Post Content

Celebrations, seminars and themed events are on the menu for Old Town Cocktail Week.

More than a dozen restaurants and retailers are celebrating all things cocktail starting on Friday, September 9, and lasting until Sunday, September 18.

Participating businesses include:

  • 1799 Prime Steak & Seafood
  • Ada’s on the River
  • Boxwood Boutique
  • Brabo
  • Chadwicks
  • Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant and Bar
  • Fontaine Cafe and Creperie
  • Hard Times Cafe
  • Lighthorse Restaurant and Bar
  • Lost Boy Cider
  • Majestic Cafe
  • Mystique Jewelers
  • Red Barn Mercantile
  • Umbrella Dry Drink
  • Vermilion
  • Village Brauhaus
  • Warehouse Bar & Grill
  • Whiskey & Oyster

The schedule is below:

Friday, September 9

  • Art On the Rocks 2022 — The fundraiser challenges local bartenders and chefs to create artistic cocktail and appetizer pairings inspired by a piece of art. The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $65.
  • The Late Shift: Heritage drinks at the Torpedo Factory Art Center — Enjoy specialty-themed “Heritage” cocktails at the bar in the spirit of the event – choose from Ethiopian Tej (honey wine) and Salvadoran Horchata with or without coffee (non-alcoholic). The event is from 7 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, September 10

  • Free mother shrub tasting at Red Barn Mercantile (1117 King Street) — Heard of shrubs (not the leafy kind) but have never tried it? If you’re curious and want to give these delicious drinking vinegars a try then stop by Red Barn Mercantile on September 10 from 1 to 4 when Meredyth Archer, creator of Richmond based Mother Shrubs, is crafting cocktails and mocktails for you to try.

Monday, September 12

  • Makers Mark tasting at Chadwicks (203 Strand Street) — The tasting will feature Flight of Makers, Makers 46, Makers Cask Strength, and a Makers Mark Cocktail. Take home a souvenir glass.

Tuesday, September 13

  • Spirit-free cocktail workshop (128 S. Royal Street) — Join us for an interactive workshop featuring fabulous spirit-free cocktails. Umbrella Dry Drinks is a concept to provide sophisticated non-alcoholic options for those who wish to stay dry. The workshop will highlight different zero proof spirits, & cocktails; learn more about the process behind making these products and how to use them in various cocktails, plus how to choose the perfect glassware, garnish, & more! Tickets: $50

Wednesday, September 14

  • Bo & Ivy Tap Takeover at Captain Gregory’s (804 N. Henry Street) — Join DCs newest distillery, Bo & Ivy, for a special takeover event with Captain Gregory’s.  They’ll have their full lineup, a special curated cocktail list and an opportunity to meet their master distiller and team.
  • Fizzy Fall Cocktail Class at Shop Made in VA — Together we will celebrate the sparkly goodness of Storied Goods Sugar Cubes and learn how to use them to create delicious fall cocktails and mocktails. Tickets: $75

Thursday, September 15

  • Art Night in Old Town — Enjoy Open Houses at over 15 art galleries, boutiques, and coffee shops. Two wine shops will be open featuring wine tastings:
    Le Vintage Wine Shop (1218 King Street) and Wine Gallery 108 (108 N. St. Asaph Street)

Friday, September 16

  • Cider Cocktail Party at Lost Boy Cider (317 Hoofs Run Drive) — We’re taking you back to the time of Prohibition and Speak Easy’s with vintage decor and jazz tunes. Locate the lantern on our secret entrance and knock 3 times. Cocktail attire/ 20’s inspired dress is highly encouraged! Tickets include exclusive cocktail flight with garnish and light fare/sweet treats. Get entered to win your very own Lost Boy cocktail glass (10 available). Tickets: $45.
  • An Evening with Clonakilty at Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant and Bar (112 King Street) — Spend an evening at O’Connell’s featuring Clonakilty Distillery. Join us for from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. for a Welcome Cocktail featuring O’Connell’s Clonakilty Vodka, a Clonakilty Whiskey Flight, and a Master Class from Clonakilty Distillery’s Christian Richardson. Tickets: $50
  • Oktoberfest at Village Brauhaus (710 King Street) — Join us for the opening day of Oktoberfest, with a real German band! Enjoy a variety of German Oktoberfest Beers on draft.

Saturday, September 17

Sunday, September 18

  • Tiki Cruise aboard the Tall Ship Providence — Join the team of Captain Gregory’s aboard the Tall Ship Providence as we set sail tropical expedition.  Tropical cocktails will be aplenty for this 90 min sailing along the Potomac Ricer. Tickets: $68.
2 Comment

It’s not the wine talking. Wine Gallery 108 — located at 108 N. Patrick Street — will move  to its new location a few blocks away at 108 N. St. Asaph Street within the next couple of weeks.

Wine shop owner Lisa Katic bought the 2,688 square-foot building at 106-108 N. St. Asaph Street for $1.45 million in June, and says that the address is a coincidence.

“It’s the same address, which is insane,” Katic told ALXnow. “Some people are saying, ‘How did she do that?’ I don’t have that kind of power. Somebody else has that kind of power. It just happened that way. The divine universe wanted us to be there.”

The N. St. Asaph Street location has two floors, and is the former home of the TSALT women’s clothing store. The bottom floor will be the retail operation, and the second floor will be an event space where Katic will host wine tastings and art shows. Katic is an abstract painter and wants more room to showcase her creative work, as well as the work of local artists.

Katic opened Wine Gallery 108 five years ago, but was limited by the 1,000 square-foot space. She says sales increased exponentially during the pandemic, and that the last two-and-a-half years have been a period of grueling growth. She laid off some staff and worked the entire time behind the counter, she said.

“It was a pretty nutty time,” Katic said. “I had cases of wine everywhere. It was a blur, like you blinked and two years was gone.”

Katic wants to reopen in the new space by the end of August, or early September.

“I think it’s an opportunity to bring really great well-made wine to more people,” she said. “The goal is to really make it very much a part of the Old Town community.”

0 Comments
Mars Rodeo plays at First Thursday in Del Ray, July 7, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Del Ray Music Festival isn’s happening for the third year in a row, but an upcoming bar crawl next Saturday (August 20) hopes to make up for it.

The second annual Bands & Brews: Del Ray Summer Bar Crawl is back, and will feature more than 20 local acts at Del Ray restaurants.

Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher hopes that the music festival can return next year. In the meantime, she says the day will be full of activity.

“People can look forward to a fun filled day of great cocktails and live music over 18 venues,” Fisher told ALXnow. “Pat Miller Square will feature an alcohol free zone where families can listen to music, take photos, and engage in kid activities -chalk art and an instrument petting zoo.”

The bar crawl will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will be transported on a trolley, and musicians will perform at the restaurants and Pat Miller Neighborhood Square.

The first 250 registrants will get a swag bag, and advance tickets cost $15 per person. Tickets at the door cost $20. Participants must be 21 years of age.

The schedule is below:

  • Lena’s Wood-fired Pizza & Tap — Tobago Boy Band, 12 to 3 p.m.
  • Matt & Tony’s Restaurant — John Shreiner and Maddie Assel, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Northside 10 — Jonathan Mitchum, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Bella Napoli — Ashleigh Chevalier, 1 to 4 p.m.
  • The Garden — Buskateers (Duo), 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Barkhaus — Sally and the Mander, 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Los Tios — Ocho De Bastros (Latin pop), 1 to 4 p.m.
  • St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub — Madie Cantrell, 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Cheesetique — Kevin Pace Quartet (Jazz), 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Evening Star Cafe — Stereobouncers, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Hops N’ Shine — Erin McDonald, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Kaizen — The Summer of George, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Del Ray Pizzeria — Squid Inc. (Reggae), 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Piece Out — LowBall, 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Elo’s Italian Restaurant — Janna Audey, 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Pat Miller Square — Mars Rodeo (Cover band), 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Lena’s Wood-fired Pizza & Tap — The Walkaways, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Cheesetique — The DC Radiohead Jazz Project, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub — Neal Learner, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • SpiceKraft — Lucas Mason, 4 to 6 p.m.

An after-party will be held at Pork Barrel BBQ from 5 to 8:30 p.m. and feature DJ BOB.

0 Comments

A 34-year-old Maryland man faces multiple charges after driving toward police on the wrong side of the road in the West End.

At around 11:30 p.m. on July 27 (Wednesday), an Alexandria Police officer was driving his cruiser in the area of South Van Dorn Street and South Pickett Street when a black Audi sedan without lights on headed toward him on the wrong side of the road.

“While driving northeast on South Pickett Street, I witnessed a black sedan driving towards me with no headlights on,” police detailed in a search warrant affidavit. “The driver, a white male with a hat, leaned out the window and yelled something as I passed by and got got close enough to a divider that he appeared he was going to hit it.”

While transporting the driver to booking, the Maryland driver allegedly denied ever driving the car, which was registered in his name.

“When I initially entered my vehicle after (the driver) had been placed in the back, I could smell the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” police reported in a search warrant affidavit. “He additionally said, ‘It’s not my fault I had a terrible week.'”

The driver refused all field sobriety tests and was then arrested for resisting arrest, refusing a blood/breath test and driving while intoxicated (second offense). He was released on July 28 on a $1,500 unsecured bond.

The driver goes to court on August 31.

Map via Google Maps

5 Comments

The countdown to Cinco de Mayo has begun, and a number of Alexandria’s watering holes are offering special deals for residents and guests to fiesta in style.

All week, Tequila & Taco (540 John Carlyle Street) is gearing up for the big day on Thursday (May 5). Customers can get free queso with every order on Monday, $4 bottled beer today (Tuesday) and $8 nachos on Wednesday. On Thursday, the party begins at 9 a.m. with margaritas on sale for 5 cents until 10 a.m., followed by an outdoor party until 8 p.m.

There are a number of other ways to commemorate the Mexican victory over the French in 1862.

The American Legion Post 24 (400 Cameron Street in Old Town) is also hosting its annual Cinco de Mayo bash on Thursday. The event is open to the public, and tickets cost $10.

“Enjoy a refreshing glass of cerveza or freshly made sangria, and bring your festive spirit,” notes the Legion’s event listing. “Live music, patio party, corn hole games, and grilled food… Beer, wine, sangria, and soda available for purchase at bar.”

For dog owners, Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue) is hosting a bingo night, along with District Dogs and Chippin’. Tickets cost $10 for members and $15 for the public, and ticketholders will get Cinco de Mayo swag, bingo cards and photo ops with a themed backdrop.

Residents can also order cocktails to go from dozens of Alexandria restaurants and bars.

Via Facebook

2 Comment

Local businesses will have until the summer to enjoy the fruits of a temporary program that has allowed restaurants to provide curbside pickups, suspend regular operating hours and sell alcohol to-go.

City Council, on Saturday, will consider extending the temporary relief program to local businesses from April 1 to June 30, and expire along with the city’s state of emergency that same day.

The proposed extension would “provide restaurants and retailers the benefit of more time to submit applications for commercial parklets and construct the necessary decking for those who choose to continue use of on-street parking spaces,” city staff said in a report.

Additionally, on Tuesday, City Council approved a staff proposal to start charging annual rent to business owners for their use of parklets.

The following measures are now permanent, and would not be impacted by the new deadline:

Local gyms wouldn’t be able to provide their services in parklets anymore. The city said fitness-related businesses “did not actively participate in the temporary outdoor business expansion program,” and that the parklet program only allows for restaurants and retailers to provide services.

Alexandria’s state of emergency has been extended five times since it was first declared by Council in March 2020.

0 Comments

You won’t find Zoom wine tastings at Le Vintage Wine Shop.

The new shop is opening at 1218 King Street on Tuesday, and owner Benjamin Kuna says there’s something about an in-person tasting that gives the experience an extra kick.

“Nothing replaces a hands-on experience,” Kuna told ALXnow. “I did a bunch of Zoom tastings during the pandemic, and you could loop an Oregon winemaker into the call, and he could talk to you from his winery. So, that was great, but it’s not the same.”

Le Vintage features biodynamic wine without chemicals, and Kuna says it’s a misconception to think his wine is more expensive than grocery store alternatives. For instance, he carries a 2013 Scala “Briseo” Rosso that retails for less than $20.

“People can buy environmentally conscious, organic, sustainable wine that has the same price point,” Kuna said. “If you want to spend $100, I have that wine, but I also have a whole rack of 60 wines that are under $20.”

The 1,800-square-foot shop was previously home to the Acme Mid-Century + Modern furniture store, which moved online.

Kuna, a graduate of St. Stephens and St. Agnes School, was embarking on a career as a science writer when he started working as a sommelier at the La Fromagerie Cheese and Wine Bistro (1222 King Street). Kuna worked at the shop until 2014, rising to the rank of general manager, and then left for stints at a number of restaurants in the region, including Evening Star Cafe and Planet Wine in Del Ray.

“I really, really love wine,” Kuna said. “It’s the most interesting topic I’ve ever explored. It contains history and science, geography, cultural history, cultural trends. It dictates food. It actually dictated how we migrated in certain parts of the world. It just there’s so much involved with wine. It really is. This sort of microcosm of the human experience in a lot of ways.”

La Fromagerie’s owner Sebastien Tavel is a family friend, and owns 20% of Le Vintage.

“It opens up a lot of possibilities,” Kuna said. “We’re going to have a wine club at La Fromagerie called “Flight Club’, where a small group of 15-20 people will meet once a month to eat cheese and talk about wine.”

When coming up with the name, Kuna said he wanted to tap into the feeling of personal nostalgia that people get with tasting wine.

“When I’m drinking wine it evokes memories, and it’s why we love it,” he said.

Le Vintage will also host wine tastings on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. The shop is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

Courtesy photos

2 Comments

Ready for a Mangorita? Tiki, a new pop-up bar will open next week at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue.

The former longtime home to The Sushi Bar was briefly converted into the Christmas-themed pop-up bar Joy On The Avenue, and more pop-ups at the location are being planned as plans for the final concept fall into place. For now, bamboo decorations are being put in place and Tiki masks have been painted on the walls.

Next month, Homegrown Restaurant Group owners Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn will transform Tiki into the Valentine’s themed “Love Shack” pop-up next month, followed by a yet-to-be-named Mardis Gras pop-up after that.

“We’re transforming the space formerly known as kid-less Sushi, formerly known as Joy On The Avenue to new bar cocktail bar called Tiki,” owner Bill Blackburn told ALXnow. “There is no single person in Alexandria more qualified to open a tiki bar than mango. Mike Anderson.”

Anderson owned Mango Mike’s for 18 years on the West End.

“It’s about creating an experience, an escape,” Anderson said. “People need a bright spot in their day, and haven’t been able to take vacations. We’re giving them a vacation on the avenue.”

Tiki will serve tropical drinks, as well as food from HRG’s Holy Cow Del Ray.

Blackburn says HRG is ironing out a permanent fast-casual concept for the space, which he hopes to unveil in the spring.

0 Comments

With two celebration-filled weeks left in the year, there has been a 34% jump in the number of Driving Under the Influence arrests in 2021 over last year.

As of Dec. 7, there have been 193 DUI arrests in Alexandria, up from 144 last year — a period when police minimized traffic enforcement, and restaurants and bars were still largely closed indoors due to the pandemic.

Still, there were 240 total DUI arrests in Alexandria in 2019 — 20% higher than this year’s current total.

“Enforcement may be up and I would contribute it to our Traffic Safety Section being diligent and staying on top of their training in recognizing drivers who drive under the influence as well as the contributions from our patrol,” Alexandria Police public information officer Marcel Bassett told ALXnow.

Not counted in the figures is a DUI arrest that occurred on Dec. 11, after a pedestrian was struck in Arlandria. The 41-year-old driver was charged with DUI Maiming and DUI Second Offense.

0 Comments

The Sushi Bar at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue is closing for good tonight (Dec. 7), and will soon reopen as a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, owner Bill Blackburn informed ALXnow.

“Joy On The Avenue – A Christmas Pop-up Bar” will open in its place sometime next week, Blackburn said.

The Sushi Bar opened in 2013 — next door to sister restaurants Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow Del Ray, which are all owned by the Homegrown Restaurant Group.

“It’s long been our intention to close it by the end of the year and to change it into something new,” Blackburn said. “We decided to accelerate that plan. Tonight will be the last night of The Sushi Bar. “

The bar will have light appetizers, and will serve holiday wine, beer and cocktails.

“We’re going to do that until the 31st instead, and then close it and remodel to a new concept,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn anticipates unveiling a new concept soon and then reopening at the end of February 2022.

Via The Sushi Bar/Facebook

2 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list