The Chamber ALX has released the finalists for the Best in Business Awards, and the top businesses will be announced at a gala in Old Town next month.
It’s no secret that Don Simpson, Jr. is the chamber’s 2023 business leader of the year, since that cat was let out of the bag last month. Just who will receive the other highly coveted awards, however, is still secret. This year’s nominees are listed below, and winners are determined by a panel of previous awardees.
The Best in Business Awards, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank, will be held at the Westin Old Town Alexandria (400 Courthouse Square) from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Octo. 12. The event costs $125 for members and $150 for non-members.
Land use attorney Cathy Puskar was named business leader of the year last year. Read more about last year’s event here.
Alexandria’s 2023 Best In Business finalists
Small Business of the Year
- 9Round Fitness
- Cualtzin Salon
- Jillian Keck Hogan Group
- Salon deZEN
- Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
- The Wise Family
- Wine Gallery 108
Medium Business of the Year
Large Business of the Year
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon
- United States Senate Federal Credit Union
- Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
Rising Star Business of the Year
- Ada’s on the River
- BeeLiner Diner
- Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar
- Silk Rose Spa
- VIP Alexandria Magazine
Nonprofit & Association of the Year
There’s a new kickboxing gym in Old Town.
On Saturday, 9Round Fitness will hold a grand opening ceremony at its new location at 123 N. Pitt Street (suite 150) in Old Town.
Franchise owners Liana and Zach Sansom opened last month, offering 30-minute full body kickboxing workouts with no set appointment times necessary.
“9Round is built to work for any fitness level,” the owners wrote on Facebook. “Zero kickboxing experience is required to have a kickin’ good workout and feel stronger in 30 minutes.”
It costs between $150 and $170 for monthly membership, and otherwise about $25 to drop into any given class. Customers in Alexandria can get a free introductory session by texting “9Round” to 703-910-0885.
There are more than 600 9Round Fitness franchises in 18 countries, and the Old Town location is the seventh in Virginia. There are also gyms in Springfield, Manassas, Richmond, Charlottesville, Yorktown and Virginia Beach. The company was founded in 2008 by kickboxer Shannon “The Cannon” Hudson.
9Round Fitness is open from 6 a.m. to noon and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and is closed on Sunday.
Looking for something different when it comes to fitness? Something more engaging and fun? Look no further than the 9Round studio here in Old Town Alexandria. Kick and punch your way into a healthier you, a stronger you, and a more confident you! Get right before the summer… pic.twitter.com/hoz00McPgB
— CarlylePlaceApts (@CarlylePlaceApt) April 8, 2023
Image via 9Round Fitness/Facebook
A male suspected of breaking into a locker at a gym in the Carlyle area and going on a spending spree has been on the run for more than a year-and-a-half.
The incident at OneLife Fitness occurred on December 1, 2019. The victim told police that he locked his belongings with a Swiss turnstile lock, and returned 40 minutes later to find the lock gone and the locker empty. Among the items stolen were a $100 duffel bag, a sterling silver money clip, cash, credit cards, his driver’s license, and car and house keys, according to police.
Just 20 minutes after he found the empty locker, the victim was notified that someone tried to buy something worth $2,500 at the Pentagon City Fashion Center. That payment was declined, and the suspect then used another credit card, which went through. The suspect then used another card to make a $1,900 purchase at an Apple Store, and then tried to spend more than $800 at a Footlocker store, but that payment was declined.
The suspect checked into OneLife Fitness using the name David Thomas, which was also the name the suspect gave to Footlocker employees, according to police.
Police secured warrants for the suspect on December 15, 2020, which is more than a year after the incident. Using phone records, police determined that the suspect made outgoing calls from the gym as well as in Pentagon City, and that the suspect also made multiple calls to his mother.
Police have made contact with the suspect three times via phone, but he “was not compliant with the option to turn himself in for the warrants,” according to a search warrant affidavit. “The whereabout of (the suspect) are unknown at this time.”
The most recent contact was made with the suspect last month, according to a search warrant affidavit.
What a busy week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
Alexandria City Public Schools reopened their doors to full-time in-person instruction on Tuesday, and there have been a few hiccups. On Friday, we published a video taken of a brawl inside Alexandria City High School, and a teenager was hit by a car while walking home from school in Del Ray on Thursday.
In our poll this week, we asked if readers agree with a proposed 5 cent tax on plastic bags. Out of more than 900 votes, 62% said it shouldn’t be implemented and 38% said it should.
- Tales of regret and hope win in creative writing contest at the Alexandria Jail
- Report: Massive Oakville Triangle project secures financing
- Alexandria man convicted for possessing child porn and violating parole
- Del Ray park moving forward with lead artist chosen
- French Twist: Alexandria’s sister city committee wants to revolutionize membership
- School Board Member Michelle Rief praises ACPS COVID response in reelection bid
- Alexandria woman scammed of $15K by ‘friend’ with compromised Facebook account
- Street repaving and curb repairs underway in Old Town this week and next
- $50K fundraiser launched after sewer pipe bursts in Arlandria preschool
- Alexandria to consider imposing 5 cent tax on plastic bags
- Juvenile stabbed in West End Sunday night
- Alexandria man arrested for beating up ex-girlfriend in Old Town North
- Fox put George Washington Middle School into a lock-in today
- Design realities could conflict with promises to speed up stormwater improvements in Alexandria
- City breaks ground on new broadband network
- Poll: Do you support the proposed 5 cent plastic bag tax?
- This Alexandria gym manager went rogue and launched a personal training business
- Alexandria kicks off Restaurant Week tomorrow
- Alexandria sees huge spike in COVID-19 cases in August, another death
- Poll: Have you been impacted by flooding in Alexandria?
- New Normal: ACPS fully reopens for first time since pandemic started
- Evolving COVID-19 decisions loom as Alexandria City Public Schools fully reopen next Tuesday
Have a safe weekend!
Melissa Graves calls CrossFit her medicine.
Last year, though, she was forced to shut down her brick and mortar gym, CrossFit MVA at 1712 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. Graves and her team of a half dozen coaches kept the ship afloat with Zoom workouts, as members who stuck it out took home weight sets and medicine balls from the gym.
“It felt like a year, but it was probably only three months that we were out of this space,” Graves told ALXnow. “Even now I’m counting every day, one day at a time until we can function somewhat like normal.”
Graves says most of her clients are vaccinated against COVID-19, and those who aren’t are asked to wear face masks during the high-intensity workouts. Those workouts include weightlifting, rowing and gymnastics, and are alternately conducted inside the gym and in an outdoor tented area in the parking lot.
“I don’t like change, and I’ve never been a person that likes change,” Graves said “Being adaptable when those big changes were thrown at me really helped me to grow as a business owner and personally.”
A former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, the 44-year-old Graves started was introduced to CrossFit in 2008. She opened CrossFit MVA in 2014, and is personally ranked 86th worldwide and 63rd in the U.S. for her age group.
“When I discovered CrossFit, it literally became my medicine,” she said. “I got off antidepressants, I started eating better, I slept better, my mood changed. I was just a different person, like it literally my whole life and my personality.”
Graves continued, “The pandemic was just so tough on people mentally. So having us as an outlet every day for 45 minutes was huge for them, and I’ve heard from countless members tell me that if it wasn’t for these workouts that they don’t know what they would have done.”
Graves increased the monthly fee for members by $5 to make up for the additional space needed for six-foot distancing for athletes inside the box. It costs $235 for unlimited access to the gym, $210 for three workouts per week, and $185 for two workouts per week.
Nervous about CrossFit? Don’t worry if you’re not in great shape, Graves said.
“When people show up for a trial class, they see that there’s all different kinds of people in the gym,” she said. “Some people maybe are getting ready for a triathlon, there might be someone else who’s never worked out before, maybe a mom who just decided that she wanted to start CrossFit in her 40s. We have just everyone from every walk of life, and usually when people take a trial class they feel pretty comfortable.”
Jollibee to open first Alexandria restaurant — “The Filipino chicken restaurant Jollibee is bringing its signature Chickenjoy to Alexandria. Jollibee will open in Lincolnia at the intersection of Beauregard Street and Little River Turnpike. The building was previously occupied by Boston Market. Jollibee has about 40 restaurants in the United States — primarily in California — and more than 1,300 restaurants worldwide.” [Alexandria Living]
Bishop Ireton seniors win honors — “Congratulations to senior Mary Kate Mull who was named the Commonwealth of Virginia Young Woman of the Year by the Knights of Columbus! She is the first BI student to win this statewide prestigious honor. Mary Kate and senior Critter Johnson were named Young Woman and Young Man of the Year by the Knights of Columbus, Fitzgerald Council #459. Seniors Madeleine Klunder and Aidan Fedorochko received the same honors from the Knights of Columbus, Springfield Council #6153. Bravo to these amazing students!” [Facebook]
Gastropub ‘Old Hat Bar’ opens May 21 at the Former King Street Blues location — “Anticipating their opening for almost two years, friends and business partners, Jack Caminos and Tim Prosser are looking forward to introducing Old Town to Old Hat Bar Friday, May 21. Newly renovated 112 N. Saint Asaph Street, the former King Street Blues location, has kept some of the booths and has refinished the original bars along with adding their own artistic style to the location.” [Zebra]
Today’s weather — “Mostly cloudy (during the day). High around 75F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph… Mostly cloudy (in the evening). Low near 55F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Child watch attendant –– “The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington is one of the largest charities in the DC area. The Y serves as an anchor in the community offering programs and services encompassing youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.” [Indeed]
A new fitness studio is opening in the West End on Saturday, October 10.
E60 Fitness, which has had a location in Rosslyn since 2017, will formally open its doors to the public with a grand opening at its newest location in the West Alex project at King and Beauregard Streets.
The gym, which focuses on high intensity workouts and nutrition services, was founded by Doug Frantzen, a former Virginia Tech wrestler and fitness consultant.
E60 Fitness will offer free trials and discounts on monthly memberships at the grand opening.
Book Your Next Workout | E60 Alexandria Coming Soon! – https://mailchi.mp/008427d620ab/fit-tips-hrmonitoring-1768030
Missing Man Found and Returned Home — “Mr. Walter ‘George’ Winstead has returned home safe and without incident.” [Facebook]
Beyer Says Trump Colluded With Russians — “The Trump campaign was offered Russian government assistance. The Trump campaign sought Russian government assistance. The Trump campaign received Russian government assistance. Trump campaign personnel coordinated efforts with Russian intelligence operatives and Wikileaks.” [Twitter]
Social Justice Walk Passing Through Alexandria on Thursday — “Join Pastor Juli and people of faith who began walking for racial justice from Charlottesville to DC last week when they arrive in Alexandria Thursday afternoon.” [Facebook]
E60 Fitness to Open Gym in Alexandria — “Alexandria’s West End residents are getting a new fitness option! E60 is opening in September.” [Alexandria Living]
GET AIR Trampoline Park Bounces Back Into Business — “The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to provide a safe and fun environment for families to get out of the house and enjoy time together.” [Zebra]
Escape Room Live Reopening in Old Town on August 28 — “Feel the rush of adventure! A safe, PRIVATE, immersive, and FUN experience. We are committed to the health and safety of our community, guests, and team members and will be going above and beyond to ensure everyone has a safe ESCAPE!” [Facebook]
Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High around 90F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%. In the evening, mostly clear skies. Low 72F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Chief of Staff — “Islamic Relief USA is seeking a Chief of Staff to provide leadership support to the CEO by being a strategic partner focused on communications, policy development, management and oversite to enhance efficiency and create the capacity necessary for the CEO to focus on the most critical aspects of the CEO’s job. The Chief of Staff will serve as the primary point of contact for internal and external stakeholders on all matters pertaining to the CEO.” [Indeed]
An Alexandria climbing gym is surviving by its fingertips amid a slow recovery.
“We are talking about a year of survival,” said Sportrock spokesperson Sean Taft-Morales, “not a year of thriving.”
Sportrock is a climbing gym that boasts the tallest indoor rock climbing surface in the Mid-Atlantic. The gym has been located in the city since 1996 and has been part of a small enclave of western Eisenhower businesses that had been thriving before the pandemic.
The gym closed voluntarily before the governor’s order, with Taft-Morales saying the gym’s leadership felt it was unsafe to remain open. The gym was fortunate enough to not have to lay anyone off through the shutdown, but the slow recovery did lead to the first layoffs last month.
The gym’s survival this far has been owed largely to their community, Taft-Morales said.
“We’ve always been a very community focused gym, that’s one of the pillars of our model,” he said. “We’ve been here since the 90s, we’re not new, and it’s still locally owned and operated. Our connection with membership… that really came through for us. Not to the extent that we’re not feeling the financial effects, but had a number of members keep their memberships active through the pandemic and that helped.”
The gym reopened about a month and a half ago, but with heavy restrictions. The plan was, Taft-Morales said, to reopen more gradually over the summer, but those plans seem to have been overly optimistic as the city, and state, have remained at the same level of reopening.
“It’s a huge space,” Taft-Morales said. “According to regulations, we could have something like 350 people in the space. They’re just doing a percentage of your occupancy, which just seems totally nuts. We’re doing voluntary cap of 75 customers at a time.” Read More
The gym will occupy 3,200 square feet of the new building, which is scheduled to open this summer. An employee at E60 fitness said the company is tentatively eyeing a September opening.
E60 is described in the press release as a circuit training-style program that combines functional, cardio, and weight training.
“A dedicated and certified fitness expert will guide you through our workout, which changes daily to keep the body guessing and prevent plateau,” the press release said. “At E60 you will build a better, stronger, healthier long-term body.”
Photo via E60/Facebook