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5 Things to Know About Rosslyn’s New Pop-Up ‘The Alcove’

DC's newest community retail pop-up follows in the tradition of Union Market and Shop Made in DC

All photography by Ashley Mizuo.

The Alcove, a 5,000-square foot storefront in Rosslyn’s Central Place opened last Wednesday with an activity-packed bang: think kombucha tastings, fabric-stamping, decoupage-making, and more. A collaboration between the Rosslyn BID, Arlington County, and local businesses, the concept for The Alcove was born when developer JBG Smith offered up one of their properties to the BID for a two-month period.

At the bustling opening, the layout and decor did not disappoint. Trendy activity stations were interspersed with colorful lounges and eye-catching art installations in neon colors, all of which were set against the space’s industrial backdrop and flanked with urban views. The events calendar promises activities ranging from fitness classes to live music, along with various programming, including events such as author’s talks, put on by the Arlington Public Library. Visitors will be able to browse goods from local clothing designer, artists, craftsmen and chefs throughout the length of the pop-up, which is set to run through October.

Here’s what you need to know about Rossyln’s ‘The Alcove.’

1. The reading selection is expansive

While a main focus of The Alcove is its ever-changing lineup of events and activities, some of the components will run the course of the pop-up. The backbone of the establishment, the Carpe Librum Bookstore, is one such permanent element. Books ranging from popular fiction to philosophy fill the shelves, and there’s also a children’s section. As of opening day, there were over 15,000 donated books, DVDs and CDs for sale—all under $5, except for DVD box sets which are $8. The proceeds go to Turning the Page, a children’s education non-profit.

2. It’s for both work and play

A designated community space within the Alcove—complete with free wifi for work and cornhole for play—is another staple of the new pop-up. The area poses as an alternative to sitting in a coffee shop, and the Alcove encourages local businesses to use it as a co-working space during the day. However, it’s not all about work. The area is also designed to transform to fit special programming, including a collaboration with SoFar Sounds that will bring in musical guests.


3. There’s lots of string

One of the most eye-catching aspects of the Alcove is the 52-foot long “rainbow cloud” hanging from the ceiling courtesy of Linny Giffin, co-founder of The Lemon Collective, which hosted free workshops during the grand opening.

4. The photo-ops don’t disappoint

DC-based artist JD Deardourff created an abstract mural of the Rosslyn skyline that is overlaid with a banner and the Winnie the Pooh quote “We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” There are props at hand, notably a horse mask, for visitors to create the perfect Instagram photo.

5. There’s something for everyone

Since the space is constantly featuring new vendors (the upcoming agenda includes an Etsy Sellers retail event, a nail bar, and even a silent disco), visitors can return to the Alcove again and again without getting bored. Among the highlights at the opening were a make-your-own bitters station and a succulent-planting booth.

The Alcove is open through September on the corner of 19th and N Moore St., Arlington,  Tuesday-Saturday 11 A.M. to 8 P.M.

Correction: a previous version of this article referred to Arlington Public Library as Arlington County Library.