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Rodrigo Ferman, a former chef at the The Alexandrian hotel in Old Town, is opening “Ferman Bar and Grill” in Arlandria on Monday, July 19.

Ferman, who cooked at The Alexandrian and Hotel Monaco for 15 years, spent the last three months renovating the interior of 4112 Mount Vernon Avenue. The space was formerly occupied by Chirilagua Pollo & Steak, and the overhaul includes new flooring, the installation of three new booths and an extended counter.

“To cook good food you need passion, and if you do things with passion they work out,” Ferman said. “It’s going to be a happy, exciting place.”

Ferman has applied for a beer and wine license and plans on serving Latin American cuisine with high-end American breakfasts and brunches on the weekends. Rotisserie Peruvian chicken and fajitas with all the fixings are still on the menu, and entrees will range between $10 and $15, he said.

Ferman and his wife lost their jobs last year, and got a third piece of shocking news — they were going to have a baby. Now, with a 15-month-old daughter, he says the time is now to open his first restaurant. He’s also working on a website for the business, as well as linking up with Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash.

“I’m really good,” he said. “People will come to this shopping center just to eat at Ferman Bar and Grill.”

The restaurant will be open for breakfast at 6 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. every Sunday to Wednesday, and from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.

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After taking a year off, the Around The World Cultural Food Festival will be celebrated later this month at Oronoco Bay Park on the Alexandria waterfront.

It’s the first year that the annual event will be hosted in Alexandria, and it will feature more than a dozen food, dessert and smoothie vendors making dishes from around the world.

“This pandemic changed our lives and the way we look at tomorrow in a drastic way,” wrote event organizers on Facebook. “We should never take anything for granted, so while we have this opportunity to host the event in a safe way for everyone- a large, spacious park, we hope to see you on July 31st at Oronoco Bay Park.”

Food trucks and vendors include:

The festival will also be held at Freedom Plaza in D.C. on August 28. Admission is free.

via Facebook

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Morning Notes

National search begins for new City Manager — “City Council has chosen the firm POLIHIRE to conduct a nationwide recruiting search. Members approved initial recruiting materials, including a recruitment brochure and timeline, during a closed executive session during the July 6 meeting.” [Patch]

Free food distribution this Saturday — “On Sat, July 17, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food at 3 sites from 8:30-10:30am. Drive-up: Cora Kelly Elem School & NOVA-Alexandria (lot B-1). Walk-up: Ramsay Rec Center.” [Twitter]

Alexandrians biking in 211-mile charity ride — “Three residents from Alexandria will be among more than 6,000 riders participating in the 211-mile Pan-Mass Challenge on Aug. 7 and 8.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Sunshine and clouds mixed (during the day). High 93F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 74F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Office manager — “Looking for someone proficient in word, office,Excel, and QuickBooks, to manage multifaceted Catering Company. Timely response to e-mails, seamless communications with 2 kitchens, as well as front of the house. Flexible hours, with potential for health benefits.” [Indeed]

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Chef Justus Frank wants you to stay a while, and his strategy is Italian food.

In May, Frank and business partner Jeremy Barber said goodbye to their date night spot Live Oak at 1603 Commonwealth Avenue and reopened with Elo’s Italian Restaurant and Bar pop-up. The new concept opened its patio in May with a focus on family. They even have a kids menu.

“We’re going to have wine dinners, classes and group events,” Frank told ALXnow. “Jeremy and I have decided we’re gonna do what what we think is a good reflection of ourselves. Sure, some folks might miss the shrimp and grits at Live Oak, but it must be a satisfying concept for us, too.”

Elo’s — named after Frank’s daughter Eloise — is just the latest in a number of big moves for the owners of The Garden in Del Ray, as they look to settle down for a while after opening another beer garden in Occoquan next spring. Frank and Barber also closed Charlie’s On The Avenue for good in early 2020.

“Rustic Italian food is the best way to create a family-friendly atmosphere,” Frank said. “After I can get through the end of the summer and have a real good sample size at how Elo’s has been performing financially, if it’s a winner then absolutely we’ll keep it.”

Elo’s is softly reopening to full capacity this month.

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Morning Notes

Dessert collection of White House Pastry Chef up for auction in Alexandria – “Coming up soon, this fall, The Potomack Company in Alexandria will be auctioning [Roland] Mesnier’s dessert mold collection, which includes molds used to create peach sorbet for Princess Diana in 1985, as well as molds for dessert centerpieces such as a large American bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, the Queen of England’s coach and many others that honored kings and queens, prime ministers and governors.” [Alexandria Living]

City launches Unified Planning Team — “In one of the first major plan alignment efforts of the city, the leadership of [the Alexandria City Public Schools system, the Health Department and Department of Community and Human Services], with support from the Alexandria City Council and the ACPS School Board, agreed to the establishment of a Unified Planning Team to jointly develop the three plans.” [Zebra]

Centenarian celebration on July 30 — “Know an Alexandria resident who will be 100 years old or older by Dec 31? Alexandria centenarians will be honored and recognized for their lifetime experiences and achievements. The deadline for submissions is July 30.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy early with thunderstorms becoming likely during the afternoon. High 89F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%… Isolated thunderstorms during the evening, becoming fair overnight. Low 68F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Ghost tour guide — “US Ghost Adventures, a national tour operation is seeking energetic storytellers to lead 90-minute walking tour groups downtown. This part-time position is ideal for self-motivated candidates looking for a fun way to make extra income in the evenings.” [Indeed]

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Hot dog, via David Todd McCarty/Unsplash

The promise of learning more about what types of city services are available through various departments might sound painfully dull, but fortunately someone in city bureaucracy understood that the promise of free food helps add spice to that offer.

The City of Alexandria, along with a handful of partners like Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority and the Campagna Center, is hosting a series of cookouts this week and next to provide more information on local youth and family programs, including Safe Space and anti-bullying programs.

Cookouts are scheduled for 6-8 p.m. on the following days:

  • Today, Tuesday: Ruby Tucker, 322 Tancil Court
  • Tomorrow, Wednesday: Southern Towers, 4901 Seminary Road
  • Tuesday, July 13: Brent Place, 375 S Reynolds Street
  • Wednesday, July 14: William Ramsey, 5650 Sanger Avenue

Photo via David Todd McCarty/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Virginia extends ‘cocktails-to-go’ laws for another year — “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many restaurants were shuttered, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) created a safe and secure way for restaurants to offer cocktails to go with a meal. The General Assembly has now continued this practice in statute for one year.” [Zebra]

Republican mayoral candidate Catchings announces she won’t get education endorsement — “I will not be receiving the endorsement from APACE – Alexandria Political Action Committee for Education. What matters most is that I receive the support from Alexandria parents and citizens for School Choice !!” [Twitter]

Alexandria Restaurant Week returning Aug. 20-29 — “For 10 days (including two weekends), diners can enjoy specials from 60+ restaurants throughout Alexandria including Old Town, Del Ray, Carlyle, Eisenhower and the West End. Participating restaurants will be offering special $49 in-person and/or to-go dinner for two and select restaurants will also be offering a $25 in-person and/or to-go dinner for one.” [Alexandria Living]

‘Queens On King Street’ is back — “After a hiatus of more than a year due to the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, Alexandria’s Queens on King Street group will reconvene on Tuesday, July 13th at The Light Horse from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The occasion will also serve as the group’s five-year anniversary. In 2015, co-founders Timothy McCue, Nathan Sell, and Alex Rodriguez-Rozic created Queens on King Street to provide a space for LGBTQ+ individuals that live, work, or just love to visit Old Town Alexandria.” [Visit Alexandria]

VDOT seeking feedback on Little River Turnpike improvement plan — “Give input on a study assessing potential Rt 236 (Little River Tpk) improvements from I-495 in Annandale to I-395 in Alexandria! View a presentation and take our online survey (also available in Spanish and Korean) through 7/28.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). Hot. High near 95F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph… Clear skies (in the evening). Low around 75F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Manager — “Dolci Gelati is a small, customer-focused cafe and gelato shop in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria. We strive to serve the very best in innovative coffee drinks, gelatis, and various other pastries and desserts.” [Indeed]

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The pandemic is over, right? Not for Volunteer Alexandria.

The nonprofit is still in the thick of finding volunteers to assist with food distributions, in addition to vaccination pod workers and guardians at assisted living facilities.

“We are actually seen a decrease in new people registering…only 114 people, which is really low for us,” Volunteer Alexandria’s Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “We are still in need of people who are able to donate time to assist with food and meal distributions – ALIVE!, ACPS, and CASA Chirilagua all need people to assist.”

Brunken said there were 224 registered volunteers in April and 187 in March, and that she is now looking at a 30% shortage in school meal distribution volunteers.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Brunken said. “Because, tutoring, mentoring — those are so important. Seniors always need food delivered, no matter if the pandemic is over or not. More people are in need now than ever. We still deliver food. We still have after school programs, and now we’re going to the summer camps, so we need to staff those as well.”

Register to volunteer here.

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Morning Notes

 

Volunteers needed for ACPS food distribution — “Kids should ask ‘What’s for lunch?’ not ‘Is there lunch?’ Help distribute two days worth of meals for @ACPSk12 students on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. Volunteers are needed for both mobile pop-ups and curbside locations.” [Twitter]

First half of real estate taxes due today — Real estate taxes can be received at City Hall until noon. [City of Alexandria]

Passionately Pets expands to treats and apparel — “Passionately Pets has been offering quality dog walking and petsitting services since Jenna Gotch founded the business 14 years ago. But it wasn’t until recently that Gotch added a line of branded pet products and tasty treats for cats and dogs.” [Alexandria Living]

Craft beer festival at Mount Vernon estate on July 19 and 20 — “Experience Mount Vernon after-hours and taste beers from across the region. Sample craft beer from local breweries, hear live music, and explore the historic area after hours. The Mansion will be closed during this event.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Mostly sunny skies (during the day). High 81F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 61F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Dog store manager — “We are a holistic doggie daycare, boarding, grooming and retail spot looking for a store supervisor. You will need to love dogs, and adhere to our holistic and natural approach to dog care. We offer only healthy food, supplements, as well as unique toys, gifts and other dog products.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria City Public Schools will continue providing free meals this summer.

“Meals will be served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” said Cynthia Hormel, the ACPS director of school nutrition services. “Each day, families will pick up two
days-worth of meals, with three on Friday to cover Saturday and Sunday.”

There will only be one holiday over the summer break — on July 5. Curbside breakfast and lunch deliveries and pop-up locations will be closed that day. The service will reopen on July 6 and all distribution sites will resume on July 7.

“Please know that if numbers drop at any ‘pop-up’ location at any point during the summer, we will re-evaluate continuing that service,” ACPS said on its website. “Families will be notified of changes.”

Hormel said free meals will be continued next school year, although the fate of curbside and pop-up distribution sites are yet to be determined.

“It is too early to say, but if there is an opportunity, we will continue to provide the (pop-up) service,” she said.

Hours of operation

  • June 24 to July 2 — 7:30 a.m. to noon
  • July 7 to July 30 — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • August 2 to August 20 — 7:30 a.m. to noon

Distribution points

  • Alexandria City High School (T.C. Williams High School)
  • Francis C. Hammond Middle School
  • Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
  • William Ramsay Elementary School
  • Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School
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