I stopped by A-1 Indian grocery today and found it renovated, with an attached restaurant "next door" -- Minerva Express. (Location is across from McDonald's near Glebe and Lee Hwy, N. Arlington).
They are opening tomorrow, January 20, 2010. I guess it was a trial run, but today they offered me some basmati rice to try -- and told me to stop back by in a couple of hours to sample some vegetarian biryani and eggplant curry. The rice was nice and flavorful (found a clove and green cardamom pod), and they use soybean oil, which gave it a nice flavor and texture (although he knew it needed to be cooked a wee bit more -- but I had heard him urging the cook to get me something to try...so I suspect it was still finishing up).
They have tables and chairs for 16 diners.
They plan to have all kinds of kabobs, biryanis, and curries. They wil not really be doing "sweets" right away, the man said.
They were friendly. I wish them well, and if their food is good, they'll thrive. The only issue is parking, which is a bit of a pain, especially getting into their lot if you're traveling east on Lee Hwy.