Press Club

Happy Friday Arlington! We have a warm weekend ahead with plenty of open houses across Arlington to check out.

Currently, there are 453 homes for sale with 287 being condos, 138 detached homes and 28 townhomes, according to Homesnap. The median list price is $597,000 with a median sales price of $660,500. Average days on market is 56 and there have been 170 new listings in the last 4 weeks.

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

  • 1 N. Fenwick Street
    6 BR/6.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Private fencing, walkout basement, mahogany hardwood floors
    Listed: $2,249,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Brett McManaman – Washington Fine Properties, LLC)
  • 2434 N. Powhatan Street
    4 BR/3.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Screened-in porch, double ovens, stone patio
    Listed: $1,535,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (The Lewis Team – Washington Fine Properties, LLC)
  • 1616 N. Glebe Road
    3 BR/2.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Deck, fire pit, hardwood floors
    Listed: $999,900
    Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Keith Lombardi – Redfin Corporation )
  • 1300 Crystal Drive #506S
    3 BR/2.5 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Blond hardwood floors, 2 private balconies, breakfast nook
    Listed: $895,000
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Jon DeHart – Keller Williams Realty)
  • 109 S. Fillmore Street
    3 BR/3 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Custom kitchen backsplash, wood-burning fireplace, back patio
    Listed: $839,900
    Open: Saturday, 1-4 p.m. (Matthew Leighton – Century 21 Redwood Realty)
  • 2546 S. Walter Reed Drive #1
    2 BR/2.5 BA Townhouse
    Noteworthy: End unit, rec room and bar, hardwood floors
    Listed: $679,000
    Open: Saturday, 12-2 p.m. (Sukhdip Kang – Samson Properties )

See all Arlington open house listings here.

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

2434 N. Powhatan Street

* Denotes sponsored listing

2434 N. Powhatan Street image via Google Maps

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A dog that served in Afghanistan is receiving a lot of special attention this week as his family prepares for a loving send-off after discovering he has an aggressive tumor.

A Nextdoor post about K9 Rony, the purebred Belgian Malinois living in Arlington, has garnered more than 500 reactions and 140 comments — and prompted Arlington County Police Department to honor him with a vehicle procession Tuesday.

Arlington County police decided to honor Rony “to show our respect and gratitude for his years of service,” a tweet from the department reads. “We are thankful for the time we got to spend with him and ask that you join us in keeping his family in our thoughts during this difficult time.”

Rony served alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan for many years, his owners wrote in the Nextdoor post. He retired from the U.S. military where his service included over 380 combat missions, they wrote on the social network.

“A few days ago, Rony had to go to an emergency vet hospital where surgeons found an aggressive fast-growing tumor in his abdomen,” the post reads. “They do not believe he will survive the surgery. Together, we all realized that the kindest gift we could give to him is to allow him to pass away peacefully through euthanasia.”

The family invited users to send notes that will be read aloud to Rony during an “honorable and loving sendoff surrounded by those who love him” this Saturday. The messages will then be shared with other military working dogs and their handlers training for a future deployment, the post says.

The family also hopes to include the letters in a children’s book about the life of a military working dog.

“Military working dogs like Rony have helped protect our country alongside our men and women who serve,” the post reads. “Even after serving, they continue to love and inspire others.”

The full post is below.

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ACPD officers at a previous Fill the Cruiser event (Photo via Arlington County Police Department)

The Arlington County Police Department is holding its third annual “Fill the Cruiser” drive later this week.

On Friday (May 20) from 4-6 p.m., police cruisers will be stationed at the Giant store on 2901 S. Glebe Road in Long Branch Creek and at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center on 5335 Langston Blvd to collect non-perishable food items and diapers of all sizes.

Those items will be donated to local nonprofits Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and Doorways.

While the cruisers and AFAC will accept most unopened, unexpired, and unprepared foods, including some perishable items, the organization is most in need of food that’s low in sodium, fat, and sugar.

Items like:

  • Low sodium canned tomatoes
  • Low sodium canned tuna
  • Low sodium canned soups
  • Canned vegetables
  • Peanut butter (in plastic jars)
  • Low sugar cereal
  • Cooking oils

The hope is still to collect “a couple thousand pounds of food,’ says AFAC’s Associate Director of Communications Jeremiah Huston, with Arlington residents still very much in need.

When a “Fill the Cruiser” food drive took place earlier in the pandemic in 2020, the number of Arlington families in need of food assistance was record-breakingly high. That year, AFAC was serving upwards of 3,400 families a month.

AFAC is still serving more than 3,000 families every month, 80% of whom rely on free grocery every week, notes Huston.

“We’re not far from the record high numbers we saw in 2020 and we expect the number of families served will continue to rise steadily as it has since the start of the new year,” Huston tells ARLnow. “With the increase in gas and food prices, we have seen many of our families accessing AFAC services more frequently. Those already struggling to pay their bills are the ones hit hardest by inflation and supply chain shortages.”

Huston also said that inflation and high food prices are impacting AFAC’s ability to purchase fresh foods, so donations are needed now as much or more than prior years.

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Amazon has announced four more local businesses that will open at the first phase of its HQ2, known as Metropolitan Park, in Pentagon City.

HQ2 will be home to Arlington’s second Conte’s Bike Shop, a South Block, the second location of Vienna-based Social Burger and the first brick-and-mortar location of HUSTLE — a high intensity cycling workout business.

The businesses will join the two that were already announcedDistrict Dogs and RĀKO Coffee.

South Block’s Met Park spot will be one of four new planned locations that will open in the next two years, South Block’s Vice President of Marketing Lindsey Parry told ARLnow.

“For us, it’s always been about our community first and so the opportunity to build new blocks and to be a part of HQ2 to us is just really establishing those local roots, continuing to grow,” she said.

A common thread among the businesses is making an impact in their communities.

South Block owner Amir Mostafavi started nonprofit Fruitful Planet that gives fresh fruits and vegetables to food insecure communities and people in need. And at Social Burger in Vienna, 40 meals a week that its customers purchase go to Lamb Center, a homeless shelter.

Social Burger Owner Denise Lee said she’s looking forward to showcasing the business and bringing the burger spot to a bigger setting.

“I’ve been there several times through the construction phase,” she said. “It’s amazing. I’m excited to be part of that. It’s going to be a beautiful campus when the time comes.”

The restaurant will be larger than its original, with a planned 38 seats, and some outdoor seating, Lee said.

HUSTLE co-founder Sunny Miller started the online workout platform during the pandemic to continue connecting with the community she had built through cycling classes. HUSTLE later began pop-up classes at the Wharf in D.C., but to have a permanent space for the business is something special, Miller said.

“This space is going to mean so much for my team and the community because we finally have a place where they can come on a regular basis,” she said.

HUSTLE has already started running free strength classes in Long Bridge Park, Miller said. And they will also be starting cycling classes there every Saturday, beginning in June.

Conte’s Bike Shop co-founder David Conte said the approximately 4,000-square-foot space will feature a mezzanine with a studio for seat fitting, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a coffee bar similar to the one at its Navy Yard location.

“For us to have an opportunity to literally be on the ground floor with an organization like Amazon that’s going to serve the community and the county really quite fabulously, is really humbling and it’s a real privilege,” said Conte’s co-founder Wayne Souza.

“Amazon is excited to bring these businesses and more to HQ2, helping to build a vibrant, buzzing neighborhood,” the company said in a blog post this morning.

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Hawkers, the Asian street food restaurant chain, is now aiming for a mid-August opening in Ballston.

The eatery was initially supposed to open back in spring 2021 and, then, June of this year, but supply chain issues have delayed it now twice, the company says.

“Because so much of our equipment is incredibly specialized to fit our concept — for instance, our wok stations are all completely customized to our menu, and our electrical panels are customized to handle our neon signage installations — the supply chain constraints delayed our construction timeline,” writes a company spokesperson. “Our manufacturers and suppliers worked as quickly as they could, but they could only build as specific parts and electrical components became available.”

The growing chain first announced it was opening a location at 4201 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the Ballston Exchange office complex, nearly two years ago in July 2020.

Orlando-based Hawkers was founded in 2011 when “four best friends joined forces (like the Avengers, but better) to bring the streets of Asia to the streets of Orlando, Fla.” The restaurant has about a dozen open locations in several different states. That includes a Bethesda outpost — the first in the D.C. area — which opened in late 2020.

The menu highlights street food from across the Asian continent, including dim sum, baos, chicken wings, pad Thai, noodle dishes, and fried rice.

When the new Ballston location opens in a few months, it will be the first Hawkers in Virginia and the first to have a take-out window.

“The Ballston community is vibrant, full of energy, and incredibly social — all of which are qualities that align perfectly with the Hawkers brand,” the spokesperson said, when asked why the company chose the neighborhood. “We cannot wait to open our doors and get to know the Ballston community on a deeper level.”

The restaurant is currently hiring servers, bartenders, line cooks, hosts and dishwashers.

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JINYA Ramen Bar is set to open its newest location in Ballston this weekend.

The noodle eatery says its official opening will happen this Saturday (May 21) at 11 a.m. The first hundred people in line will get free ramen. Additionally, there will be specials, a live DJ, and coupon giveaways.

The restaurant first announced it was coming to the space adjacent to the Quarter Market food hall in November. It was formerly occupied by Copa Kitchen & Bar, a Spanish tapas restaurant and soccer-watching venue. That restaurant closed in the fall 2021.

JINYA was initially aiming to open in March but experienced delays “common in construction,” according to a spokesperson.

This will be the restaurant chain’s fifth D.C.-area location with other locations in Reston, Merrifield, D.C., and Bethesda. It has locations across the United States and several in Canada.

JINYA Ramen’s D.C. area locations are all owned by Sam Shoja, a company spokesperson confirmed. He’s also the co-owner of Paraiso in D.C. and previously held a stake in Hot Lola’s, which has a location in Ballston Quarter and is another that is opening in Rosslyn soon.

JINYA eatery specializes in ramen made with broths that are simmered for up to 20 hours, according to its website.

“JINYA is ramen culture, where the relationship between broth and noodles is serious but delicious business,” the company previously said a press release. “From the water we use to prepare our broths — we only use FUJI which is 99.9 percent free from impurities — to the special aging process that our noodles undergo before they’re cooked and served, we’re crazy about ramen and pay meticulous attention to everything that goes into your bowl… You’ll quickly see why at JINYA we say, No ramen, no life.'”

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TGIF! We have a new list of open houses across Arlington for this rainy weekend ahead.

There have been 167 new listings in the last 4 weeks and 308 sales, according to Homesnap. There are currently 449 homes for sale. The median sales price is $650,000 and the median list price is $600,000.

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

  • 1881 N. Nash Street #2004
    3 BR/3.5 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Private elevator access, wine cooler, balcony
    Listed: $2,675,000
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Annette Hinaman – McEnearney Associates)
  • 3543 18th Street S.
    6 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Arched doorways, butler’s pantry, finished basement
    Listed: $1,399,000
    Open: Saturday, 2-4 p.m. (Kathleen Farrar – Compass)
  • 2088 N. Oakland Street
    4 BR/2.5 BA Townhouse
    Noteworthy: Four levels, 3 covered porches, hardwood floors
    Listed: $998,000
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Katie Grieco – TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)
  • 623 N. Piedmont Street
    2 BR/2.5 BA Townhouse
    Noteworthy: Updated kitchen, hardwood floors, attached garage
    Listed: $720,000
    Open: Saturday, 12-2 p.m. (Clayton Chamberlin – McEnearney Associates)
  • 1926 N. Woodstock Street
    3 BR/1.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Wood burning fireplace, porch, freshly painted
    Listed: $879,000
    Open: Sunday, 12-2 p.m. (Susan Tull O’Reilly – McEnearney Associates)
  • 2220 Fairfax Drive #507
    2 BR/2 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Wood floors, gas fireplace, washer/dryer in unit
    Listed: $625,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Trey Grooms – KW Metro Center)

See all Arlington open house listings here.

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

1926 N. Woodstock Street

* Denotes sponsored listing

1926 N. Woodstock Street image via Google Maps

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The growing cadre of tech employees working in Pentagon City and Crystal City now have new places to go for their sneakers and hoodies.

Two new stores recently opened at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall on S. Hayes Street. SneakerMat is on the second level near Nordstrom and specializes in sneaker cleaning, restoration, and repair. It also has a collection of footwear for purchase.

The shop is local to the D.C. area and independently-owned, with its only other location in Hyattsville, Maryland.

“I became very proficient in shoe care and restorations [because] of a passion to always keep my shoes clean,” Nathan Hawkins, the shop’s co-owner, wrote on its website. “Growing up there were times I had to wear the same shoes an entire school year; so making sure my shoes were clean and could last was very important to me.”

Custom World, located next to the GameStop on the mall’s food court and Metro level, is a customized hoodie and t-shirt retailer. The store claims that it can “customize everything in 15 minutes” — something, presumably, that fast-moving startups may appreciate.

The stores join other recently-opened retailers at the Fashion Centre, including Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty. Back in September, a cereal bar, a Levi’s store, a furniture store, and an LA-based luxury goods seller all set up shop there.

The mall, popular with local shoppers as well as out-of-town tourists, is located only a block from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2.

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Compass Coffee is planning to open a drive-thru location along Langston Blvd in Arlington this summer.

The D.C.-based coffee shop chain is currently in the midst of construction of its first ever drive-thru location at 4710 Langston Blvd, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood, a company spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.

The hope is to open late this summer.

The nearly 2,700-square-foot space formerly housed a SunTrust Bank, which closed in 2020. A building permit was applied for in February that called for a new build-out and interior demolition.

In addition to the drive-thru, which was first reported by the Washington Business Journal, the space will also have an indoor cafe, similar to other Compass Coffee locations.

This will be the company’s third Arlington store, joining existing cafes in Rosslyn and Ballston. Compass also just opened a location in Fairfax back in March, furthering its reach into Northern Virginia.

Overall, Compass Coffee currently has 14 open locations.

In terms of coffee drive-thrus, there’s some buzzy competition just down the road. A mile away from the new Compass Coffee, Starbucks has its own drive-thru — also a repurposed bank. The Starbucks has attracted long drive-thru lines, sometimes extending out to Langston Blvd, particularly at the height of the pandemic.

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Long-time Ashton Heights resident Trudy Ensign was happy to talk about a lot of things during her 101 years. She loved to paint, bowl, watch the Washington Nationals, and was a constant presence at Clarendon United Methodist Church.

But there was one thing that she never talked about: Being an intelligence analyst for the United States Army during World War II.

“No, never,” chuckles Jane Brown, Ensign’s daughter. “Even when stuff started becoming redacted or public knowledge.”

Gertrude Carley Brown Ensign died on February 28, but this past weekend a memorial service was held in her honor at the church on N. Irving Street.

During the eulogy, Reverend Tracy McNeil Wines told all those sitting in the pews paying their respects what Ensign never would.

“She used her intelligence to gain intelligence for our nation,” Wines said. “And… we enjoyed having this secret spy woman in our midst.”

Ensign was born in Iowa in 1920, lived through the Great Depression there, and was recruited out of college by the Army Security Agency (a precursor to the National Security Agency) to move to the D.C. area to help with the war effort.

She was stationed at Arlington Hall, like so many others in the Women’s Army Corps. While she wasn’t a famed “Code Girl,” Ensign undoubtedly supported their efforts.

“She knew Morse code, so [the Army] literally sent her all over the world, to Panama, Japan, Hawaii. During the Vietnam War, she worked at the [Arlington] base too,” Brown tells ARLnow. “She was the highest grade civilian woman when she retired. It was a big deal and she got all of these awards.”

In 2018, Arlington Public Library’s Center for Local History interviewed Ensign about her time working for the Army and living in Arlington in the mid-20th century.

After the war, she stayed in Arlington, got married, bought a house in Ashton Heights, and had two children.

For decades, Ensign was deeply involved in the Arlington community. She was known to hand out sandwiches in the Central Library parking lot to those in need, supporting the work of A-SPAN (now, PathForward). She was president of the Maury School PTA and was a Girl Scouts troop leader, serving alongside Annie Glenn.

And she alway made time for her church. She was the membership secretary of Clarendon United Methodist for years. As former Reverend Eugene Thomas noted at the memorial service to laughs, Ensign always knew who was at Sunday services — and who wasn’t.

In September 2020, the Ashton Heights community celebrated the resident’s 100th birthday with a socially-distanced parade, signs, and well-wishes. Her positive thinking, enthusiasm, and sense of humor was on full display sitting in front of her long-time home.

“Somebody may be looking at this real estate,” she told ARLnow at the time, laughing. “But I think I’ll keep telling them how the roof leaks and they’ll go someplace else.”

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A new cafe and lounge is hoping to open in Crystal City within the next couple of months, the owner tells ARLnow.

Crush Cafe at 546 23rd Street S. comes from Yoseph Abegaz, who owns Flirt Lounge next door. It’s filling a space that was once occupied by a dry cleaners and shoe repair shop. The location was first rented last June and a building permit to alter the interior was first applied for in September.

The new cafe is set to serve coffee, Abegaz tells ARLnow, as well as beer, wine, and mixed alcoholic beverages.

Abegaz described the new cafe as essentially an “expansion” of Flirt Lounge, a hookah bar and lounge that opened in 2016. He declined to give an exact timeframe about when his newest venture may open, only that they are still in the midst of licensing and permits.

It will be at least a “couple of months” before Crush Cafe can open, Abegaz said.

That strip of 23rd Street S. is known as “restaurant row.” With Amazon HQ2 moving in down the road and extensive development happening in the neighborhood, there remains some questions of the aging, low-slung retail strip’s long term viability.

Nonetheless, much like Crush Cafe, new eateries continue to set their sights there.

Beauty Champagne & Sugar Boutique just started serving bubbly earlier this month at the corner of 23rd Street S. and Fern Street. A halal restaurant franchise is hoping to open a new concept by the end of the year on S. Eads Street, just around the corner from Crush Cafe’s new home. A half block down, a Korean rice dog eatery was planning for an early 2022 opening but that appears to be delayed, with the restaurant’s website still not accepting orders.

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