Alexandria, VA

Waterfront restaurant Chadwicks (203 Strand Street) could be doubling down on its outdoor seating with a new second floor metal balcony.

A proposal headed to the Board of Architectural Review on Wednesday, April 7, would allow the restaurant to add a new metal balcony to the north side of the building, across from Big Wheel Bikes. The new outdoor dining would replace parking spots in the alleyway.

Owner Trae Lamond said opening up more outdoor dining had been in the back of his mind for years, but was really hammered home by COVID-19.

“I wanted to come up to a clever way to add outdoor dining ever since I bought the place in 2015 and struck out one way or another until I saw the simplest answer: put it right there in the alleyway,” Lamond said. “We started the process before COVID, then we went into survival mode for 2020. That was until the city bailed out all of us with the temporary outdoor dining expansion, which really opened my eyes to how important that was. It was such a slam dunk.”

The move follows a similar change from other restaurants to expand outdoor dining options, like nearby Virtue Feed and Grain’s expansion into an adjacent alleyway.

“We’ve had five tables before this, and it’s been that way since the early 2000s,” Lamond said. “But you look down at Charthouse, Virtue or Vola’s, and they’re killing it with the outdoor space.”

The new addition will come alongside other grade improvements to facilitate outdoor dining for the restaurant. Lamond said the expansion will be modest in scope, but still a significant growth over current offerings.

“It’ll be in the 40-50 range for seats,” Lamond said. “Not massive, but it’s going to beat the heck out of five tables.”

Images via City of Alexandria

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