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Thirsty Bernie, Glebe Rd & Lee Hwy in North Arlington


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It's such a beautiful day today that I decided to take a long walk. As I turned off Lee Highway onto Glebe Road, I noticed Thirsty Bernie Sports Bar And Grill, right next to the fisherman's shop that used to be called "Angler's Lie" (which I thought was a great name). A big sign on the restaurant says "Coming Soon!"

I walked up and saw a big flat-screen TV in the window, and noticed that things looked set up and ready to go. There was a gentleman inside, working hard, and when I caught his attention, he motioned me over to the side door. He spoke very little English, but I managed to ask him when the restaurant would be opening; although I can't be sure we understood each other, it appears to be very, very soon. A menu is posted on the window, and Thirsty Bernie will be serving classic sports-bar fare such as chicken wings, hamburgers, fried onion rings, and bean dip.

When I walked away and continued down Glebe Road, I had a huge smile on my face, and I headed towards Ballston with a spring in my step, unable to suppress the smile which kept coming back, again and again.

Because in addition to the chicken wings, hamburgers, fried onion rings, and bean dip, the menu also listed beef on weck, a kielbasa sandwich, pierogies, a homemade charcuterie plate, and a whole host of other things. And on the bottom-right was this: Executive Chef, Jamie Stachowski.

Cheers!

Rocks.

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Because in addition to the chicken wings, hamburgers, fried onion rings, and bean dip, the menu also listed beef on weck, a kielbasa sandwich, pierogies, a homemade charcuterie plate, and a whole host of other things. And on the bottom-right was this: Executive Chef, Jamie Stachowski.
That's great news. What a productive walk you had! :lol:.
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Took a peek at the posted menu while waiting for the baby's prescription to be filled nearby. Moules frites, hangar steak, 12 hour smoked ribs, smoked chicken, and a southern fried chicken sandwich all caught my eye. The tables are all staged with ketchup and mustard bottles but the workers were still hard at work.

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I knew moving to Cherrydale was a good idea. Now I don't feel so bad having never made it to the $9 bar lunch at Kolumbia. And a quick google search surfaced a menu snapshot

That menu snapshot only captures half of the menu though. He's missing the right half, which has most of the entrees. My memory isn't complete, but I recall seeing a red snapper dish, a hanger steak, and a roast chicken among other things. Looks to me like this will be quite a step up from a typical "sports bar" in the food category.

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That menu snapshot only captures half of the menu though. He's missing the right half, which has most of the entrees. My memory isn't complete, but I recall seeing a red snapper dish, a hanger steak, and a roast chicken among other things. Looks to me like this will be quite a step up from a typical "sports bar" in the food category.

The place looks great, and I will definitely check it out, but it is in a bit of an odd location; I hope it is able to succeed. Did anyone see whether it would be non-smoking? In North Arlington, that would definitely help, counter-intuitive as that may be in a sports bar.

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The place looks great, and I will definitely check it out, but it is in a bit of an odd location; I hope it is able to succeed. Did anyone see whether it would be non-smoking? In North Arlington, that would definitely help, counter-intuitive as that may be in a sports bar.

The location isn't THAT odd. :lol:

Seriously, if the food is good it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I do wonder what kind of crowd it will draw, as the demographic up here tends to be a little bit older (myself included) than down in the Clarendon/Courthouse/Rosslyn area.

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The location isn't THAT odd. :lol:

Seriously, if the food is good it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I do wonder what kind of crowd it will draw, as the demographic up here tends to be a little bit older (myself included) than down in the Clarendon/Courthouse/Rosslyn area.

Jason, that's exactly what I was talking about. It will compete with pie-tanza, taquiera, etc. and so I hope it has some element of family friendly.

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Damn! I used to live less than 1/2 block down Glebe Rd. from that little mini-mall. Always wanted to live near a bar literally within staggering distance. :lol:

You could have staggered to and from the Cowboy Cafe from that location. :lol:

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You could have staggered to and from the Cowboy Cafe from that location. :lol:
Correct, but that would have involved crossing a dangerous intersection. There is nothing to cross but the parking lot beween Bernie's and my former abode. Does anyone know what is going up in the construction zone where the old red brick apts. used to be next to that mall -- residental or commericial?
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Does anyone know what is going up in the construction zone where the old red brick apts. used to be next to that mall -- residental or commericial?

If you know the address you can look it up, but you need the actual street number.

http://permits.arlingtonva.us/Query_by_Address.aspx

It is unclear to me whether that location sports a Glebe Road or a N. 20th Road address.

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Might it be:

"City View Residential Site Plan – Potomac Custom Builders’ site plan for 20 townhouses and 7 single family houses was approved in February 2006. The site is located to the northwest of Lee Highway and N. Veitch Street. (N. Vance Street, N. Wayne Street and N. 20th Street)"

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Might it be:

"City View Residential Site Plan – Potomac Custom Builders’ site plan for 20 townhouses and 7 single family houses was approved in February 2006. The site is located to the northwest of Lee Highway and N. Veitch Street. (N. Vance Street, N. Wayne Street and N. 20th Street)"

I think that is further down Lee Highway (toward the city), near Courthouse.

I am pretty sure the stuff going up on Glebe Rd is all residential.

There is some new retail slated to go in across the street from Lee Heights (Arrowine, Crisp and Juicy, etc..), but I think the development has hit a stand still.

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I think that is further down Lee Highway (toward the city), near Courthouse.

I am pretty sure the stuff going up on Glebe Rd is all residential.

There is some new retail slated to go in across the street from Lee Heights (Arrowine, Crisp and Juicy, etc..), but I think the development has hit a stand still.

The Potomac Custom Builders site is across Lee Highway from Courthouse (by the old Bergman's Cleaners) and it is all residential. (The site a block or so West on Lee with the 7-11 is for sale and it would allow commercial mix use.) Rumor is that the old apartment area (it's over 6 acres) that was cleared behind the Lee Heights shops is going to be townhomes... dont' think it's zoned for any commercial mix use.... but it looks like Archstone is the company who purchased it in Dec.

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Didn't think to ask.

Feel free...

(703) 248-9300

For now they are not doing lunch but will do so at some point in the future. Once they are open, they will be doing brunch on Saturdays and Sundays but not this Sunday.

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If people are meeting there Sunday for dinner I will probably do my best to make it there - it's not far from my house! (And on my way to work...)

sounds like they are just doing mock service this weekend, and will open for business on Monday (just called and that's what i was told)

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sounds like they are just doing mock service this weekend, and will open for business on Monday (just called and that's what i was told)

I just talked to them and they said they are open for everything tonight starting at 4.

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Yes, but they would really, really like to not get slammed anytime soon. They'd like to build up slowly the first few days, until the NBA finals start Thursday and the sports-bar crowd comes out in force.

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Yes, but they would really, really like to not get slammed anytime soon. They'd like to build up slowly the first few days, until the NBA finals start Thursday and the sports-bar crowd comes out in force.

This unfortunately didn't work out, as they were packed to the brim when I went in at 630 yesterday and we were not able to sit down and eat. Nice space, if a bit smaller than I was expecting it to be. I cannot imagine how early you would have to get in to find a seat on Thursday, I think this is going to be a really popular place.

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This unfortunately didn't work out, as they were packed to the brim when I went in at 630 yesterday and we were not able to sit down and eat. Nice space, if a bit smaller than I was expecting it to be. I cannot imagine how early you would have to get in to find a seat on Thursday, I think this is going to be a really popular place.

Hah! I called at 6:30, and when told there was a 30-45 minute wait, decided that I'd check it out another time.

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Word. I pulled up in the parking lot about 6:00 pm on opening night and it looked slammed inside. Crowded enough that someone's behind was pressed against the front window. I decided to wait for another opportunity. Do you suppose there was any pent-up demand for something like this in the neighborhood? :lol:

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Word. I pulled up in the parking lot about 6:00 pm on opening night and it looked slammed inside. Crowded enough that someone's behind was pressed against the front window. I decided to wait for another opportunity. Do you suppose there was any pent-up demand for something like this in the neighborhood? :lol:

This sounds a LOT like a friends and family party. Hell, Cork wasn't even crowded last night.

P.S. The kitchen is huge. And ... just wait until you see Bernie! Bernie is my hero. I bow down to Bernie.

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Stopped by tonight for dinner. Things are still a bit slow, but that's to be expected as they just opened. The menu is pretty much as described above; chicken wings, hamburgers, and such for bar food with a couple of larger entrees tossed in such as hangar steak, red snapper, and roasted chicken. Beef on weck and kielbasa make it onto the menu. I had the hangar steak which is pretty much a copy of what he had at Restaurant Kolumbia, though I think the blue cheese port sauce may be new.

The beer selection was fairly nice, with about 8-10 beers on draft and another 15-20 or so by the bottle. Plenty of good beers to be had; I had a Magic Hat #9 by the bottle and a Longhammer IPA draft.

The room itself is a bit small. There's probably room for about 35 or so people in the dining area of the room, and another 35-40 seated in the bar portion, with room for a bit more standing in the bar area. Tonight when I was there both the bar area and the dining area were pretty full. There's an odd bar/table in the middle of the bar area that's an interesting use of space and is pretty cool. Basically the bar area is a triangle, with one leg being the bar, one an exterior wall, and the other the dining area. In the center of that triangle is a triangular bar/table for people to use. No idea where they found such a thing but it looks pretty handy as it increases the number of seats in the bar (though it does decrease the number of people that can stand in the bar by a larger number than can be seated). There are plenty of HD TV's around the bar (8-10 I think).

Overall, it's a place that I really wish had been open when I lived in the area. I definitely would have been in multiple times a month just for a decent dinner and maybe watch a game. I don't think it's necessarily something to go out of the way for, unless you are craving one of the things that Jamie is one of the only to do, like the beef on weck (which Jamie has told me in the past he doesn't understand the fuss over as it's basically just a roast beef sandwhich :-) ) or his kielbasa, etc. But if you live or work in the area, it's definitely a place to try. It should be a real credit to the neighborhood.

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Is the restaurant non-smoking? That may be too much to ask.

My understanding is that not withstanding its location in Northern Virginia, it is indeed non-smoking. Smokers may proceed directly to the Cowboy Cafe for a smoking break.

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Is the restaurant non-smoking? That may be too much to ask.

I didn't ask, but didn't see ashtrays, saw people leaving to smoke outside, and didn't see anyone smoking inside when I was there. Based on that I'm guessing that it may be non-smoking.

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I didn't ask, but didn't see ashtrays, saw people leaving to smoke outside, and didn't see anyone smoking inside when I was there. Based on that I'm guessing that it may be non-smoking.

I can confirm it is non-smoking. Everyone tonight stepped outside to smoke.

Overall, my first visit this evening left me with mixed emotions. I'm excited there's a nice place to go get a beer and watch a game nearby (within walking distance). I'm disappointed because I don't think it will be a place for the family. No highchairs, no kid menus, no milk. There were service problems tonight (one entree arrived 25 minutes later than the other 2, charged for items we didn't order), but they did just open Sunday so ok. And, they tried to accommodate for the kids (pointed out what was kid friendly, brought a side of peas though not on the menu). The food was fine (kielbasa, wiener schnitzel, grilled cheese), but not spectacular. Total bill with tip was over $80 (1 app, 3 dinners, 2 beers). I know it's called a sports bar and grill, but I had hoped it would be family friendly. As a man with his 2 young daughters at the table next to us said, "This is not Clarendon..."

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went for dinner and game 5 of the stanley cup on monday night, had mussels, pastrami sandwich and the kielbasa. got to see the kitchen and sample a couple slices of a fantastic proscuitto. The sausage was great, but the pastrami was amazing, moist, juicy and a hint of smoke. Just thinking about it now makes me want to go back. The bar area was full, there are a ton of tvs including a screen that faces out into the parking lot, so that the smokers won't have to miss a play. Can't wait to try the wings which are available grilled or fried

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I can confirm it is non-smoking. Everyone tonight stepped outside to smoke.

Overall, my first visit this evening left me with mixed emotions. I'm excited there's a nice place to go get a beer and watch a game nearby (within walking distance). I'm disappointed because I don't think it will be a place for the family. No highchairs, no kid menus, no milk. There were service problems tonight (one entree arrived 25 minutes later than the other 2, charged for items we didn't order), but they did just open Sunday so ok. And, they tried to accommodate for the kids (pointed out what was kid friendly, brought a side of peas though not on the menu). The food was fine (kielbasa, wiener schnitzel, grilled cheese), but not spectacular. Total bill with tip was over $80 (1 app, 3 dinners, 2 beers). I know it's called a sports bar and grill, but I had hoped it would be family friendly. As a man with his 2 young daughters at the table next to us said, "This is not Clarendon..."

I'm really surprised it is not kid-friendly; that seems odd and not a great business move. I know it is a sports bar but there are a lot of fathers in North Arlington that pull daddy duty on weekends for whom this place would be perfect. I assume that will change shortly.

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