St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub has been a Del Ray staple for decades, and it’s expanding to Old Town North.
Owners Christine and Larry Ponzi recently requested an administrative special use permit request for a change of ownership to operate the coffee shop and restaurant at 529 Montgomery Street in the mixed-use Edens property. Construction plans are set and permit applications will be submitted to the city in the coming weeks.
The Ponzis estimate that the 2,210 square-foot location could open as early as August.
“We like this area of Old Town because it doesn’t have a tourist feel. It’s more of a neighborhood,” Larry Ponzi told ALXnow. “We really like being in neighborhoods. We love to get visitors from out of town, and we do, but we really want the base of customers to be from the neighborhood.”
The family is aiming for that familiar living room vibe of St. Elmo’s in Del Ray, with open mic nights and poetry readings, and custom-made table tops and local art on the walls. The new location will have a full service kitchen, and accommodate up to 65 people inside and 22 people with outside seating. Plans include plenty of space for couches, comfy chairs, long tables and a bar area to serve beer and wine. There will even be a kid-friendly area with toys.
“At St. Elmo’s in Del Ray, we really took two concepts and and merged them together — our Market to Market sub shop and our coffee shop,” Larry said. “So here out of one kitchen we’ll be doing an extended breakfast, breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast and smoked salmon and breakfast burritos and waffles. We have a banana oat pancake. So, actually a little more cooking than what we’re doing in Del Ray and, and then from-scratch soups and we’ll make our own homemade meatballs.”
The Ponzis bought St. Elmo’s five years ago, and the company currently employs 80 full- and part-time employees. They plan on hiring about 20 more for the new location.
The couple, who met as students at the Rochester Institute of Technology, have learned a lot since opening their first Cafe Pizzaiolo in 2007 on Mount Vernon Ave. Before their lives as entrepreneurs, Larry managed cafes and catering at the Smithsonian locations in Washington, D.C., and Christine spent a number of years as an accountant.
The Ponzis have two daughters in college, and have learned to delegate. A lot of responsibility is given to their general managers, and the company is currently interviewing candidates for the general manager position in Old Town.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Larry said. “We like what we do, we’ve learned what people like. And so we’re really shooting for something very similar, but we feel it’s a nice fresh start to be able to build the kitchen the way we want to, and there will be a much more efficient way we do it.”
The Alexandria Police Department said in a release that a handgun was confiscated from a student at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy (530 S St Asaph Street) today. According to the release:…
It’s been a busy news week in Alexandria. On the positive site: one of the bigger stories is that the city achieved zero traffic fatalities in 2023. It’s a significant…
If you’re looking for something to do tonight (Friday), Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is hosting a 21-and-over “Tavern Games Night“. The event is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum…
The Alexandria Police Department (APD) arrested Robert Walker, a 34-year-old D.C. resident, for a carjacking just a few blocks away from APD headquarters and striking a police vehicle. Police said…
Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.
Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.
Are you looking to work on health and fitness from the comfort of your own home?
Skip the big box gym and try out our in-home personal training service. We bring the gym to you so that you can save time and avoid the hassle of going the the crowded gym.
We bring all the equipment you need for a solid workout and if you have a community gym we can use that too.
We offer programs that will help with weight loss, strength, flexibility, more energy and overall feeling better.