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Burgers, fries and drinks from Five Guys (via Facebook)

Five Guys is moving its corporate headquarters to Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The burger chain, which opened its first location in Arlington in 1986, has been headquartered in Lorton for nearly a decade. It is moving to a 40,000-square-foot space on the fifth floor of 1940 Duke Street in the Carlyle Crescent building.

Contractor L.F. Jennings lists the project on its website, and says that the interior construction schedule will run from January to June 2023. The work includes new flooring, drywall and tile installation.

The building is located by the intersection of Duke and Delaney Streets, near the Whole Foods Market (1700 Duke Street).

Five Guys opened its second and third locations in Alexandria before experiencing explosive growth by franchising in 2003. There are now more than 1,600 locations around the world and more than 1,500 in the works.

Five members of the Murrell family started Five Guys in 1986 with a simple concept — fresh burgers and fries without all the frills. All their food is free of trans fats, the restaurants use fresh ground beef, the fries are cooked in peanut oil and the food is not stored in freezers.

Via Facebook

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Buffet at Bollywood Masala La Plata (via Bollywood Masala/Facebook)

Old Town could be getting a new Indian restaurant next year, replacing a sushi restaurant in the heart of Old Town.

According to a recently filed special use permit, Ichiban Sushi and Ramen at 211 King Street in Old Town could be undergoing a change to become a new Bollywood Masala.

Bollywood Masala is an Indian restaurant currently based out of La Plata, Maryland. The restaurant features dishes like vindaloo and the eponymous masala along with other regionally-based meals like lamb gosht and various types of curry. The restaurant also features chai and coffee on the menu.

Staff at Bollywood Masala said the restaurant is currently working through the permitting process but the plan is to open in summer 2023.

Photo via Bollywood Masala/Facebook

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101 N Union Street (image via Google Maps)

A new sandwich shop could be coming to the Torpedo Factory building at 101 N. Union Street.

In a new special use permit filed to the City of Alexandria, the Hyndford Street Hospitality LLC said it plans to open a small sandwich shop in the space.

“We expect our patrons will be business people and travelling tourists,” the group said. “We will have approximately and no more than 20 seats, where customers can sit and enjoy their sandwich and drink.”

The permit said an emphasis will be on customers taking their meals off-site to their office, hotel or home. The restaurant is anticipated to serve between 50 to 100 patrons daily.

The restaurant could also offer on and off-site sales of wine and beer.

The hours of operation at the new business will be 9 a.m.-10 p.m., though no name is listed for the new business on the application.

Image via Google Maps

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Meals on Wheels volunteer Susanne Young (via Senior Services of Alexandria/Facebook)

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Senior Services of Alexandria needs help delivering food to families with children this upcoming Thanksgiving week.

Volunteers need to pick up and deliver meals in the morning throughout the week.

“Volunteer drivers must use their own vehicle and have a valid driver’s license and current insurance requirements,” according to Visit Alexandria. “Volunteers should also possess the ability to lift 10-20 lb. containers into your vehicle and should be able to climb stairs, if necessary.”

To volunteer, email [email protected].

Meals on Wheels volunteers are needed until Dec. 1.

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There’s a new cheap lunch spot in Old Town. On Halloween — Monday, October 31 — franchise Falafel Inc will formally open at 726 King Street.

Foodies may remember that the location is the former home to Nicecream, the shop that made ice cream with liquid nitrogen, which closed a year ago.

Lunch at Falafel Inc. costs $10 or less, with entrees ranging between $5 and $7, and sides (Baklava, hummus, pita bread)  ranging in price from $1 to $4.

The menu is simple:

  • Falafel sandwich, $5 — Falafel, letuce, red cabbage, pali salad, tatbili, tahini and red sauce on a fresh-baked pita.
  • Falafel bowl, $6 — Falafel, red cabbage, tabouli, tomato, cucumber, pickles, and greens, with chips
  • Shawarma sandwich, $6 — Vegan meat, red ummi cabbage, lettuce, pickles and special sauce
  • Rice shawarma bowl $7 — Vegan shawarma meat, red umani cabbage, pali salad, pickles and special sauce, on a bed of rice

The company was founded in D.C. in 2015 by entrepreneur Ahmad Ashkar, and there are three locations in Washington, D.C., as well as locations in Tysons Corner and Los Angeles.

The restaurat will be open from 12 to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

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There are a number of ways to volunteer in Alexandria this fall.

Art lovers can get their fix by volunteering as gallery guides at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and sports enthusiasts can become volunteer sport coaches. The Carlyle House also needs a volunteer tour guide.

There are also a number of tutoring and mentoring positions available, in addition to available food distributor and donation sorting positions.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “More people are in need now than ever.”

Here’s a list of Volunteer Alexandria’s new and upcoming opportunities.

  • Teach Kids to Read — “Wright to Read is a literacy tutoring-mentoring program that works to match volunteer tutor-mentors with Alexandria City Public School students who need extra support in their literacy skills. Our goal is not only to help give this child support along their reading journey (including access to books, resources, and a larger reading community), but also a mentor through elementary school and beyond.”
  • Distribute Food With ALIVE! — “Volunteers are needed to assist with multiple programs relating to their Food Program, ALIVE! House, and Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership Program will distribute food at Mobile Pop-ups and Truck to Trunk events, etc.”
  • More opportunities at ALIVE! — The nonprofit also needs drivers, a furniture moving attendant, and warehouse volunteers.
  • Theater group needs support — Momentum Collective is looking for a new board member, a costume designer and a set builder.
  • Youth Sport Coaches — Preside over team activities including all scheduled practices and games. Adhere to RPCA policies, rules and objectives Responsible for maintaining care of all RPCA Sports equipment. Lead by example among team parents to support the responsibilities of the referee and league leadership. Coach an assigned group of children and focus on skill development, safety, fair, play, sportsmanship and fun.”
  • 4-H Youth Development Club Volunteers — “We are currently looking for volunteers that would like to build clubs on any topic of interest, such as, dogs, sewing, robotics, or sports.”
  • Food Rescuer — “Food rescuers pick up surplus food from food donors in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia (businesses, restaurants and grocers) and deliver it directly to receiving agencies (community kitchens, food pantries, etc.) that feed our hungry neighbors. In your own vehicle and on your own time, it usually takes only 30 to 60 minutes to complete this incredibly rewarding and essential mission. Get started on the website and app to see the complete schedule of local food rescue opportunities.”
  • Arise outreach volunteer — “ARISE is a new guaranteed income pilot program that plans to give $500 a month to 170 City of Alexandria residents for two years. A research team will evaluate the ARISE program outcomes which will inform future efforts and policy decisions.”
  • Sexual Assault Center Hotline Advocate — “Volunteers staff the 24-hour hotline on evenings and weekends. Volunteers provide accompaniment, emotional support, crisis intervention, advocacy, and referrals to empower survivors of sexual violence in person at the hospital/police department or over the phone. Volunteers must attend a 40-hour training.”
  • Shelter Supervisors with Alexandria Domestic Violence Program — “As a program that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, volunteers play a key role in providing services to those affected by domestic violence. Volunteers with our program interact personally with individuals in need–an opportunity that many find extremely fulfilling.”
  • Alexandria Library opportunities — The Alexandria Library needs a volunteer to run a games program for seniors, a volunteer with the Trash Trekkers program, a Knit Night volunteer, a computer class volunteer, and gardening support.
  • Tour Guide at Carlyle House Historic Park — “Looking for a fun and relaxing volunteer opportunity? Carlyle House Historic Park, a colonial house museum in Old Town Alexandria, seeks volunteer docents to give public tours of this historic building. Carlyle House, built in 1753, interprets the home and family of John Carlyle, a merchant and town founder.”
  • Sixth Annual Spooky Science Expo — “The Watergate at Landmark Youth Committee will be holding its sixth annual science event (Spooky Mad Science Expo) for kids and teens (October 15). The event will celebrate science and Halloween… As in every year, we are looking for volunteers to help us plan and run the event.”
  • Casa Chirilagua Volunteers — Casa Chirilagua is looking for one-on-one mentoring, their kids club, a volunteer to oversee the teen study hall, help with the high school program, a volunteer for teen bible study, and assistance with their middle school program.
  • Dog adoption event needs volunteers — “Lucky Dog Animal Rescue has an adoption event the FIRST Sunday of every month at the Potomac Yard PetSmart – 3351 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22305. Come spend the afternoon with a Lucky Dog!”
  • Torpedo Factory Gallery Guide — “Gallery Guides must feel comfortable interacting with the public about the work at the exhibition with potentially sensitive content and handling artwork sale inquiries. Gallery Guides must be at least 18 years of age or older.”
  • Food and grocery volunteer — “For over 15+ years, as part of its Outreach Ministry, the Meade Memorial Episcopal Church has been committed to the Emergency Food Assistance Ministry, to help transform our community, our neighbors, and ourselves. The church provides lunches to residents from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. We need help to setup tables and distribute lunches every weekday, except on certain holidays. We are asking all volunteers to arrive at 11: 15 a.m.”
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The long, hot summer makes for perfect frozen custard weather… if the price is right.

Despite inflation taking hold of gas, groceries and retail outlets, Goodie’s Frozen Custard and Treats (200 Commerce Street) in Old Town never raised its prices.

Owner Brandon Byrd reopened the shop in May after a customary winter break. He says that customers need a break from the price increases in their lives and a place to escape.

Customers can still get frozen custard, rum cake, cinnamon rolls and doughnuts for the same price as always. The shop sells one flavor of Wisconsin-style custard — vanilla — and customers choose from a myriad of toppings for $8 to $10.

“I feel like if you’re getting squeezed from every corner, whether it’s going out to eat, whether it’s buying groceries, buying gas, traveling, daycare, you can come over here and know it’s going to be amazing and that you’re going to get a fair price for it,” Byrd told ALXnow.

Founded as a food truck in 2012, Goodie’s opened its brick-and-mortar location in the 1930s-era ice house at 200 Commerce Street last summer.

The shop was also recently named one of the top 40 ice cream shops in the country by Thrillist.

ALXnow: Congrats on your recent accolade, being named one of the top 40 ice cream shops in the country. How does it feel?

Byrd: There’s a little over 11,000 ice cream shops in the nation. That’s huge, right? We’re probably the newest ice cream/frozen custard brand in the City of Alexandria, and to bring those type of accolades to the city, I think is a major milestone accomplishment.

I’m very happy to be here and Alexandria, I think that this location complements the goodies brand exceptionally well and it’s just a blessing to be here.

ALXnow: You didn’t raise prices due to inflation. How did the summer go? 

Byrd: Without it doubt it had an impact on the bottom line. But I think you balance it out by saying that those folks who supported us since day one will appreciate the fact that our prices stayed the same, even though everywhere else they go in Old Town they are paying 20% or 30% more.

ALXnow: You look thinner. Did you lose some weight?

Byrd: That’s a good question. Yeah, this year I made a point to be more active. The reality of it is that as you get older you realize that you’re not gonna live indefinitely. I’m raising my two nieces, and I gotta stay around to make sure that they understand the mission in front of them to carry on the legacy of Goodie’s or start their own businesses.

ALXnow: Coming out of the pandemic, we got hit with inflation. How is the flow of customers?

Byrd: I do think that people have been more price conscious now. Am I experiencing the exact same numbers as last year? No, but am I still seeing that folks still want to come and have a pleasant experience? Definitely.

The reality is that gas prices are high, utilities are high, groceries are high, everything’s high, but they can go to a place that’s a throwback to yesteryear, where they can still experience that same price point, and have a phenomenal experience with the product. I feel like if you’re getting squeezed from every corner, whether it’s going out to eat, whether it’s buying groceries, buying gas, traveling, daycare, you can come over here and know it’s going to be amazing and that you’re going to get a fair price for it.

ALXnow: When does the frozen custard season end in Alexandria?

Byrd: Usually around the holidays in November or December, when it gets cold. We reopen in the spring.

ALXnow: Are you open Labor Day weekend?

Byrd: We are, and we’ll be hosting a neighborhood barbecue on Labor Day, from noon to 2 p.m. with hotdogs, chips, beverages, and, of course, frozen custard.

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Alexandria non-profit ALIVE! is hosting grocery distributions for Alexandrians in need this weekend.

Over the last few years, ALIVE! has stepped up its food distribution program for locals, with drive-through and walk-up distributions.

This Saturday, Aug. 27, the distribution will run from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Drive-through distributions are planned for:

  • Cora Kelly Elementary School (3600 Commonwealth Avenue)
  • NYCC Alexandria Campus (parking lot B-1, via 500 Dawes Avenue)

Walk-up distributions are scheduled for:

  • Cora Kelly Elementary School (3600 Commonwealth Avenue)
  • William Ramsay Recreation Center (5650 Sanger Avenue)

ALIVE! accepts food donations at the ALIVE! Food Warehouse (801 S Payne Street) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. (closing at 7 p.m. on Thursdays).

The non-profit is accepting the following food types in personal, non-bulk portions:

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A good cause is around the corner to satisfy your taste buds and conscience.

On August 28, Carpenter’s Shelter will host their biggest summer event — their Cook-off Pop-up at ALX Community (201 N. Union Street). The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. and showcases offerings from about 20 area restaurants with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit, which provides temporary housing and support for more than 600 families and individuals every year.

Advance tickets cost $20 for kids and $50 for adults, and at the door cost $25 for kids and $75 for adults.

The Jones Point Band will provide live entertainment, and the evening will include raffles and silent auctions.

Participating restaurants include:

Via Facebook

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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.

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