Alexandria, VA

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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Morning Notes

Beyer Says COVID Relief Legislation Will Save Economy — “Today we answered the call of the American people by advancing big, ambitious legislation in @WaysMeansCmte to help end the pandemic and save the economy. We are working to meet the nation’s need with the scale and speed that this crisis requires.” [Twitter]

Northam Sends Letter to FEMA Asking for Increased Assistance With Vaccination — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a two-page letter to FEMA and HHS leaders requesting increased support for COVID-19 vaccination efforts of essential federal employees. It specifically asks that the federal government vaccinate its own workers, including contractors and WMATA employees.” [Zebra]

Photos: Alexandria Sheriff Trainees Get Sprayed in the Eyes — “The final day of field training for these recruits wasn’t a snow day, it was OC spray day! Deputies experience OC spray in a controlled situation during training so they know what to expect and how to keep focused if they’re exposed to it in the future.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Recycles 3 Million Pounds of Glass in Two-And-A-Half Years — “In 2.5 years, Alexandrian’s have recycled over 3 million pounds of glass at the drop off purple bins! You’re also keeping glass out of city-collected recycling carts…glass contamination is down from 26% to 10%. Keep it up! ” [Twitter]

Uncle C’s Chicken & Waffles Preparing to Open on Richmond Highway — “Richmond Highway will soon be getting a new spot for fried chicken and other Southern comfort foods. Uncle C’s Chicken & Waffles is opening at 6308 Richmond Hwy. The spot was previously home to Jerry’s Subs and Pizza, which closed in early 2018.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day). High 33F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph… Cloudy in the evening. Low 28F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Police Officer — “Think you have what it takes to be one of Alexandria’s finest? The first steps are to apply and schedule a test. Apply today! Upcoming testing dates: 2/13 at 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 2/18 at 5:00 p.m., 2/22 at 5:00 p.m.” [Twitter]

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New taco shop, Taco Rock 2 is opening today at the western edge of Alexandria.

Chef Mike Cordero announced in a press release that the spin-off of Rosslyn-based Taco Rock is opening at 6548 Little River Turnpike in the Pinecrest Plaza shopping center.

“Taco Rock 2 is Chef Mike Cordero’s ninth Northern Virginia restaurant location and seats 75 guests with 20 barstools centered around the tequila bar,” the company said in a press release. “New to this location is an expanded tequila bar and a substantial outdoor patio with large garage door front windows that access the open-air space offering 48 seats for alfresco dining.”

Taco Rock two is the team’s first cast casual restaurant. Socially distanced seating will be incorporated throughout the restaurant, the company said.

“Team Cordero is thrilled to expand our footprint in Northern Virginia with the grand opening of Taco Rock 2,” Mike Cordero said in the press release. “Taco Rock is an epicurean treat that gives a nod to street food but includes a gourmet twist with our signature Blue Rock tacos. We anticipate the Alexandria community will greatly welcome our concept.”

The restaurant will mostly match the Arlington location, with tacos served on homemade blue corn tortillas. Listed offerings include breakfast tacos and vegetarian tacos. The restaurant also features a tequila bar and imported Mexican beers, along with crispy stuffed churros and ice cream tacos.

Photos courtesy Taco Rock 2

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Beloved local Del Ray coffee shop St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub has opened a new North Old Town location (529 Montgomery Street) to help anchor a budding new community.

The new coffee house opened on Saturday, Jan. 9. St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub joins Wooboi Hot Chicken and Hinata Sushi Bar and Grill on the ground floor of Gables Old Town North, a new residential development at the north end of Old Town.

According to the website, the North Old Town branch of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub offers fresh baked goods, soups and sandwiches — with an ABC permit pending for craft beer and wine.

“We really like being in neighborhoods,” Larry Ponzi, owner of the pub, said on the website. “We love to get visitors from out of town, and we do, but we really want the base of customers to be from the neighborhood.”

Photo via St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub/Facebook

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Alexandria’s newest waterfront restaurant has officially targeted Thursday, Jan. 14 as its opening.

Alexandria Restaurant Partners announced in a press release that Ada’s on the River (3 Pioneer Mill Way) will open next Thursday with dinner reservations currently available.

“Located at 3 Pioneer Mill Way at Robinson Landing, Ada’s on the River will feature spectacular waterfront views and an extensive menu including a selection of prime steaks, fresh seafood and vegetarian dishes cooked to perfection by the wood-fired oven,” Alexandria Restaurant Partners said in a press release.

According to a press release, the restaurant will be dinner-only for its first week, but will extend to lunch and weekend brunches by the end of the month.

“The waterfront is prime and ready for new dining experiences, especially one that lends itself to outdoor dining,” ARP partner Dave Nicholas said in the press release. “Ada’s 105-seat patio will be a great attraction in the area and the water views from inside are the perfect complement the extensive coal-fired menu during the winter months.”

ARP is also planning to open BARCA Pier & Wine Bar, a new restaurant built from converted shipping containers, on the waterfront at Robinson Landing in spring 2021.

Rendering via Alexandria Restaurant Partners

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A coworking space, food market and restaurant are all coming to The Atrium (277 S. Washington Street) in Old Town.

Companies W.C. & A.N. Miller Development Company and Avison Young announced in a press release that new restaurants Mae’s Market & Café and Virginia’s Darling Restaurant would be opening in the building over the next few months. Both restaurants are new ventures from Stomping Ground in Del Ray, which also expanded to Tysons in 2018 and bagel shop Bagel Uprising next door in Del Ray in 2019.

The Atrium will also be a home to Alexandria-based coworking space ALX Community. The new coworking location is scheduled to open sometime later this year.

“The timing of the location’s opening — as well as The Atrium Building itself — should be ideal for the ALX Community,” said Scott Shaw, co-founder of the coworking firm, in the press release. “Fall 2021 puts us on the other side of the pandemic, which is a plus. And we think The Atrium Building’s size, amenities and location are a winning combination for companies that have been waiting to make a move.”

The new move comes after a facelift for the building was approved last year.

Image via WC. and A.N. Miller Development Company

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A new pho restaurant is now open for business in Old Town — five months after the fact.

Pho Nam, the second location for the Gaithersburg-based company, was under construction for six months at 606 King Street. It was supposed to open in May, but got held up because of the pandemic. The restaurant officially opened on Oct. 20.

“I came here last Christmas and took a picture of how magical Old Town looked during the holiday season, and we wanted to be open this time around,” Pho Nam Old Town’s General Manager Ryan Le told ALXnow. “This is the soup season, and it’s always good to have a hot bowl of soup when it’s cold out.”

Le’s uncle Quang Nguyen emigrated to the area from Vietnam in 1977, and opened Pho Nam in Gaithersburg 20 years ago.

The building on King Street was last home to Breugger’s Bagels, which closed in 2018 after 12 years in business. Neighbors include Noodle Box Old Town and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

“When we opened we had a debate over waiting until COVID is over or just opening,” Le said. “We don’t know how long it’s going to last, so we decided to open. We’re very happy we did, and people have been willing to spread the word about our phenomenal soup.”

Pho Nam posts updates on its Instagram and Facebook pages. It does not serve alcohol and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 pm. every day of the week.

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Alexandria Restaurant Partners has filed a special use permit request to buy the old Charlie’s on the Avenue restaurant in Del Ray and turn it into a concept called “Joe’s Kitchen.”

The SUP was sent in to the city on Nov. 5, and the last day for public comments is Nov. 26.

Charlie’s (1501 Mount Vernon Avenue) closed in January after opening in the former home of Fireflies, which closed in 2017 after 15 years in business.

ARP owns  Mia’s Italian KitchenVola’s Dockside GrillRiverside Taco CompanyJoe Theismann’s RestaurantPalette 22 and The Majestic. It is also developing Ada’s On The River at Robinson Landing.

Image via Charlie’s on the Avenue Facebook

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