Alexandria, VA

(Updated at 5 p.m.) There’s no official word yet, but multiple sources have told ALXnow that British clothing and accessories retailer FatFace is looking at moving into the former Old Town Trading Post at 128 King Street.

A local commercial real estate source told ALXnow that FatFace is looking at moving into the location. Another source said FatFace was considering a lease but may not have signed one yet.

FatFace and KLNB — the commercial real estate service leasing the space — could not be reached for comment.

The retailer offers clothes designed in the UK with an emphasis on materials meant to last, as opposed to more cheaply-manufactured fast fashion. FatFace has a handful of stores in the United States, primarily located across New England, and other locations in partnership with department store Von Maur.

Signs for Old Town Trading Post remain on the building, but the souvenir shop closed in July 2017 according to Port City Wire.

2 Comment

After a year in operation, Pendleton Carryout Co. continues to grow with the introduction of breakfast options, app-based delivery services, and more.

On Friday, the food incubator at 807 Pendleton Street in the Braddock neighborhood debuted its brunch menu, serving scratch-made biscuits from Freed’s Biscuit Company. Only available on weekends until noon, customers can order biscuit breakfast sandwiches stuffed with everything from bacon, egg, and cheese to plant-based Beyond Meat patties.

“We figured as the weather gets colder, customers are going to want something a little more warming, a little more hearty,” said co-founder Ed McIntosh. “And who doesn’t love brunch?”

In addition to the biscuits, Herndon-based 100 Bowls of Soup is also new to the eatery. Select soups include curry lentil, Thai sweet potato, and carrot coriander.

“On Friday, we had about three dozen containers of 100 Bowls in our carryout fridge,” McIntosh said. “Now, [on Sunday morning], we’re down to about eight.”

Pendleton Carryout Co. opened last October as the area’s first “restaurant incubator,” featuring a mishmash of cuisines from area chefs, all crafted from the same kitchen and available for takeout. (Limited seating is available at a single countertop).

Established rotating brands include Laoban Dumplings, Killa Cakes, and Sliced Pizza and Burgers.

McIntosh said its residential location gets plenty of foot traffic from both its low-key neighbors and people walking from the Braddock Road Metro into Old Town.

And if customers don’t want to make the trek in person, Pendleton Carryout Co. recently joined app-based delivery services like GrubHub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash.

“It’s been an incredible year,” McIntosh said. “I don’t see us slowing down anytime soon.”

2 Comment

Taqueria Senora Lola ain’t the only new taqueria game coming to town.

In the West End, Taqueria Picoso (1472 N. Beauregard Street) is eyeing a December opening at The Shops at Mark Center, according to employees working on the building. The spot was formerly a Thai restaurant, according to Alexandria Living.

The taco-centric eatery comes from local restaurant vet Tom Voskuil, formerly of Chef Geoff’s, Tallula/Eatbar and Green Pig Bistro.

“We are in the process of opening a very authentic taqueria!” Voskuil says on his LinkedIn page. “We have approvals for our vertical al pastor roaster. Importing corn from Oaxaca for our tortilla machine, which will produce 720 tortillas/hour. $3 tacos that taste like true tacos from CDMX.”

Taqueria Picoso obtained an ABC permit and Voskuil said the restaurant will serve margaritas and micheladas.

0 Comments

Getting your nails done can be a time-consuming experience, so the newly opened Cavalry Nail Bar at 4104 Mount Vernon Avenue lets you sip wine as you’re getting your nails done.

Technically, manager Aivy Ho said you could also order beer, but so far the orders have been exclusively for wine. Customers seem to be responding positively to the new business.

“It’s been good,” said Ho. “We’re in a really open area and with our lights, you can’t miss us at night.”

The nail bar had been located in Crystal City for ten years, but the company decided to move to the border of Alexandria and Arlington. The new location opened late last week.

Ho described the Arlandria area as up-and-coming, with plenty of parking, which was an issue that plagued the Crystal City location. She said the Arlandria location is also currently hiring for nail technicians and cosmetologists.

The salon has the same ownership as Cavalry Salon and Nails Spa, just off Dupont Circle in D.C., according to Ho.

2 Comments

Update 3 p.m. — For the second week in a row, the correct answer is lighthouse related. The Mirror Mirror project is inspired by the Fresnel lens of Alexandria’s Jones Point Lighthouse, according to the City of Alexandria website.

We’re back with Friday trivia!

Like last week, we’ll post a trivia question at 9:30 a.m. Comments are disabled to keep people from posting the answers. Play fair, make your best guess, and check back in at 3 p.m. when we post the answer.

For today’s trivia question, we’re taking a look at the Mirror Mirror art display at Waterfront Park at the foot of King Street. The display was created by SOFTlab, a New York-based design studio led by artist and architect Michael Szivos. The interior’s surface is tinted with full-spectrum of color with lights that respond to sound.

The artists cited a specific influence on the design of the project. Was it a kaleidoscope, a zoetrope, a Fresnel lens, or a dispersive prism?

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

0 Comments

After 33 years, birding and nature store One Good Tern (1710 Fern Street) near Fairlington is closing as longtime owner Charles Studholme faces a grim kidney failure diagnosis.

“It’s doctor’s orders,” Studholme explained, then with a chuckle. “Well, the doctor’s orders were to stop three years ago.”

Studholme said the plan is to close the store “when the inventory runs out.” Initial plans were to do so by the end of October, but he said that will likely run into November with closure before the end of next month.

Virtually everything in the store outside of bird feed is marked with an at least 25 percent discount. The walls are lined with birdwatching paraphernalia, from telescopes clocking in at several hundred dollars to bird-themed socks and earrings at $10.

But One Good Tern is more than a store. Like a busy bird feeder, customers come and go, chatting and chirping at each other. As the store comes into its final stretch, there’s a constant flow of people in and out. It’s a gathering place for a niche community, with Studholme at its heart.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do once he goes,” one customer said.

Studholme didn’t found the store — a man named Mark Farmer founded it in 1986. Studholme started working there part-time in 1999 and two years later, bought it from the woman who’d replaced Farmer. Studholme, who’d previously worked in other retail jobs, described himself as a shopkeeper through-and-through who has had a longtime passion for birds.

He was born in Massachusetts and his father worked in fish and wildlife. Studholme recalled that all of his father’s friends also worked in that field and talk of nature filled his house. One friend went on a walk on the beach with Studholme when he was five and while most adults tended to ignore children, she talked to him and really listened to his questions.

“I knew about birds, but that was really the extent of my five-year-old knowledge,” he said. “She pointed to the sanderlings running down to the water’s edge and coming back to avoid getting wet, and it really anthropomorphized them. I found out later that was Rachel Carson, who wrote Silent Spring and ignited the eco-movement in America.”

Studholme said that beach walk with Carson helped to shape his passion for birds and nature, though he didn’t it until later. But since then, Studholme has passed that passion for nature onto visitors to the store. It’s mostly birds, but customers come into the store and ask Studholme about things like hibernation patterns of chipmunks and other nature questions.

“I was able to feed the robins the cranberries like you suggested,” a customer told him.

“He’s got all the knowledge,” another said.

One customer came in to ask whether he should take a position in a rare-bird focused organization.

“It’s a thankless job,” Studholme said, “but when has that ever stopped you? You worked at the Pentagon.”

Studholme doesn’t hide from his customers that he’s facing the end stage of kidney failure. A transplant could extend his life for ten years, and he said he’s keeping his options open, but Studholme said many of the treatments involve a great deal of pain and his preference would be to spend his final years in comfort.

Read More

5 Comments

Local kids and adults will fan out across Alexandria this weekend to place stickers on packs of beer and other alcoholic beverages, as part of an anti-underage drinking campaign.

The operation, dubbed “Sticker Shock,” involves teams “shocking” would-be alcohol purchasers with stickers that warn of the consequences of buying booze for kids. Teams will be placing the stickers at Giant, Safeway, 7-Eleven, CVS and other grocery and convenience stores across the city on Saturday.

“Research shows that it is easy for youth to obtain alcohol,” the city said in a press release about the operation. “A recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reported that youth ages 13 and older say it is easy to get alcohol from adults ― sometimes from their own parents who themselves may have drinking problems.”

The full press release is below.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, teams of Alexandria youth and adults will “shock” purchasers of alcohol by placing bright red warning stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcohol products in local stores.

Sticker Shock is a youth-led initiative designed to educate adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors. The stickers contain warnings about the serious penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors.

The Sticker Shock campaign will kick off with a press conference at the City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), 720 N. St. Asaph St., Alexandria, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Speakers include Alexandria Police Department Chief Michael Brown and Alexandria Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Quentin Wade. Following the press conference, teams of youth and adults will travel throughout the city to visit more than 50 participating retailers to affix the warning stickers. Local retailers who are participating in the campaign include Giant Food, Safeway, 7-11, CVS and many other small grocery and convenience stores.

In Virginia, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a punishment of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail, or both. In addition to these penalties, a person found guilty shall have his or her driver’s license suspended.

Research shows that it is easy for youth to obtain alcohol. A recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reported that youth ages 13 and older say it is easy to get alcohol from adults ― sometimes from their own parents who themselves may have drinking problems. A Developmental Assets Profile indicated 29 percent of high school seniors said they drank alcohol in the past 30 days, with 16 percent reporting that they got drunk once or more in the last two weeks.

Sticker Shock is sponsored by the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA); DCHS; Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; Alexandria Police Department; Alexandria Sheriff’s Office; and Virginia ABC.

SAPCA is an alliance of more than 80 members representing parents, youth, schools, City of Alexandria health and recreation agencies, media, nonprofits, businesses, faith communities, policymakers and law enforcement whose mission is to engage the entire community in reducing youth substance use and abuse in Alexandria. SAPCA was created in 2007 as part of the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria.

File photo

2 Comments

Improvements and changes are coming to the Waterfront Park over the next few weeks.

Mirror Mirror, the circular art exhibit currently on display in the park, had originally been scheduled to remain on display through the end of next month, but at a Waterfront Commission Meeting on Tuesday staff said the installation will be removed the first week of November.

The project briefly went dark when the waterfront flooded but has since been re-lit. A new project from Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous is expected to replace it next year.

Staff also said a portion of the park will be closed for 3-5 weeks to replace lawn panels. Several light fixtures in the park will also be replaced with LED lighting. Lighting in the older section of the park south of King Street was noticeably darker than the area at the foot of King Street, staff said, so the new LED lights should equalize that.

Further south, the city is still struggling with debris at Windmill Hill Park. Some of the trash is brought in by the tides, but staff is laying some of the blame at the webbed feet of mischievous local geese.

The park is still within a one-year warranty with the contractor that built the project; staff said they are currently in discussions over the condition of the shoreline. Goose mitigation efforts are also in place to help hold back some of the debris.

0 Comments

The new Taqueria Senora Lola is now open at 3901 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria.

Owner Oswaldo Salinas said the restaurant — adjacent to Salinas’ other eateryLilian’s Restaurant, opened two weeks ago and had a grand opening event this past Saturday.

“We had kids come by and had ice cream,” Salinas said. “People have really enjoyed it so far.”

There is no shortage of Latin cuisine in Arlandria, but Salinas said he wanted to open something that was taqueria specific.

The restaurant offers a variety of tacos at $3.50 apiece and sandwiches for $8.95. There are also salad bowls, burritos, enchiladas and more Mexican cuisine staples for around $10.

For those visiting for the first time, Salinas recommended trying the restaurant’s tortas with Oaxaca cheese.

The restaurant is currently applying for an ABC permit, and Salinas said he hopes to add margaritas and piña coladas to go with tacos.

2 Comment

The Air Traffic Control Association has just landed a 10-year lease for a new location at King Street Station (225 Reinekers Lane).

The nonprofit, professional association — not to be confused with the D.C.-based National Air Traffic Controllers Association labor union — focuses on “progress in the science of air traffic control and the preservation of a safe flight environment.” The move puts the headquarters just blocks away from the prior headquarters at 1101 King Street.

The move took place in September but was announced by real estate investor EQ Office yesterday (Monday). The group also announced that Solutions Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, which currently occupies 4,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space, signed a 1,700 square-foot expansion.

“We’re extremely excited about the extension of our lease and expansion of our office,” said Andrew Sotirokos, CEO of Solutions Physical Therapy, said in a press release. “The increased space will allow us to continue to grow and meet the physical therapy needs of Alexandria for years to come.”

Photo courtesy EQ Office

0 Comments

An old brick building at 215 N. Payne Street is in the middle of conversion into a new “flexible workspace” called The Loop.

Developer Braddock Commercial, whose website indicates that their sole project seems to be this new coworking space, said clients will be able to pick out their own furnishings and furniture for the offices at The Loop.

The website says the company offers private offices and open desks as needed, with access to a kitchen, meeting rooms, video conference, a gym and more. A Facebook post noted that the office will also have a dedicated podcast room.

Offices in the project are expected to run from $3,500-$4,000 per month, with 9-18 month memberships.

No clients are currently listed on the site, but local health program Alexandria Wellness said they will have an “open gym” at the location.

A Board of Architectural Review case from 2012 noted that the building was constructed in the late 19th century or early 20th century. A storm in 2010 damaged the stucco and vinyl siding on the building but exposed the brick facade that’s there today.

Rendering via Braddock Commercial

0 Comments

Elena Delle Donne from the Washington Mystics has had two big wins this year.

The team won the WNBA championship last night (Thursday), but earlier this summer Delle Donne won city approval to bump the fence of her Old Town home further into the public right of way.

The connection was noted by Mayor Justin Wilson on Twitter, with some tongue-in-cheek speculation that the two could be related.

The home sits on Wolfe Street in Old Town. But the question of encroachment also spurred discussion of how the city approaches encroachments into the public right-of-way — meaning additions to a home that may extend into the nearby sidewalk.

(Delle Donne previously lived on Elmwood Drive, just outside Alexandria city limits.)

Councilwoman Redella “Del” Pepper said the reservation of these properties as part of the public right-of-way dated back to Dayton Cook, a transportation and environmental services director, who she said reserved small parcels across the city for eventual public use that never came about.

“[These were set aside] in the hopes that in the future we might want to do x, y or z,” said Pepper. “Well, you know, this is the future, so I have no problem with it.”

Staff noted that the idea behind preserving the right-of-way on this property was potential for future sidewalk widening and tree wells, but the City Council noted that no such additions were currently planned. Still, Wilson said the city should find a better way of approaching encroachment issues.

“We’ve had a number of these cases where, as you know, I’m struggling to come up with a uniform way of approaching these,” said Wilson.

City staff said they were looking to make revisions to encroachment issues, including taking fence and wall encroachment to an administrative level so they would not need to come before public hearings, except in certain circumstances.

As for Delle Donne, she and the WNBA champion Mystics will be celebrating their win in D.C. this afternoon.

Photo via City of Alexandria. Hat tip to CarFreeHQ2.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list