Alexandria, VA

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A new bubble tea joint near the Braddock Road Metro station called Spill the Tea could start serving next month.

The restaurant will be located at 515 Braddock Road, in the space once occupied by the now-shuttered Aveda. The exact opening date for Spill the Tea is still TBD, however.

According to co-owner Natalie Hilunmonkul, the restaurant is finishing up some construction but plans to open sometime in December.

“We haven’t really found any other place that has a full bubble tea bar,” Hilunmonkul said of potential local competition.

The shop will focus on bubble tea, but Hilunmonkul said it will also serve food.

“For the most part, the menu will be small and simple,” Hilunmonkul said. “We’ll have classic milk teas and fruit teas, maybe seasonal items. For food, we’re keeping it simple: soups, salads, and Vietnamese summer rolls.”

Vernon Miles and Airey contributed to this story

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A new restaurant is in the works for the former Eamonn’s and PX spot at 728 King Street.

Tentatively labeled as “The Handover,” the restaurant has filed permit applications this week, seeking to serve beer and wine in a space with a seating capacity of up to 100.

A lawyer listed as representing the company behind the application — Monarch Novelties LLC — could not be reached for comment. No phone number was listed.

Construction is currently underway inside the building, with crews refurbishing the floors on the upper level where PX once was.

PX, a local speakeasy popular with fans of craft cocktails — a number of local officials were regulars, too — closed earlier this year, as did Eamonn’s, the fish and chip shop on the ground floor.

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Korean chicken restaurant Choong Man Chicken is coming to the northwest corner of Alexandria.

Paperwork filed for the new restaurant says it will be moving into Suite 4668 at Shoppes at Summit Centre (4700 King Street), though suite is currently home to nail salon that said they have no plans to close, while the nearby Suite 4686 is currently vacant.

The restaurant currently operates four other locations — in Annandale, Centreville, Gainesville and Fairfax. According to staff at another location, the restaurant is very tentatively scheduled to open in roughly two months.

Choong Man Chicken’s menu focuses, unsurprisingly, on chicken. Flavors range from simple fried chicken to curry and spicy garlic varieties, while options vary from wings and chicken tenders at $11 to whole chickens for $21.

The restaurant is also applying for an ABC permit to serve soju — an alcoholic drink from Korea — and beer.

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Morning Notes

Most City Facilities Open on Monday — “City of Alexandria government offices, libraries and recreation centers will be open on Monday, November 11.” [City of Alexandria]

Veterans Day Ceremony Planned — “The City of Alexandria and Friends of Rocky Versace will host the 18th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11, 1-2 p.m. at Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Ave.).” [City of Alexandria]

More Details About ‘The Mill’ — “A restaurant partner has been announced for The Mill, a southern market and kitchen slated for a historic warehouse on the Alexandria waterfront. Builder Murray Bonitt of Bonitt builders announced James Beard Award-winning Chef John Currence will lead the restaurant concept.” [Patch, Zebra]

Del Ray Mom Has Tasty Business — “Heather Stouffer, who lives and works in Alexandria, launched Mom Made Foods from a card table at the Del Ray Farmers Market in 2006. The company is now helping parents nationwide and is on the cusp of launching a new option for lunch boxes.” [Alexandria Living]

Hazmat Scare Was Just Flour — “Scanner: Alexandria firefighters and hazmat team dispatched to a local trail for a report of a suspicious white powder. Arriving units determined the substance to be flour, used by local runners to mark the trail.” [Twitter]

Backups on King Street Due to Chicken Sandwich — “Around lunchtime today, the sandwich was causing a traffic jam in front of the Popeyes at 4675 King Street… One lane was effectively blocked along westbound King Street approaching the Walter Reed/Beauregard Street intersection as drive-thru customers waited over 40 minutes to get their hands on the savory combination of bread, fried chicken and sauce.” [ARLnow]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Leaders Weigh in on Nats World Series Win — From City Councilman Mo Seifeldein: “This a moment to celebrate the @Nationals, hope, and resiliency! The beauty of sports and sportsmanship.” [Twitter, Twitter]

More Details About Italian Restaurant in Old Town — “Hank’s Oyster Bar owner Jamie Leeds is ready to introduce a new concept to her otherwise seafood-focused restaurant group: Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen. The revamped Italian restaurant replaces Hank’s Pasta Bar in Old Town Alexandria, which closed last month to add a second-story event space and rooftop bar.” [Washingtonian, Eater]

VT Innovation Campus Now Accepting Applications — “Virginia Tech is accepting applications for the first degree program to be run out of its new Innovation Campus at Potomac Yard in Alexandria. The program is a new master’s of engineering degree in computer science.” [Washington Business Journal]

‘Lantern Night’ Coming to Alexandria — “Inspired by the European tradition of Martinmas, the event is open to all and invites attendees to come with handmade lanterns, enjoy songs of hope and light by the Kinderchoir, and then convene outside for a community sing-a-long and circle while dancing under the stars. Cookies will be provided! The event will take place at 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, at Convergence (1801 N. Quaker Lane).” [Zebra]

Remembering an Alexandria All-Star — “Today in 1916, Leon Day, star Negro League baseball player born in [Alexandria]; voted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.” [Twitter]

Library Marks National Cat Day — “Who knew #NationalCatDay was this close to Halloween? In celebration of both, the Local History branch offers this photo of former Alexandria resident Ernest Bratton, a famous Voodoo doctor also known as Dr. Buzzard, and his cat, from the Alexandria Gazette Collection.” [Twitter]

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Bonjour ya’ll, a new restaurant called French & Southern is headed to 1625 King Street, just a couple blocks east of the King Street Metro station.

The restaurant is planned to face King Street on the ground floor of the new Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria, currently under construction and scheduled to open with the rest of the hotel in January 2020.

The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that reflects a range of influences from Paris to the American South, according to Visit Alexandria. It will operate from 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Pending an ABC permit, plans for the restaurant also include cocktails in the evenings. Hyatt’s website describes the restaurant’s vibe as “elegant yet casual.”

Once it’s open, the hotel will have 124 hotel rooms and 10,000 square feet of office space, according to the Alexandria Times.

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Taqueria Senora Lola ain’t the only new taqueria game coming to town.

In the West End, Taqueria Picoso (1472 N. Beauregard Street) is eyeing a December opening at The Shops at Mark Center, according to employees working on the building. The spot was formerly a Thai restaurant, according to Alexandria Living.

The taco-centric eatery comes from local restaurant vet Tom Voskuil, formerly of Chef Geoff’s, Tallula/Eatbar and Green Pig Bistro.

“We are in the process of opening a very authentic taqueria!” Voskuil says on his LinkedIn page. “We have approvals for our vertical al pastor roaster. Importing corn from Oaxaca for our tortilla machine, which will produce 720 tortillas/hour. $3 tacos that taste like true tacos from CDMX.”

Taqueria Picoso obtained an ABC permit and Voskuil said the restaurant will serve margaritas and micheladas.

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Morning Notes

New Silver Diner to Open Next Year — “Silver Diner will open one of its newest location at a mixed-use development… near Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria campus. The 6,600-square-foot restaurant will be part of Weingarten Realty Investors’ West Alex, a Harris Teeter-anchored building at King and North Beauregard streets. It will open next summer.” [WTOP]

Free Flu Vaccines on Saturday — “The Alexandria Health Department will host a free flu shot clinic on October 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Patrick Henry Elementary School (4643 Taney Ave.). Flu shots are available for adults and children ages six months and older at no cost. No insurance or proof of residency is required.” [City of Alexandria]

Big Donation for Local Food Program — “On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington’s St. Lucy Food Project gave ALIVE! (ALexandrians In Volved Ecumenically) 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food! It was also World Food Day, which is known locally as Alexandria Food Day.” [Zebra]

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The new Taqueria Senora Lola is now open at 3901 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria.

Owner Oswaldo Salinas said the restaurant — adjacent to Salinas’ other eateryLilian’s Restaurant, opened two weeks ago and had a grand opening event this past Saturday.

“We had kids come by and had ice cream,” Salinas said. “People have really enjoyed it so far.”

There is no shortage of Latin cuisine in Arlandria, but Salinas said he wanted to open something that was taqueria specific.

The restaurant offers a variety of tacos at $3.50 apiece and sandwiches for $8.95. There are also salad bowls, burritos, enchiladas and more Mexican cuisine staples for around $10.

For those visiting for the first time, Salinas recommended trying the restaurant’s tortas with Oaxaca cheese.

The restaurant is currently applying for an ABC permit, and Salinas said he hopes to add margaritas and piña coladas to go with tacos.

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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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Frozen custard truck Goodies could be opening as a bricks-and-mortar frozen custard stand at the iconic ice house at the corner of Payne Street and Commerce Street in Old Town.

First, however, the D.C.-based custard business needs to clear the hurdle of obtaining a Special Use Permit.

Goodies owner Brandon Byrd described the decision to open his classic Wisconsin-style frozen custard shop in the brick structure built in 1931 as a perfect marriage. The building was an ice house built to keep milk and produce cold before freezers and mechanical ice-makers made such buildings redundant.

Byrd’s roving Goodies truck features a selection of classic sundaes, milkshakes and root beer floats — a formula expected to be largely duplicated at the new Alexandria location.

“It really made a lot of sense to use that particular space,” Byrd said. “It [is] a throwback to yesteryear. It’s a classic American experience, like going to the soda fountain and having a milkshake, but you don’t see that anymore. It’s a thing of the past. There’s a lot of similarities there, a lot of crossover appeal, in a cool little space.

Plans show the building as being an exclusively outdoor establishment. As with ice cream shops of old, the designs show customers would come up to the store window and order, with seating of up to twenty in the triangular lot in front of the building. Byrd noted that the space inside the building is small, so he mainly intends that to be where the food is prepared. The menu will primarily be the same cold desserts served by the truck, but Byrd said he plans to mix it up with seasonal items.

The building has fallen into disuse for years but Byrd said it was love at first sight when he saw it.

“I can put my hands on it,” Byrd said. “I can touch it and feel it. It’s not a strip mall, where you’re limited to what you can do to make it your own. To be able to be hands-on with this… I’m just extremely excited. I want it to be in a community that resonated with nostalgia. That’s Alexandria.”

If all goes well with the permitting, Byrd said he hopes to open sometime in spring 2020.

Goodies will, of course, have some competition in Alexandria. Long-time Del Ray dessert spot Dairy Godmother is also noted for its Wisconsin-style frozen custard.

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A proposal to install a bar carved from shipping containers on the waterfront will approach its first hurdle to approval next week.

After a deferral at what may have been the shortest Board of Architectural Review meeting on record — at one minute, 26 seconds — the bar at Robinson Landing (314 Strand Street) is docketed for the review at the group’s Wednesday, Oct. 16 meeting.

The plan is to have a small kitchen, outdoor bar, and lounge located on a pier jutting out from Robinson Landing.

The proposal comes from Alexandria Restaurant Partners, a group that owns a collection of Old Town restaurants like Mia’s Italian Kitchen and Vola’s Dockside Grill. An indoor-outdoor Mediterranean-inspired wine bar, Barca, is planned for one of the two containers, according to the Washington Business Journal.

In addition to the location’s unique position on the water, the bar is notable for being located inside two 30-foot shipping containers.

Structural work to the containers will include retractable canopies over the seating areas. A gas heater and three gas fire pits are also planned to keep bar-goers warm during colder weather.

Photos courtesy City of Alexandria 

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