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by Alex Koma May 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

After serving up frozen treats for the last decade along Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon, Boccato Gelato is now set to relocate.

The gelato and espresso lounge posted a notice on its front door and social media accounts Saturday (May 19) that it will soon be moving elsewhere, leaving 2719 Wilson Blvd. behind.

However, the restaurant’s managers wrote that “our future location is in the works.” They did not immediately respond to a request for comment on where they might be moving.

“While we were very lucky and blessed to have found this amazing spot in 2008, it has been quite a task and great challenge to keep up with the obligations of our lease,” Boccato’s staff wrote. “We would like to thank our landlord for giving us a chance to serve you in this wonderful location, and to all the employees of Arlington County for helping us get started and giving us the opportunity to introduce our business to the beloved town of Clarendon.”

The restaurant’s managers added that they have not yet decided on when their final day serving up scoops on Wilson Blvd. will be, and plan to post that information to their Facebook and Twitter accounts in due time.

The move will not affect the Cowork Cafe, however, which has operated out of Boccato for the last three years. The notice Boccato posted said that the Cowork Cafe has signed a new lease at the same space.

File photo

by Alex Koma May 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Arlington County could soon embark on a $1.8 million effort to replace four elevators around Courthouse.

The County Board will vote at its meeting this weekend on a plan to fully overhaul two elevators in Arlington’s Court Square West building (1400 N. Uhle Street) and two more that connect to the Courthouse Metro station underground.

All four elevators have “reached the end of their useful lives,” according to a report prepared by county staff.

The elevators in Court Square West, a building that holds some county offices, travel seven stories each. The Metro station elevators travel just two stories, and are located at each end of an underground access tunnel linking to the station — one is at 2200 Clarendon Boulevard, the other at 2111 Wilson Boulevard.

The County Board is set to vote to award a contract for the work on Saturday (May 19), as part of its “consent agenda,” which is generally reserved for noncontroversial items that are approved all at once.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 17, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

A new rooftop bar in Clarendon is on the verge of regulatory approval.

The County Manager’s office has recommended that the County Board approve amendments and modifications to an incoming Clarendon restaurant at the former La Tasca site.

The proposed site plan amendment calls for “the addition of approximately 1,760 square feet of new gross floor area and approximately 12 feet of new building height to accommodate a roof structure for the incoming Buena Vida restaurant, with modification of zoning standards for parking.”

Approximately 129 new seats will be added to the space’s capacity with the amendment.

The County Board is set to approve those modifications, allowing the applicant to maintain the current level of parking spaces. This would reduce the project’s parking ratio from one spot per 580 retail square feet to one space per 606 retail square feet, according to a County Board agenda item.

With the Clarendon Metro station two blocks away from the restaurant site and a slew of Clarendon-area parking garages and street parking options, staff noted that “there will be no undue adverse impacts as a result of the request.”

The new rooftop area, “minimally visible to pedestrians at the ground level,” would include both an enclosed and an outdoor section, elevator access, and a lounge area. “Sound attenuating glass” has been proposed by the applicant for the wall adjacent to Wilson Boulevard, and dark sky lighting standards have been agreed to, per the agenda item.

Both the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association and the Clarendon Alliance have indicated support, according to county documents, for the site plan amendment. The Lyon Village Civic Association, per the document, “had not communicated a position on the applicant’s request” to the county.

The rooftop dining and bar area would be the top floor of a three floor dining concept, a Mexican beer garden called Up. The first floor will be a Mexican eatery called Tacos, Tortas & Tequila that would serve the aforementioned foods, while the second floor would be Buena Vida, an all-you-can-eat tapas style restaurant.

by ARLnow.com February 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A Falls Church man driving a stolen car ran a red light, ditched the car and then took off on foot as police gave chase, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The alleged incident happened early Monday morning near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.

More from the crime report:

ELUDING, 2018-02190017, Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 1:34 a.m. on February 19, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling without its headlights on and attempted a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The suspect continued driving through a red light, before coming to a stop and exiting the vehicle. The suspect disregarded police commands and attempted to flee the area on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody, with the assistance of a Virginia State Trooper arriving on scene. During the course of the investigation, the vehicle operated by the suspect was determined to be stolen out of Fairfax County. Kevin Hernandez Gomez, 22, of Falls Church, VA, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Obstruction of Justice/Resisting Arrest, Eluding Police, Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License/No Insurance, Failure to Dim Headlights and Failure to Obey Traffic Lights. He was held on no bond.

On Sunday and Monday, a man — or men — ran up to two women on Wilson Blvd and on the W&OD Trail and grabbed the backside of each.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190111, 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:35 p.m. on February 19, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:50 p.m. on February 18, the female victim was waiting at the bus stop when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and placed his hands on her back and buttocks. When the victim turned around, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect is described as a male with an average build, approximately 6’0″, wearing a black hoodie. The investigation is ongoing.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190119, Washington and Old Dominion Trail. At approximately 2:34 p.m. on February 19, police responded to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:15 p.m., while the female victim was running on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a male suspect ran up behind her, grabbed her buttocks and fled on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’6″ to 5’10”, between the ages of 14 and 18, with a slim build, medium length hair, wearing black sweatpants and a hoodie, with black and white shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

On Saturday, D.C. police arrested a man accused of throwing an object at a passing car in Rosslyn and shattering a back window.

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2018-02170116, Fort Myer Drive at Lee Highway. At approximately 9:41 a.m. on February 17, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was driving her vehicle in the area when an object was thrown through a rear window, causing it to break. No injuries were reported. Witnesses followed the suspect as he fled on foot into D.C., where he was apprehended with assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department. A warrant for Shooting/Throwing Missiles at Occupied Vehicle was obtained for David Turner, 41, of Washington, D.C.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

(more…)

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 14, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

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.

File photos.

by Chris Teale December 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

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.

by Chris Teale December 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

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

by ARLnow.com November 29, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

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.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com November 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

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.

by Chris Teale October 31, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

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.

by Chris Teale October 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

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.

by Chris Teale September 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

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.

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.

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