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Bonaventure has put 2903 Mount Vernon Avenue on the market (via Google Maps)

Bonaventure is pulling the plug on another of its properties in Del Ray. The Arlington-based real estate developer recently put its properties at 2903 Mount Vernon Avenue and 104 Hume Avenue for sale for a total of $3.3 million, according to a listing.

Bonaventure bought the two properties for $2.6 million in 2017. The two lots were proposed to be converted into an office building, but plans never materialized. The former Anthony’s Auto Center at 2901 Mount Vernon Avenue is 10,400 square feet, and was used as a spin studio, but closed down during the pandemic. It was assessed at $1.4 million in January 2022, and Bonaventure bought it for $1.6 million in 2017.

The 104 Hume Avenue property is 5,250 square feet and was assessed for $1.2 million in January 2022, according to city land use records. Bonaventure bought it for $1 million in 2017.

In its listing, Bonaventure says the property could be converted into a preschool or private school campus, a beer garden, a restaurant or retail.

The news comes after Bonaventure announced it was backing out of its plan to convert the old  Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services building at 2525 Mount Vernon Avenue into a four-story, mixed-use development. In addition to 2525 Mount Vernon Avenue, the company also bought the properties at 2401, 2403 and 2411-2419 Mount Vernon Avenue, and owns a 144-space parking lot across from Pat Miller Square on Mount Vernon and E. Oxford Avenues.

A Bonaventure representative could not be reached for comment.

Photo via Google Maps

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BARtanical is opening at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue by the end of January 2023 (staff photo by James Cullum)

BARtanical, a botanical and herbal inspired bar, will open as the newest pop-up at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray by the end of the month, its owners tell ALXnow.

The new bar is the fifth pop-up for the space, and owners Bill Blackburn and his partner “Mango” Mike Anderson of the Homegrown Restaurant Group have decided to keep going with the pop-up themes instead of opening a permanent restaurant.

Blackburn and Anderson closed the Sushi Bar — located between their other restaurants Holy Cow Del Ray and Pork Barrel BBQ — in December 2021 after nine years in business. Shortly after closing, the restaurant was transformed into the Christmas-themed pop-up bar Joy On The Avenue, followed up by a Tiki Bar that lasted for eight months, a Halloween-themed  pop-up in October and then back to the Christmas-themed bar last month.

The windows of the pop-up are currently covered, and the interior of the space has been gutted.

Blackburn says that when it opens, the pop-up will be a “potted plant lover’s paradise,” featuring an “explosion of plants an greenery.”

“Sticking to the craft cocktail heavy formula, BARtanical’s beverage program will be botanic and herbal inspired, with a nibble and snacks menu that is on the crisper and lighter side,” Blackburn said. “It’s a limited time pop-up and perfect for girls night out, casual happy hour or late nightcap surrounded by rich green agricultural décor and Del Ray’s most entertaining bartenders.”

Anderson said that the next iteration of the pop-up is a secret.

“You’ll have to wait and find out,” Anderson said. “New concepts are like first dates. First dates are new and exciting, and every three months we’re going to provide the residents of Alexandria with a fresh experience.”

Mari Luffey, a former bar manager at HRG’s Whiskey & Oyster in Carlyle, is the manager for the pop-up and is creating a cocktail menu.

“The spring-feel of the bar will translate nicely during the winter months,” Luffey said. “It’s going to be beautiful and cozy in here.”

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Updated at 7:45 p.m. —  The 1800 block of Mount Vernon Avenue has reopened after small sinkhole was discovered Thursday night.

The Alexandria Police Department shut down Mount Vernon Avenue between Duncan Avenue and E.Bellefonte Avenue at around 6:30 p.m. to await a representative from the city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services.

As of 7:45 p.m., the roadway reopened and the sinkhole was covered by traffic cones.

Map via Google Maps

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2018 Candy Cane Bar Crawl (via Del Ray Candy Cane Bar Crawl/Facebook)

An annual holiday bar crawl will work its way through Del Ray on Saturday.

The seventh annual Candy Cane Bar Crawl will be held from 12:30 to 6 p.m., and the event includes trolley transportation between bars, raffles, trivia, costume contests and swag bags.

The event is hosted by the Del Ray Business Association and will raise funds for the nonprofit Blessings in a Backpack.

Tickets range from $15 per person for those who register in advance and $25 on the day of the event. The first 250 registrants will get receive a swag bag, which includes a 16-ounce souvenir cup.

Participating restaurants include:

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The Del Ray Christmas tree and menorah lighting, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

In case you missed it, the lighting of the Del Ray Christmas and menorah was packed on Sunday.

The evening was full of families and friends caroling with hot chocolate with marshmallows.

NBC$ Washington reporter Pat Collins made the countdown to light the 30-foot-tall tree at Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, along with Santa Claus, Kate Moran of the Rainbow Rock Band and members of the City Council. Santa Claus was escorted to the event by the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.

“Who wants snow for Christmas? Collins said, and started to chant, “We want snow, we want snow!”

Collins said he’d see what he could do, and brought along the official Pat Collins Snow Measuring Stick for publicity photos.

“Who wants snow for Christmas? Collins said, and started to chant, “We want snow, we want snow!”

Collins said he’d see what he could do, and brought along the official Pat Collins Snow Measuring Stick for publicity photos.

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The Del Ray Christmas Tree will be lit on Dec. 4, 2022 (via Facebook)

The Del Ray Menorah and Christmas tree lightings are back on Sunday.

Holiday carols will bring Santa Claus back to the neighborhood for the event, which starts at 6 p.m. at Pat Miller Neighborhood Square. The Avenue will also be lined with luminaries to honor the late Nancy Dunning.

It’s the 12th straight year that Homegrown Restaurant Group selected and cut down the tree at the Naughty Pines Nursery in Maryland, and last week it was picked up and given to the Del Ray Business Association. BMC Smoot provided the flatbed truck and a driver to haul the 30-foot-tall tree to Del Ray, and Mike Dameron of Windmill Hill donated his cherry picker crane to put it in place.

“Participants are urged to bring toiletries for Carpenter’s Shelter,” DRBA said.

Additionally, the Del Ray Candy Cane Bar Crawl is happening in Del Ray on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event will provide donations for Mount Vernon Community School’s Blessings in a Backpack program.

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Bonaventure is pulling the plug on its plan to convert the old  Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services building at 2525 Mount Vernon Avenue into a four-story, mixed-use development.

Bonaventure’s attorney Cathy Puskar confirmed that the developer has put the project on hold indefinitely.

“Given the geometry of the site, the client needed some modifications from the Form Based Code in order to achieve an economically viable development that would provide the residential building with ground floor retail, enhanced streetscapes, open space and stormwater management envisioned in the Mount Vernon Plan,” Puskar said.

The development spurred a group of locals to launch the group Save Del Ray, which said that the development ignored the guiding principles of the city’s Mount Vernon Avenue Business Area Plan, which includes preserving the historic scale and character of the neighborhood and providing convenient parking and transportation solutions.

Bonaventure wanted to tear down the 88,500-square-foot former home of the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services building and turn it into a four-story, 43-foot-tall building with 12,530 square feet of retail and 79 rental units. The company planned to take the plan to the City for review this month, followed by 20 months of construction starting in the final quarter of 2023.

It’s now unclear what’s next for the property.

“(B)ased on the significant feedback from the Del Ray Land Use Committee, some citizens and staff, the client (Bonaventure) decided to take a step back to determine whether to continue to pursue redevelopment or just leave the building as-is,” Puskar said.

Bonaventure bought a swath of properties along Mount Vernon Avenue in the summer of 2019. In addition to 2525 Mount Vernon Avenue, the company also bought the properties at 2401, 2403 and 2411-2419 Mount Vernon Avenue, and owns a 144-space parking lot across from Pat Miller Square on Mount Vernon and E. Oxford Avenues.

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Art On The Avenue in Del Ray (file photo)

A 60% chance of rain might dampen this Saturday’s Art On The Avenue festival in Del Ray, but at least it’s not a hurricane.

Art On The Avenue was supposed to be held on Saturday, October 1, but was postponed due as the remnants of Hurricane Ian battered the East Coast. It was a good decision, since the entire weekend ended up being cold, wet and dreary in Alexandria.

“Postponing an event like this is very difficult,” said festival organizer Pat Miller. “We lost a few artists and we gained a few artists. The food is the same, some of the programming is a little different, but none of the musical acts dropped out.”

Art On The Avenue is historically the biggest day of the year in Del Ray, drawing tens of thousands to Mount Vernon Avenue to check out art from more than 350 artists.

Postponing the event also put some local restaurants in a bind. Del Ray Pizzeria made too much dough, and later sold out after making an appeal to its customers.

The event will not likely be postponed again, in the event of bad weather, Miller said.

“It gets to bee too cold,” Miller said. “That’s tough for a lot of artists and it’s tough for their art.”

The 2020 festival was virtual due to the pandemic, and last year’s event had perfect weather, but an unforced power outage prompted businesses along Mount Vernon Avenue to be shut down.

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Clay Queen Pottery officially closed its doors last Monday, October 24.

The shop at 2303 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray is nearly vacant, and small renovations are being made to the building interior.

The business closed due to the retirement of owner Renee Altman, as first reported by Alexandria Living Magazine. Clay Queen Pottery sold pottery and jewelry, and provided pottery classes.

There’s no word of what will go into the space, but Paul Haire, owner of The Dog Store — next door at 2301 Mount Vernon Avenue, would like to use the space for an expansion.

“I would love to use the spce for an expansion,” Haire said. “I’d like to do that. Let’s see what happens with that in the future.”

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It was crisp, clear on Sunday in Del Ray — perfect for the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade.

Thousands of kids and adults marched in costumes for the event, including members of the Alexandria City Council and the Alexandria City High School ‘Zombie Band’.

It’s Visit Del Ray’s 26th year hosting the fun event, which it started at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Bellefonte Avenue and ended with live music and prizes at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center athletic fields.

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