News

The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) is most often in the news as a hurdle for local property owners, but the Board had nothing but praise for local restaurant Hard Times at a meeting to discuss upcoming renovations.

Hard Times Cafe is a restaurant on King Street known for its chili, burgers and general American cuisine. The restaurant is planning to temporarily close later this year for a series of internal changes.


News

Beloved Old Town chili-spot Hard Times Cafe at 1404 King Street could be temporarily closing to undergo extensive interior renovations.

Hard Times Cafe filed an application for partial demolition and encapsulation at the restaurant. That permit is scheduled for review at the Board of Architectural Review meeting on Wednesday, April 17.


News

While the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) is going into excruciating detail to restore the Freedom House museum‘s exterior to its pre-Civil War appearance, city leaders are unsure if a sign advertising the sale of slaves might take that too far.

Today, the Freedom House Museum is a city-owned museum dedicated to telling the stories of the Black men, women and children trafficked through the building between 1828 and 1861.


News

Freedom House Museum in Old Town is looking to replicate how its property looked in the mid-19th century, when it was the headquarters of the largest slave-trading operation in the United States.

The proposed project at 1315 Duke Street would restore portions of the museum building exterior to how it looked between 1828 and 1861. After being deferred over the summer, it goes back to the city’s Board of Architectural Review next Wednesday, Nov. 15.


News

(Updated 4:15 p.m.) A conversation around a hair salon’s paint job forced Alexandria leaders to confront the question: should Old Town stay a red brick town?

At a meeting on Saturday, the City Council voted to overturn an earlier Board of Architectural Review (BAR) decision and will allow Glynn Jones Salon (720 King Street) to keep its painted yellow exterior.


News

Alexandria planning staff are recommending that City Council reverse a ruling by the Board of Architectural Review and allow a hair salon to keep an after-the-fact paint job on its exterior.

In May, the city was notified that the Glynn Jones Salon at 720 King Street painted a large portion of its exterior the color gray. On July 6, the Board of Architectural Review unanimously voted to deny the salon a certificate of appropriateness for the work.


News

The Alexandria Board of Architectural Review (BAR) has a storied history of seemingly petty battles with property owners, but the newest one might take the cake.

City staff is recommending denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness for vinyl windows, window trim and shutters at a Parker-Gray home — meaning the owner may have to restore the original windows or find historically suitable replacements.


News

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a new development planned in Old Town is stirring up community frustration about height and density.

A meeting of the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) last week became a bitter argument between architecture firm Winstanley Architects, the lawyer for developer Hoffman and Associates, and nearby residents who say the plans don’t fit with the neighborhood.


News

More beautification efforts are underway at Hotel AKA Alexandria in Old Town North.

The 180-room boutique hotel at 625 First Street and 510 Second Street opened earlier this year and has since returned to the city to get more outdoor seating for an outdoor cafe.


News

(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) An Old Town property owner wants to tear down an office building in Old Town Historic District and replace it with a four-story multifamily apartment building.

The new development will include underground parking and a rooftop terrace.


News

Bloom Tea is coming to Old Town — provided it can make it through the city’s review process next month.

Owner Thao Uyen Than previously told ALXnow the new shop will focus on boba tea and Vietnamese coffee, but the opening date is dependent on the city review process.


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