(Updated at 2:25 p.m.) Just shy of its two year anniversary, Wiinky’s in Ballston is set to close.
Wiinky’s (3902 Wilson Blvd) will serve its last burgers on Sunday, March 31, according to a sign in the window. Restaurant employees said they were told that Wiinky’s and several other small businesses on the block are closing to make way for a new pet store, possibly a Petco location.
“Unfortunately, the ownership of our building has changed hands and the new landlord has opted not to renew our lease in favor of a large corporation that will pay a much higher price for the space,” the sign said. “We appreciate the support you gave given us the last few years… In the mean time we will be looking for a new location in the Arlington area so don’t be surprised to see a new and improved Wiinkys in the future.”
The burger and hot dog joint opened in April 2011. Despite skepticism about its young owner and its earnest, low-frills food offerings, the restaurant has remained in business and has even attracted a 4/5 star review average on Yelp. A manager tells us business has picked up in the last year and is now “really good,” especially at lunchtime and during late night hours (when it also offers a delivery service).
We’re told that the new Wiinky’s, should it reopen elsewhere, may apply for a permit to serve beer and wine.
“We’re going to keep our ears and eyes open, looking for a place in Arlington,” said owner Ryan Shandel. ”If we find a place that’s affordable and makes sense, then we’ll make a move.”
Shandel said the closure is “a sad and sudden thing to happen,” but added that he’s grateful for the support of the community and for the opportunity to learn while on the job. He said he hopes customers will stop by one last time before the restaurant closes on Sunday.
So far, Petco hasn’t responded to a request for comment.