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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Going, Gone and New in Clarendon

Clarendon has seen a head spinning amount of closures and new openings recently. Here is a recap of everything that is changing.

New

District Taco
Another location has been added to this popular Mexican chain in Rosslyn! Not only do they have good food, but the story of the owner starting out his taco business from a food cart and working up to several profitable brick and mortar locations is heart warming.

Don Tito
This flashy taco and tequila bar replaced my beloved Eventide last March 2015, and I'm actually impressed by it so far. From the same owners of A-Town in Ballston, it has became Clarendon's new "it" place and the rooftop was the place to be seen in the summer.

Oz
This Australian restaurant opened last September 2015 to mixed reviews. I like the unique theme, but I never thought "I really feel like Australian cuisine tonight..." so I'm worried about their staying power. They have a great location in the old Restaurant 3 space (I'm not acknowledging La Tagliatella ever existed), so I'm hoping the foot traffic will help them out.

Park Lane Tavern
Opening in February, this new European pub in the fancy Beacon apartment building looks promising and hopefully will be along the lines of Liberty Tavern.

Sehkraft Brewery
I'm in love with this place. It took a while to open, but the large restaurant with good food, large drink selection, and ample outdoor seating with two fire pits was worth the wait. There is also a live music stage that We Are The 9 will perform every month! Hopefully in a couple months Sehkraft will offer their own selection of brews when their beer batches are ready.

Spinfire Pizza and Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
You can never have too many pizza options.

Texas Jack's Barbecue
Just opened in Eat Bar and Tallula's old space on Washington Blvd, this open and wood filled mess hall looks very promising. Finally Clarendon might get some outstanding BBQ to gloat about!

On its way out...

Carpool
Unfortunately, it looks like Ballston will lose it the casual sports bar Carpool and it will be replaced by a high rise apartment building. The chain has other locations such as Reston, but the Arlington spot has a distinctive feel to it that I will miss.

CD Cellar
So sad! This used CD, DVD and vinyl music store survived in Clarendon after moving locations down the street, but now is closing up and consolidating with their Falls Church branch on Friday January 15. You will be missed CD Cellar, especially since you would infrequently host live music in the tiny store.

Knightsbridge
This quirky little gift shop was often overlooked despite having a prime location on Clarendon Blvd. Sad to see a unique place leave, but I often wondered how they stayed in business this long with such high commercial rent.

Gone!

Jay's
The most famous dive bar in Arlington shut its doors in May 2015. The old house turned bar will be turn down along with the car dealerships next door for a new 5 story residential development. The down to earth bar run by Jay and Kathi Moore was a fixture in Clarendon for over 20 years.

Larry's Homemade Ice Cream
I'm sad to lose such a great desert shop, but rumor has it the owner of Larry's also owns Spice down the street and will consolidate the cold stuff there.

RìRà
This Irish pub chain was never my favorite, but it was a good place to watch a soccer match or catch a free open mic comedy show in 2010. But the old RìRà space is still vacant even after they left in June 2015.

SoBe
One of my least favorite venues in Clarendon. Food was disappointing, drinks felt watered down, and the décor is strange. But it does have a popular karaoke night. The patio area they share with Mad Rose is nice, but I'm hoping something a little better can take over the space.

Public Shoe Store
I was hoping this prime location near the Metro and on the popular late night strip of Wilson Blvd would be a trendy or fancy restaurant, but it turns out it will be another 7-11. Bummer.

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