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Pandemic Resurrects Canopy Proposal Outside Balducci’s in Old Town

Longtime Alexandrians may remember when Farrah Olivia at 700 S. Washington Street featured outdoor dining under a canopy. Well Farrah Olivia is gone for good, but the outdoor canopy that was once a feature of the Old Town restaurant could be making a comeback.

In 2013, after Farrah Olivia closed, the building’s owner got a permit to destroy the canopy. Seven years later, they’re back and hoping to put it up again to provide a covered seating for customers at the Balducci’s grocery store.

“Similar to the previously approved canopy structure, the proposed addition will provide an enclosed seating area for patrons of the Balducci’s grocery store on the ground floor of the building,” the applicant said. “The one-story addition is compatible with the existing building and surrounding buildings in terms of height, mass and scale, and the architectural style is compatible with structures throughout Old Town.”

Balducci’s isn’t the only Old Town location that’s been turning toward outdoor solutions for pandemic-induced indoor capacity problems. Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap converted an outdoor parking deck to a tropical oasis and restaurants along King Streep bumped their dining out into the sidewalk areas to add capacity.

The proposal is scheduled to go to the Board of Architectural Review on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Image via District Architecture Studio

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