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Thinking about going into business in Alexandria?

It can sometimes be easier to buy an existing business, and the latest listings on BizBuySell show all kinds of companies in and around the city.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings, and the names and locations are generally left out.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively run the business.

Here are some that are currently listed:

  1. High Profit Restaurant & Bar in Prime Location MRB VA 1150 — “Large restaurant and bar for sale in Alexandria VA with outdoor seating. This restaurant is approximately 10,000 square feet with 2 large dining rooms, a private event room, 2 large full service bars, storage room as well as a massive kitchen including top of line line equipment and 3 walk in coolers/freezers. Seating for 268 people as well as room to expand to accommodate large crowds and private events. Menu can be kept the same or converted to fit most concepts. The current owner is hands on part time and profiting an average of $500,000 per year. This restaurant still has plenty of opportunity for growth and increased profits. Great opportunity to take over this highly profitable restaurant and take it to the next level. Must show proof of funds to be qualified.”
  2. Prime Location Full Service Restaurant & Bar MRB VA 1141 — “Full service restaurant & bar located in the heart of Alexandria. This restaurant is in a prime location on a main road surrounded by residential, retail and office buildings with high walking traffic. Highly sought after area in Alexandria. This large restaurant seats 250 people inside with outdoor seating as well. High end furniture & fixtures along with a full service bar surrounded by TVs. Large kitchen with top of the line equipment ready for any menu. This restaurant can be converted to fit most menus & concepts. Great opportunity for anyone looking to expand a current restaurant to the next level.”
  3. Dog Boutique Accessories and Food — “Incredible dog boutique store in charming and wealthy Old Town Alexandria. The business has been growing since inception in 2010.The high visibility location draws in hundreds of customers each week. This business does NOT sell or re-home dogs.”
  4. Former hair salon in Fairlington — “Formerly a hair salon by the name of Primary Colors, a hair salon that was in business for twenty years. Now the space is open, and is still built out to be a hair salon, but the space can also be altered to become a different business.”
  5. Deli with R.E. property — The owner is retiring after 30 years in business. The restaurant is open five days a week for breakfast and lunch.
  6. Well-established laundromat — “All Washer and Driers in Excellent condition. NO Coin! Card only! Owner stops by the store once a week. 50 washers, 52 Driers.”
  7. Profitable restaurant for sale — “Great location, great visibility, long lease term, plenty of parking spaces, in a busy shopping center with many other businesses that crowded with customers on the daily basic, this restaurant is built up from the cold cell condition with new kitchen equipment, freezer, cooler, HVAC….., that’s clean and presenting a long useful life for new owner to do business in years to come without any major upgrading. This restaurant can be converting to other cuisine given there is no other restaurant of that cuisine is currently operated within the shopping center.”
  8. Profitable High Volume Bakery & Cafe MRB VA 1107 — “By purchasing this Bakery, Café, and Catering Company that is for sale in a very busy shopping center in Fairfax County, Virginia and you will be ready for business your first day! This well-known operation produces $1.8 million from its multiple foodservice revenue streams. It is Fully Equipped and gives you the opportunity to serve up a full restaurant menu, special occasion cakes, sweet treat pastries, and baked goods, including gluten-free items, sugar-free treats, and food for allergy-sensitive patrons.”
  9. Dog waste removal company — “Currently have 500 active customers and growing quickly! Fully staffed and great reviews. Owner is looking to relocate and invest in a new venture.”
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Alexandria Restaurant Partners is expanding their operations to D.C.’s Union Market. The company has bought the property at 400 Morse Street and plans to open its second Palette 22 location in late 2023.

ARP opened its first Palette 22 location in Shirlington in 2017, and the new restaurant at 400 Morse Street NE will be a reimagining of the concept. It will still serve small plates and global street food.

“We want to create an interactive experience for our guests,” said ARP Partner Dave Nicholas. “Our vision is ‘Palette 2.0’ – with the design, layout of the two-story space, and menu – the customer experience will be taken to the next level. We will be featuring interactive elements like a variety of cooking stations where patrons can see and watch the culinary ‘exhibition’. Here, we’re interested in redefining what an open kitchen can be.”

Alexandria Restaurant Partners also owns Mia’s Italian KitchenVola’s Dockside GrillRiverside Taco CompanyJoe Theismann’s Restaurant, The MajesticAda’s on the River and Barca Pier and Wine Bar. The company also owns a Mia’s Italian Kitchen and Café Tu Tu Tango in Orlando, Florida.

“We’ve been watching Union Market develop, and we love the energy and sense of community,” said ARP Partner Scott Shaw. “We are deeply involved in the other communities we currently operate in and look forward to doing the same here. In terms of the concept, we think the Palette 22 – small plates, global street food, and local artists onsite – fit perfectly into the neighborhood and complements the nearby Union Market food hall. We also think Palette 22 fills a gap in the market, offering a high energy, approachable concept for a younger audience.”

Via Facebook

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Music, local food and beer is on tap this weekend for the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival at Waterfront Park.

This year, the event is merging with the 44th Annual Alexandria Jazz Fest, and the free events will be held on Friday (June 17) from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m.

The Portside Festival is organized by Visit Alexandria and the City’s Office of the Arts.

“New this year, the event merges with the  on Friday evening to showcase jazz performances and readings by Alexandria poets,” Visit Alexandria said on its website. “Saturday the festival continues with an eclectic musical lineup, local food, hands-on art and history activities and more.”

Food will be provided by Borinquen Lunch Box, Chalkboard Wings & BBQ, Dolci Gelati and The Italian Place.

Additionally, Port City Brewing Company will provide these beers:

  • Optimal Wit (Belgian-style white ale, 4.9%)
  • Beach Drive (Golden ale, 4%)
  • Downright Pilsner (Bohemian style pilsner)
  • 4.8%; Monumental (IPA, India pale ale, 6.7%)

Friday schedule

  • 6 to 6:15 p.m. — Opening remarks
  • 6:15 to 7 p.m. — Cubano Groove
  • 7:15 to 8 p.m. — VERONNEAU
  • 8:15 to 9 p.m. — Eric Byrd Trio

There will be poetry read between sets by:

  • Zeina Azzam, Alexandria’s Poet Laureate
  • KaNikki Jakarta, Alexandria’s former Poet Laureate
  • An up-and-coming Alexandria youth poet

Saturday Schedule

  • 1 to 1:15 p.m. — Opening remarks
  • 1:15 to 2 p.m. — Eli Lev (folk rock)
  • 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. — La Unica (Irish Latin rock)
  • 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. — ilyAIMY (folk rock)
  • 5 to 5:45 p.m. — Rob Curto’s Forró for All (Brazilian forró)
  • 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. — Ras Band (Ethiopian reggae, jazz and funk)
  • 7:45 to 9:00 p.m. — Pablo Antonio y La Firma (salsa, merengue and bachata)

Via Facebook

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The results are in, and Bella Napoli‘s lobster ravioli has taken the top prize in this year’s Taste Of Del Ray on the Avenue.

Starting last Friday (June 1) and running through the weekend, 14 Del Ray restaurants competed for the 13th annual honor by offering three new $5 specials.

“This is the first time we’ve ever won,” Bella Napoli’s owner Oscar Bermudez said.

A team of judges awarded second place to Matt and Tony’s All-Day Kitchen + Bar for their cornflake French toast with pecan syrup; and Pork Barrel BBQ’s nachos were deemed messy but worth it enough to take third place.

“Bella Napoli is like a quiet gem on the Avenue,” said Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher. “The owner, Oscar, provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere and great food. He has been a great supporter of Del Ray community events and we are thrilled that he won this year.”

The event officially kicked off at a VIP reception last Thursday at Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota.

Over the weekend, Diners were also encouraged to chime in on their favorite dishes during the three-day dining experience. The top People’s Choice Award was given to Spice Kraft Indian Bistro-Delray for their avocado banana and beet chaat, followed by Bella Napoli’s lobster ravioli taking second and Pork Barrel’s nachos bringing home another third place.

Via Bella Napoli/Facebook

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West End residents now have a new hub to to take care of food insecurity and other basic living needs.

On Thursday morning (May 26), nonprofit and city leaders cut the ribbon for the ALIVE! West End Food Hub at 510 S. Van Dorn Street in the Van Dorn Station Shopping Center. The brick and mortar location was made possible by funding from the American Rescue Plan.

Residents will now be able to pick up free food five days a week, in addition to personal items, cleaning and school supplies, and connections to other city and federal services.

“I’m very excited about this,” Mayor Justin Wilson said at the ribbon cutting. “It’s addressing a critical need that multiplied exponentially at the beginning of COVID — our food insecurity, but it allows us to try to meet that need long into the future.”

Rolf Blank, is the vice president of the ALIVE! board, which is made up of dozens of representatives from religious congregations.

“For a long time, the board and a member of congregations have been looking for another way to be able to distribute food and interact with our community,” Blank said. “It’s really more than about food. It’s a way for people to interact with our staff.”

The Food Hub is open from noon to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

ALIVE! has given away millions of pounds of food during the pandemic, and needs donations and volunteers.

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After its annual winter and spring hiatus, Goodie’s Frozen Custard & Treats is officially reopening its doors in Old Town on Thursday (May 26).

Owner Brandon Byrd says that most of his costs have increased by more than 100% due to inflation, but he isn’t raising prices.

“I’m not raising prices,” Byrd told ALXnow. “Eggs, heavy cream, sugar — the cost has gone up, but we’re not making our treats any less affordable.”

Goodies officially opened its doors to the public in the the 1930s-era ice house at 200 Commerce Street over Memorial Day weekend last year. The shop sells one flavor — vanilla — and customers choose from a myriad of toppings. Snacks include rum cake, cinnamon rolls and doughnuts.

The shop will be open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., or whenever they sell out. Byrd says that the public should follow the latest for the frozen custard shop on its Instagram page.

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Alexandria’s Homegrown Restaurant Group just stumbled across a proverbial goldmine of infant baby formula, and on Friday morning (May 20) they donated 10 cases of Similac Advance to ALIVE!.

It could take months before Alexandria grocery store shelves are stocked with infant formula, as communities around the country are struggling through the shortage.

HRG’s Bill Blackburn was inspired to find the formula after reading a Washington Post article about a restaurant owner who found a stash through his commercial food supply chain.

Blackburn made a call and found that his distributor had 10 cases of Similac Advance. It cost $1,000, which was paid for by HRG, Alexandria Celebrates Women and the Del Ray Business Association.

“Homegrown Restaurant Group is proud to partner with these organizations to provide this much-needed baby formula to ALIVE! during this crisis,” Blackburn said.

ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers said that the nonprofit needed the formula and is grateful.

“Once again neighbors have demonstrated that if there’s a need in this community that we can work together to help other neighbors,” Ayers said.

Courtesy photo

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There’s a new grocery store in the area. Juana Supermarket officially opened its doors on Saturday (April 23).

The new store replaced the La Latina Market at 5838 N. King’s Highway in the Huntington Station Shopping Center. The shop is managed by Pino Gibson, Jr., and it’s his only location.

The store is fully stocked, and is the only grocery store in the shopping center, which is located in the Jefferson Manor neighborhood of Alexandria in the Lee District of Fairfax County. They sell fresh meat, vegetables, spices, cheeses, snacks, canned food, and general grocery store items.

“We have spices from Africa, South and Latin America, the Caribbean and more,” the manager told ALXnow. “The prices are low and we haven’t had supply issues getting food.”

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Chickens at the D.C. Poultry Market at 3225 Colvin Street. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Updated 4/28 — The City of Alexandria confirmed that, contrary to earlier comments from code enforcement, there was at least one complaint about the slaughterhouse. According to Alexandria communications officer Andrea Blackford:

Thank you for following up with us. There was a complaint about the Market in December 2021, which was followed up by a Zoning Inspector, who reported:

On Dec 6, 2021, a business owner placed a complaint on Alex 311 (21-00030162). The complainant provided photos of animal waste left on the street, and alleged that deliveries occur outside of designated hours and doors are left open.  The business was observed to be compliant with SUP conditions during my visit. I spoke with the manager and owner of the business regarding the complaints and issued a warning notice based off the photographic evidence of the animal waste on street.

(Earlier) For all of the fuss about the halal slaughterhouse at 3225 Colvin Street, the last ten months since its opening have reportedly been pretty quiet.

The poultry slaughterhouse garnered an intense backlash, including a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed. The slaughterhouse was approved in a 5-2 vote at the City Council in March 2019, but after a series of delays the slaughterhouse eventually opened last June.

According to Alexandria communications officer Andrea Blackford, the city’s code enforcement department hasn’t reported any complaints filed or violations investigated since that time.

Rebecca Gomez, director of operations at Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling just up the street (3471 Washington Blvd), said that it’s been all quiet on the poultry front since the slaughterhouse’s opening.

“We’ve had no problems at all,” Gomez said. “We were one business that was not against it as long as they followed the rules. It’s a local business. It was more the neighborhood that’s been up in arms. But we’ve been fine and barely noticed they’re there.”

Gomez said there’s been no noticeable loss in customers since the slaughterhouse opened. Some of the more vocal neighbors in opposition, like multiple nearby dog training services, couldn’t be reached for comment. On the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook page, one user said in December 2021 they reported waste from the facility “including feathers, chicken entrails and other waste” spread across Colvin Street. The complaint was not reported by the City of Alexandria.

Abdul Mused, the owner of Saba Live Poultry, said that he hasn’t experienced any issues with neighbors since they opened.

“We invited all the neighbors to come to the store, and most of them that came liked what we did,” Mused said. “We had open arms and showed them [our facility], gave them tours and invited them in to see our operations.”

Since opening Mused said things have been going well as the slaughterhouse, and the facility has been busier than expected.

“They were scared of the unknown,” Mused said. “Now they know and see what we do and we haven’t had any complaints.”

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Adrian Nicotra says you can pickle anything, but the problem is it’s harder to find new clientele since repeat customers buy out his pickled products because they have long shelf lives.

Last October, the 32-year-old bartender at Tiki Bar Del Ray launched his business Pickles And Cures, and is now working to get his products in area restaurants and farmers markets.

“You can pickle anything, literally anything,” Nicotra told ALXnow. “Pickling infuses flavor, and my products are perfect for foodies. They can go to town with it. You can take a cucumber along with the brine, and mix anything with it and it’ll just grab those flavors and infuse them.”

Nicotra has spent the last 15 years working at restaurants around the area. His products — cured meats and pickled vegetables and fruits — are put in clear, plastic containers.

“You can still see the beautiful brine and fresh dill and the garlic in the container,” Nicotra said. “If someone buys a couple $9 containers of product, they can sit on them and let let them just chill on the brine for months. My first customer in October still has her products in the fridge.”

Nicotra now plans on getting his products into the Old Town North and Del Ray farmers markets this summer.

Photos via Instagram

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