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Streets Market & Cafe closing in Arlandria (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Streets Market & Cafe, a grocery store on the ground level of DelRay Tower (3108 Mount Vernon Avenue) between the Del Ray and Arlandria neighborhoods, is closing.

An employee at the location said the store will be completely closed in two weeks or mid/early July.

The market has been in DelRay Towers since at least 2016, not long after the building opened.

According to signs in a window, everything in the store is up to 30% off until the store closes.

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Del Ray boutique Kiskadee will be closing its doors when its lease expires on April 30, shop owner Celeste Crutchfield recently announced.

Crutchfield said she felt zapped on energy and full of dread when facing another two-year renewal on her lease.

“I don’t want to do it anymore, at least not at this point in my life,” Crutchfield wrote in a blog post. “I knew I didn’t want to stay in Kiskadee’s current building for a variety of reasons. I started looking for a new location, but I wasn’t feeling inspired by other spaces I looked at or the prospect of continuing as a small business owner.”

Kiskadee will close on April 3, and all full-priced merchandise is 20% to 30% off. If necessary, the store will reopen on April 18 to sell any remaining merchandise and fixtures.

Darby Rush and Neil Hall opened the women’s clothing and accessory boutique at 2205 Mount Vernon Avenue in 2007, and sold it to Crutchfield in 2017.

“The last two years, running a business in a pandemic has zapped me,” Crutchfield wrote. “What a doozy of a curveball for someone who had just started to know what she was doing. I’m proud that I was able to weather the storm and survive. However, it took everything I had. I have nothing more to give.”

This is not the end for the business, Crutchfield wrote.

“I just need a break and may reopen another brick-and-mortar store sometime in the future,” she wrote. “For now, I’m going to focus on the online segment of the business. The website will stay active, and I will add new products regularly. I also hope to do pop-ups and holiday shows. Please keep an eye out for these, which will be updated on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.”

Via Kiskadee/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Pandemic sounds death knell for Alexandria dry cleaners — “Gary and Chong Whitesides had for the past three decades run a dry-cleaning business in Alexandria… but the pandemic eventually shut them down, too.” [Washington Post]

Robots take over Hybla Valley Denny’s — “A handful of Denny’s restaurants nationwide, including one in the Alexandria area, has hired robots.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

One dead, two badly injured in Duke Street crash — “One person died and two others were badly hurt in a five-vehicle crash that closed a section of Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia, for more than eight hours in the overnight hours.” [WTOP]

IndoChen opening on King Street — “IndoChen is opening a second location inside the Hyatt Centric Hotel at 1625 King St. near the Old Town metro station.” [Zebra]

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Nando’s in Old Town, photo via Google Maps

After 10 years in Old Town, Nando’s Peri-Peri is letting its lease expire and will close in mid-March.

Nando’s Peri-Peri opened at 702 King Street in 2010. With its leaser expiring, staff told ALXnow that it’s challenging to do business in the old building that is 186 years old.

The move also means that the 700 block of King Street will have another vacant storefront, as Nice Cream at 726 King Street closed in the fall.

Not to worry. The company’s South African chicken will be available when they reopen in August at their new location in Carlyle Crossing development at the Hoffman Town Center. There are also more than a dozen Nando’s throughout the region.

A number of other new businesses are moving in, too.

A Bad Ass Coffee Of Hawaii franchise will also be opening at Carlyle Crossing — one of three of the coffee shops that new owner L2 Ohana Café, LLC, is opening in Northern Virginia. KinderCare Learning Centers is also reportedly moving into the space.

Residents at The Foundry Apartments within the Hoffman Town Center were told about a number of the new businesses in a recent note from management.

“As you may have already observed, construction has begun on The Foundry retail,” Amanda Jones, a community manager for The Foundry wrote to residents. “The construction can be unsightly and will impact noise.”

Via Google Maps

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(Updated at 1:45 p.m. on Jan. 5) The new owner of 628 King Street is shopping the property around, and wants it to remain two retail spaces.

Douglas Development now owns three of the four buildings at the intersection of King and Washington Streets. The D.C.-based commercial real estate firm owns the adjacent properties at 700 (Lululemon) and 701 King Street (the now-closed Le Pain Quotidien), as well as 610 King Street (Anthropologie), 614 King Street (H&M) and 615 King Street (the former Walgreens) and 700 King Street.

Douglas Development bought the property on Dec. 10, and representatives of the firm say there has been some interest from prospective tenants, although nothing definite. The building was previously owned by the family of Wellington Goddin, and was appraised for $6.2 million last January.

GAP Inc. has leased the three-level, 20,000 square-foot building at 628 King Street since 1986, where it has long been home to a Banana Republic and Gap Outlet store, which will permanently close on Jan. 24. Staff at both stores said Gap Outlet was underperforming at the space, with most business coming in on weekends.

Commercial real estate firm KLNB’s represented Douglas Development in the purchase of the building, and is managing its next steps.

The owners plan on splitting the property into two units, keeping the uses as retail and renting them out as soon as possible.

The firm says their 652 retail transactions this year is a 39% increase over 2020 and 15% over 2019, but that property values have stayed relatively flat over the last two years.

“Brick and mortar retail also remains extremely relevant regardless of what folks may say about it being dead, as evidenced by KLNB’s transaction volume,” KLNB President and Chief Operating Officer Marc Menick told ALXnow. “All this being said, transactions are well up over 2019 levels, but value is basically flat.  More deals, less value.”

The property, which has 158 square feet of frontage on King and S. Washington Streets, was originally developed as a 600-seat theatre in 1854, was converted to a Union hospital during the Civil War, changed hands through the decades and even burned down.

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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

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After decades at the corner of King and Washington Streets in Old Town, national retailers Banana Republic and Gap Outlet are closing their doors forever on January 24, 2021.

All merchandise is currently marked between 20% and 40% at Banana Republic (628 King Street), and up to 70% off at Gap Outlet (622 King Street).

Both stores belong to The Gap, Inc., and staff at both locations said that Gap Outlet was underperforming, with most business coming in on weekends.

Banana Republic and Gap Outlet have long been anchors near the “Middle King” intersection in Old Town. The block has seen a number of businesses close down in recent years, including La Tasca in May 2020, Wallgreens last year, and Java Grill last summer. Burke and Herbert Bank at 621 King Street is also closed.

The original building at 628 and 622 King Street was constructed as a 600-seat theatre in 1854. During the Civil War, the building was named Washington Hall General Hospital, and contained 100 beds for Union soldiers. The building would become a laundromat and insurance firm before burning down.

“The two lots were then combined and a new structure on the site was built for retail purposes, a Lerner’s store which prospered well into the mid-twentieth century when downtown Alexandria was the center of shopping in Northern Virginia,”according to the Office of Historic Alexandria.

The building is owned by the family of Wellington Goddin, and was last appraised for $6.2 million in January 2021.

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After seven years in Del Ray, Ascend Cycle (2417 Mount Vernon Avenue) is permanently closing by the end of the month.

Owner Kat Zajac made the announcement this week on social media, and said that the effects of the pandemic proved too much for her business.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I write this announcement,” Zajac wrote. “The impact of the pandemic has continued to be very real across this year. While this decision may come as a shock to some of you, it has been something that I have been working to avoid for quite some time.”

Zajac thanked customers and staff, and said that the closure was not due to a lack of effort.

“From creating an outdoor studio, to online programs, to moving our location to save on rent, to being as frugal as possible, we made every effort imaginable to stay alive,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, our efforts have proven to not be enough – the time has come to let go. This decision comes with a whole host of emotions. Despite it all, I feel grateful to have been surrounded by an amazing community of people. So with that, I want to say thank you.”

Via Facebook

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It was election week in Alexandria, so congratulations and/or condolences.

Alexandria Democrats managed to hold onto all of the City Council seats. Mayor Justin Wilson won reelection and Elizabeth Bennett-Parker was elected to the 45th District House of Delegates seat. But any local Democrat euphoria was dampened by statewide losses that Wilson warned could reverse recent local wins on some issues.

Here were the most-read stories around ALXnow this week:

  1. Developer reopens abandoned Alexandria power plant for tours later this month
  2. Cut-through traffic protections along Duke Street could go into effect early next year
  3. Man arrested for DWI, smashing cars and leaving scene while parking in Old Town
  4. BREAKING: Alexandria School Board election results
  5. Georgetown tearoom relocating to Alexandria waterfront
  6. Retail, residential, and music venue could replace North Old Town office park
  7. City Council to step up fight against Comcast internet monopoly next week
  8. BREAKING: Bennett-Parker declares victory in 45th District seat in Virginia House of Delegates
  9. Alexandria man arrested for stealing packages outside homes in Old Town
  10. Silver Parrot Jewelry permanently closing at end of year in Old Town
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After more than four decades at 113 King Street, Silver Parrot Jewelry is closing by the end of the year — or as soon as the shop sells out of its heavily discounted merchandise.

Store manager Megan Vail told ALXnow that the decision was made when the landlord doubled the rent. She says store owner Peter Dunn hasn’t been able to find a new location for years, and instead the business is looking to liquidate its existing stock.

“The landlord always negotiated in the past,but not this time,” Vail said. “We also rent the store next door and sublet it to the America! store, which left a while ago, and now we suspect that someone came in and made an offer for both spots.”

All jewelry at the Silver Parrot is marked 25% to 50% off. The shop carries silver jewelry from around the world, ranging in price from $20 for silver earrings to $3,200 for intricate necklaces inlaid with colorful stones.

“We’ve been very busy this week,” Vail said. “If it stays like this we may not last all through the holidays with the stock that we have.”

The Silver Parrot is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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