Join Club
The new Foxtrot store in Rosslyn (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Boutique market Foxtrot‘s newest location in Rosslyn is aiming to open in mid-December.

With window stickers now up, a company spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow that the Foxtrot at 1771 N. Pierce Street in Rosslyn could open its doors within six weeks.

“We are looking at the second week of December,” District Manager Adriana Stavreva wrote in an email.

The initial estimate for the store’s opening right off of Wilson Blvd, basically next door to the year-old Fire Station 10, was “early fall,” but that’s been pushed back by at least a couple of months.

Chicago-based Foxtrot is a delivery-focused upscale corner market and cafe. It makes much of its inventory — everything from a rainbow-sprinkled crispy cake to non-alcoholic whiskey — available for delivery within an hour.

ARLnow reported in April that the company was opening a Rosslyn location, part of a local aggressive expansion that includes several other planned stores in the region. A Foxtrot location opened in Old Town Alexandria earlier this year and another is currently open in Georgetown.

0 Comments

The sun has set on the British-inspired Salt Pot Kitchen in Ballston Quarter Market.

The “upscale British street food” eatery closed down its Quarter Market stall back in early August, co-owner Wendy Salt confirmed to ARLnow. Salt Pot first opened there in May, making its run rather short.

“Our contract was only ever for 3 months as a trial run/pop-up. There was always going to be an option to extend, which we would have been happy to consider but it just never got busy enough,” she wrote ARLnow. “Other opportunities came our way, and we have been busy exploring those since August.”

Salt also noted that they are not completely gone from Ballston, keeping a presence at the weekly farmers market on Thursday evenings until mid-November.

“This has been very successful, and we have many repeat customers every week,” Salt said.

The restaurant also continues to sell its food online.

Salt Pot Kitchen is from the Loudoun County-based mother-son team of Wendy and Charlie Salt and the mall stall was their first brick-and-mortar location. It served traditional English fare, like sausage rolls, meat pies, soups, and Wiltshire plaits.

The stall where Salt Pot Kitchen was, near the escalator and across from Bollywood Bistro, is currently dark, as it’s been since August. There’s no word as of yet on what new tenant might move in.

Prior to the British eatery, the stall was the home of Rogi. That pierogi pop-up, which replaced Italian spot Cucina al Volo, closed early this year, making way for Salt Pot Kitchen in the spring.

0 Comments

Nightlife venue Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is now back fully reopened after a million-dollar renovation.

The five-year-old restaurant underwent a significant facelift over the last several months that added a new garden terrace, expanded the rooftop, redesigned the interior dining space, and redid the menu.

While Wilson Hardware never fully closed, the nightlife venue and restaurant on 2915 Wilson Blvd made its new and improved debut this past week.

The three-level venue now has distinct spaces on each level and the intent is to be open year-round. The rooftop added a retractable awning so it’s now “suitable for all seasons.”

“Overall, the team wanted to reinvest in the space that has served the Arlington community for five years strong and create a more elevated atmosphere for guests, giving them the chance to experience three distinct environments in one setting,” a restaurant spokesperson told ARLnow about why they decided to embark on the renovation.

Wilson Hardware opened in the late summer of 2017. Its name is in homage to the hardware store that occupied that space for decades prior before closing in 2005. After that, Ri Ra Irish Pub moved in before making way for Wilson Hardware.

The concept for the revamp is “industrial-chic” while also emphasizing greenery and floral decor.

“The redesigned dining space on the first level features updated seating in a sleek, industrial-style setting,” reads the press release. The second level includes lounge seating for cocktail hour and double doors that lead out to a newly-designed garden terrace, where guests can grab a drink from the bar outside or order a bite to eat at several dining tables. The third-level rooftop bar is nearly doubled in size and features floral decor reminiscent of its downstairs terrace as well as a retractable awning to block out the sun on hot days or keep the winter breeze at bay.”

There’s also a bit of a reworked menu that includes several new options like truffle hanger steak and garlic shrimp skillet. In terms of cocktails, the major addition is the PSM — yes, that’s a pumpkin spice martini with vodka, Kahlua, pumpkin liqueur, and espresso. Brunch has also been extended on Sundays until 6 p.m.

Back in July, a small fire broke out reportedly at or near the roof of Wilson Hardware. There’s no word back from the restaurant as of the publication if the fire was indeed at the restaurant and related to the renovation.

0 Comments

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Rosslyn appears to have made its last sub.

The Delaware-founded and currently Las Vegas-based fast-casual sandwich chain seems to have closed its eatery on the ground floor of 1500 Wilson Blvd, across from the Target. Closed signs are posted on its doors, while equipment inside has been moved out.

Additionally, the store seems to have been scrubbed from Capriotti’s website.

ARLnow has reached out to the company to confirm its closure in Rosslyn but has yet to hear back as of publication.

Capriotti’s first opened on Wilson Blvd in August 2014 to considerable fanfare, with people camped out in order to get free sandwiches for a year. It was part of a torrid expansion for the company, with a number of other locations also opening in the D.C. area around the same time.

The sandwiches were famed for being a favorite of now-President Joe Biden, who attended the opening of the first Capriotti’s in D.C. in 2013 and reportedly liked to tell people that the shop was proof that Delaware makes the best sandwiches. During the first week of November 2020 and with Biden on his way to becoming the 46th president, sales rose by about 30% at the Capriotti’s in Rosslyn.

Despite that brief uptick in sales, though, it was already clear that Capriotti’s was struggling to generate enough sandwich sales to maintain its expanded presence in area. The location in Dupont Circle closed in 2018 and the location in Arlington was the last of the shops in the region.

The closest Capriotti’s currently open is in Chester, Maryland, southeast of Baltimore. An outpost is also reportedly coming to Dulles International Airport, which brings to mind the fact that the last Virginia location of once high-flying regional chain Taylor Gourmet is still slinging sandwiches at Reagan National Airport.

The first Capriotti’s opened in Wilmington, Delaware in 1976. It now has more than 100 locations and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

0 Comments

Clarendon’s Maison Cheryl says it is not closing for good but rather undergoing a “fall refresh.”

Over the last week, ARLnow has received several emails from readers asking whether the French-American bistro had closed permanently.

That does not appear to be the case. The restaurant is planning to reopen on Monday (Oct. 3) after a two-week hiatus for repairs, to hire staff, and complete training, a spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.

“We are simply changing with the season! We’ve had some maintenance and repairs done on the inside of the restaurant. We also hired a new General Manager, Jody Sultan, that we are very excited about,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “She’s bringing some great staff with her and we are currently training and implementing some new processes so that we are ready to hit the ground running when we reopen fully on Monday, October 3rd. Our new fall menu will be debuting along with the reopening.”

Maison Cheryl first opened about a year ago at 2900 Wilson Blvd near the intersection with N. Fillmore Street. As chef and co-owner Robert Maher told ARLnow at the time, the restaurant’s aim was to be a great date night spot for “older millennials” in a neighborhood that often caters to a younger crowd. It has garnered generally favorable reviews online, with many of the less favorable reviews mentioning the pricing.

With Maher being a trained French chef, the cuisine is billed as “French-New American.” Popular dishes include the Maison Wagyu burger, duck breast, and bucatini with fried burrata in a zucchini sauce.

Earlier this year, Maher shared with ARLnow that Covid concerns and difficulty securing an outdoor seating permit were posing some challenges for the relatively new eatery in a storefront that has seen some turnover. However, he expressed optimism at the time that it was going to all work out in Clarendon and, possibly, beyond.

“One day, I might think of [opening] another one, but right now just trying to become a staple in the community,” he said. “I’m having the time of my life doing that.”

0 Comments
Chicken + Whiskey moves into Clarendon (photo courtesy of Twitter/David Kinney)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) Chicken + Whiskey is crossing the river to get to Clarendon.

The new South American rotisserie chicken restaurant and whiskey bar is hoping to open this spring, co-owner Des Reilly confirmed to ARLnow.

Permitting and construction remain ongoing in the nearly 6,000 square-foot space at 3033 Wilson Blvd, where window stickers are now advertising the restaurant. One sticker reads, “Chicken in the front, Whiskey in the back.”

The new eatery and bar moves into a space that was formerly occupied by Hunan Number One, which closed three years ago. It will be in the same building as Waterhouse Coffee and the newly-opened Bar Ivy while across the street from Mexicali Blues.

The menu consists of Peruvian chicken, homemade sauces, sides like yucca fries and black beans, and a wide selection of whiskeys. There are also cocktails, churro donuts, arepas, and salads.

This will be Chicken + Whiskey’s fourth location, but first outside of the District. The restaurant is led by Chef Enrique Limardo who is “commonly credited as the pioneer of modern Venezuelan cooking in the U.S.,” per Huffington Post. He’s also the head chef at Immigrant Food and D.C.’s Seven Reasons, which was named 2019’s best new restaurant in the country by at least one publication.

Reilly said that the reason Clarendon was chosen as the next location for Chicken + Whiskey is that they believe good Peruvian chicken is “missing” from the neighborhood.

“In my opinion, we are the best in the DMV,” he said. “No one is doing what we are doing at this price point.”

That section of Wilson Blvd, the two blocks between N. Highland Street and N. Fillmore Street, has been undergoing some changes recently. Bar Ivy opened this summer while the former sports bar G.O.A.T. is being converted into a bank. Meanwhile, Maison Cheryl is currently closed for a “fall refresh.” Just beyond N. Fillmore Street, buzzy Middle Eastern restaurant Tawle is looking to open in the spring as well.

Hat tip to David Kinney

0 Comments
Street scene from Clarendon Day 2017 (file photo)

A number of in-person events are back in Arlington this weekend after extended pandemic-related hiatuses. With those, though, comes road closures.

Clarendon Day is returning this Saturday (Sept. 24) for the first time since 2019. One of Arlington’s largest street festivals, the event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include music, food, vendors, and art.

There will be road closures throughout the neighborhood, including large swaths of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd. The closures will begin in the middle of the night, around 3 a.m., and go as late as 10 p.m.

The closures include:

  • Wilson Boulevard, from N. Highland Street to Washington Boulevard
  • Clarendon Boulevard, from Washington Boulevard to N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street, from 11th Street N. to Wilson Boulevard
  • N. Herndon Street, from Wilson Boulevard to alleyway behind CVS
  • N. Hudson Street, from Wilson Boulevard to alleyway behind CVS
  • Southbound N. Highland Street, from N. Hartford Street to Wilson Boulevard
Clarendon Day 2022 road closures (image via ACPD)

The Prio Bangla Multicultural Street Fair is also making its comeback after a pandemic hiatus, taking place on Saturday (Sept. 24) in the Arlington Heights neighborhood between Columbia Pike and the Arlington Career Center. The annual festival has been going on for about a decade.

There’s only one road closure related to this event and that’s 9th Street S. from S. Highland Street to S. Walter Reed Drive. The closure will be from 6 a.m. Saturday until midnight on Sunday (Sept. 25).

There are also two events in the Shirlington and Green Valley neighborhoods this weekend.

Beckett’s Celtic Festival is also set for Saturday in the Village of Shirlington. Campbell Avenue from S. Randolph Street to 28th Street S. (the alleyway near the Harris Teeter) will be closed from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Finally, Valley Fest is taking place near Four Mile Run Drive on Sunday. The beer-centric event, organized by New District Brewery, did take place last year. The festival is set to begin around noon and go until 5 p.m.

S. Oakland Street, from S. Four Mile Run Drive to S. Nelson Street, will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Sunday to accommodate the event.

Valley Fest 2022 road closures (image via ACPD)

Arlington County police are cautioning that roads may be congested with vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the areas around these events, asking drivers to “remain alert.”

Parking will be restricted and there will be a larger police presence in the area, according to ACPD.

“Street parking near the events may be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary ‘No Parking’ signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed,” said a press release. “If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.”

0 Comments

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Arlington might be getting chalupas for Christmas.

The new Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse is aiming for a December opening, a company spokesperson tells ARLnow.

The fast food restaurant is currently in the midst of training and hiring for “all positions from assistant managers to team members for all types of hours,” the spokesperson said.

Flyers advertising the job openings can be seen stapled to trees around the neighborhood.

It was first reported in May that a Taco Bell was coming to Courthouse. The location looks — at least in part — to be an effort to appeal to the late-night, hungry crowds leaving the nearby bars.

The main difference between a regular Taco Bell (there’s a location on Langston Blvd) and a Taco Bell Cantina is that the Cantina sells alcohol, including beer, wine, sangria and — just in time for the cold winter months — brightly colored frozen cocktails called “Twisted Freezes.”

There are two other Taco Bell Cantina locations in the region, including in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood and on King Street in Old Town Alexandria.

Those locations are quite popular and can get crowded, which is why the forthcoming Courthouse location will have three food production lines, as opposed to two, general manager Tim Morgan told ARLnow.

“We want to get service and food out faster,” he said.

There will also be a walk-up window “to streamline mobile orders,” per the company spokesperson.

The space at 2039 Wilson Blvd was previously home to Guarapo Lounge, a Peruvian bar, restaurant and hookah lounge. It closed almost six years ago and the space has not had a new tenant until now.

This is also a return to the neighborhood for Taco Bell. The fast food chain once had a standalone location on the hill between Courthouse and Rosslyn, near where the 7-Eleven and Ace Hardware now sit. It closed about a decade ago, along with Dr. Dremo’s, to make way for new development.

0 Comments
A 3D image of the proposed Courthouse West development on Wilson Blvd (image via Arlington County)

The Arlington County Board is finally set to vote this weekend on the potential height of a new development coming to Wilson Blvd between Clarendon and Courthouse.

For months, height has been the topic of conversation for the proposed project being dubbed “Courthouse West” at 2636 Wilson Blvd on what is currently a parking lot housing ghost kitchen trailers.

Back in July, the Planning Commission voted to amend the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) from “service commercial” to “Office-Apartment-Hotel.” That designation allows the development to be between 6 and 16 stories high.

However, that is where the differences in opinions lie.

Last week, after a public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended that County Board adopt the county staff’s GLUP study — but with one very notable change.

In the study, county staff recommended a designation of “Medium Office-Apartment-Hotel” which would cap the height of the building at 12 stories, reasoning that height is in line with the rest of the planning for the corridor, would “fit well into the existing skyline,” and would minimize shadows on nearby residential properties.

This is also seemingly closer to what nearby residents who voiced their opinions on the project want. In December, an online survey was disseminated to the public where more than half of the respondents voted for a maximum height of 6 to 10 stories.

At its early September meeting, however, the Planning Commission voted to amend the study to change the designation to “High Office-Apartment-Hotel,” which would allow up to 16 stories. This is also what the applicant, the Ballston-based developer CRC Companies, wants as well.

The Planning Commission went against staff recommendation not to guarantee the highest possible building, several commissioners said, but to allow the height talk to continue without ruling out up to 16 stories.

More affordable housing, concentrating more residents in proximity to transit, and an increased likelihood of a revamped Courthouse Metro entrance all are potential advantages of a taller building, several noted.

“I want to make sure the community knows we are not approving a 16-story building… We are giving the option to allow staff to potentially negotiate up to that height if they provide community benefits that the Planning Commission thinks are valuable,” said commissioner Tenley Peterson at the Sept. 7 meeting.

The vote was not unanimous, with other commissioners calling the 12-story height cap proposed by staff a “reasonable compromise.”

Now, the decision goes to the County Board this weekend. Even if the Board allows consideration of a 16-story building, it would still have to go through a public review and engagement process prior to any final approvals and construction.

“After the Board’s action this weekend, adopted guidance would be in place to inform a future application for development, and a property owner would have to submit an application that would go through the County’s public review and engagement process on the specifics of the development proposal,” Erika Moore with the county’s Dept. of Community Planning, Housing, and Development told ARLnow.

Beyond this particular project, there was a clear sentiment from the Planning Commission that the way the county is conducting comprehensive community planning may need a revamp.

Read More

0 Comments

Clarendon’s newest open-air hangout is aiming to start partying by October.

“Tropical glam” bar Coco B’s, the latest venture from local restaurateurs Christal and Mike Bramson, is looking to open on the roof of Whitlow’s former home at 2854 Wilson Blvd this fall, a restaurant spokesperson told ARLnow.

The hope is to start serving in late September or early October. The initial plan was to start serving by late July or early August, but the opening has been pushed by about two months.

The bottom floor of 2854 Wilson Blvd is now the live music venue and restaurant B Live, also owned by the Bramsons.

Back in June, the couple shared with ARLnow what locals can expect from Coco B’s.

“I’d describe [the look and feel of Coco B’s] as ‘tropical glam.’ If you think of B Live as the male version of the two of us, then Coco B’s is the female version… the his and hers,” said Christal Bramson. “It’s definitely going to be more female-focused. There’s going to be a lot of pinks, velvets, feathers, and it’s going to attract the softer side of Arlington.”

The menu, while not yet set, will have “tropical-inspired” drinks. The plan was to do “some cosmetic changes” to the rooftop, open it this season, and do a more complete overhaul over the winter. Whitlow’s originally opened the rooftop deck in 2010, with a tiki bar theme and the name “Wilson’s on Whitlow’s,” a reference to Tom Hanks’ favorite volleyball in the movie Castaway.

Coco B’s will occupy the rooftop of the Wilson Blvd building while B Live, which opened in May, takes over the rest of the space that once housed Whitlow’s on Wilson. That one-time Arlington landmark has since moved to the District.

The Bramsons also own several other Clarendon food and drink destinations, including The Lot and Pamplona. ARLnow also reported yesterday that the couple has taken over management of the revamped Clarendon Ballroom from owner Michael Darby.

When Coco B’s opens later this year, the Bramsons will be operating five Clarendon businesses all within a half mile of each other.

0 Comments

Driving west on Wilson Blvd from Clarendon, there’s a new addition to the landscape near Mario’s Pizza: a large cement block wall.

The wall is the rear of a new CVS going up along the 3330 block of Wilson Blvd, the former site of the Highlander Motor Inn. The nearly 20-foot-tall, windowless monolith is oriented so that it faces the street. The entrance to the new CVS is set for N. Kenmore Street.

The large blank wall has already attracted the ire of some residents. ARLnow recently received emails from several locals calling the structure an “eyesore,” a “failure,” and “The Great Wall of Clarendon.”

This all comes after a multi-year legal battle that included an unsuccessful appeal by Arlington County to the Virginia Supreme Court. It ended with the county being handcuffed in terms of regulating what’s built at the site.

“The design for this project shows a solid wall fronting on Wilson Blvd. The store frontage will be on N. Kenmore St,” a Department of Community, Planning and Housing Development spokesperson told ARLnow. “This project is occurring through by-right development; therefore there are no Zoning requirements for the orientation of buildings or structures. In addition, the County is limited in its overall regulation of by-right development projects.”

For more than five decades, the 3330 block of Wilson Blvd was the home of the Highlander motel, owned by the family of local businessman Billy Bayne.

In 2015, Bayne made the decision to lease the land to CVS, which planned to build a new store and pharmacy. However, there were complications to the deal, with the county balking at allowing the existing parking lot on N. Kenmore Street to be used again for parking.

Decisions were appealed several times before a circuit judge ruled that Bayne, as owner, was allowed to do what he wished with the property. The case was denied consideration by the state’s top court after a series of appeals.

Bayne, who also owns the Crystal City Gentlemen’s Club and Restaurant, claimed he lost nearly $2 million while the project stalled.

“It’s not okay to do this to somebody,” Bayne said in 2018. “There will be ramifications for this.”

He ended up suing the county for civil rights violations in 2019, but the suit was ultimately dismissed.

The project moved forward, with the motel closing early last year before being torn down. Before it shuttered, though, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services rented out the hotel as a Covid quarantine location. While it probably didn’t resolve all animosity, the county thanked Bayne as someone who “really stepped up and helped” during a time of crisis.

But now it is neighbors in the Ashton Heights and Virginia Square area who are upset with what’s being done to the property.

“After the long court battle with the owner of the Highlander, CVS is throwing its ‘f you very much’ by placing a blank wall along Wilson Boulevard,” one resident told ARLnow. “Can’t wait for the future graffiti — I mean, community arts project!”

“There is no other commercial enterprise on Wilson Blvd in the area that presents so brazenly (or more likely thoughtlessly) a facade that is so grossly inconsistent with the urban ‘smart growth’ model,” another resident wrote, calling it “unfit… for this area.”

ARLnow reached out to CVS about the wall and received the following response.

“A new CVS Pharmacy store is currently under construction on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The wall that is currently facing Wilson Boulevard will be part of the permanent structure and is included in the overall construction and design plan approved by Arlington development officials,” a CVS spokesperson said.

So, the “Great Wall of Clarendon” is apparently here to stay and there isn’t much the county or residents can do at this point.

“It could be a major eyesore on the street for the next 30 to 40 years,” said a local resident.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list