Sunday, April 29, 2007

An Open Letter to the Owners of Booeymonger in Arlington

Dear Booeymonger Management,
You have a great restaurant in Arlington. The sandwiches are good, original and hearty. The layout of the restaurant is open with good seating, both inside and out. Unfortunately, I won't be coming to your restaurant any longer as you have no parking. None. You have six spaces nearby that very clearly say "20 minute parking - towing enforced." And you're not kidding about the towing enforced part. In the 15 minutes I watched this Sunday morning, two tow trucks slowly cased these six spaces. It was very clear they intended to tow someone, even if they weren't in violation just yet. As a tenant in this building, you don't require these towing companies to have proof that they're in the right. Rather, they're allowed to take your car when they're ready. If they do, no evidence you could possibly show will get you out of the $100 minimum they will charge. This is organized stealing and you're helping them do it.

When asked about the parking, you say you can't do anything - it's the building. That's a shame. You should demand better of your landlord on behalf of your customers. If you won't stand up for us, why should we stand up for you when the time comes you need help renewing your lease or fighting a hostile city council?

You've made your choice. I've made mine.


  1. Ballston has been very notorious for that type of aggressive towing for a long time, and even moreso now with the rapid development in the area within the last 6 years. In fact, Arlington as a whole has no mercy as a whole when it comes to towing and ticketing, including the weekends. I live in MD and work in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. From past experience I will never drive there again, but use Metro.

    Maybe the owners have no control over the parking situation. Frankly, would it be fair to penalize them? I'm sure the last thing they want to do is lose business, and would remedy the situation if they could. You seem to enjoy the establishment otherwise despite the parking situation. Have you considered Metro as an alternative?

  2. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Why on Earth would the landlord care if the six spots reserved for that tenant get used 20 minutes at a time or all day? Dollars to donuts, it's a choice that the restaurant has made to accommodate people who are picking up take-out, and they probably bid out a contract to the towing service without thinking twice about whether their customers would get nailed.

  3. Anonymous9:03 AM

    I work at Marymount University, the blue building next door to Booeymonger's. It is truly a pity that parking is unavailable to visitors, because their sandwiches and service are the best in the are. (Especially breakfast. mmmm.)
    A word of advice - never try parking in our lot. I repeat - NEVER. Even when there a hundred empty spaces, the tow trucks will sit and wait, ready to pounce. While I feel bad that parking keeps customers away, Booey's is busy enough as it is. A lot nearby would create a line out the door 24/7. Make it a special occasion... Park at the mall or down the road and walk. Or metro. It's worth it.

  4. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Contact the Arlington County Board. They should know there parking rules are hurting businesses. They want more business there and this is definatly keeping the people away. Of course they will say they want you to use publib tranportation. But that is not the answer.

  5. Anonymous11:28 AM

    The Arlington County Board does not make all the rules when it comes to parking, or towing. The bulk of those decisions are up to individual property owners.

    However, Arlington County does have certain regulations for tow operators. FAQ here:

  6. I had a similar experience at the body shop next to Murky Coffee. I had a damaged driver side quarter panel, and was waiting for the counter guy to give me a basic estimate. He was really busy, so I ducked next door to Murky to get a cup of coffee. I came back 20 minutes later, and my car's not where I left it. I asked the counter guy, and he said "which car is yours?" I said "the Pontiac with the messed-up quarter panel" to which he replied "Oh, they towed it away."

    Um...let's see. Car with a fairly obvious ding in a body shop parking lot. And, the guy wouldn't vouch to the towing company that I was a legit customer because he didn't have any ticket or work order for me. He didn't call the towing company; they tow cars unless specifically told NOT to tow them. I had to pay 100 bucks to get my car back.

    Screw `em. How they sleep at night knowing they're a barely-legal Mafia is beyond me.

  7. I too have had to stop doing business in a place that I would otherwise go to OFTEN, because of lack of parking. They have exactly TWO parking spaces, and then the business next door has ten. The business next door NEVER has any cars in the lot. Really a shame.