Alexandria, VA

Alexandria’s latest cupcake bakery will celebrate its successful opening with a party this weekend.

On Saturday, November 16 from 12-2:30 p.m., guests are invited to Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery (1506 Mount Vernon Avenue) for free mini cupcakes, face painting, and more.

The national chain opened its Del Ray location a month ago, focusing on cupcakes, ice cream, and rotating seasonal flavors.

“A few years ago I was figuring out what I wanted to do,” said franchise owner Breanna Perez.

“Then I realized love baking, I always have, and I love the Smallcakes menu. They allow you to design your own store and get creative with the menu, so this shop really feels my own,” Perez said.

Smallcakes stores ordinarily feature 18 cupcake flavors each day, but Perez scaled down and focused instead on baking high-quality, creative cupcakes.

In addition to several staple flavors, every day of the week the bakery features a different seasonal option. On Wednesday, for example, Perez bakes an Oatmeal Creme Pie cupcake, and on Thursday will bake a Vanilla Berry Cheesecake and Banana Snickerdoodle.

Smallcakes also features ten different flavors of scratch-made ice cream. There are classics such as vanilla and cookies and cream, along with twists on cupcake flavors with pieces of cake and icing swirled in.

Smallcakes founder Jeff Martin is expected to be present during Saturday’s grand opening celebration. Martin competed several times on the Food Network series “Cupcake Wars,” and has expanded Smallcakes to over 50 locations nationwide.

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This Veterans Day, the Friends of Rocky Versace are holding their annual memorial for the MIA local Medal of Honor winner Rocky Versace and other Alexandria Veterans.

Versace’s unit was ambushed, but he was able to provide covering fire to allow other to escape. When he was held prisoner, Versace resisted interrogation efforts. The North Vietnamese Liberation Radio announced Versace’s execution on Sept. 26, 1965. His remains were never recovered.

The ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Avenue).

This year, retired Major General James Jackson is scheduled to be in attendance as part of a memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

“He’s going to speak and going to make a presentation to veterans in the audience who have not already received the Department of Defense Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin,” Kevin Rue, a member of the Friends of Rocky Versace, said. “The qualifying period is service in US armed forces from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.”

The veteran doesn’t have to have served in Southeast Asia, so long as they were in the military during that timeframe. No paperwork is required, Rue said Jackson will take people at their word on their service.

Rue said a few veterans he spoke with recently at an event said they didn’t know about the lapel pin, and hoped that more who qualified to receive them would show up at the ceremony.

Rue said Jackson will also be available to give out certificates of honor to Gold Star families.

The event is also scheduled to feature a performance from the Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corp — complete with Revolutionary War period uniforms — and the Alexandria Harmonizers.

The Friends of Rocky Versace gather at least twice a year, on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, to commemorate Versace and other Alexandrians who died in various American wars.

“It’s important to have heroes,” Rue said. “This country has to have heroes; those who live up to challenges, who will defend the country when the country requires defense.”

Photo via Friends of Rocky Versace/Facebook

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Perk your ears up: Ease Yoga and Cafe is partnering with Tripple Springs Farm to bring Bunny Meditation to Del Ray on Sunday (Nov. 3).

From 12:30-1:15 p.m. at 3051 Mount Vernon Avenue, a “fluffle” of lionhead rabbits from Tripple Springs Farm in Maryland is scheduled to make an appearance and play around during a guided meditation.

The yoga session is scheduled to be followed with bunny snuggling and bunny selfies.

Space for the event is limited and $30 tickets can be bought in advance.

Attendees should bring their own yoga mat. Children over ten are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

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Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery is coming to a house in Del Ray.

The national chain is opening a new location at 1506 Mount Vernon Avenue, immediately next door to Junction Bakery and Bistro. Prior to being a cupcakery, the location was Cloud 9 Therapeutic Skin Care, which has since moved up the street to 2101 Mount Vernon Avenue.

As the name suggests, Smallcakes focuses on cupcakes and ice cream.

Staff at another location said the bakery is expected to open sometime over the next few days or the middle of next week at the latest.

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From plain bagels with cream cheese to sesame tahini with pomegranate molasses and za’atar, the new Bagel Uprising in Del Ray has something for every bagel lover.

The new location at 2307A Mount Vernon Avenue is now open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, though the website notes the restaurant could close early on weekends if it sells out of bagels.

The bagel shop started its life as a stand at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market in September 2015, then briefly as a vendor inside Snackbar in Alexandria. Now, owner Chad Breckinridge is teaming up with Nicole Jones, owner and chef of renowned Southern eatery Stomping Ground next door, to operate the standalone shop.

Despite the array of ingredients on the menu to add to the bagels — from avocado spread to pickled radish to Scottish-style gravlax — the website notes that the bagels themselves stick with the classics: everything, sesame, poppy, salt and plain. The bagels are $1.75 alone, $10 for a half dozen, or $20 for a baker’s dozen. Cream cheese toppings range from $1.50 to $2 with most fish additions costing $4.

In addition to the option of building one’s own sandwich, the store also offers a half dozen special sandwiches for $7-$10.

It was all hands on deck for the opening last Wednesday (Sept. 25), with Jones saying the store was still looking for more hires. Andy and Emily Brown, the cousins operating Andy’s Pizza in Tysons Galleria next to another Stomping Ground location, were also working at the shop helping to set up equipment.

Bagel Uprising replaces the former Happy Tart bakery, which closed suddenly in January, leaving a dearth of baked goods in Del Ray. Happy Tart’s location in Falls Church remains open.

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