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More On The Menu: A Slew Of Restaurants Open Their Doors On Crystal City’s 23rd Street

Crystal City's restaurant row

Beneath the headline-grabbing news of corporate relocations and office development, Crystal City is reinventing itself street by street.

As the neighborhood that will form much of the downtown of the new National Landing shapes up, locals’ focus is turning to the ancillary businesses that will serve its many new residents and workers.

A host of new restaurants are arriving on 23rd Street, the cultural heart of Crystal City, providing both new and familiar flavors. Dining, entertainment and retail businesses are all coming together to create the area’s walkable, livable, 24-hour neighborhood model.

Before he was a restaurateur, Freddie Lutz, who operates 23rd Street staple Freddie’s Beach Bar, had worked at Café Italia, the Italian restaurant that occupied 519 23rd St. South. Now, Lutz has opened his own restaurant, Federico Ristorante Italiano, in the old Café Italia location. He said the opening of Federico in the fall was a sort of homecoming.


Fiona’s Irish Pub is slated to open next month at 567 23rd St. South, in a location formerly occupied by Tortoise & Hare. Its second location will feature the same relaxed atmosphere, traditional Irish cuisine and beverages that patrons have come to love at the Kingstowne location.

For fine Tex-Mex & Salvadorean food and happy hour offers, Arlington residents can head to Los Tios Grill; the restaurant opened last month at 513 23rd St. South in the former Cantina Mexicana space.

New nightlife businesses will provide Crystal City with entertainment and dining after hours. In addition to the Alamo Drafthouse that will anchor JBG Smith’s Central District Retail development to the north, Bowlero, a combination bowling alley, restaurant and bar, is set to open at 320 23rd St. South.

Crystal City is also working to bring in unique retail destinations to the neighborhood. The Vintage Dress Co., which opened in the fall at 570 23rd St. South, will offer curated consigned clothing to residents. Owner Darlene Bakke lives in Arlington and specializes in vintage dresses, accessories and housewares.

This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Crystal City BID. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.