What an unexpectedly busy summer week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Our top story was on an Alexandria woman who claims she was roofied at a restaurant on the waterfront on the evening of July 9. A police report has been filed, and no charges have been made.

This week we sat down with acting Police Chief Don Hayes, who said that he’s thrown his hat in the ring with City Manager Mark Jinks to keep the top job. Hayes, a 40-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department took over after the sudden departure of Chief Michael Brown last month, and will have to contend against candidates in a national search.

The Tokyo Olympics also start this week, and the games will include three T.C. Williams High School graduates — sprinter Noah Lyles, high-jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend and boxer Troy Isley. In fact, Lyles just had a comic book biography published in the Washington Post. If you’re a fan of the Olympic games, check out this list of local restaurants celebrating with special events and meals.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Woman claims she was roofied at Old Town restaurant
  2. Residents protest against conditions at West End apartment complex
  3. Developers eye Beauregard redevelopment with West End upgrades on the horizon
  4. Former chef at ‘The Alexandrian’ opening new restaurant in Arlandria on Monday
  5. No injuries after shots fired in Braddock area on Wednesday
  6. DASH takes lessons from D.C., Baltimore and Oregon in eliminating bus fares
  7. ‘Call Your Mother Deli’ signs lease in Old Town
  8. After last month’s Democratic primary, Republican Darryl Nirenberg tops campaign donation leaderboard
  9. New city health improvement plan aims to fix inequities
  10. Poll: Have you been to the Winkler Botanical Preserve?
  11. Lee-Fendall House to throw speakeasy party to finance building repairs

Have a safe weekend!

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Morning Notes

Taser, pepper spray used by Arlington police to restrain Alexandria man — “Arlington County Police used a taser and pepper spray against an Alexandria man Wednesday after he resisted arrest at a Pentagon City business, according to the daily crime report. Officers were dispatched around 12:17 p.m., to a business in the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street for the report of a trespassing. The officers learned that the business wanted to ban Dupree Stringfellow, 27, of Alexandria. During their investigation, police determined there was an active warrant for Stringfellow’s arrest.” [Patch]

Alexandria’s The Italian Place rolling out eatery in Merrifield — “The Italian Place had planned to welcome customers to its new spot at 2985 District Avenue (Suite 190) this Saturday (July 24), but the grand opening will be delayed to August because more time is needed to prepare, owner and CEO Adriana Penachio-Sifakis says.” [Tysons Reporter]

Alexandria Police Department entrance exam is on July 26 — “Do you want to join the APD family and serve the City of Alexandria? We just added a new date for the written exam. The next test is this Monday, July 26, at 5:00 p.m.” [Twitter]

Mayor averages 5-6 hours of sleep every night — “I usually do 5-6 hours a night. I try to be in bed by 2 most nights and usually up a little after 7. If I run in the morning, I usually go out around 6, so I try to be in bed a little after midnight. I’m sure this sleep schedule is not remotely healthy for me!” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy skies (during the day). High 87F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy skies (in the evening). Low 68F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Store manager — “Come work with us at Spencer’s & Spirit Halloween, where you’ll be working with the best and brightest colleagues as you help us deliver the most fun experience and product possible to our guests. We’re fast-paced and take our work seriously, but we always have a good laugh at the end of the day. Walk through our stores or the halls of our corporate office and you’ll see firsthand that we’re laidback and irreverent. We’re firm believers in being true to YOU, so tattoos and piercings are as common as water cooler convos. Whether it’s critiquing our new exclusive costumes or quality testing newly implemented software technology, our teams understand the importance of working collaboratively to challenge status quo and achieve our goals. We keep pushing ourselves to go above and beyond and are looking for top talent to become a part of our team!” [Indeed]

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What a hot week in Alexandria.

With temperatures hovering in the mid-90s, the week started with a power outage at a 17-story apartment building in Landmark area. The outage lasted five days and residents had to find accommodations until the building reopened Friday afternoon.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria experienced a slight uptick, and the health department says unvaccinated residents account for a majority of new cases. There have been 39 new cases reported so far this month in the city, and 13 cases were reported on July 9. That was the biggest single-day jump since May 20, when 18 new cases were reported.

In school news, this week we spoke with Alexandria High School Principal Peter Balas, who said that his staff are ready to fully reopen for full-time in-person instruction when the 2021-2022 school year starts on August 24.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Here’s the plan for Alexandria’s birthday celebration this weekend
  2. City Council approves massive high-rise project without affordable housing near Eisenhower Metro station
  3. ‘Call Your Mother Deli’ signs lease in Old Town
  4. Del. Mark Levine raises eyebrows with letter that passes buck on constituent service
  5. Shortened Alexandria Birthday celebration is still on for July 10
  6. Alexandria City High School is ready to reopen at full capacity next month, principal says
  7. School Board Member Jacinta Greene faces reelection, wants race relations taught in ACPS
  8. Tropical Storm Elsa’s dregs tear through southern Alexandria
  9. Poll: Do you agree with reallocation of school resource officer funding?
  10. West End high-rise apartment building evacuated after power outage
  11. The Alexandria Police, Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department all want raises

Have a safe weekend!

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Rodrigo Ferman, a former chef at the The Alexandrian hotel in Old Town, is opening “Ferman Bar and Grill” in Arlandria on Monday, July 19.

Ferman, who cooked at The Alexandrian and Hotel Monaco for 15 years, spent the last three months renovating the interior of 4112 Mount Vernon Avenue. The space was formerly occupied by Chirilagua Pollo & Steak, and the overhaul includes new flooring, the installation of three new booths and an extended counter.

“To cook good food you need passion, and if you do things with passion they work out,” Ferman said. “It’s going to be a happy, exciting place.”

Ferman has applied for a beer and wine license and plans on serving Latin American cuisine with high-end American breakfasts and brunches on the weekends. Rotisserie Peruvian chicken and fajitas with all the fixings are still on the menu, and entrees will range between $10 and $15, he said.

Ferman and his wife lost their jobs last year, and got a third piece of shocking news — they were going to have a baby. Now, with a 15-month-old daughter, he says the time is now to open his first restaurant. He’s also working on a website for the business, as well as linking up with Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash.

“I’m really good,” he said. “People will come to this shopping center just to eat at Ferman Bar and Grill.”

The restaurant will be open for breakfast at 6 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. every Sunday to Wednesday, and from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.

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This fall, a little space just off Little River Turnpike will become the latest spot for small regional chain Taco Bamba. For the restaurant owner, the restaurant will also be a full-circle return to where his culinary career got started.

The Landmark neighborhood will be the seventh Taco Bamba, Chef Victor Albisu said in a press release. The Taco Bamba will open at 6259 Little River Turnpike. The restaurant will feature and indoor/outdoor bar and a seasonal patio area.

The site is significant for Albisu, who grew up in nearby Annandale and worked in his mother’s market in the Landmark neighborhood.

“”I haven’t been this excited about opening a Taco Bamba since we debuted our first location eight years ago this month,” Albisu said. “I worked at my mother’s Latin market in Landmark while growing up in nearby Annandale where I graduated from high school. I got an early education in global cuisine between my mom’s store and the area’s delicious Italian, West African, Korean, and Middle Eastern restaurants. And I have fond memories of spots like Generous George’s, Starvin Marvin, and H I Ribsters. It’s a community that is close to my heart and I can’t wait for Taco Bamba to be a part of it.”

The restaurant will feature the usual mix of tacos and tostadas, but the Landmark location will have an exclusive empanada on its menu. Albisu said the restaurant will also have specific types of tacos for the Landmark location that honor other nearby local restaurants and some old favorites that have since closed.

The Taco Bamba bar will have cocktails with a focus on agave drinks.

Albisu said he hopes the restaurant will draw from other surrounding neighborhoods, like Bailey’s Crossroads, Lake Barcroft, Cameron Station and other parts of Alexandria when it opens sometime this fall.

Courtesy Google Maps

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Morning Notes

ACPS wants input on how to spend COVID relief funds — “Feedback on use of the American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief can be provided through June 18, while the Equity for All Climate Survey is open through June 20.” [Patch]

Memorial bike ride Sunday at for bicyclist killed — “Join FABB’s memorial ride in honor of Fatima Del Carmen Alvarez Romero this Sunday, June 13, at 10:00 am at Huntington Metro kiss and ride lot. Ride to crash site for a moment of remembrance and to call for much-needed safety measures. Please wear white and bring signs.” [Twitter]

Karma Modern Indian Eyes Expansion into Old Town — “Karma Modern Indian, a Michelin-recognized destination for fine Indian cuisine in downtown Washington, D.C., is opening a sister restaurant in Alexandria. Dubbed Kismet Modern Indian, the restaurant will be at 111 N. Pitt St. and is set for a fall opening. The location was formerly home, for a short time, to BurgerFi and before that, Ireland’s Own. The late Pat Troy presided over the legendary spot for more than three decades.” [Alexandria Living]

Mayor Wilson named president of Virginia Transit Association — “VTA is a nonprofit corporation of transit professionals from public and private organizations; it includes transit systems from across the state, businesses that serve transit systems and local government officials and organizations concerned about transportation, mobility, affordable access to employment and quality of life issues.” [Zebra]

Alexandria to start nominating committee for collective bargaining labor relations administrator — “The City has been notified that each of the following groups are interested in having a representative on the nominating committee: American Federation of State; County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); International Union of Police Associations (IUPA); and the Southern States Police Benevolent Association (PBA). To participate on the nominating committee, any employee organization interested in representing a bargaining unit must notify the City Manager by email at [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16.” [City of Alexandria]

West End Business Association hosting COVID meeting for restaurants — The Alexandria Health Department will update restaurant owners on how to open post-COVID. Homegrown Restaurant Group’s “Mango” Mike Anderson will also speak at the event, which will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, at Glory Days Grill. [Facebook]

Today’s weather — “Rain (during the day). High near 70F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch. Locally heavy rainfall possible… Rain early (in the evening)… then remaining cloudy with showers late. Low around 65F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Dog daycare playroom attendant — “If you are a hard and reliable worker looking for a fun and rewarding job, we encourage you to apply. We are also offering a limited-time signing bonus to those who can reliably commit to the job for at least 4 months.” [Indeed]

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Bob and Edith’s Diner officially announced plans to open this fall inside the shell of what had been Ernie’s Original Crab House at 1743 King Street, the company said in a press release.

The new location is the sixth Bob & Edith’s Diner — a tiny franchise that started in Arlington in 1969 –and the second in Alexandria, with another one at 5918 North King’s Highway. According to the press release, the diner will be open 24/7.

“My dad became an integral part of the Arlington community when he opened our original location, and my family has continued that tradition as we’ve continued to expand the Bob & Edith’s Diner brand,” Greg Bolton, owner of Bob & Edith’s Diner, said in the press release. “My family and dedicated staff are in our restaurants every day, and we can’t wait to become a part of the Old Town Alexandria community when we open our doors later this year.”

The new location is planned to include the same diner-staples as other locations: all-day breakfast, lunch options like sandwiches, bottomless hot coffee, freshly baked pies and hand-spun milkshakes.

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Morning Notes

Virginia State Police Car Chase Ends With Arrest — “State police found the vehicle heading north on the Beltway near Braddock Road. A state trooper tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver sped away. Police say the vehicle reached speeds above 100 mph and struck three vehicles and a trooper’s vehicle during the pursuit.” [Patch]

Stomping Ground to Open ‘The Alley’ — “The Alley’s menu is available for sampling now at Stomping Ground, at 2309 Mt. Vernon Ave. Stomping Ground is the brainchild of Nicole Jones, who is also working on opening a new venture at The Atrium in Old Town.” [Alexandria Living]

Nominations Open for Alexandria Celebrates Women Awards — “Know an essential worker who has benefited Alexandria in a positive way? A nurse, postal worker, or law enforcement official? The selection period is open until March 15.” [Zebra]

Lost Boy Cider Awarded at Governor’s Cup — “Alexandria’s own Lost Boy Cider won several awards at the 2021 Virginia Governor’s Cup and is in the running for Best in Show. This is the first year that Virginia cider was judged in its own category. There were 27 entries in 2021 in the cider category. Lost Boy Cider’s 2020 Comeback Kid won a gold medal.” [Alexandria Living]

Old Town Irish Pubs Having Guinness Contest — Participate in the Guinness Challenge between Murphy’s and O’Connell’s! Help both restaurants sell 10,000 pints of Guinness for the benefit of Christ House Food Pantry of Alexandria.” [Twitter]

50% Off All Things Meatball at Lena’s on National Meatball Day — “National Meatball Day is Tuesday, March 9! To celebrate, Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap is offering 50 percent off on on all menu items that include meatballs. So have a plate of spaghetti, a pizza, or panini.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny (during the day). High around 45F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph… A mostly clear sky (in the evening). Low 29F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Pool Technician — “Starting pay for candidates with no experience is $36,000/yr. Candidates with 1+ years of experience in the pool service field should expect starting pay of $38,000+/ yr. You must have the capability of operating independently and the ability to drive our vehicles (pickup trucks and vans), a clean driving record is required.” [Indeed]

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The owner of a hookah lounge has filed a special use permit to operate a hookah lounge and restaurant in the West End.

Diko Bar and Lounge would take over at the former home of the all-vegan Chez Hareg Cafe at 5245 Duke Street. The 1,200-square-foot location is next door to Shooter McGee’s, across the street from the Canterbury Square Condominiums and near the Alexandria Fire Station 208.

The location can accommodate 47 people inside, 18 people outside and has a 145-space parking lot. The SUP was requested for a new use at the space, which is the former home to Sangeet Alexandria Halal Meat and Grocery and Chez Hareg Cafe.

Owner Diko Woldehawariate could not be reached for comment, and details are scarce. The business has no website or social media. Woldehawariate wants to run it from noon to 2 a.m. seven days a week, according to the application. The menu includes beef and chicken shwarma, kabobs, Ethiopian dishes and desserts.

Public comments on the application are open until March 4, 2021, after which the application goes before the Planning Commission and then City Council for final approval.

Photo via Google Maps

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Popular sandwich franchise Jersey Mike’s Subs has opened a new location at 360 S. Pickett Street in the West End Village.

The new location opened between Taste of Asia and Mediterranean Bakery and Cafe in the former location of Ace Wig and Hair, but has been empty since at least 2018.

The sandwich shop launched with a partnership with Together We Bake, a local nonprofit workforce training program, offering a free regular sub when guests display a coupon and make a $2 donation to the nonprofit.

“We’re excited to partner with the new Jersey Mike’s at 360 S. Pickett Street which opens Monday 2/15!” the nonprofit said on Facebook. “In addition to becoming one of our Employer Partners, Jersey Mike’s will be offering free regular subs when you donate a minimum of $2 to TWB at checkout from 2/15-2/19.”

The restaurant is open every day from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

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