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(Left to right) Chef Patrick Tanyag with Bun Papa owners Doug Abedie, Markos Panas and Noelle Rickey with their Rammy Award. (Courtesy photo)

Bun Papa talks a big game, and now they have a RAMMY to back it up.

On Sunday (July 24), thousands were in attendance recognizing the region’s culinary excellence at the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s annual RAMMY awards at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Bun Papa won the outstanding pop-up concept in the publicly voted category.

The Bun Papa pop-up is located in the Beeliner Diner at the Bradlee Shopping Center and Bread & Water Company in Belle View. Owners Markos Panas, Noelle Rickey, Doug Abedje and Chef Patrick Tanyag took the stage to receive the award.

“At Bun Papa we make the world’s best buns and we put the best stuff in it,” Panas told the audience.

A fried chicken sandwich with ranch dressing at Bun Papa. (Via Facebook)

The team opened their first pop-up last year at Bread & Water in the Belle View Shopping Center, and their second at the Capitol One Arena, followed by Beeliner earlier this year. Panas also wants to bring back another pop-up at the Capitol One Arena for hockey season this fall.

“People want the best buns in the world to salivate over, and eat their burgers, dogs and chicken sandwiches,” Panas told ALXnow. “People want nostalgic, delicious, fun desserts and they want they want it from people who make them feel special, who care, who are there putting out the best possible product they can. Bun Papa is a celebration of us, the community, food, our opportunity to move forward through Covid. It’s just been a ton of fun for all of us.”

Sandwich photo via Facebook

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Morning Notes

Boats at the Old Town Waterfront (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Alexandria Man Killed in D.C. — “A 22-year-old man from Alexandria was shot and killed over the weekend in Washington DC, authorities said. Keonte Broadus-Gallman was found around 9 p.m. in the 1900 block of Anacostia Drive after authorities received a report of an unconscious person, the Metropolitan Police Department reported.” [Daily Voice]

Alexandria Recognized by State Planning Association — “The City of Alexandria is the winner of two prestigious awards. Today the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (APA Virginia) recognized the Department of Planning and Zoning with the Commonwealth Plan of the Year Award for its Arlandria-Chirilagua Small Area Plan and the Red Clay Development of the Year Award for its Landmark Mall Redevelopment Plan.” [Zebra]

Carpenter’s Shelter Finalist for Award — “AHDC is honored to share that The Bloom and Carpenter’s Shelter has been selected as a Terwilliger Center finalist for Innovation in Attainable Housing:” [Twitter, ULI]

It’s Tuesday — Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 87 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:32 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Noah Lyles, the world champion sprinter and Olympic bronze medalist can add another trophy to his collection, as he and his speedster brother Josephus Lyles have been chosen for induction into the 2022 ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Noah Lyles is a world record holder, world champion, bronze medal winner and a great ambassador for our city,” Aly Khan Johnson, chair of the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame Advisory Committee Meeting, told the School Board last Thursday night (May 19).

The impressive list of 26 inductees also includes Alexandria’s Shirley Marshall-Lee, the world’s first African American female scuba diver; educator Naomi L. Brooks, who played basketball at Parker-Gray High School and has a school named after her; and Fred Borchelt, a 1972 T.C. Williams High School grad who won the silver medal in the 1984 Olympics.

“We are blessed in this community to have wonderful athletes that come through our school system,” said Alexandria School Board Vice Chair Jacinta Greene. “So many of which that we have thousands of (ACPS Athletic Hall Of Fame) applications that come in each year.”

There are 26 inductees this year — more than usual due to a backlog of nominees. The Hall of Fame started in 2014, and previous winners include members of the 1971 T.C. Williams High School varsity football team, which gained worldwide recognition in the 2000 movie Remember The Titans.

The induction ceremony will be held in the Alexandria City High School auditorium at 2 p.m. on October 8.

The 2022 ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame

  • 1945 George Washington High School Boys Basketball Team — State champions
  • 1977 T.C. Williams High School Boys Basketballs Team — State champions
  • DeArcey “Dee” Campbell, George Washington High School Class of 1944, Crew Coach 1975-2005
  • Robert Garda, George Washington High School Class of 1957 — Football, Basketball, Track
  • Joe Hensley, George Washington High School Class of 1944 — Basketball
  • Bobby Jones, George Washington High School Class of 1949 — Track
  • Naomi Lewis-Brooks, Parker-Gray High School Class of 1951 — Basketball
  • Shirley Marshall-Lee, Parker-Gray High School Class of 1956 — Scuba Diving
  • Doug Yates, George Washington High School Class of 1955 — Basketball, Track
  • Fred Borchelt, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1972 — Crew
  • Yolanda Brown, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1994 — Track/Field
  • Lesa Diggs-Moore, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1981 — Track
  • Sherri Funn, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1978 — Track
  • John Johnson, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 — Track/ Field
  • Rodney Johnson, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1997 — Football, Track/Field, Track Coach
  • Missy Anne Kilkpatrick, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1991 — Track
  • Kathy James Lorton, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2000 — Cheerleading
  • Josephus Lyles, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2016 — Track/ Field
  • Noah Lyles, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2016 — Track/ Field
  • Marie McKeon Zack, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1983 — Soccer/Field Hockey
  • Barry Mountain, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1979 — Track/Field
  • Stephanie O’Toole Whalen, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1990 — Field Hockey, Basketball, Softball
  • Lydell Scott, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1987 — Football
  • Carl Turner, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1974 — Football, Basketball
  • Ezra Whorley, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1992 — Track/Field, Football
  • Eryk Williamson, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2015 — Soccer

Via Noah Lyles/Twitter

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Beeliner Diner at 3648 King Street. (Courtesy photo)

Two Alexandria restaurant groups have been nominated as the top performers in their industry as part of the 40th annual Rammy Awards.

The Bun Papa pop-up, which is located in the Beeliner Diner at the Bradlee Shopping Center, is nominated for outstanding pop-up concept. This is their second nomination in a row since being nominated as the region’s best pop-up spot.

It’s also the second year in a row that the Neighborhood Restaurant Group has been nominated, although this year the nomination goes to NRG’s Michael Babin for restaurateur of the year. The company, which owns 19 local eateries, was awarded a Rammy last year for the most impressive pandemic pivot to provisions or market.

Public voting for the eventual winners begins this month, and the awards will be presented in a gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on July 24.

Bun Papa owner Markos Panas is asking that his customers rally for his pop-up with their votes.

“It’s an honor already to be nominated as a business, and we want to bring this thing forward with the support of all Alexandria and take home the win for everybody,” Panas said.

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The Alexandria Beautification Commission announced its 2022 Alexandria Architecture Award winners Monday.

The commission asked for nominations and also toured the city looking for candidates that “speak to the character and future of the City, inspire others to enhance the beauty and architecture of their properties and help make Alexandria a creative, dynamic community.”

Properties were evaluated on criteria including aesthetic improvements through creative design, historical restoration or commitment to the art of architecture and sustainable design practices, according to a news release.

“Architecture says a lot about a neighborhood and City and the value residents and business place on the community in which they live and work,” Commission Chair Steve Cohen said. “Great architecture, like those recognized this year, encourage us to get out, enjoy our City, and meet our friends and neighbors. It also inspires each of us to do our part to make Alexandria an even more amazing place to live, work, and visit.”

Cohen said he was impressed with the diversity of this year’s recipients, which represented a range of architectural style and purposes.

The award winners were:

Robinson Landing, featuring 26 condominiums and 70 townhomes, was recognized for its innovative architectural design, that incorporates historical elements and lessons, and creates a beautiful public gathering place for all Alexandrians and visitors. Judges also took note of the great care and time your firm took in the archeological work during the excavation phase.

Eisenhower Square development by Toll Brothers, featuring a modern 67-home luxury development, was recognized for its innovative architecture that enhances the City with a walkable, visually stimulating neighborhood.

Beaconcrest Homes and the owners of 128 and 128A East Walnut Street were recognized for an innovative architectural design that expands our notion of a residential duplex, with modern, clean lines and a refreshing style.

The Adams’ residence at 1208 Trinity Drive was recognized for a design that incorporated modern, clean lines and style while incorporating historical elements that evoke the sense of tradition, history, and neighborliness Alexandria is known for.

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Alexandria’s Florence King, a 2021 City Council candidate who died in December, has been posthumously awarded Volunteer Alexandria’s top award.

Volunteer Alexandria’s 2021 Volunteers are the Heart of Alexandria awards gala has been canceled due to Covid, but top honors were still announced on Monday (Feb. 15).

King, a 2018 Living Legend of Alexandria, received the Marian Van Landingham Lifetime Achievement Award for consistently serving the community over her lifetime. That work included 25 years as a city election officer, and as chair of the city’s Commission on Employment, chair of Agenda: Alexandria and vice chair of the city’s Historical Resources Commission.

“The donation of time, talents and skills of our community’s volunteers makes Alexandria a better place for all of us,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “Without volunteers, our hard-working non-profits would not be able to fulfill their missions and we couldn’t do what we do to serve our most vulnerable residents.”

Last year, more than 1,760 people donated 62,560 hours to Visit Alexandria. That’s a value of $1.8 million, said the nonprofit’s Executive Director Marion Brunken.

“It is amazing, how many people serve our community and families in need,” Brunken said.

Awardees

  • Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Award — Eldon Boes
  • Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Award — Linda Thoms
  • RSVP Volunteer Service Awardee — Barbara Sherlock
  • RSVP Volunteer Service Awardee — Tami Stuckey
  • ASCEND Alexandria Youth Service Volunteer Award — Fatima Eldawah and Ian McDonough
  • Emergency Preparedness Volunteer Service Award — The Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps and the Community Emergency Response Team

There are dozens of volunteer opportunities available in Alexandria, including donation sorting, puppetry instruction and reading to elementary school kids.

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Del Ray Business Association Board Members and past Heart of Del Ray award winners present the 2022 Heart of Del Ray to Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap. Joey Civali of the Yates family represented Lena’s in accepting the award. (Via Bill Blackburn)

The thoughtful dining experiences have paid off. Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap was awarded the Heart of Del Ray award on Friday (Feb. 11), beating out four other local businesses.

More than 1,000 voters cast ballots for the spot that captured the heart of the community. The Del Ray Business Association presented the restaurant with a large heart-shaped award on Friday morning — just in time for Valentine’s Day on Monday, Feb. 14.

“It’s a great anchor for Del Ray and reinforces what we’re all about — the small, locally owned family business,” said DRBA board member Gayle Reuter. “They know their customers, and we know them. It’s what we look for in a community — a place where we all know and care about each other.”

Lena’s has been widely recognized for transforming the restaurant into creative and Covid-conscious dining spaces with Haiku fans to kill airborne pathogens. The second floor was converted into The Loft at Lena’s, a seasonal pop-up with new concepts and menus, and the top of their parking deck was made into the tropical retreat Lena’s Oasis.

“Lena’s didn’t just put up a tent with tables outside,” wrote one nominator. “They recognized people needed an escape during COVID, so they created an elevated dining experience — and it changes with the seasons!”

Lena’s is owned and operated by Alexandria Living Legends Jason and Loran Yates. It opened in 2015 at “Yates Corner” at Braddock Road and Mount Vernon Avenue, and is next door to Yates Dry Cleaning and across the street from the Yates Automotive Service Center.

The award was presented to Dolce & Bean last year, and Preeti Patel’s 7-Eleven on Mount Vernon Avenue in 2020.

“The past year has been hard on all of us,” Lena’s said on its website. “We created Lena’s Oasis to say ‘thank you’ and to give back to this wonderful community that has supported us through thick and thin for more than 57 years. An oasis is something calm in the midst of chaos. So, come to our safe space and relax for a while. You deserve it. We will get through this together.”

The other nominees:

Courtesy photo

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A number of local nonprofits are rolling up their sleeves to increase outreach for COVID-19 vaccines for children with families ages 5-11.

The “Sleeves Up, ALX: COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership Program” is a collaboration between ACT for Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department, which dispersed $145,657 in grant funding to increase awareness of booster shots with populations disproportionately affected by the virus and provide information for young families.

“These organizations bring that critical message to our underserved communities by meeting people where they are and in the language they prefer,” said Natalie Talis, AHD’s population health manager. “Our residents deserve access to life-saving information and vaccines.”

The following nonprofits received grant funds:

“These organizations have the trusted relationships, innovative ideas and know how that will enable us to reach neighbors who are most at-risk,” said ACT’s President and CEO Heather Peeler.

The program started last month and will run until March 2022.

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Morning Notes

City’s Torpedo Factory plans concern artists — “A recent presentation from the Office of the Arts outlining several proposed options for how to renovate the Torpedo Factory has led to pushback from artists, who claim the city’s plans would radically and irrevocably change the historic art center.” [Alexandria Times]

Alexandria man convicted of armed fentanyl trafficking — “A federal jury convicted an Alexandria man yesterday on charges of conspiracy, possession, and distribution of fentanyl and Eutylone, and being a felon in possession of a firearm during drug trafficking.” [Department of Justice]

Alexandria micro-roasters talk beans, brews and batches — “A few Alexandrians are taking their passion for coffee to the next level and roasting their own beans and selling them in small batches.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

City of Alexandria wins 3 awards for employee wellness program — “The City of Alexandria is the winner of three awards for a wellness program designed to help its employees.” [Zebra]

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Morning Notes

Scott Shaw named Chamber’s 2021 Business Leader of the Year — “For the last six years, he has served as a partner of Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP). ARP operates nine restaurants including The Majestic and Theismann’s Restaurant… Outside of the restaurant industry, Shaw established Founders Hall and co-founded ALX Community. His community involvement includes serving as Chair of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. In this position… In 2017, Shaw founded the Tall Ship Providence Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving Alexandria’s rich maritime history through educational programs and entertainment.” [Zebra]

Rep. Beyer says he’s working on securing stormwater management funding for Alexandria — “I’m also working to secure more federal funding for storm and sewer projects in ALX in upcoming infrastructure legislation.” [Twitter]

Alexandria accountant pleads guilty to tax fraud — “An accountant from Alexandria pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in filing false tax returns that led to over $250,000 in federal tax loss.” [Patch]

Recent T.C. Williams High School graduate dies at 18 — “Tommy Lacey was a towering figure. At 6 feet 5 inches tall, he was a gentle giant with a passion for sports and hanging out with friends at Al’s Steakhouse in Del Ray. A standout lacrosse player, the 2021 graduate of T.C. Williams High School was preparing to attend James Madison University in the fall when he died unexpectedly on Aug. 4.” [Gazette]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy. High 91F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph… Scattered thunderstorms during the evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 72F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 80%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Crew member at Trader Joe’s — “If you have a passion for people and a fervor for food, we’d love to meet you. We can teach you the rest.” [Indeed]

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