This content is sponsored by the National Landing BID.
National Landing, the downtown district that encompasses the Northern Virginia neighborhoods of Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard – Arlington, is home to about 100 restaurants, ranging from small cafes to national chains, bars and taprooms, to fine dining establishments.
As restaurants shift their operations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, local eateries have taken a nimble and creative approach so that those who live, work and visit National Landing can continue to enjoy their offerings safely.
Nearly half of the restaurants in National Landing are zoned for outdoor dining, including a dozen that recently added an al fresco option by taking advantage of Arlington County’s Temporary Outdoor Seating Arrangements (TOSAs), a program that has enabled the area’s dining scene to thrive and remain robust with options.
These comfortable outdoor spots serve up more than just good eats; they also indulge diners in newly created atmospheres complete with everything from aesthetically pleasing twinkle lights and landscaping to canopies and themed décor.
“Even on colder days, we noticed that customers purchasing takeout were choosing to linger and enjoy their meals outdoors, craving a distanced, but still communal, experience,” said Georgia Papadopoulos, Trustee of The Pappas Trust. “This served as the inspiration behind the development and construction of our TOSAs, which, thanks to the support of Arlington County, created the opportunity for us to transform parking lots along 23rd Street into compelling and creative outdoor dining solutions.”
With the cooler months on the horizon, Arlington County already has a process in place to extend the life of outdoor seating by permitting the use of portable heating, and restaurants are preparing to continue to serve customers outside through the fall and winter.
“By the end of this week, we will have patio heaters to try to prolong patio service through the fall,” says Joon Yang, Managing Partner of Epic Smokehouse in Pentagon City. “We realize that the general public feels safer in a dining experience that is uncovered and outside, even though we are following state protocol for indoor dining at Epic.”
Despite unprecedented times, the future is bright for National Landing. The transformation underway includes billions of dollars in public and private investment which will deliver the next generation of housing, office, transit and retail, and in turn, an anticipated increase in both the daytime and evening populations. The dining scene continues to grow and evolve and local restaurants are excited to be a part of what’s to come.
New additions include Peruvian Brothers, which opened at The Stand in Crystal City Water Park this April, and serves renowned baked empanadas, desserts and drinks; and The Freshman, an all-day coffee, cocktail and dining concept from Mothersauce Partners, which will be opening soon.
“As a resident of National Landing, I used the running path to Long Bridge Park that goes by The Stand,” says Giuseppe Lanzone, Co-Founder and CEO of the Peruvian Brothers. “I felt like Peruvian Brothers could offer the community something comforting during this COVID-19 pandemic, so we contacted JBG Smith and they immediately took us up on the idea for freshly baked empanadas and Peruvian coffee. We opened in April 2020 and have been serving residents and visitors daily ever since. We even brought our life-size Peruvian llama to bring a smile along with some delicious food for all the residents around the area.”
National Landing is excited to continue to welcome diners from near and far to experience all that this vibrant and evolving area has to offer.