Outdoor food hall Water Park debuts in Arlington
A hotly anticipated outdoor food hall, raw bar, and dynamic green space opens in Arlington on Friday.
Why it matters: The 1.6-acre Water Park is a big boost for National Landing's dining/entertainment scene beyond Amazon's opening — and the first of many, with another 55 retailers slated to open by the end of next year.
Yes, but: It's not really a "water park" (sorry, no Crystal City lazy river). There are water installations like an immersion fountain and Water Bar, an open-air terrace restaurant sitting atop a water wall.
What's happening: Developer JBG Smith's park is decked out with a live entertainment stage and plenty of seating and greenery for an "urban town square" vibe.
- Nine local food kiosks are run by local, minority, and/or women-led businesses.
- Atlanta-based STHRN Hospitality operates Water Bar and Crush Pizza, a larger kiosk with limited indoor seating, New York-style pies, Italian sandwiches, and a "crushable" wine list.
Between the lines: The park is a designated "sip and stroll" zone, so alcoholic beverages are permitted throughout. The planners also incorporated access to the Mt. Vernon Trail with public restrooms and bike facilities.
- Protective and heating elements will help make it a year-round destination.
The opening lineup: Tacos, fried chicken sandwiches, vegan burgers…
☕ Brij: A coffee shop, café, and wine bar from barista-turned-social entrepreneur Skyler Kelley, whose mission is to support vulnerable communities (single mothers, the unhoused) through her business.
🍔 Bubbie's Plant Burger: A classic American burger, fry, and soda pop shop — but make it plant-based and kosher.
🥚 Cracked Eggery: The third D.C.-area location of the egg-centric fast-casual will offer all-day egg sandwiches, creative bowls, and sides.
🇮🇳 DC Dosa: Bombay native Priya Ammu's traveling South Indian street food concept expands from Union Market.
🍨 Dolci Gelati: The D.C.-born gelato shop will open another location for icy treats and espresso drinks.
🥙 Falafel Inc.: A Georgetown-based falafel favorite known for inexpensive eats ($4 sandwiches!) and a social justice mission feeding refugees.
🍜 PhoWheels: The first non-mobile location for the family-run Vietnamese food truck, serving pho and other Viet-inspired dishes.
🍗 Queen Mother's: Chef-about-town Rock Harper opens another location of his smash-hit fried chicken joint.
🍹 Tiki Thai: A spinoff of Reston's tiki bar and Thai/Polynesian restaurant.
What's next: Dining in the Park, another JBG project 1.5 blocks away, is slated to open later this fall with the indoor/outdoor restaurant Surreal from Seven Restaurant Group (2121 Crystal Drive).
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