The industrial-chic restaurant and lounge (2915 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.) pays tribute to Virginia Hardware — the hardware shop that was there for nearly half a century. After closing in 2004, the space was home to Irish pub Ri Ra.
Wilson Hardware opted for pricey plastic surgery just five years in, in part, to compete with the fresh crop of talent along Clarendon’s nightlife corridor. Neighborhood newcomers include Buena Vida, Bar Ivy, B Live (formerly Whitlow’s), and the recently revived Clarendon Ballroom.
Weekday happy hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) includes a $29 bottomless spread of sliders, fries, fried artichoke, and more, plus wines, beers, and cocktails around $5. Other returning favorites like a relish-topped Hardware burger on brioche and steak frites join new dishes like truffle hanger steak, a quinoa salad with shrimp, dip trio, and caprese or short rib sandwiches.
Wilson Hardware maintains three bars on-site: a 27-foot-long quartz-top rail across a newly redesigned main level, a patio lounge, and a tile bar on the rooftop. The big changes include a new indoor-outdoor garden terrace bursting with buds that’s located past double doors on the second level. And its third-story rooftop bar, now double the size, can stay open all year thanks to a retractable awning. Wilson Hardware can now fit 350 patrons inside and 150 out.
Walid Zeytoun, a partner at Opera Ultra Lounge and Brooklyn on U, spearheaded the redesign project with fellow Wilson Hardware co-owners Alex Haje (Opera), Faris Ghareeb and Jad Bouchebel (JBC Events, Provision No. 14).
Koos Design, the women-owned firm behind newer Clarendon bars like the Pinemoor and Brass Rabbit, put together the revised look. Wilson Hardware went under the knife one piece at a time, so the renovation didn’t entail a temporary closure. All three floors resurfaced on Saturday, October 1.
Tuesday-to-Friday lunch is also in the mix starting at 11:30 a.m. (Mondays start service at 4 p.m.). Hours run until midnight during the week and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Brunch starts at 10 a.m. on weekends.
On Sundays, brunch stretches until 6 p.m. to accommodate weekend hangovers. Instead of doing bottomless brunch (or posing a time limit), the first mimosa carafe costs $20 per person and each glass is 50 cents after that (with a minimum of one entree per person).