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Monte Durham is plotting a television show set in his Old Town hair salon.

“We’re trying to get a sizzle reel together of Salon Monte for two production companies,” Durham told ALXnow. “One is with Ann Roberts‘ production company out of L.A., and the other is local. Who knows where that’s gonna land, but they are in the pipeline and we are seriously sitting down and speaking with them.”

Durham, the bridal image consultant and former star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, was filming Say Yes to the Prom in New York City when the pandemic struck in March 2020. Soon after that, his contract expired as the network abruptly went dark.

Durham said he signed a contract to start filming with Roberts, but that the pandemic put the project on hold.

“And here we go with this mask mandate again,” Durham said. “That may be happening, so we’re just gonna play it by ear. Nobody’s in a hurry. We want to make sure these that we’re stepping on solid stone when we’re doing this.”

Durham, who turns 65 this year, moved to Belle Haven and decided to go back to his roots as a hair stylist. He opened Salon Monte six months later, on September 12, 2020, which is the anniversary of Jackie Kennedy’s wedding to JFK. Durham is a Jackie Kennedy aficionado and even has a portrait of the former first lady in his personal studio.

“I’ve never been more excited, more driven and more motivated to make this work,” Durham said of the salon.

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This week’s Q&A column is written by McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant market news, contact Mary Ellen at 703-472-5454. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Say yes to this fabulous historic home in Old Town!

Take a sunny tour of 217 S Fairfax Street with local Alexandria resident and owner of Salon Monte, Monte Durham and Mary Ellen Rotondo of McEnearney Associates. This incredible home is one of Alexandria’s most exclusive properties! To learn more, connect with Mary Ellen by phone 703-472-5454 or visit FineLivingRE.com.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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When Monte Durham’s contract with TLC expired in March, he realized he needed to do something else. The star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta was told that the network would be going dark because of the pandemic, and Durham quickly decided to go back to his roots as a hairstylist and open a boutique in Old Town.

“My goal is to inspire, educate, and hopefully motivate people to go to the next level with their look,” Durham told ALXnow.

Durham is opening Salon Monte this Saturday, September 12. At 6:30 p.m., Mayor Justin Wilson is scheduled to cut a ribbon for the 825-square-foot salon at 210 S. Union Street. That’s next door to Hotel Indigo and across the street from the Union Street Public House.

Why go to Salon Monte? It’s simple, Durham says.

“We’ve got location and valet parking,” he said. “The big hubbub about this is that it’s new. It’s fresh, it’s invigorating. You’re going to be serviced totally differently.”

The bridal image consultant, who lives in Belle Haven, was filming Say Yes to the Prom in New York City when the pandemic struck, and by mid-March was back home when he got the news that the network was going dark.

“In the midst of all of that, our contracts expired,” Durham said. “Are they going to reinvent the wheel? Who knows. So, while we’re waiting on that, I thought, ‘You know what? Ten years of traveling and going back and forth, if we don’t film again, what can I do? Well, after all I am a hairstylist.”

Durham is still appearing at wedding events, including the upcoming Alexandria Wedding Showcase this Sunday, September 13. He’s hired a hair director and a client service director to work with him in his boutique.

“When a father looks at the price of a wedding dress and says, ‘She’s only gonna wear it one day,’ I go, ‘Okay. I want you to ask your wife where her wedding dress is,'” Durham said. “They always know exactly.”

The salon was far from finished a week before the opening, but Durham said when finished it will include his private studio with a large portrait of his style icon Jackie Kennedy, shampoo lounges and all of his own personal hair care products.

“Everything in the salon is custom because it’s small,” he said. “The lampshades cost me an arm and a leg, but they look so good.”

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Planning on getting hitched in Northern Virginia? The upcoming 2020 Alexandria Wedding Showcase will feature dozens of vendors from throughout the region to help you and your beloved on the most important of days.

Alexandria resident Monte Durham, host of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” is headlining the event by hosting a VIP brunch and a fashion show, which will feature dresses, tuxedos and hair and makeup by local businesses. Durham plans to open his own salon in Old Town Alexandria later this year.

Last year, Alexandria Living Magazine took over the wedding showcase from Visit Alexandria, the city’s tourism bureau, which started the event in 2016. The event will be held on April 26, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Westin Alexandria Old Town (400 Courthouse Square) and will feature more than 60 local vendors, including florists, caterers and dressmakers.

“Last year, there were more than 450 people who attended the showcase,” Beth Lawton, co-founder and publisher of Alexandria Living, told ALXnow. “There’s no deadline, but we’re selling out quickly.”

“We’re really focusing on making this an experience,” Lawton added. “One of the salons is talking about doing consultations, we have a fitness studio doing one-on-one meetings and a lot of our booths are going to be offering prizes of their own. So, you’ll be able to possibly win a lot of free stuff for your wedding, which is great because the average wedding costs more than $30,000.”

As far as prizes go, the Westin is giving away a grand prize of 250,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which can be used toward plane tickets, hotel stays and more.

“Essentially, a couple who wins this will be able to spend eight nights in France or Hawaii,” Lawton said.

The event will also be featured in the March/April edition of Alexandria Living Magazine, which will be full of wedding-related stories.

“Alexandria is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and this event really shows how the city is a great wedding destination,” Lawton said. “Weddings require so much. You need the food and wine, you need a venue, the dresses, the tuxes, the flowers, hotels for people coming in from out of town, transportation, gifts. There’s just so much that goes into weddings, even small weddings, that it’s not too surprising that there are so many businesses in the area that can support that.”

Tickets for the event are $20 for those who register before April 10, $25 for regular admission, $35 for couples and $50 to also attend the VIP brunch.

Additionally, for those who want to devote their entire weekend to weddings, the Carlyle House will host its free, annual wedding open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Couples are invited to meet wedding vendors, tour the facility and talk about getting married at a historic site in the port city.

File photo (top) by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

Alexandrians supporting Ukranian refugees — “Alexandria artist Kellie Sansone is selling paintings and prints of classic Ukrainian foods, with all profits going to the Ukrainian Crisis Fund through care.org” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 59 and low of 40. Sunrise at 6:40 am and sunset at 6:03 pm. [Weather.gov]

Patch readers really want one shop back — “We asked readers about businesses they miss in Alexandria, and one place was mentioned the most.” [Patch]

Monte Durham celebrates Alexandria award from Zebra — “Thank you, Alexandria! We are honored and grateful. ❤️#bestsalon” [Twitter]

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The Alexandria Wedding Showcase is back to being an in-person event.

This year’s event will be held at The Alexandrian (480 King Street) in Old Town and feature a VIP champagne brunch with Alexandria resident Monte Durham, host of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta”and owner of Salon Monte.

The showcase will be held on Sunday, April 10, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and will feature dozens of local vendors, including florists, caterers and dressmakers. Guests can also sample different wedding cakes and appetizers, as well as meet wedding planners.

Alexandria Living Magazine took over the wedding showcase from Visit Alexandria in 2019, although last year’s event was virtual.

“We’re really excited to bring this event back to help all these couples who have had to postpone weddings due to the pandemic,” Beth Lawton, co-founder and publisher of Alexandria Living, told ALXnow. “I think this will be a fun, useful event for everyone. This year we’re back to in-person, but we absolutely encourage couples who are immunocompromised or not in town that weekend to reach out to local businesses virtually.””

Prizes at the event include a free venue reservation at The Alexandrian, valued at $7,000, and SnapShare photo package.

Tickets are $75 for single VIP admission (including champagne), $25 for one person and $40 for couples.

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What a challenging week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Alexandria track star Noah Lyles won the bronze medal in the 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, garnering congratulations from around the country, including locally by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Mayor Justin Wilson. Also this week, Lyles’ mom and brother held a watch party at his alma mater, Alexandria City High School.

This week, we also spoke with Alexandria boxer Troy “The Transformer” Isley, who said competing in the Olympics was a ‘dream come true.” Tynita Butts-Townsend, the third T.C. Williams High School graduate to participate in the games, did not make it past the first round of the high jump.

“I thought I would feel more crappy about getting last at the Olympics, but then I read that sentence again…IM STILL AN OLYMPIAN!” Butts-Townsend tweeted.

On the coronavirus front, with the City recommending residents wear masks indoors, this week the School Board voted to make it mandatory that face masks be worn when school starts later this month.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Parks Department braces for strain on system when Minnie Howard field closes down
  2. Alexandria reports 204 COVID-19 cases in July, a big jump over last month
  3. Alexandria City High School to host Olympics watch party to cheer on alumnus Noah Lyles
  4. ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria
  5. GoFundMe launched for Will Nichols, retiring manager of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray
  6. With ACPS expecting enrollment increase, Alexandria Mayor explains where kids come from
  7. Report details life of Black Alexandrians post-Civil War in home slated for redevelopment
  8. Noah Lyles to race for gold medal in 200 meters at Tokyo Olympics
  9. 18-year-old arrested for firing gunshots at West End apartment building
  10. EXCLUSIVE: Halal slaughterhouse opens, gives away free chickens for first two days in business
  11. Heritage project skirts denial at Board of Architectural Review meeting

Have a safe weekend!

Via Tcwtitantrack/Facebook

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What a week it’s been in Alexandria.

The pandemic seemed inescapable this week, and much of our coverage was related to dealing with the coronavirus.

Five more fatalities related to the virus were reported by the Virginia Department of Health, and the death toll now stands at 67. There are now or have been 3,671 cases in the city since the first case was reported in March.

The week also began with our coverage of City Council’s passage of a face mask ordinance requiring residents to wear masks in public places. While there is no fine for noncompliance, the new law takes effect on October 1.

There was some heartwarming news. City residents helped a Del Ray business owner raise more than $10,000 after her house burned down on September 12.

We also covered the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s newest COVID-friendly in-person show. Additionally, Alexandria restauranteur Bill Blackburn participated in a COVID-19 vaccine trial this week, and Alexandria resident Ann Samuels safely celebrated her 100th birthday.

The Alexandria City School Board also accepted a name change proposal for Matthew Maury Elementary School. Now with the virtual school year in full swing, we also published a poll on how folks think school is going so far and saw mixed results.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. ‘Lipstick On A Pig’: BAR Rejects Heritage Old Town Proposal
  2. Just Listed in Alexandria
  3. ThePoopBrothers: ‘Fearless’ Del Ray Kids Created New Business Over Summer Break
  4. UPDATED: Flooding Reported in Parts of City After Heavy Rain
  5. Man Struck by Bullet While Driving in West End
  6. Alexandria Hospital Nurse Wins First-Ever Nightingale Award
  7. Juvenile Arrested After Shots Fired in Arlandria
  8. City Council Passes Mask Ordinance, and There’s No Fine for Noncompliance
  9. New Alexandria Boxing Club Works Out Every Sunday at Jones Point Park
  10. Monte Durham’s New Hair Salon is Opening Saturday in Old Town
  11. Alexandrian Ann Samuels Turns 100 Years Old

Have a safe weekend!

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says House Democrats Working to Protect Postal Service — “So many of you are writing, calling, and urging us to act to protect the US Postal Service. We share your anger and frustration about what Trump is doing and your alarm about what it could mean for the election. And we ARE working to stop him.” [Twitter]

Noah and Josephus Lyles Win First and Second in 200 Meter Race in Monaco — “Lyles raised a black, fingerless-gloved right fist before getting into the blocks to win a 200m in his first international race of the season, conjuring memories of the famous 1968 Olympic podium gesture. He clocked 19.76 seconds, leading a one-two with younger brother Josephus.” [NBC Sports]

ALIVE! Gives Food to 900+ Households — “916 households received food at today’s Truck to Trunk food distribution. Thanks to everyone who made this possible- donors, volunteers, Department of Community & Human Services, City of Alexandria, VA; Volunteer Alexandria; Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, City of Alexandria, Virginia; Police Department, City of Alexandria, Virginia; Transportation & Environmental Services, City of Alexandria, Virginia and ALIVE! Staff!” [Facebook]

Monte Durham’s Salon Opening at Waterfront Next Month — “The chic boutique salon, located next door to Hotel Indigo, will feature Durham, who got his start as a hair stylist before heading down the bridal path to a hit reality TV show, TLC’s ‘Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta.'” [Alexandria Living]

Chris Daughtry of American Idol to Play Virtual Concert for Birchmere — “Next week, Chris Daughtry presents his virtual “Live from Home Tour” on Aug. 18 to benefit 19 venues across the country, including The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.” [WTOP]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 83F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: K-8 Teacher — “SchoolHouse is a new, innovative education startup that helps families to form Learning Pods, and matches excellent teachers with those Pods. A Pod is a group of approximately 4 – 8 students, of the same or similar grade level, who are learning, growing, and socializing together.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

TV Show for Monte Durham’s New Salon? — “There is a possibility that Durham’s salon will be the premise of a new show. ‘I am very proud to say that I have been tapped on the shoulder by a production company out of L.A. that has signed a contract to do a sizzle reel on the hair salon, hopefully to take that to a network and sell it so we’ll have a show on that,’ Durham announced at a Visit Alexandria meeting last month.” [Alexandria Times]

Alexandria BBQ Restaurant on Local TV — “Tommy McFly visit[ed] Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster in Old Town Alexandria to see what it takes to cook award-winning barbecue.” [NBC 4]

Beyer Campaigning for Mayor Pete — “As Pete Buttigieg struggles for momentum going into the South Carolina Democratic primary and Super Tuesday, two members of Congress from the Washington region are traveling the country to promote his presidential campaign. Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) were early endorsers of the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who they say has the personal story and calm demeanor to unite a nation divided by Donald Trump’s presidency.” [Washington Post]

New Bubble Tea Spot in Old Town North — “Ya-Gút St. Coffee & Treats ‘is the place for all things sweet,’ said Dustin Ngo from behind the counter of one of Old Town North’s newest businesses. The specialty shop opened in January at 682 N. St. Asaph St. next to its partner restaurant, Sunday in Saigon… The shop serves coffee drinks, unique pastries, bubble tea and gelato.” [Alexandria Living]

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