnos Taverna, Pepeita and Yona. This campus will join nine existing TechSpace locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, California and Austin and Houston, Texas.
“TechSpace Arlington will allow us to expand our outstanding customer service and highly flexible, low-commitment model to many more companies seeking to grow their businesses without the burdens of long-term leases and unnecessary capital investment,” said Memenas.
TechSpace will complete with a number of existing coworking spaces in Arlington, including the soon-to-open Spaces in Rosslyn, MakeOffices in Clarendon and WeWork in Crystal City, among others. There is demand for coworking space in Arlington: latter two offices are both at or near capacity.
Photo via Shooshan Company.
The just-opened Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is already looking to ramp up its weekend offerings after a successful first few weeks.
Open since earlier this month at 2915 Wilson Blvd, co-owner Faris Ghareeb told ARLnow this afternoon they are looking to experiment with opening at 11 a.m. this Sunday (October 1), then start doing the same on future Saturdays too. Then, Ghareeb said, the successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub would look to start serving brunch in addition to its usual evening offerings.
The new spot has several distinct areas: a main dining area, a mezzanine above it with lounge seating, a rooftop deck, a small dining and lounge area next to the deck and a first-floor patio. The rooftop deck has a full bar, and overlooks the first-floor patio.
In the main dining area are six custom-made metal chandeliers, while a mural stretches across the main wall and up into the mezzanine area. Just inside the bar’s entrance off Wilson Blvd, another mural hints at the building’s history as the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005.
The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business could expand into two upper floors of a Rosslyn office building.
Under plans before the Arlington County Board for its Saturday (September 16) meeting, building owner Monday Properties wants to convert existing office space at 1100 Wilson Blvd on the 30th and 31st floors to educational use. Just over 39,000 square feet of space would be converted.
“The renovated space will feature classrooms, multi-purpose spaces and supporting office space,” a staff report on the project reads. The report recommends the Board adopt the plans.
Per the application, the 30th floor would get three classrooms, a boardroom, a multi-purpose room, space for catering, conference rooms and break-out areas. The 31st floor would host two tiered classrooms — with auditorium-style seating for lectures, large discussions and the like — as well as a flat classroom and 12 case rooms for small meetings.
The report notes that the Darden School is the “anticipated tenant,” and that classes will be held at the site during off-peak hours and weekends to reduce strain on the building’s parking.
The school already hosts regional staff offices in the building, and provides executive MBA classes at 1000 Wilson Blvd and 1919 N. Lynn Street. It expanded into the D.C. area last year.
County staff said the nearby Radnor/Fort Myer Heights Civic Association president did not raise any objections to the plan, while the North Rosslyn Civic Association did not send any comments before the staff report was published. Staff from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District wrote in support of the proposal.
Disclosure: Monday Properties is an ARLnow.com advertiser. Photo via Google Maps.
A new bubble tea cafe is now open in Clarendon.
The store offers black and green tea, which customers can combine with milk and with fruit flavors. There are also several flavored yogurt options made from the Japanese probiotic Yakult, slush and snow cream offerings, seasonal flavors like “Pumpkin Oolong Milk Tea,” and various coffee and espresso options.
Tapioca bubbles are one of several toppings that can be added for 50 cents each.
Inside of the new Clarendon store, which is located next to the recently-opened Hanabi Ramen restaurant, there is space for around 12 people to sit. Kung Fu Tea has dozens locations across the United States and has been expanding in the D.C. area.
Wilson Hardware’s soft opening at 2915 Wilson Blvd will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, with happy hour from 5-7 p.m., according to an event listing. It will open at the same time on Saturday as well, with a DJ to perform on both nights from 10 p.m. until close.
Anyone wanting to make dinner reservations for Friday or Saturday can now do so online.
“The team has been working hard create a beautiful, multi-level space for everyone’s enjoyment,” an invite to the soft opening reads. “Guests can anticipate bold fixtures, textured artwork and a unique experience in the new eclectic venue.”
The new 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge has three distinct bar areas, including one on the roof. Inside and outside are motifs and murals.
Food to be served will include Hardware fritters, crab dip and panzerotti, which is crisp-fried pizza dough stuffed with cheeses and marinara sauce. The menu will also feature avocado burgers with grass-fed beef, duck confit with roasted vegetables, steak frites and pan-seared salmon with saffron mashed potatoes.
Many of the drinks will reference the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005. The cocktail menu will feature signature drinks such as the “Blueprint,” a mix of rosé, vodka, cantaloupe, lemon, ancho chile and mint; the “Adjustable Wrench” made with bourbon, rum, vanilla and chocolate bitters and the “Bright Idea,” a shareable cocktail for two.
Work to renovate and build out the space began last year.
“We’re so excited for everyone to finally see our vision for Wilson Hardware to come to life,” co-owner Jad Bouchebel said in a statement. “We know Arlingtonians will be pleasantly surprised when they see how we’ve revamped the space into an elegant new restaurant and bar.”
Photos No. 2, 4-6 via Instagram.
Arlington County has completed a series of modifications to Wilson Blvd between N. Patrick Henry Drive and Glebe Road, with the goal of improving pedestrian safety along the corridor.
The changes over the past year include “re-striping, sign installation, concrete work for curb ramps, bollards installation… marking additional crosswalks with marked median/islands, and other short-term improvements.”
The changes, which are within the Bluemont, Boulevard Manor and Dominion Hills neighborhoods, follow a lane reduction that provoked criticism from some residents who said they made traffic congestion worse. Others, however, said the reduction from four lanes to two travel lanes and a turn lane improved safety without much of a traffic impact.
The recent changes included extending the two-lane configuration — which includes new bike lanes on either side of the road — one extra block, from N. Manchester Street to N. Larrimore Street.
Going forward, the plan is to hire a contractor to conduct a long-term transportation study of Wilson Blvd from N. Glebe Road to the county line, to “create a long-term vision for the physical configuration” of Wilson Blvd. Following the study, more extensive changes to the road configuration may be made, including making the recent improvements — described as a “pilot” program — permanent.
County staff said the study will look to collect data on usage on Wilson Blvd and adjacent streets, and seek residents’ input to identify changes to the road.
Improvements are complete on Wilson Blvd between N Glebe Rd & N Patrick Henry Dr, targeting safety & accessibility for all modes of travel. pic.twitter.com/iB2r0h3clt
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) August 22, 2017
Emergency repairs to a 6-foot-deep sinkhole near the under-construction Ballston Quarter mall could cause traffic headaches today (Thursday).
The sinkhole opened suddenly yesterday near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, but was quickly covered ahead of repairs to allow cars to keep driving over it.
A contractor at the scene said the hole is about 3 feet wide and 6 feet deep.
To accommodate contractors’ vehicles and tools, the westbound right lane of Wilson Blvd and the parking lane are closed, while the eastbound left-turn lane at the intersection will be used as a westbound lane. With renovations to the former Ballston Common Mall on the other side of the street also closing lanes, it means Wilson Blvd will be down to one lane in each direction.
8/10: Emergency sinkhole repair at N Randolph St/Wilson Blvd intersection (5a-4p) barring complications. Detours will be in place #VATraffic
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) August 9, 2017
Originally, there had been plans to close one lane in each direction on N. Randolph Street too, but the contractor said that would no longer be the case.
Complicating matters in that area of Ballston will be the construction crew’s removal of a stoplight just outside the mall. The contractor on the sinkhole repairs warned that the two projects could combine to make traffic a little “hectic” in that section of Wilson Blvd.
Work on repairing the sinkhole is expected to be complete around 4 p.m.
(Updated 3:15 p.m.) Police temporarily closed Wilson Blvd at its intersection with N. Danville Street in Clarendon after two cars crashed this afternoon.
The crash occurred around 2:40 p.m., involving a blue Toyota and a white car. The white car had its front bumper ripped off in the collision, while the Toyota was damaged on its left side. The intersection is near Whole Foods and Market Common.
Officers temporarily closed Wilson Blvd near the intersection and diverted traffic onto other streets. According to scanner traffic, one person suffered minor injuries.
The new fast-casual pizzeria &pizza is aiming to open in the late fall in Ballston, its first shop outside a mall or airport in Virginia.
The build-your-own-pizza restaurant will move into 3924 Wilson Blvd, next to Freshbikes near the intersection with N. Quincy Street. It will occupy more than 2,000 square feet of space in the building, facing Wilson Blvd and across the parking lot from Gold’s Gym.
Guests can expect &pizza’s signature customizable oblong pizzas with unlimited toppings using local ingredients and no artificial flavors.
“We pride ourselves in creating neighborhood shops built for the neighborhood and supporting local, like-minded brands doing big things – whether that’s in downtown D.C. or Arlington,” said Michael Lastoria, co-founder and CEO of &pizza, in a statement. “We are so grateful to have grown this quickly, and directly attribute our growth to the DMV community’s support over the last five years.”
More from an &pizza press release:
&pizza, the beloved Washington, D.C.-based pizza brand, announces a new shop opening in Virginia this fall. The anti-establishment establishment will soon be serving up its signature oblong pies in the Ballston section of Arlington at 3924 Wilson Boulevard.
Occupying 2,123 square feet, Ballston will be &pizza’s sixth shop in Virginia. Other Virginia locations include a Tysons Corner shop slated for opening in October, Springfield Mall and multiple airport locations at both Dulles and Reagan. The first standalone shop in Virginia outside of mall or airport, the Ballston location will deliver the full &pizza experience in a way suburban Virginia has never seen before.
Each of &pizza’s outposts celebrates oneness, unity, and inclusion. “We pride ourselves in creating neighborhood shops built for the neighborhood and supporting local, like-minded brands doing big things – whether that’s in downtown D.C. or Arlington,” said Michael Lastoria, co-founder and CEO of &pizza. “We are so grateful to have grown this quickly, and directly attribute our growth to the DMV community’s support over the last five years.”
&pizza has made their critically-acclaimed pies, unlimited toppings and commitment to community the new type of pizza shop. They have successful track-records in both urban and suburban communities, choosing to always focus on creative food, hyper-local design and charitabe giving. With shops in Adams Morgan, Tysons Corner and New York City’s Astor Place also slotted to open this fall, &pizza continues its trek as one of the fastest-growing pizza brands on the East Coast.
&pizza has also signed a lease at 401 Morse Street NE slated for a 2018 opening. More information to follow.
// THE MENU + THE BRAND
&pizza prides itself on serving up experiences in addition to fresh pizza. Guests have the opportunity to craft their own individual pie with unlimited ingredients or choose from eight signature pizzas with bold and unique flavor combinations such as the Maverick (meat lovers), the egg-topped Farmer’s Daughter (breakfast with a kick), and the Gnarlic (more than a white pie). The brand works with Little Giants (local producers) to create innovative menu offerings that span a variety of food and beverage categories, including craft &SODA and small batch &TEA. &pizza is all about cleaner labels – using local produce and no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. They also have a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings.
// ABOUT &pizza:
Founded in 2012 in Washington, D.C.’s historic H Street NE corridor, &pizza set out to create a different kind of pizza shop – one where experience is the focal point, and every shop reflects the culture and people of its neighborhood. &pizza quickly became a part of the fabric of its local D.C. communities with its strong sense of social mission as a champion fighter in the battle for a living wage for its tribe, local food partnerships as a way to create a twist on classics, and in turn, with the signature ampersand tattoos that are now proudly worn by nearly 100 guests and members of its devoted Tribe of employees.
Evidence of their disruptive success can be found in the organizational culture of its employees, its rapid expansion and numerous recognitions. The brand was recently named Business Insider’s “Most Popular Pizza Chain” in Washington, D.C. and took home wins in 7 different “Best Of” categories by Washington City Paper – including “Best Pizza.” With the opening of &pizza in New York’s NoMad neighborhood in June 2017, Buzzfeed declared that “The Next Generation of Pizza Is Descending Upon New York.”
&pizza currently has 22 shops across Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, with additional locations opening soon in Adams Morgan in D.C., Tysons Corner in Virginia, and Astor Place in New York.