Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Beyer Condemns Trump for Coronavirus Statement on Blue States— “This is quite simply one of the most appalling and inhuman statements ever uttered by an American President.” [Twitter]

Chewish Deli Set to Open First Permanent Location — “When Linzey stumbled upon the Pendleton Carryout Co. space for sale this summer at 807 Pendleton St., he wasn’t exactly looking for a store location. But, Linzey knew that if a spot in Old Town ever opened up, he would want to take it.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria EMS Captain Appointed to State Board — “EMS Captain Lisa Simba was recently appointed to the State EMS Advisory Board by Gov. Ralph Northam. Capt. Simba has been with AFD for more than 30 years.” [Twitter]

Art League Offering Online Classes — “All skill levels are welcome. Select from more than 50 classes.and workshops. They range from basic painting and drawing instruction to computer-based digital illustration and GIF creation. Classes meet via Zoom. In between sessions, students can stay in touch through Google Classroom or by email. And because classes are virtual, students do not have to be in the Alexandria area to participate.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — During the day, cloudy with occasional showers. High 74F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%. At night, periods of rain. Low 63F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a half an inch.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Foundation Relations Manager — “Supports the National Military Family Association Development department in the development and implementation of a comprehensive foundation grants development program.” [Indeed]

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The pandemic has sure been stressful, and there’s a new online program in Alexandria that was founded by former U.S. navy SEALs to help folks become mentally tough.

Chriss Smith, Jr., who also owns Trident Crossfit (410 Calvert Avenue), was a member of the SEALs for a dozen years, and has gone from toning bodies to toning minds. Smith has 12 strategies to help customers not only cope with stress, but to thrive under pressure. In June, he and a number of former SEALs, intelligence officers and neuroscientists launched Trident Mindset, a step-by-step year-long mental toughness program.

“We define mental toughness is the ability to be calm, effective and happy during any situation,” Smith told ALXnow. “Whether you’re experiencing high stress, fatigue, pain, setback, failure, loss, any type of challenge, we think that to become mentally tough is to be able to be calm, effective and happy during adversity.”

The program, which costs $39 per month for a regular membership and $499 for an intense mentorship experience, is intended to make clients resilient to fear and stress with 12-step program that includes establishing micro goals, breathing control, stoicism, meditation, mindfulness and visualization.

“Most people fail because they let they listen to that voice in the back of their head saying, ‘Stop, this hurts. This is suffering. I don’t want to go any further. I don’t do the hard things in life,'” Smith said. “That voice is very loud for them. Mental Toughness gives you an opportunity to quiet that voice and listen to the voice inside that says you can do tough things, you can accomplish many things.”

Smith said that his program is intended to create a long lasting change in his clients.

“”We’re not about making you feel good for five minutes while you’re using the program, and then going back to normal life, ” Smith said. “We’re about creating a profound paradigm shift in the way that you view and relate to challenge. Now you’re someone who thrives during challenge rather than someone who becomes bothered by it and anxious and overwhelmed.”

Stress is decreasing your team's performance, happiness, and unity. Take action to combat workplace stress and unlock…

Posted by Trident Mindset on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Image via Trident Mindset’Facebook

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It’s a tough time for many businesses around the city, but there are also opportunities.

We a look through Alexandria listings of the website BizBuySell and found a number of businesses for sale. Many of the businesses are restaurants, which have taken a significant hit in the last several months due to the pandemic.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings. The names of the businesses and their locations are generally left out of the listing.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively manage the business.

Here are some that are currently listed in Alexandria:

  1. Fitness Center/Personal Training Gym — “This is a franchised 24 hour fitness center, located in one of the most lucrative areas of the country. Just down the road from the new Amazon HQ, this business has been profitable for more than 10 years. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the fitness business, this will be your best opportunity. Second nearby location also available.”
  2. Absentee-Owner Gourmet Pizza & Italian With Loyal Following — “This high-visibility restaurant has long been a destination and neighborhood favorite with locals – it continues to enjoy a following as a gourmet take-out option for pizza and all Italian cuisine favorites. Purchased in 2019 as a decades-old chef-owned establishment, the new owner invested in a complete turn around, nearly doubling sales and converting the business model to absentee ownership. Owner has refrained from applying for PPP or other SBA loans so that new owner might be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
  3. Beautiful Hair & Nail Spa for Sale/ Price reduced — “Great opportunity!!! Serious Inquiries only. Beautiful and well established Hair & Nail Spa for Sale in a very busy shopping center. Seller is retiring after many successful years in the business. Beautiful & Very efficiently designed. 6 years old Spa. Established, loyal customers. Reasonable rent & excellent location. 10 Hair stations, 5 Dryers, 3 Shampoo stations, 8 Manicure Tables, 8 Pedicure chairs, 3 Waxing rooms, 2 Facial Rooms, 1 Body scrub. There is plenty of room to expand. Room to grow by improving social media and other marketing and adding massage service.”
  4. Restaurant & Bar Approved for Hookah MRB VA 943 — “HOOKAH CAN BE ADDED. APPROVED BY LANDLORD. Profitable restaurant, bar & lounge for sale in Alexandria. Hookah will drastically increase sales and profits. Currently patrons can enjoy live bands, dancing, DJs and karaoke nightly. With a capacity of 370, this 2 level establishment is perfect for private events, birthdays or work outings. The first floor is separated into two rooms with a dining area, bar and dance floor with stage/DJ booth while the 2nd room has a large bar, DJ booth and dance floor. The top floor is used for the current owners office, as well as storage, bathrooms and employee lounge.”
  5. Unique Restaurant for Sale in VA — “Unique Restaurant- 9,970 SF. Price Reduction. This business must be visited to be appreciated. It offers 9,970 sf with 2 full dining rooms (70 seats in each dining room) and 3 bars (100 bar seats in total). It is one of the few locations in the area that can accommodate multiple, large, separate dining events (private parties, fundraisers, etc. There is a huge kitchen with new compressors on all refrigeration, 3 walk-ins and a large basement for storage. They are currently open 6 days. This year sales are averaging 48-51K/wk with consistent growth ($2.7 mil. in gross sales projected for this year) with a net profit of approx. $265,000.00.”
  6. Sandwich Shop/Deli Alexandria Va — “I have a client who is ready to retire and has a sandwich shop/deli ready to sell. NO BROKERS. Substantial net positive cash flow after 31 years in business. Excellent old town location. Extended Lease. Business currently operates 6 days per week for breakfast and lunch until 6 so opportunity to extend hours and days under current SUP. No alcohol but license possible. Delivery and growing catering business add to profits. Accountant attested books. Must have a friendly personality to be successful. Employees likely to stay. NDA required for confidentiality. Great opportunity for hard working entrepreneur.”
  7. Mexican Restaurant and Bar — “This Profitable Mexican Restaurant for Sale has been open and operating profitably for eight years. The location is on a high traffic road and surrounded by residential. This is a turnkey situation on a restaurant that has been grossing in excess of $840,000 annually with profits to an absentee owner of $80,000 annually. Nice full service bar. Outdoor Seating!! Great opportunity for a new on hand owner/operator to take this business to the next level. “
  8. 5 Days Open Deli in office Complex — “Italian gourmet deli sandwich shop running 5 days (7AM ~9PM). Nestled in a well known office and residential complex.”
  9.  Established & Well-Known Hair Salon in Old Town Alexandria — “Great opportunity to own a well-known hair salon that has been established for over 30 years in Old Town Alexandria. The business is ideally located on a prominent thoroughfare with excellent street visibility. The salon owners have done an excellent job building a successful salon with reliable revenue and cash flow over the years. There is a stable client base, but there is also plenty of room to grow and expand the business.”
  10. Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar for Sale — “Established Business for Sale. Owner is looking to retire from business. All equipment is owned and in good condition, except the dishwasher is leased. Asking price is negotiable, send your offers!”
  11. Specialty Gift & Souvenir Boutique in the Heart of Old Town Alexandria — “Unique opportunity to own a specialty gift and souvenir shop in the heart of the Old Town Alexandria. The boutique is located in a high traffic part of Old Town and has been a destination shopping destination to both locals and tourists for decades.”

See more Alexandria listings here.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Negates Trump’s Coronavirus Claims — “Nearly 194,000 Americans have died in a pandemic Trump lied to the country about. As Dr. Gottlieb points out, the coming cold weather months bring danger of new spread of the virus. Even after seven months of this Trump still has no strategy to keep Americans safe.” [Twitter]

Former Mayor Silberberg Says Taylor Run Restoration Will Hurt Environment — “Recent soil testing from Taylor Run, analyzed by Brookside Laboratories, showed a negligible amount of phosphorous in the soil of the stream bank. Restoration of Taylor Run will therefore have a questionable impact at best on the watershed – but the restoration work will have a devastating impact on the habitat and tree canopy surrounding the stream.” [Alex Times]

Kids Who Volunteer Can Get Scholarship — “Volunteering makes a difference. Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) are recognizing the efforts Virginia youth have made to help in their communities during the pandemic.” [Zebra]

Salon Monte Opens in Old Town — “On the waterfront to cut the ribbon for @MonteDurham‘s Salon Monte! Welcome! (Insert joke about me at a hair salon—> Here)” [Twitter]

Board of Architectural Review Rejects Heritage Development — “If you’ve run out of shows on Netflix and you’re looking for some drama-filled entertainment, head to the city’s webcast archive and watch the Board of Architectural Review’s latest meeting.” [Alex Times]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy early, becoming mostly sunny in the afternoon. High near 80F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. At night, Clear. Low 54F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Account Executive — “CareClix, a Northern Virginia based company and the world leader in the Telemedicine Space is seeking a few select individuals to join our Resellers and Independent Account Executive salesforce. Successful candidates in this position can expect first year commissions of lower middle to high six figures.” [Indeed]

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What did you do on your summer vacation? Three Alexandria kids started a new business, ThePoopBrothers, and their mission is to make easy money by picking up dog poop.

“I was walking around with my dad, and we were talking about what kind of ways to make money over the summer,” Beckett Sawyer said. “I was talking about mowing lawns and stuff, and then he suggested  picking up poop, and I started laughing because I thought it was a joke.”

It was no joke, and soon Beckett, 13, and his 14-year-old brother Sawyer and their 14-year-old friend Dante Thomas got involved. The trio founded their company about a month ago and started placing door hangers around the city.

Here’s how it works: Customers email ThePoopBrothers and the price escalates depending on how many pets you have and how far away your house is.

“It’s $10 each week, but if you want us to pick up twice each week then it’s $16, and each extra dog is about $1 extra,” Beckett said. “We use grab bags and then we’ll pick it up and then we’ll throw it away. So, it’s pretty simple, and it’s not too time consuming. It’s not too difficult, either.”

Sawyer said that business is slowing picking up.

“We don’t have like 50 clients,” he said. “I think we have four now, and we’re waiting for the advertisements to do their part, and maybe after all the press interviews we’ll get more business.”

Beckett said that he and his partners are fearless.

“We’re extremely cool,” he said. “We’re fearless in the art of picking up poop.”

Photo via ThePoopBrothers

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When Monte Durham’s contract with TLC expired in March, he realized he needed to do something else. The star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta was told that the network would be going dark because of the pandemic, and Durham quickly decided to go back to his roots as a hairstylist and open a boutique in Old Town.

“My goal is to inspire, educate, and hopefully motivate people to go to the next level with their look,” Durham told ALXnow.

Durham is opening Salon Monte this Saturday, September 12. At 6:30 p.m., Mayor Justin Wilson is scheduled to cut a ribbon for the 825-square-foot salon at 210 S. Union Street. That’s next door to Hotel Indigo and across the street from the Union Street Public House.

Why go to Salon Monte? It’s simple, Durham says.

“We’ve got location and valet parking,” he said. “The big hubbub about this is that it’s new. It’s fresh, it’s invigorating. You’re going to be serviced totally differently.”

The bridal image consultant, who lives in Belle Haven, was filming Say Yes to the Prom in New York City when the pandemic struck, and by mid-March was back home when he got the news that the network was going dark.

“In the midst of all of that, our contracts expired,” Durham said. “Are they going to reinvent the wheel? Who knows. So, while we’re waiting on that, I thought, ‘You know what? Ten years of traveling and going back and forth, if we don’t film again, what can I do? Well, after all I am a hairstylist.”

Durham is still appearing at wedding events, including the upcoming Alexandria Wedding Showcase this Sunday, September 13. He’s hired a hair director and a client service director to work with him in his boutique.

“When a father looks at the price of a wedding dress and says, ‘She’s only gonna wear it one day,’ I go, ‘Okay. I want you to ask your wife where her wedding dress is,'” Durham said. “They always know exactly.”

The salon was far from finished a week before the opening, but Durham said when finished it will include his private studio with a large portrait of his style icon Jackie Kennedy, shampoo lounges and all of his own personal hair care products.

“Everything in the salon is custom because it’s small,” he said. “The lampshades cost me an arm and a leg, but they look so good.”

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When one door closes another opens, and that’s definitely the case with The Company of Books, Del Ray’s new used book store is turning the page and replacing the Book Bank in Old Town. The new store opened at 1712 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray a little less than two weeks ago.

The Del Ray location is still a little empty, and books and shelves are being brought in daily. Readers might find a few noticeable differences between the new and the old book stores. For one thing, the Company of Books is a nonprofit and its founder and Executive Director Rachel Baker wants to use future profits toward community events.

“We definitely are not looking at expanding into more locations, and our goal is to give back to the community in a way that can be helpful, and mean something,” Baker told ALXnow.

The Book Bank, which is an Alexandria staple that has sold used books for decades at 1015 King Street, will be closing its doors for good on September 20. The store will be offering sales of up to 50% off before the closure, and even before discounts the average cost for a book is $6.

There was some controversy with the new store, as a neighbor in Del Ray reported that one of its board members was taking books from little free libraries to sell in the store. Baker said that the books were recycled back into the little free libraries and that she has thousands of books for sale.

“The profit margin on a secondhand bookstore is incredibly small, and it definitely requires volume and you cannot make any kind of income taking books from little free libraries and reselling them,” she said.

The store will also start accepting used book donations on October 15.

Come visit us !!!!

Posted by The Company of Books, Inc on Saturday, August 29, 2020

Photo via The Company of Books/Facebook

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Construction has begun at a controversial halal slaughterhouse, and the owner says that the business at 3225 Colvin Street will open in mid-November.

“As a company we are doing great,” Abdul Mused, the owner of Saba Live Poultry to ALXnow. “We are extremely busy. With restaurants closed, we have had a 500% increase in our business. Everybody comes to us now.”

Mused, who owns 18 Saba Live Poultry locations around the country, said that he is spending $600,000 on the interior renovation. The business was supposed to open in June but that was pushed back because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, his rent has also increased to $8,500 a month, and he reportedly paid $150,000 in legal fees in a fight with neighboring businesses and residents.

That area of Colvin Street is home to the Wholistic Hound Dog AcademyFrolick DogsDogtopia, Pinnacle Pet Spa & More, as well as the Wild Bird Center of Alexandria. The owners of these businesses and neighbors sent thousands of letters to city council and a petition was signed by 1,373 people asking that the special use permit for the property be rescinded.

The slaughterhouse was a top issue last year, as the city and council received hundreds of letters and emails on the project. A petition was signed by 1,795 people requesting that the special use permit application council approved 5-2 last March be rescinded. Last November, Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Lisa Kemler threw out the second case levied against the city and council by 10 area citizens and business owners.

As previously reported, the chickens will be trucked in from an Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and Saba Live Poultry will receive up to 500 chickens every other day in closed box trucks, which will make drop-offs between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. in the rear of the building. The business will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and customers will be able to walk in, select a chicken in a steel cage with a number attached to its leg. The customer receives a ticket with the number as the chicken is taken into another room and slaughtered.

“I think people will be super happy with what I’m doing in the neighborhood,” Mused said.

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A new convenience shop called Old Town Mini Mart is working through the city’s approval process to open in the heart of Old Town.

According to documents filed with the city, Old Town Mini Mart is planned to open at 822 King Street, once home to Old Town Pack & Ship. That store is still open, staff there said, it just moved around the corner. One of the co-owners of the new Old Town Mini Mart is Rodrigo Restrepo, who is listed as the owner of Old Town Shoe & Luggage Repair next door to the proposed market.

According to the application, Old Town Mini Mart will be:

Small convenience store offering coffee/tea, water, sodas, beer & wine, sandwiches and snacks, chips, candy and few household sundries. There will be a small sections where one can pull food/drinks from refrigerated displays and or serve coffee/tea. to take with. Will also offer Virginia Lottery

The application notes that the market will also serve alcohol.

If approved, location will be open Monday-Friday from 5 a.m. to midnight, and from 6 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

The proposed market is scheduled to go to the Planning Commission for a hearing on Oct. 6.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Tech Firm Raises $1.1 Million in Seed Funding — “Clowder has quickly become the leader in modern member communication. Our apps are able to take organizations who’ve long relied on web and email-based engagement strategies and place them in the 21st century with an on-hand tool that provides instant access.”[Clowder.com]

Metro Expands Train Service Hours — “The pandemic has posed challenges never before faced by Metro, and I want to extend my thanks to our customers – especially essential workers – for their understanding as we took unprecedented action to protect our essential frontline workforce and the public health.” [Zebra]

What Will Happen to Halloween in Alexandria This Year? — “In a ‘normal’ year, local children would start running from house to house by 5 p.m. collecting as much candy as possible, but it’s not certain that most homes will be welcoming strangers to their doorsteps, no matter what type of mask the little goblins (and their parents) are wearing.” [Alexandria Living]

Beyer Refutes Trump Tweet to ‘SAVE THE POST OFFICE!’ — “Trump blocked financial support for the US Postal Service all year and last week admitted he was sabotaging USPS to prevent people from voting.” [Twitter]

Police Remember First Alexandria Officer Who Died in Line of Duty — “We remember Constable Elijah Chenault killed in the line-of-duty on August 4, 1823, 197 YEARS ago. Constable Cheault was the earliest known line of duty death in Alexandria. His death was 47 years before the City of Alexandria Police Department was founded. We will never forget.” [Facebook]

Fire Department Rescues Stuck Canine — “This past weekend, E207C responded to a residence to help save a family’s pup. The crew helped free the dog from being stuck between a piece of plywood and a water heater behind the washer and dryer. Glad the pup was OK!” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — Mostly sunny skies during the day with a high temperature of 86. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. There is a 40% chance of partly cloudy skies in the early evening followed by increasing clouds with showers developing later at night. Low 68F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Food Community Coordinator — “ALIVE! Job Opportunity for a Food Community Coordinator. This is a full-time temporary position.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Introduces Pandemic Response Accountability Legislation — “Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today introduced the Supply Chain Accountability Act, legislation that would require the Administration to explain its strategy for fixing key breakdowns in the pandemic response. Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has partial jurisdiction over healthcare matters.” [Beyer.house.gov]

Coronavirus Cases at 2,995 in Alexandria — “Positive tests up 19 to 2,995 in the City 7-day Positivity Rate up to 5.7% 3 new hospitalizations Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Nelson Greene Advocates Renaming T.C. Williams High School for Retired Judge Dawkins — “Here is a model to be followed, and imitated. So let’s do the right thing and change the name to Judge Nolan Dawkins and really let him know what we think about him and his service, his life and have a model for all.” [Zebra]

New Italian Restaurant Opening in Old Town North on Thursday — “The restaurant, from chef and restaurateur Jamie Leeds, is the long-awaited replacement for Hank’s Pasta Bar, that closed last year for renovations.” [Alexandria Living]

Del Ray Cakery Becomes Del Ray Cookie Company — “Over the last year or so, my business has gone in a different direction. I have been doing so many cookies, so I decided it was time to move my business in a different direction.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 91F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Locally heavy rainfall possible.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Commercial Interior Designer — “Share a passion for transforming client work environments with amazingly innovative designs. Builds on and manages the client relationship to create an exceptional client experience. Provides design services to dealership customers, including programming, space planning, typical development, 3-D virtual experience, specifications and site-to-plan review.” [Indeed]

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How do you like your soufflé? There’s a new option for folks in Alexandria searching for those savory or sweet egg-based delicacies.

Alena Ignatysh and Cameron Hatam launched Oh La La Soufflé last month, and can be found selling their creations at the Carlyle Farmers Market on Fridays and at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Aristans Market on Sundays. They sell three varieties for $6 apiece — chocolate, orange liqueur, and cheese and spinach.

Ignatysh is an accountant, and she’s also vegan, so she seldom tries her soufflés, and leaves the tasting to Hatam. She says he’s her inspiration.

“I happen to have inspiration in my life, and he sits right here,” Ignatysh told ALXnow. “He was the person who told me, ‘I love soufflés. Can you make one for me, please?’ And that was the first time I made a soufflé in my life.”

Hatam, who owns four Virginia Family Chiropractic and Physical Medicine offices in the area, couldn’t believe the result. He ate all 12 of the chocolate deserts she made for him in less than 20 minutes.

Soon the couple were trying out new recipes and giving away the creations so that Hatam wouldn’t eat them all. Now that their kitchen has cleared health department hurdles to cook and sell their products, the arrangement is simple: She cooks, he packs the boxes, and they both go to the farmers’ markets.

“That first batch she made was amazing,” Hatam said. “I couldn’t believe it. Normally a soufflé from a restaurant deflates as soon as you put your fork in it. Not these.”

Ignatysh hopes to own a soufflé shop someday.

“Our goal was to make soufflés more popular and affordable for everybody,” she said. “That was our goal, and it has this reputation of being very hard to make. You need to use particular measurements for the ingredients and follow some steps, but it’s doable. So, we just decided to make it easier for people to bake at home.”

Grand Marnier Soufflé

Posted by Oh La La Soufflés on Sunday, July 19, 2020

Image via Oh La La Souffle/Facebook

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