Post Content

City Council approves ‘after-the-fact’ operation of outdoor BBQ spot in Del Ray

Meal at Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ (image via Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ/Facebook)

After more than a dozen complaints of outdoor grills sending smoke into neighboring Del Ray homes, City Council on Saturday unanimously approved a modified plan to allow Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ to operate behind Evening Star Cafe.

The approval expands the concept’s hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (previously 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.), more outdoor seating (from 50 seats to 124 seats), live outdoor music Wednesday to Saturday, as well as permission to cook food from two outdoor smoker grills and selling the food from a temporary food trailer.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) owns Evening Star Cafe (2000 Mount Vernon Avenue) and during the pandemic converted its rear parking lot into an outdoor dining area. They were allowed to do so when the city suspended enforcement of multiple special use permit conditions. Earlier this year, however, the restaurant started selling Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ barbecue in the outdoor dining area without city approval. Two smokers were also located 20 feet from neighboring residences, prompting 19 complaints submitted to the city, as well as 13 city citations requiring removal of the smokers and the issuance of a fire code violation by a fire marshal.

City Council Member Kirk McPike said that he supported the restaurant’s plan, but not the after-the-fact way that it went to the city for approval.

“Do we have to disapprove one to get the message out that these after-the-fact approvals are not what we want to see?” McPike said. “We want people to actually be applying for these special use permits before they undertake these actions.

NRG agreed to reduce the impact of the smoker grills by relocating them away from the western property line and closer to the building, as well as an exhaust pipe.

Michael Babin, the founder and principal of NRG, apologized to the City Council for operating without city approval.

“At some point we needed to go back and either retroactively or for the first time say we need to get approval to do this,” Babin acknowledged.

NRG also owns Planet Wine, Vermilion, two Rustico restaurants, Buzz Bakeshop, Josephine and Shop Made in VA.

Image via Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ/Facebook

Recent Stories

It’s been a busy week in Alexandria. Just days after Alexandria’s City Council voted unanimously to ditch single-family-only zoning, Mayor Justin Wilson announced that he would not be running for…

The days of digging through archives by address to find a historical report on a building in Alexandria could, themselves, be a thing of the past. Anyone can now easily…

Friends of Guest House needs pajamas and cozy socks for their female residents who are transitioning back to the community from prison. Realtor Maureen Clyne started the annual effort four years ago…

Just Listed in Alexandria

A 4 BD/2.5 BA home with a gas fireplace, patio and a large landscaped yard is included in Just Listed.

Get ready to Shake, Rattle and Roll with this one-of-a-kind, high-octane rockabilly concert experience! Rockabilly Rumble is the all-new, musical experience celebrating the southern rock music that exploded on the scene in the 1950s. Organized by Alexandria City High School Alum and pro-musician Sam C. Jones, this band of world-class performers will have you dancing in your Blue Suede Shoes all night long with songs made famous by Bo Ridley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and more. Relive their most popular hits, along with some forgotten gems. “Rockabilly Rumble” is a dance-worthy, foot stomping evening you’ll never forget!

This show is 21+ only.


Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Unwrap the magic of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday all weekend at Current Boutique! Dive into luxury with exclusive deals on pre-loved designer treasures, celebrating sustainable fashion with every purchase. Whether in-store or online, indulge in guilt-free glamour and support local businesses. ✨🛍️👗

💥 Sale: 25% off everything & 50% off tall boots

📅 Date: Friday November 24 – Sunday November 26

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Christmas Through The Ages

Christmas Through The Ages – Join the Washington Men’s Camerata, and Guest Director Scott Tucker for a program of Christmas and holiday music spanning the centuries through today, featuring the music of Bach, Lauridsen, Abbie Betinis, and many others.


Subscribe to our mailing list