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by Chris Teale September 12, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

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.

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A new bubble tea cafe is now open in Clarendon.

Kung Fu Tea at 3018 Wilson Blvd opened over the weekend in the former Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream location. Its soft opening is expected to last all week, with the store open from 12-9 p.m.

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.

by Chris Teale September 7, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

(Updated 2:10 p.m.) After months of anticipation, the successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon will open its doors tomorrow (Friday).

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.

by Chris Teale August 24, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

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.

by Chris Teale August 10, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

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.

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.

by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

(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.

by Chris Teale July 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

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.

by Chris Teale July 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Trendy fast-casual pizzeria &pizza is coming to Ballston, according to permit applications filed with the county.

The build-your-own pizza restaurant looks set to move into 3924 Wilson Blvd, next to Freshbikes near the intersection with N. Quincy Street.

Freshbikes is set to expand in its current location across from Gold’s Gym, while &pizza is set to occupy the front of the building facing Wilson Blvd, according to employees at the bike store. The plaza is also home to the eyebrow threading service Perfect Eyebrows.

Applications indicate that the restaurant is looking to add outside seating. No word yet on an opening date.

As well as giving guests the option to design their own pizza with customizable toppings, dough, cheeses and spreads, &pizza also offers several fixed selections. The eatery also offers its own flavored drinks, including sodas and teas.

It already has one location in Arlington, in Terminal C of Reagan National Airport, as well as others in Northern Virginia, D.C., Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

Hat-tip to Chris Slatt.

by Chris Teale July 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

The successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon is aiming to be open in “late summer.”

Wilson Hardware at 2915 Wilson Blvd has been under construction for almost a year, but appears to be nearing completion. Signs are up and facing the street, and a back outdoor patio is taking shape.

When it is finished, customers can expect a 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge with three distinct bar areas, including one on the roof.

Inside, a large papier-mâché mural covers the bar’s exposed brick wall, designed by D.C. firm SWATCHROOM. And upstairs on the rooftop, the bar features a graphic tile motif in black and white and plants overhead, along with high tables and two large flat-screen televisions.

Wilson Hardware will serve contemporary American food and a menu of signature cocktails. It is named for the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005.

“Clarendon has definitely been overdue for a place like Wilson Hardware, so we’re thrilled to be in the neighborhood,” said co-owner Jad Bouchebel in a statement. “We know how important the history of this landmark is and look forward to welcoming new faces to our restaurant.”

More from a press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale June 9, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated 1:10 p.m.) Construction in Rosslyn has led many people on foot to make a dubious choice after the temporary closure of a pedestrian walkway: walking in a busy street.

Crews closed the temporary walkway on Wilson Blvd between N. Lynn and N. Moore streets, adjacent to the Central Place development, where work is ongoing on the new CEB Tower.

And during lunchtime Thursday, numerous people made the risky decision to walk on the outside of the walkway along Wilson Blvd, just inches from cars traveling west on that major thoroughfare.

A reader emailed to say that pedestrians had been “forced” to walk in the street, although the sidewalk on the other side of Wilson Blvd remains open for use.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Dept. of Environmental Services said the closure will last until June 29 for utility work. She said signs direct pedestrians to the opposite sidewalk.

by Katherine Berko June 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A tattoo studio plans to open in Clarendon this month.

Lady Octopus Tattoos, set to move into 3240 Wilson Blvd, is owned by tattoo artist Gilda Acosta. According to the business’ Instagram account, potential clients can begin booking appointments this weekend. Those interested can also sign up for updates on its website.

The studio will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays.

The studio will be in the same building as the Portico Church and Arlington Premier Realty, among other businesses.

Acosta attributes her creativity to her childhood, which she spent filling blank pages with illustrations.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Following her schooling, Acosta began a three-year apprenticeship with the tattoo artist Fatty of Fatty’s Tattoos & Piercings.

“Her interest in the natural world is evident in her depictions of oceanic and botanical life as well as her figurative work, which has been a main interest since her earliest encounters with pencil and paper. Her work is as influenced by humor, music, and everyday situations as by themes of gender and sexuality, dreams and the subconscious, spirituality and the occult,” says Acosta’s website.

Hat tip to Bill C.

by ARLnow.com May 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

The old Ballston pedestrian bridge is no more.

The bridge was torn down over the weekend, closing part of Wilson Blvd in front of the under-construction Ballston Quarter mall and prompting a new location for the Taste of Arlington festival. The demolition included the use of a large crane to lower sections of the bridge.

Today, a construction crew was working to clear leftover debris, while a large section of the bridge sat largely intact, fenced off along the sidewalk.

Via Twitter, one local resident called the dismantling of the bridge and its “Ballston” sign an “end of an era.” A new pedestrian bridge will be built nearby, however, with its opening set for the fall of 2018.

by Chris Teale April 20, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

The long-planned demolition of the pedestrian bridge over Wilson Blvd in Ballston should begin soon, according to a spokeswoman for the developer.

The bridge between Ballston Common Mall and 4201 Wilson Blvd — which houses the soon-to-be-relocated National Science Foundation — closed last year as part of the mall’s renovation.

An anonymous tipster reported seeing bricks being removed at the base of the bridge’s pillars where it connects to the mall, and wondered if demolition was beginning.

But a spokeswoman for developer Forest City, which is carrying out the mall’s revamp, said last week it is not doing any work on the bridge at this time. She added that demolition is scheduled to start soon.

“We are not doing any construction on the structural components that would affect the bridge,” the spokeswoman said. “The demolition should begin within the next 30 days, but we will notify the public once we have a solid date.”

The bridge is still on track to be reconstructed and reopened in time for the revamped mall’s opening in fall 2018.

by Chris Teale April 5, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

Updated 4:20 p.m. — Arlington police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said just after 4 p.m. that the suspect had been safely taken into custody.

Earlier: Arlington police responded to the Patrick Henry Apartments on Wilson Blvd Tuesday afternoon, closing roads and bringing in the SWAT team for a possible barricade situation involving a wanted suspect.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said Arlington officers were called in at 12:30 p.m. April 5 to assist their Fairfax County counterparts serving an arrest warrant at 6172 Wilson Blvd, near Upton Hill Regional Park.

Police closed Patrick Henry Drive and had officers posted in cruisers blocking the entrance to the apartment complex. Meanwhile, SWAT officers carrying rifles patrolled the perimeter of a building and the department’s armored vehicle was on scene.

Savage said the SWAT team was called in out of an “abundance of caution,” given the highly populated apartment complexes in the area and to ensure the safety of children getting off school buses. She said that despite the heavy police presence, the arrest warrant was a “routine” serving and that there is no threat to the public.

As of 3:35 p.m., officers had still not been able to make contact with the wanted individual, according to scanner traffic, and pedestrian and school bus traffic was being rerouted in certain areas.

by Tim Regan January 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Board is considering giving its blessing to several easements needed for a long-awaited plan to revamp a tricky intersection in Clarendon.

The Board is scheduled to vote this weekend on easements needed to improve the “Clarendon Circle” intersection at Washington, Wilson and Clarendon boulevards.

If approved, the county will pay the Catholic Diocese of Arlington nearly $25,000 for permanent and temporary easements on a portion of church property along Washington Blvd, to be used for sidewalk, curb, gutter, utilities and drainage purposes.

The overall plan calls for improvements to “access and safety for those who walk, bike and drive.” The project’s goals include upgrades such as improved traffic signals and streetlights, wider center medians, shorter pedestrian crossings, bike lanes and curb extensions.

“Current travel across the intersection can be difficult due to its extreme width and the skewed alignment of its roadways,” according to a County webpage. “North Irving Street also enters the circle area in two offset locations, further complicating the traffic pattern.”

This wasn’t the only idea that Arlington County considered. Roundabouts, one-way street couplets and other alternative designs all were analyzed, but the County found those elements “would have negative impacts on all modes of transportation, especially for pedestrians.”

If all goes according to plan, the engineering design will be completed this spring, clearing the way for construction to begin next summer. Project completion is pegged for the summer of 2019.

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