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Notes: Stomping Ground in Del Ray to close next month

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Beloved Alexandria biscuit restaurant Stomping Ground is closing next month, Alexandria Living Magazine first reported.

Owner Nicole Jones said in an insightful letter that despite community support, in several ways the restaurant never fully recovered from the pandemic

The Del Ray staple was at a high pre-pandemic, having just opened a new location in Tysons Galleria and Jones helped launch bagel shop, Bagel Uprising, next door in Del Ray. But Jones said the restaurant has been mostly treading water since the Covid pandemic.

“You would think after all of these efforts I would be happy that Stomping Ground survived the pandemic,” Jones said. “But that’s all we did, we survived. We didn’t flourish. We didn’t grow. We got hard. We lost the magic that made our 1400 square feet a place you wanted to come every day. Everything feels a little less bright.”

Jones said the newest challenge has been struggling to keep up with the rise in ingredient costs.

“Earlier this year, as we fought our newest battle; the raw cost of our ingredients, I knew I had to do something,” Jones said. “While watching the price of flour, dairy and eggs, the soul of our recipes, skyrocket, I watched my staff become more complacent every day. Without the community, Stomping Ground is not the third space it once was and working there feels more and more like just another job.”

Jones said since the pandemic, she’s watched tips go down and hours reduced. Seeing a need for change, Jones said the restaurant will close in April, but something new is in the works.

While I’m not ready to totally give up, I am ready for a change. Our team has decided that in April 2023, we will shutter our beloved biscuit house to make way for something entirely new. We will share more details as they become available – we are so very excited about the project. It makes financial sense, it makes my team renewed at the idea of something REALLY new. We know that the next chapter will hopefully delight our customers again. In the meantime, please join me in saying goodbye to my beloved first restaurant. She has been so good to all of us.

Locals took the news of the award-winning restaurant’s impending close hard.

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