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Planning Commission could exorcise sign requirements for new Arlandria ghost kitchen

Proposed sign for Arlandria ghost kitchen (image via City of Alexandria)

A new zoning request for an Arlandria ghost kitchen provided an update on an approved use that’s been haunting the northern edge of the city since 2021.

Applicant 1033 W Glebe Road ALX is requesting a permit to allow a sign to be built along W Glebe Road that will direct visitors to the kitchen tucked behind the back of a strip mall at 1033 W Glebe Road.

The new 32-square-foot sign is a fairly inoffensive change — unlikely to stir up the kind of controversy nearby music venue The Birchmere went through with its sign change — and staff expressed support in a report on the new sign.

The main item of note in the report is that, while the site has not opened, the plans for the ghost kitchen aren’t dead:

On July 1, 2021, Special Use Permit (SUP) #2021-00049 was approved for an administrative new use to allow the applicant to operate a restaurant, which consists of 24 separate commercial kitchens operated by restaurateurs, who prepare food for carry-out and delivery to individual customers. As of the writing of this report, the space for the applicant is still under construction, and improvement to the driveway and parking lot has not been finalized. When completed, the restaurant and American Co-packers will each occupy approximately half the building.

The building will have a lobby space to accommodate food pick-up for customers, but there will be no indoor dining. The kitchen will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight — and sometimes until 4 a.m. — seven days a week.

“The multiple commercial kitchen concept serves as a restaurant incubator for individual chefs, entering the restaurant market,” the report said.

The permit for the sign is scheduled for review at the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, May 2.