One of Alexandria’s last waterfront warehouses is becoming a tavern.
According to a press release, the squat brick warehouse at 10 Duke Street is going to be converted into a market, tavern and event space called Cooper Mill, a throwback to the site’s history of making barrels for the Alexandria Flower Company.
The warehouse — once used as a mess hall and commissary by Union soldiers during the Civil War — is in the Robinson Landing development and was left intact while the rest of the buildings around it were rebuilt.
The release said the new tavern is being helmed by Noe Landini, who operates the eponymous Landini Brothers Restaurant (115 King Street) and Junction Bakery & Bistro (1508 Mount Vernon Avenue), and boutique builder Murray Bonitt.
“When [Bonitt] brought this opportunity to me and asked me to participate, it was a no-brainer,” Landini said in the release. “An incredible building as it stands, but Murray shared his vision, and I simply couldn’t resist. It wasn’t long before we were drawing out a concept on the back of a napkin and before you knew it, we were off.”
According to the release:
The current plans for the two-story 6,400 square-foot warehouse building will consist of a small upscale market at the rear of the building, with a casual tavern on the first floor, and a 3,200 private event space upstairs. The market will feature grab-n-go breakfast foods and coffee, sandwiches, soups, prepared foods, fresh breads, and baked goods from Landini’s various locations, as well as beer, wine, and other high-demand market items. The tavern will have a relaxed casual vibe consisting of repurposed materials from the building to create a warm rustic, yet urban feel. The special event space upstairs will be the crown jewel of the building, Bonitt says, with lots of light, exposed brick, balconies with views of the park and river, repurposed roof trusses and flooring, with the ability to host events up to 120 people.
The project is expected to open sometime in late spring 2024.
Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii will open this month at 2466 Mandeville Lane in Carlyle.
The location in the Hoffman Town Center is the first of three that owners Michelle and Richard Lee plan to open across Northern Virginia over the next three years.
“Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii was a great fit for us for multiple reasons,” Michelle Lee said in a press release. “We were initially attracted to the company culture, community giveback efforts, and meaningful story behind the name. We spent three months doing research to ensure this was the right business decision for us. After trying the product, we flew out to meet the CEO and other team members. That trip was so encouraging and solidified that this was absolutely the right move for us.”
The location was originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2022. The company doesn’t say exactly what day in March the shop will open and its phone number is disconnected. Still, when it does open guests will get their first taste of coffee for free by joining a rewards program.
The company was founded in 1989 in Hawaii “with a goal of sharing American-grown, premium Hawaiian coffee from Kauai, Waialua (Oahu), Maui, and 100% Kona coffee with coffee lovers everywhere,” according to its website. It was sold in 1995 and there are now two dozen franchises around the world, with the nearest to Alexandria being in Virginia Beach.
“We’ve heard for years, from our fans visiting our longstanding Virginia Beach location while on vacation, that they’d love a Bad Ass Coffee to enjoy every day in northern Virginia, and at long last, we’re thrilled to say Aloha to Alexandria,” said Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii CEO Scott Snyder.
What’s with the name? According to Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii:
In addition to premium coffee from the famous Kona region of the Big Island, Bad Ass Coffee also sources from Kauai and Maui. Its name pays tribute to a very important animal in Hawaiian coffee history: The Donkey. Legend has it that for generations, donkeys could be heard bellowing as they carried precious loads of coffee beans down the steep mountains of the Big Island. The people of Kona named these hard-working donkeys the “Bad Ass Ones” because of their reliably strong, but stubborn nature in carrying their precious cargo.
Photo via Facebook
After 15 years, Bloomers (924 King Street) is moving to a new location on King Street in the first week of March, it’s owner tells ALXnow.
Bloomers owner Nicole White says knew that the lease her shop at 924 King Street was expiring in 2023 when she bought the business in 2018.
The 1,500-square-foot space at 706 King Street is the former longtime home of Crown Wigs, which closed last year. It’s located next door to Village Brauhaus (710 King Street) and directly across the street from Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub (713 King Street).
“We’re more than doubling our footprint,” White told ALXnow. “We’re excited to have more space, expand our bra lines and brands and provide a great experience for people.”
Bloomers was founded by Kim Putens in 2008. By 2013, she had locations in Old Town, Shirlington and Georgetown, but the growth was short-lived. In 2014, Putens announced she was closing the Georgetown shop from lack of business, did not renew the lease on the Shirlington location and consolidated everything into the Old Town shop.
White says customers are tired of being comfortable, and that strapless bras and shapewear are selling out, reversing a years-long trend of customers working from home and needing loungewear.
“We had a crazy run on strapless bras this summer, because everyone was going to events,” she said. ” We didn’t sell a single strapless bra during the pandemic. It’s funny how things have turned back around.”
White is reopening the shop sometime in the first week of March, and said that customers should follow the Bloomers Instagram page for updates.
As for her long-term aspirations, White said she hopes to continue running a business that personally fits women with bras.
“I just want to be able to continue being a brick-and-mortar store in a digital world,” she said. “To really get a proper bra that fits, you need to come in person, so we hope to be able to do that for a long time.”
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) Crumbl Cookies, a Utah-based chain of cookie stores, is planning to open its new Bradlee Shopping Center location this summer.
Crumbl Cookies offers a rotating selection of cookies from the classic milk chocolate chip to a “French Silk Pie” cookie. Plans for the new Bradlee Shopping Center location were first announced last year but there was no information at the time on when the store would be opening.
A company spokesperson said the new location will open at 3690-A King Street in Suite 31 sometime this summer, with a specific timeline contingent on construction and permitting.
“The owners look forward to sharing sweet treats and opportunities with the community,” said Cassidy Salisbury, a spokesperson for the company.
The Alexandria location will arrive amid a minor boom in Northern Virginia locations for the chain. Over the last year, new locations opened in Reston, Vienna, Chantilly and Ashburn.
Image via Crumbl Cookies/Facebook
There’s a new smoke shop in Old Town.
Arlington-based vape shop Thicker Cloudz recently opened its third and newest location — just a few blocks from the King St-Old Town Metro station.
The shop opened last month at 1512 King Street, the former location of a Subway restaurant. Their inventory includes delta-8 THC plants, oil, and candy, all of which is legal to ingest since it’s derived from hemp instead of marijuana.
Delta-8 products have a lower THC content than marijuana, and will still get customers high, manager Derek Terry told ALXnow.
“It’s a bit weaker than marijuana,” Terry said. “But delta-8 is psychoactive and will pop any drug tests. It is THC. In the higher milligrams, for example, these (gummies) are 3,000 mg bags. This bag has 10 pieces, so 300 milligrams per-piece. This will blow your head off, I don’t care how much weed you smoke.”
The new shop is also a few blocks from away from Alexandria Vape and Tobacco (1213 King Street).
The shop’s inventory includes:
- Hookas and flavored tobacco
- A small selection of cigarettes and cigars
- Vaporizers and flavored vape juices with nicotine
- Glass pipes, grinders, rolling papers
- Kratom, an herbal substance that creates opioid-like effects
- Cookies with trace levels of psilocybin, creating a euphoric effect
- Incense, ashtrays, lighters and other accessories
Thicker Cloudz is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
(Updated 1:40 p.m.) A coffee shop founded by Iraqi immigrants has filed a permit to open in Old Town.
Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee is coming to 631 King Street at the intersection with S. Washington Street. The site was previously Francesca’s until it closed in 2020.
The shop first opened on Vienna’s Maple Avenue in 2021 and specializes in a pastry called lokma.
“We differentiate ourselves by using the best kinds of chocolate from around the globe,” the owners said in the application. “At Lily’s Chocolate & Coffee, not only do we serve light and delicious desserts, but we also serve a wide range of hot and cold beverages to serve our customers with a unique, unforgettable experience.”
The shop will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and open from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Photo via Lily’s Chocolate & Coffee/Facebook
There’s nothing like a freshly organized living and work space, especially when it’s done by someone else.
For as long as she can remember, Amy Smucker has been the organizer in the family and among her friends. The Del Ray resident is a professional photographer and has a clear vision for how she wants things to look.
Smucker lives in Del Ray with her two daughters, so she says she knows what it’s like for a space to get messy quickly. It was last year, though, that she started putting her Tetris-like arranging skills to professional use.
Amy Smucker Home Reorganization launched last spring, and she has since helped more than 100 clients to bring order to their lives. After a $50 in-person or Zoom consultation costs $75 an hour to have Smucker in your home or office.
ALXnow: How did this business start?
Smucker: I’m a very organized person. Last year during Covid, when everything was still shut down, I had a friend who I was still seeing. Like many of my clients, she needed organizational stuff done in her house, which she said was a mess. ‘I’ll just come help you,’ I said, and she insisted that I pay her. That was really the beginning, and afterward I thought, I love this. I love it.
ALXnow: Is it about having less stuff?
Smucker: I live in a Del Ray row house with my two daughters, and things pile up quickly. Everything has its place, and things can get messy quickly. For my clients, it’s about how you live your life, your personal style. That’s why the consultation is so important — to see what clients need. Do they need someone to come in to clean once a month, or once a year, or do they just want things to look pretty?
ALXnow: Do you deal with hoarders?
Smucker: There’s a negative connotation that comes with that term, but yes. People hold on to their stuff for different reasons. Sometimes it makes them feel safe. My client is the one who has to make the decisions. If someone feels an emotional attachment to something, I have to figure out what works for them. I sometimes need some say something like, ‘Okay, you have 25 things here. Can you get rid of two?’
ALXnow: Like keeping a Nerf football from the seventh grade that’s half-eaten by a dog.
Smucker: That’s an excellent example, yes. I’ll sometimes ask clients to send me pictures of the space that they want reimagined to get a pretty good idea. I ask folks to take a hard look at the things that they have and figure out what is making them unhappy, because all our stuff will suck away our energy.
I try to get things organized up front. If it’s decluttering a kitchen, for instance, I pull everything out of the room and start reorganizing things piece by piece, organizing like with like.
ALXnow: Are you a fan of shelves and boxes?
Smucker: I do like bins and baskets and systems. I have one client who bought a whole bunch of baskets to organize her closet, but they were too deep. The baskets were overflowing and it was a mess. So, I cleared them all out and gotten clear, shorter bins so that she could get in them. I reorganized them and she is much, much happier.
ALXnow: Have you considered expanding your business?
Smucker: I don’t think it’s my style to hire someone like myself to go talk to the client, and figure out what they needed. I think that will always be my thing, because it’s very personal. Sometimes people have said it feels like therapy, you know, and I’m very non-judgmental. I’m happy to provide them with emotional support.
Mindy’s Catering, a catering company based out of the Berkley neighborhood in D.C., is moving to an industrial park just across the street from the Victory Center.
A special use permit filed with the City of Alexandria said the company aims to move into 4942-C Eisenhower Avenue. The permit says the Eisenhower location will serve as an off-premise catering prep kitchen for the company.
The catering company covers Northern Virginia, Maryland and D.C. and offers services for corporate and social events, weddings and more.
“Since 2000, our family-owned and operated full-service social and corporate catering business has delighted customers in the Metro Washington area with personal service and attention that amazes,” the company’s website said. “We have the resources of an industrial-size caterer, but pride ourselves on not getting ‘too big for our britches.'”
The catering company joins an eclectic mix of businesses along Eisenhower Avenue, from indoor climbing gyms to co-warehousing spots. One of the most defining aspects of the area though, the long-vacant Victory Center, could be coming down after the owner submitted plans for demolition and redevelopment in August.
Photo via Mindy’s Catering/Instagram
Not enough packing space for your basement office? There’s an open house today (Thursday, October 27) for a new co-warehousing space in Alexandria for digital commerce platforms.
Saltbox, Inc. opened at the end of the summer at 4700 Eisenhower Avenue, making it the sixth location nationwide for the Atlanta, Georgia-based company. Starting at $630 a month, the company offers office and warehouse spaces, flex storage, equipment rental and packing stations.
The open house is from 4 to 7 p.m., and on-hand will be the company’s co-founder Tyler Scriven, as well as the location’s operations manager and staff.
“Simply put we are a co-warehousing and co-working facility where we offer logistics and fulfillment support for growing and scaling businesses especially in the e-commerce space,” Saltbox, Inc. said in a release. “A lot of people say you’ve gotta see us to really ‘get’ us, so you’re invited to our place to check us out!”
The company was founded in 2019, and its other locations are Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle.
The 44,500 square-foot property is located in a heavily industrial area of Eisenhower Avenue, next door to Restaurant Depot, CubeSmart Self Storage and a FedEx Ship Center.
“The new location includes conference rooms, flexible office space, access to loading docks, a top-of-the-line photo studio and other amenities for entrepreneurs to help grow their business,” the company said.
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.