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Hotel AKA in Old Town North seeking major outdoor seating boost

Outdoor terrace at Hotel AKA (image via City of Alexandria)

Like 1799 Prime Steak and Seafood, Hotel AKA (625 First Street) in Old Town North is heading to city review for a permit to dramatically upscale some courtyard seating.

The hotel — perhaps most notably for its strikingly dark facade — is hoping to increase its outdoor seating from 40 seats to 120 seats.

While it’s looking to get permission for 120 seats, the proposal said the plan is to accommodate 80 seats in an outdoor terrace on the western side of the building.

According to the proposal:

The outdoor terrace area was used by the previous hotel tenant (Holiday Inn) as an outdoor lounge area for its guests and included a pool on the northern portion of the terrace. The applicant in the current request proposes to convert the terrace to an outdoor dining area that would be served by both a bar area which would be constructed on the western portion of the terrace as well as the hotel’s main kitchen. The proposed outdoor dining area would be separated into approximately nine smaller group areas in order to create a sense of privacy for their patrons.

Many Alexandria restaurants embraced outdoor dining during the pandemic and, accordingly, the City of Alexandria has been trying to make the regulations governing outdoor dining a little less onerous.

An analysis of the proposal included an endorsement from city staff. The permit is scheduled for review at a Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, June 6.

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