Letter from the Publisher

Turning a Corner

The thought of walking into a crowded restaurant or bar with a group of friends, an activity I’ve repeated thousands of times in my adult life, is almost too much for me to comprehend. After more than a year of isolation, save the occasional gathering around a fire pit, it’s safe to assume most of us are excited to go out and cut loose. And local restaurants and watering holes are awaiting our arrival with giddy anticipation. They’ve just endured the worst year of their careers. Given the pent-up demand, my hope is they will soon experience one of their best.

Last year, in mid-March, we were wrapping up a story about innovative restaurateurs who were helping to reshape the local dining landscape. Many were on the verge of opening new places. Then Virginia went into lockdown and we had to put the story on hold, just as they had to put their best-laid plans on hold. One year later, we circled back with the same folks to find out if, and how, the past year has fundamentally changed their outlook. They share their insights and reflections in our cover story, “Still Hungry,” with interviews by editor Jenny Sullivan. The good news? It’s not all bad news. Their stories are inspiring.

With more closings than openings in the past 12 months, it hasn’t been an appropriate time for dining reviews. Critiquing a restaurant during a pandemic, when supply chains and operations are disrupted, is like kicking someone when they are down. But our temporary pause on reviews hasn’t stopped our food critic from sampling what’s new around town. For “New Eats,” David Hagedorn visited eight restaurants that opened during the pandemic. He draws on his extensive culinary knowledge (he’s a trained chef) to highlight what’s special about each place and tempt you with the tastiest items on the menu. I can’t wait to try these new restaurants, and I hope you will support them, too.

You may notice that this issue, like our last one in March/April, looks a bit thicker than usual. The size of a magazine is dependent on the amount of advertising. We are grateful that most of our long-time clients stuck with us in 2020 (it was a challenging year, as you can imagine) and advertiser demand appears to have snapped back this year. We are heartened to know that local businesses find the magazine (and our digital offerings) to be an effective marketing vehicle for their brand and message. As a reader, please note that you can support us by supporting our advertisers.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Arlington Magazine. The Food & Drink issue is an especially fun one to publish. When you feel comfortable, I hope you’ll visit and support your favorite local dining establishments, whether you’re ordering takeout, eating on the patio or taking that first tentative step back indoors. They will be excited to see you. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at greg.hamilton@arlingtonmagazine.com. Letters to the editor and story ideas should be sent to jenny.sullivan@arlingtonmagazine.com. Thanks!

Greg Hamilton, Publisher