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The pandemic, now nearly 2.5 years old, has bent time in weird ways.

For many, a prolonged period of mostly staying at home — particularly in 2020 — made time seem to go by faster, with fewer memorable milestones like vacations, nights on the town, visits from friends, etc.

For others, particularly parents with children at home, time has dragged on with seemingly endless grinds of remote schooling, remote work, Covid quarantines, etc.

And then there are those who have experienced combinations of both, making certain pandemic-era things feel like ages ago and some pre-pandemic things seem recent.

That sense of time’s variability came to mind as we asked ARLnow staff photographer to spend a recent Covid quarantine picking out his favorite photos of the past two years. See for yourself whether some of these moments feel ancient or like yesterday, despite the actual dates being close together.

Time considerations aside, here’s what Jay had to say about how he selected the photos above from the thousands he has taken.

Picking favorite pictures is kind of like picking favorite children. Do I account for how much of a pain in the ass it was to get in the spot to take the picture? Do I account for the breaking news that made me miss a dinner date? How about the time I was rear-ended on Wilson Blvd, do I take that into account, too?

Seasoned photo editors will tell you that none of that matters, at the end of the day all that counts is the answer to one question: Is it a picture? Does it tell a story?

Included here are storytelling pictures that I feel represent my style and how I see Arlington. It’s a beautiful, sometimes complicated, place to live. And the pandemic has exposed all sorts of issues and shortages. But it’s the best place I’ve ever called home, and I’m proud to be here documenting it in pictures. Okay, maybe one or two are included because of what it took to make them. 😉

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(Updated, 8:50 p.m.) The company behind several Arlington bars is launching a membership service that aims to position its portfolio as a casual social club, of sorts.

The D.C.-based hospitality group Tin Shop — which owns Pentagon City’s Highline RxR, Quincy Hall in Ballston, the soon-to-open Astro Beer Hall in Shirlington, and seven other D.C. area food-and-drink spots — is starting the “Tin Shop Social Club,” a $39.99/mo service providing drinks and food to members.

The aim is to give regulars (and would-be regulars) a deal that keeps them coming back.

At Highline and Astro Beer Hall, for example, members are able to get a daily free beer while at Quincy Hall there’s a buy one pizza slice, get one free deal.

There will also be “additional perks,” like monthly happy hours, members-only lines, and, eventually, early access to tickets at a new D.C. concert hall.

“We thought long and hard while our doors were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic about how to create a community to bring back a sense of togetherness and unite people,” Tin Shop co-founder Peter Bayne tells ARLnow. “Essentially, we created this membership to bring our customers together from our various spaces across D.C. and Virginia — aiming to create a real sense of community.”

The goal is to amass 10,000 members and to have weekly member events at each of the spaces, notes Bayne.

Subscriptions have become somewhat of a restaurant industry trend. Locally, Arlington-based Lebanese Taverna launched a membership program late last year.

The popularity of such programs was part of Tin Shop’s thinking in launching their own.

“Clubs and memberships are what people want to be a part of. People want to meet like-minded individuals and join groups where they can meet up and have a good time,” says Bayne.

She calls Tin Shop’s program “the DMV’s new not-so-stuffy, country club social club.”

Tin Shop has recently grown its presence in Arlington. While Highline opened in Crystal City back in 2015, Quincy Hall served its first slices this past spring. The new Astro Beer Hall in Shirlington remains slated to open sometime this fall in the former Capitol City Brewing space.

For Tin Shop, a successful membership program means creating a community of regulars that are grabbing a beer at Highline together one day and a slice at Quincy Hall the next.

“Success looks like a large membership base that can come together weekly at any of our venues and get to know each other,” says Baybe. “What are bars if not a place to come together and have a good time? Meet new friends, maybe a new date? We feel as though this membership can help drive this point across — and ultimately build a network for individuals.”

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The exterior of the Arlington County Justice Center, where county courts are located (via Google Maps)

It’s once again the time of year when Arlington’s circuit court starts to select its jury pool for the next year.

Juror questionnaires are being sent soon to tens of thousands of Arlington and Falls Church residents, for jury duty in 2023. Would-be jurors are randomly selected from the voter rolls and will receive questionnaires in the mail.

Most jury trials in the circuit court last 1-2 days, an Arlington County press release says.

The full press release is below.

The Arlington Circuit Court, which includes the City of Falls Church, will soon begin its annual juror qualification process. Juror questionnaires will be mailed in August to approximately 35,000 randomly selected residents of Arlington County and Falls Church City. These Questionnaires are used to qualify residents for jury duty which begins January 1, 2023 and ends December 31, 2023.

  • In accordance with State law, questionnaires are distributed annually to a random selection of residents of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church.
  • Recipients are selected from registered voter rolls provided by the State Board of Elections.
  • If you do not receive a form in the US Mail, there is nothing you need to do.
  • Jury Commissioners appointed by the Court review the questionnaires to determine eligibility for service according to criteria established by the General Assembly.

For more information about jury duty, including a list of individuals who are exempt from serving, please visit the Jury Duty page on the County website.

Not everyone will receive a Juror Questionnaire via Postcard in the US Mail. If you DO receive the form, please follow the steps below:

  • Read and carefully follow the instructions on the postcard.
  • Using your Candidate/Juror ID# printed on the postcard, visit the secure Juror Website at https://ejuror.arlingtonva.us/ to complete and submit the form online.
  • If you cannot logon to the Website, please try again later or try another browser.
  • If you do not have a computer, to have a paper copy of the form mailed to you, call 703-228-3123 and provide: 1) Candidate/Juror ID#, Pool #, and Group #; 2) first and last name; 3) street address with zip code; and 4) contact phone# or email for follow-up if needed. The Court prefers online submission to save time and resources.
  • Some questions on the form require submission of documents as proof of hardship (i.e., doctor’s notes, travel documents, military orders) and/or detailed explanations in the Remarks section. All information is kept confidential and destroyed after use.
  • If you no longer live in Virginia or have moved out of Arlington County or the City of Falls Church, there are questions on the form that will disqualify you.
  • You are required to complete and return the questionnaire within 10 days of receipt.  Completing the form online saves resources.
  • Once submitted, your completed questionnaire will be processed by the Court.  There will be nothing further you need to do.  If you are qualified by the court to serve, you could receive a summons in the mail next year with detailed reporting instructions.
  • The questionnaire is not a summons to appear so please do not call the Clerk’s Office asking to be excused from jury duty.  Excuses will be considered if you receive a summons in the mail.
  • Failure to respond to the questionnaire or providing incomplete information may result in your being summoned to Court to complete the form in person.

Quick Facts About Jury Service

  • Normal term of service is one day or one trial.
  • The average length of a trial is 1 or 2 days, but trials can last longer.
  • Jurors must be available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during their period of service (subject to change by the Court).
  • Jurors receive $30 each day they report for reimbursement of expenses.

Photo via Google Maps

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1221 N. Quinn Street #13

Happy Friday everyone!

According to Homesnap, there are currently 599 homes for sale. The median list price is $715,000 and the median sales price is $730,000. In the last 4 weeks there have been 235 sales and 186 new listings.

Here’s a look at some of the open houses taking place in Arlington this weekend:

  • 1221 N. Quinn Street #13*
    1 BR/1 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Featuring an open floorplan with modern cabinets, granite countertops, in-unit washer and dryer
    Listed: $350,000
    Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m. (Alex Ordonez – NXT Shell, LLC.)
  • 5063 27th Street N.
    5 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Wine refrigerator, remote gate, renovated front porch
    Listed: $1,849,888
    Open: Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (George Mrad – KW Metro Center)
  • 2016 N. Greenbrier Street
    4 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Wrap-around deck, fenced backyard, oversized windows
    Listed: $1,225,000
    Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (David Lloyd – Weichert Realtors)
  • 1805 Crystal Drive #1112S
    3 BR/2.5 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Corner penthouse, 10 foot ceilings, two parking spaces
    Listed: $999,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Ruth Boyer O’Dea – TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)
  • 2811 21st Road S.
    3 BR/2 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Hardwood floors, private driveway, finished lower level
    Listed: $849,000
    Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (Angelia Kinston – KW United)
  • 623 N. Piedmont Street
    2 BR/3.5 BA Townhouse
    Noteworthy: Three levels, one car garage, wood burning fireplace
    Listed: $679,900
    Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Shawn Battle – Century 21 Redwood Realty)

See all Arlington open house listings here.

Want your open house to appear here? You can now submit sponsored listings.

* Denotes sponsored listing

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The fall beers on store shelves are not the only sign heralding the imminent arrival of spooky season.

A Spirit Halloween store opened in Bailey’s Crossroads last week, the first of the seasonal chain’s stores to open within a relatively short drive of Arlington.

With it feeling a bit more like early fall outside, with most of you likely suffering summer fatigue after the recent heat wave, and with pumpkin spice season kicking off next week at Dunkin’ and elsewhere, we thought it might be a good time to list some of the Halloween stores near Arlington.

There may be others we’re missing here — if so, please list them in the comments.

Currently open

Spirit Halloween (5800 Crossroads Center Way, Bailey’s Crossroads)
The shelves might not yet be fully stocked, but it’s already Halloween in the former A.C. Moore space next to Old Navy.

Party City (5522 Leesburg Pike, Bailey’s Crossroads)
Unlike the somewhat disconcerting temporary Spirit Halloween locations inhabiting the dessicated husks of dead stores — which, come to think of it, seems on-brand — Party City is open year-round, hawking various party supplies, before stocking up for Halloween.

Opening soon (as of Aug. 12)

Spirit Halloween (3536 S. Jefferson Street, Bailey’s Crossroads)
Are you sensing a theme here? Bailey’s Crossroads seems to be the hub of big-box Halloween retail for Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs. This location is a short walk away from the aforementioned Party City and a mile away from the currently-open Spirit Halloween. Speaking of short walks, the store is a brisk 10 minute walk from Arlington’s Wakefield High School. For what it’s worth.

Spirit Halloween (7950 Tysons Corner Center, Tysons)
For those in the far northern reaches of Arlington and those taking Metro, this is your Spirit Halloween store of choice. Now, if you’re wondering why we’re filling the text here with random factoids, it’s because we realized too late that no one tried to call Spirit Halloween HQ (in beautiful-ish Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey) and ask when the actual opening date of these two locations will be. But don’t worry, we saved the best random factoid for last. The former Lord & Taylor store that this Spirit Halloween location is temporarily occupying is… wait for it… haunted. Specifically, paranormal activity was reported around the ladies restroom over the years, our sister site FFXnow reported. Plus, after Lord & Taylor closed in 2020, the vast retail space served as a mass vaccination site. Now if that isn’t a recipe for a successful and legitimately creepy Halloween store, who knows what is.

Happy two-and-a-half-months until Halloween!

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Diament Jewelry in Shirlington (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

A new jewelry and gift boutique has moved into the former home of The Cookery in Shirlington.

Diament Jewelry opened in mid-June, per a store employee. The shop first announced its move to Shirlington back in May on social media.

This is the jewelry shop’s second location, with its flagship shop at the Wharf in D.C.

Diament sells gifts and jewelry designed by its owner, Libby Diament.

“​​Libby travels around the country hunting for vintage parts and jewelry that can be brought back to life. It’s sort of like finding treasure!,” reads the website. “Diament Jewelry has been worn by celebrities including: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Elle Fanning, Cher Lloyd, Rachel Bilson, Giada de Laurentiis, Meredith Vieira, Ann Veal, Becca Tobin, and Heather Morris.”

It also sells an assortment of t-shirts, baby gifts, greeting cards, and candles, mostly purchased from women-owned and indie brands, notes the store’s website.

The new Shirlington location is unique in that it’s specifically designed to “mimic a swimming pool,” with blue flooring and walls that feature blue on the bottom and white on the top.

Diament Jewelry in Shirlington (image via Instagram)

Located at 4017B Campbell Avenue, Diament is in the space that Cookery previously occupied until the kitchen store decided to not renew its lease back in February.

Diament is also next to two other coming soon Shirlington businesses: Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, which is opening this month, and Astro Beer Hall, which is looking to start serving later this year.

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Deka Lash in Clarendon (photo courtesy of Deka Lash)

Clarendon’s newest lash and brow studio is hoping to open next month.

A mid-September opening is likely for Deka Lash at 1041 N. Highland Street, a company spokesperson told ARLnow. It’s moving into a space that was formerly home to Cherry Blow Dry Bar, which closed almost exactly a year ago.

Deka Lash ownership had initially hoped to start plucking in July but permitting moved slower than expected.

The studio is set to provide a number of eye-raising services including lash lifts, lash fanning, lash extensions, eyebrow sculpting, lash fanning, eyebrow threading, and eyebrow lamination.

The latter is a “hugely popular service these days since Hollywood stars started promoting it,” a company rep said back in May.

This will be the fifth Deka Lash location in Northern Virginia, including one in Fairfax’s Mosaic District. The owners chose Clarendon as the site for their next studio because of its vibrancy.

“​​The owners chose Clarendon because, as Arlington residents, they know what a vibrant, fun, and active part of NOVA it is,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “You get the city experience without having to drive into DC. Clarendon has everything; bars, shops, restaurants, gyms, and now a studio of the largest international lash franchise in the world.”

There are more than 120 Deka Lash locations across the United States and Canada. A number of them are franchises, including the Clarendon studio.

This is owned by retired Army officer Charles Cox and his wife, as well as former Arlington school teacher Christina Cox. They also own the Mosaic District location which “is consistently one of the top performing studios in the entire franchise,” per the spokesperson.

“As they approached retirement from their traditional jobs, they wanted to try something completely different. Realizing they were behind on the massage, wax, and nail trend, they were excited to be among the original group of franchisees to join Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top New and Trendiest franchises in beauty,” wrote the spokesperson.

A grand opening celebration with discounted services is being planned and will be announced at a later date.

In recent months, Clarendon has had several high-profile business openings (and reopenings). Clarendon Ballroom announced its return last month; B Live moved into Whitlow’s old haunts (which is coming back, but in D.C.); a gun store opened in a former cafe space; and a medical weed dispensary will be opening in the neighborhood soon.

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Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (photo via NIAID)

Arlington is now setting up appointment-only clinics to vaccinate against monkeypox as cases continue to rise across the region.

The Virginia Department of Health has expanded access to the monkeypox vaccine to “those groups at increased risk for exposure,” per Arlington health department spokesperson Sondra Dietz, allowing the county to run the clinics.

The Arlington County Public Health Division is now running clinics 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday, by appointment only, Dietz told ARLnow. As of this morning, 511 total doses of monkeypox vaccine have been administered by the county health department, another spokesperson said.

The county is asking anyone is who interested and is eligible to receive the vaccine to fill out the vaccine interest form. The form is open to all Virginia residents and not just Arlingtonians; so far, there is no word on how many people have filled out the form.

Just over two weeks ago, ARLnow reported that the county was not yet planning any clinics due to VDH’s “limited” supply of monkeypox vaccine JYNNEOS. It appears that since that time VDH has started to provide more vaccine supply to individual localities. This has allowed Arlington to proceed with vaccinating those in high-risk groups, not solely those “contacts of known cases.”

“As ACPHD receives new vaccine shipments, we will issue new appointment invitations,” writes Dietz.

To be eligible to get the vaccine in Virginia, an individual must be a Virginia resident and 18 years or older. Per the county and VDH, the criteria to receive the vaccine also include:

Within the last 14 days are:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners; OR
  • Transgender women and nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men; OR
  • Sex workers (of any sex); OR
  • Staff (of any sex) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs); OR
  • Persons (of any gender or sexual orientation) who attend sex-on-premises venues (e.g., bathhouses, sex clubs)

NOTE: If you had monkeypox, then you likely have some protection against another infection and are currently not eligible to be vaccinated.

The county also noted that eligibility “may change as the outbreak evolves and based on vaccine supply. ”

This comes as the federal government declared monkeypox a “public health emergency” late last week and cases continue to rise across the region.

As of today, VDH is reporting that there are 32 known and confirmed cases of monkeypox in Arlington. That encompasses just under a quarter of all the cases in Virginia. A majority of people who have monkeypox are between 20 and 39 years old and are white or Black, per VDH data.

Of the 145 people with monkeypox in Virginia, all but one are reported to be male.

Number of monkeypox cases in Arlington and Virginia as of Aug. 8 (image via VDH)

Monkeypox is spread primarily through close or intimate skin-to-skin contact. Anyone can get and spread the illness, though there are higher risk groups.

Symptoms usually start appearing a week or two after exposure and can include blister-like rash, fever, body aches, and exhaustion. The symptoms can last 5 to 21 days.

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Being a small business owner is tough and sometimes, for any number of reasons, you need to sell what you’ve built.

Even a large and affluent market like Arlington is no exception, with plenty of business turnover in a given year, especially among retail-level consumer businesses like restaurants and personal services.

One way business owners get matched with business buyers is through online listing aggregators like BizBuySell. Below, we have again compiled ten of the more interesting, current listings in Arlington from the site.

The listings generally do not name the business that’s for sale, but the descriptions in each provide some clues. The asking price is also included.

1. Convenience store for Sale ($600,000)

Well run and maintained convenience store for sale in a busy area and walking distance nearby apartment complexes. It is the perfect opportunity for an owner-operated business or absentee owner.

2. Profitable BBQ Restaurant with Food Truck in Arlington ($125,000)

Dine in and carry out BBQ restaurant for sale in Arlington VA. High end kitchen equipment and great build out ready to fit most concepts. This restaurant is ABSENTEE OWNED and profiting $50,000 annually. With a new hands on owner and an updated menu to include more items this turn key business can be extremely profitable. Very low rent for Arlington with a great lease. Must see. Purchase price includes a FOOD TRUCK. CHEAP RENT.

3. Thriving Wellness center: Yoga, Massage, Saunas ($250,000)

This 10 year old business has survived Crystal City’s desolation and Covid and it primed for Amazon HQ2 and all the new businesses, people, and energy flowing through. The lease is month too month but you can lock it in if you like. 50% of revenue is from yoga and pilates classes and 50% is from massage and body work. The studio is 5200 sq ft, has 3 yoga rooms (one is a hot room and is 1800 sq ft), 3 treatment rooms, 2 large changing rooms with showers, 2 infrared saunas. It runs itself but could level up which I’m not interested in doing after working a full time job and running and working in this business for 10 years.

4. High Profit Restaurant & Bar in Prime Location ($595,000)

High profit restaurant and bar in the heart of Arlington VA. This popular restaurant has been in business for over 6 years and is currently averaging over $3,000,000 in annual sales. The current owner is profiting an average of $300,000 per year and the business is debt free. Beautifully built out with 230 seats inside, 120 seats outside, a large full service bar including craft beers on tap and a spacious kitchen with all high end equipment. The current menu can be kept the same or converted to fit most concepts. While owning other restaurants, the current owner does not have enough time to watch over this location and run it to its full potential.

5. Well Established Coworking Business Center ($980,000)

Don’t miss out on this opportunity! This business operates in a very robust Co-working market in Virginia, renting office space to small business owners or remote sales reps on 6-12 month terms. The building resides in a great outdoor freestanding location in the business district and civic metro area. It is a flexible franchise solution that adapts to change and has consistently been the most profitable business in the industry.

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Hello August and happy Friday!

It looks to be a hot, rainy weekend ahead and the perfect time to visit one of the open houses across Arlington.

The last 4 weeks saw 235 sales, along with 186 new listings. According to Homesnap, there are currently 599 homes for sale. There are 342 condos for sale, 208 detached homes and 49 condos.

Here’s a look at some of the open houses taking place in Arlington this weekend:

  • 4605 26th Street N.
    6 BR/6.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Custom wood floors, covered balcony, gas fireplace
    Listed: $3,595,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-3:30 p.m. (Tom Francis – Keller Williams Realty)
  • 3109 N. Nottingham Street
    6 BR/6 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Attached two car garage, wet bar, partially exposed brick wall
    Listed: $2,295,000
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Melody Abella – TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)
  • 1501 23rd Street S.
    4 BR/3 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Stone fireplace, patio, two car garage
    Listed: $1,250,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Tonya Finlay – KW Metro Center)
  • 2302 N. Dinwiddie Street
    5 BR/3.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Finished basement, deck, attached garage
    Listed: $950,000
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Keri Shull – Optime Realty)
  • 2109 N. Rolfe Street #D
    4 BR/2.5 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Private deck, wood burning fireplace, new kitchen
    Listed: $809,900
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Keri Shull – Optime Realty)
  • 1700 14th Street S.
    3 BR/2 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Refinished hardwood floors, new roof, new basement flooring
    Listed: $749,900
    Open: Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Jason Cheperdak – Samson Properties)

See all Arlington open house listings here.

Want your open house to appear here? You can now submit sponsored listings.

1700 14th Street S.

* Denotes sponsored listing

1700 14th Street S. image via Google Maps
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A Bolivian cocktail lounge is moving into the basement of a Clarendon restaurant for a five-day pop-up starting Sunday.

Casa Kantuta will be serving drinks with names like the Angry Llama, Charca Punch, and Inca Child on the bottom level of Balkan restaurant Ambar starting on Sunday (Aug. 7).

The basement of the restaurant at 2901 Wilson Blvd was formerly home to Ambar’s cocktail lounge “Baba.” The pop-up bar will be open for four other days next week: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Casa Kantuta comes from siblings Carla and Juan Sanchez. They debuted their cocktail lounge inspired by their upbringing in the Bolivian capital city of La Paz last year in D.C. but have decided to bring it to Arlington this time around.

“There is a sizable Bolivian population in Northern [Virginia], and we know that many people who wanted to check us out did not get an opportunity to join us at our last pop-up,” co-owner Carla Sanchez tells ARLnow. “Arlington was strategically chosen because it is metro accessible and a close drive from our original location in ADMO, allowing both D.C. and [Virginia] patrons to join us, should they so choose.”

Baba, which never reopened after closing due to the pandemic, is a good temporary home for the pop-up cocktail lounge because the “aesthetic was similar to our own,” Sanchez said.

“‘Baba’ means “grandma” in Serbian which made me feel like this space would be perfect for Casa Kantuta,” said a press release. “The decor and design of their bottom level very much matched ours as a lot of our pop-up aesthetic is inspired by our own ‘abuela’ aka ‘grandma.”

The lounge is keeping it simple and offering a menu of only five cocktails, chilled singani shots, and Bolivian wine. That includes its signature cocktail Angry Llama, which has tequila, celery, pineapple, the Bolivian national spirit Singani and the traditional spicy sauce Llajua.

“Our focus is and has always been on providing unique cocktails that tell a story and celebrate our rich culture in an environment that makes you feel transported to another place,” Sanchez said.

While Casa Kantuta looks for a permanent home, the owners are thankful that Ambar Clarendon is allowing them to use the restaurant’s basement for a few days around Bolivian Independence Day.

“When the opportunity at Ambar presented itself, the space was already booked for different dates during the month, but thankfully, the dates closest to seis de Agosto were free,” Sanchez said. “The dates lined up in such a way that allowed us to put together this five-day pop-up that is really intended to celebrate Bolivian culture.”

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