Wilson Hardware, the new three-story bar that’s helped breathe new life into a historic location, debuted in Arlington this month at 2915 Wilson Boulevard.
The 7,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge is an ode to Virginia Hardware, the hardware shop that occupied the same spot for nearly half a century.
Swatchroom’s added design features include a papier-mâché mural affixed to an exposed brick wall, as well as fabric-and-leather banquettes. Three different bar areas include a 27-foot-long quartz-top rail on the main level, a mezzanine lounge, and a tile bar on the rooftop. For food, there’s crab dip, gourmet burgers, duck confit, and steak frites.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, just a few weeks in:
The Jaw-Dropping Look News: Facebooker Munira Al-Khalili says the space is “STUNNING. Reminds me a lot of NYC warehouse loft clubs! Between the many levels, different smaller spaces, rooftop bar, dining patio, and decor, the restaurant has a very kinetic energy! The large wall mural is a feast for the eyes as well.” Yelper Jonathan G. says, “The Decor is meticulously designed and makes for a great vibe.” [Facebook, Yelp]
The Place to Be News: Facebook user Monika Aster notes, “The upper patio fills up quickly and the line for it on the mid-level didn't move for friends trying to meet up with us.” Yelper Nicole W. describes herself as a “huge fan” of the former Rira, but found plenty to admire about its replacement. “It's a much cleaner, classier/upscale looking place … There was no cover and no dress code (that I'm aware of) but most people were dressed to impress,” she says. Dolled up Instagrammer @stellabellas_mom says, “Can we have parties like this every weekend please???” [Facebook, Yelp, Instagram]
The Very Engaging News: Facebooker Tricia Kelly hosted her engagement party there and says, “Our guests were well taken care of. Our photos are incredible too because there are so many versatile locations for pictures! Our guests hung out long after the official end time and the level of service by staff and management remained the same!” [Facebook]
The Pleasantly Surprised News: Instagrammer @drinkingthroughthedistrict confesses to having to do a double-take. “I was confused to say the least, but pleasantly surprised,” she writes, adding, “Love when the neighborhood hardware store is actually a hip and trendy bar and restaurant.” [Instagram]
The Spot-On Staffing News: Facebooker David Setia says, “The staff was well trained, respectful, well-mannered, and knowledgeable and certainly exceeded my expectations for not just a soft opening but even a restaurant in general.” [Facebook]
The Trek-Worthy News: Facebooker Myke Lee says, “Finally a place in Arlington that feels like a piece of D.C. Spacious, upscale, lots of creative spaces for events — a reason to actually come to Arlington (and stay)! Nice job guys.” Facebooker Nichole Devolites says, “Clarendon now has a chic, upscale establishment, that provides something for everyone.” [Facebook]
The Food News: Yelper Ryan W. says, “The corn fritters were the highlight for us — they were delicious! Entrees were mostly enjoyable, though the stuffed chicken was a little dry and pretty bland.” Yelper Rae A. says, “The calamari, and cheesy bread thing were very tasty.” [Yelp]
The Booze News: Yelper Jordan B. gave the bar a once over, trying a trio drinks. “Each was great outright,” she says. “It's very cool to see cocktails on draft and awesome to have a frozen option for an evening outdoors.” Yelper Steve B. says, “The Screw Him drink is actually delicious, and Bright Idea is perfect for 2 and lights up different colors!” Instagrammer @alanijane1 chimes in, “I’m drinking a fuchsia cocktail and you all should be jealous.” [Yelp, Instagram]