Updated at 10:45 a.m. Toppers Pizza officially closed its doors at 3827 Mount Vernon Avenue last month and there is now only one of the Wisconsin-style pizza locations left in Virginia.
Toppers opened in 2017 to great fanfare in Arlandria, and was supposed to be the flagship location of a 22-store deal with locations popping up throughout Northern Virginia. In 2018, the second store opened at 6676 Richmond Highway in the Groveton area of Fairfax County, and it remains the only location in the state.
The pizza shop was located in the Del Ray North Shopping Center, which has a number of vacant units and is managed by Finmarc Management, Inc.. In August, ALXnow reported that a plan to redevelop the shopping center was scrapped due to “worsening economic conditions,” and that Finmarc would instead continue leasing on the property.
A Toppers representative said that the company does not have future development plans for the area.
The phone number for the Groveton location is out of order, but the shop at 6676 Richmond Highway is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to midnight.
After years without a by-the-slice pizza shop in Alexandria, two opened in Old Town on the same day this week.
Three months after a cryptic announcement, Andy’s Pizza has launched in Old Town at 107 N Fayette Street — while Handover by the Slice opened at 728 King Street. The latter has been referred to as Old Town’s first by-the-slice pizza joint. True to the by-the-slice pizza fashion, though, it may have to share the prize.
The Alexandria opening of Andy’s Pizza is the latest in a series of expansions for the neighborhood pizza shop, which started in D.C. and has since expanded to Tysons. Brown also recently announced a Bethesda location for Andy’s Pizza.
Andy’s Pizza made headlines last year for winning the top prize for best New York-style pizza at an international competition.
“Andy’s is a New York style slice shop with classic pies and a simple menu of salads, wings, fries, and a locally driven bar program,” Andy Brown, the restaurant’s eponymous owner, said in an email. “Old Town will be no different, pouring local draft beer and craft cocktails to guests looking for a comfortable and casual night out.”
Brown said the restaurant’s bar isn’t open yet, but it will be in around a week or two. The restaurant is only open for evenings currently but will soon be open for lunch as well.
The restaurant will be offering a free slice with any purchase on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to celebrate the grand opening.
The big news in Alexandria this week was a double homicide in the West End and the news later that the suspect had been released from jail in Arlington earlier this year.
Former Mayor Kerry Donley also died of a heart attack last week with funeral services scheduled for this Sunday, July 24.
On the brighter side: a special use permit filed with the city earlier this week revealed that Andy’s Pizza is planning on making its way into Old Town at the former Meggrolls spot (107 North Fayette Street).
- BREAKING: Botched burglary leads to double murder in West End
- Alexandria man charged for allegedly selling fentanyl from hotel rooms
- Alexandria double murder suspect was released from jail in Arlington earlier this year
- West End murder suspect charged with burglary, both shooting victims innocent bystanders
- Funeral arrangements for former Mayor Kerry Donley announced
- Acclaimed local pizza chain Andy’s Pizza coming to Old Town
- All-affordable housing development in Fairlington to open this fall
- Bonaventure breaks ground on senior apartment complex near Braddock Metro
- City of Alexandria awarded $10M for two transportation projects
- Sidewalk sale returning to Old Town next month
A new special use permit shows that regional pizza chain Andy’s Pizza could be coming to the former Meggrolls space (107 North Fayette Street) in Old Town.
The local pizza chain made waves last year after winning the top prize for New York-style pizza in the International Pizza Challenge.
“Andy’s Pizza is rumored to be coming soon to Old Town Alexandria,” eponymous owner Andy Brown said in an email. “Best known for winning the World Pizza Championship in the traditional category, Andy’s serves classic and crispy 18″ Ny Style pizza by the slice.”
The Alexandria pizzeria will be the sixth Andy’s Pizza location, with others throughout the area including one in Tysons Galleria.
Beyond just pizza, Andy’s Pizza has also built a local brew-enthusiast following for a specialized beer menu.
“Andy’s features a casual and lively bar scene with a focus on craft beer and cocktails to pair with pizza on a paper plate,” Brown said.
Stracci Pizza (106 Hume Avenue) in Del Ray could be getting an outdoors expansion with a new suite of seats and space for a trailer.
A permit to expand outdoor seating and add an outdoor trailer is scheduled for review at a Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
According to the permit, the restaurant owners are requesting:
Approval of parking our trailer in the lot at 106 Hume Ave as per Section 7-1101(C) of
the Zoning Ordinance.
Approval of outdoor dining for 46 seats.
A map of the site showed the new outdoor seating and trailer would be located on the north and western parts of the site.
Among the potential impacts from the restaurant, the smell of “delicious pizza” was listed as a potential odor.
“The smell of delicious pizza will sometimes emanate from the trailer,” the application said. “We do not use any deep friers, so the smell of grease is not an issue.”
Connecticut-based pizza shop Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana — aka Pepe’s Pizza — is planning to open in the Alexandria Commons Shopping Center (3231 Duke Street) next week.
The pizzeria announced in a release that the Alexandria location, the second in the region after one in Bethesda, Maryland, will open on Monday, July 18.
“Inspired by the look and feel of the original New Haven location, Pepe’s Pizza of Alexandria evokes the original’s comfort, familiarity, and tradition,” the pizzeria said in a release. “The 3,600-square-foot, 100-seat restaurant is visually dominated by the view of its 14 x 14-foot, 104,000-pound oven and the even more significant ‘paddle area,’ where expert pizzaiolos create made-to-order masterpieces on an oak wood table and use 16-foot-long paddles to place them in the oven.”
The menu features specialties like a clam pizza and one that’s a mix of pretty much every type of meat one would expect in the kitchen of an Italian pizzeria. The release also noted that there will be imported and domestic craft beer available.
The location will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week, with indoor dining and takeout options.
“There’s a special energy and excitement in the DMV that aligns perfectly with our restaurant,” said Sean Barry, general manager of Frank Pepe’s Alexandria, in the release. “The Bethesda community welcomed us with open arms and we are thrilled to soon debut in Alexandria.”
Image via Pepe’s Pizza/Facebook
The week was filled with trees blooming across the city during the peak for cherry blossoms.
Aside from picturesque scenes throughout Alexandria, there were some local stories that interested you all — from new pizza places to court updates in crime cases. And at the City Council’s meeting, Dominion Energy said it will invest millions of dollars in Alexandria to prevent future outages like the one at Art on the Avenue last year.
For anyone looking for something to do this evening or who wants to find a way to help Ukraine, locals organized a fundraiser to help refugees. The event is tonight (Friday) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the rooftop of 277 South Washington Street.
And, here are the top stories from the week:
- Three men indicted after bystander shot in neck at West End 7-Eleven parking lot
- Two juveniles arrested after shots fired in Arlandria
- Alexandria man indicted on first-degree murder charge in BJ’s killing
- Inova campus concept plans at former Landmark site filed with city
- Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana coming to Alexandria Commons Shopping Center
- Alexandria officials push back against ACPS ‘cover up’ story
- Suspect breaks into Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy through roof
- Alexandria police officer arrested, charged with domestic assault and battery
- West End murder suspect’s case to go before grand jury next month
- Alexandria hotel tailors stay to dogs as industry leans into pet-friendly accommodations
Have a great weekend Alexandria!
Thinking about going into business in the Alexandria area?
It can sometimes be easier to buy an existing business, and the latest listings on BizBuySell show all kinds of companies in and around the city.
The website aggregates numerous business sale listings, and the names and locations are generally left out.
Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively run the business.
Here are some that are currently listed:
- Low rent bakery for sale — “Specialty bakery for sale in the heart of Alexandria. This bakery is located on a very busy road surrounded by residential and retail businesses. The current owner is looking to retire and we are looking for a new owner/operator ready to expand this current business by adding a new menu with more options than the current menu. Seating inside and outside. Bring your concept to this turn key location.”
- Dog boutique in Old Town — “Incredible dog boutique store in charming and wealthy Old Town Alexandria. The business has been growing since inception in 2010.The high visibility location draws in hundreds of customers each week.”
- Truck parts distributor — “Turn Key Truck Parts Distributor! This business has been profitable for 60+ years. Loaded with Goodwill!”
- Alexandria-Falls Church nail salon — “Established, nice nail salon/spa with good income available for sale in the Falls Church, Alexandria area. Good rent. Potential for growth if adding more nail techs. Nail services comprise 80% of the business, the rest is hair services. Highly visible from main road. Good reviews. Nice and well decorated. Owner can stay and work on a part time basis. Staff will stay if new owner want.”
- Plumbing company in Alexandria part of Fairfax County — “Recent Price Adjustment a must see business. PROFITABLE, GROWING, Fully Staffed with great growth potential.”
- Former hair salon in Fairlington — “Formerly a hair salon by the name of Primary Colors, a hair salon that was in business for twenty years. Now the space is open, and is still built out to be a hair salon, but the space can also be altered to become a different business.”
- Hair salon for sale — “Great opportunity to own a small business for hairstylists who dream of owning their very own salon or a low capital investment for seasonal beauty salon owners who want to expand their business networks. The important fact to know is not about the price to buy this salon, it’s the financial ability and assets to prove to the Landlord in order to get the Landlord approval on the Leasehold of this great and unique business location.”
- Profitable restaurant for sale — “Great location, great visibility, long lease term, plenty of parking spaces, in a busy shopping center with many other businesses that crowded with customers on the daily basic, this restaurant is built up from the cold cell condition with new kitchen equipment, freezer, cooler, HVAC….., that’s clean and presenting a long useful life for new owner to do business in years to come without any major upgrading. This restaurant can be converting to other cuisine given there is no other restaurant of that cuisine is currently operated within the shopping center.”
- Highly profitable well-established restaurant for sale — “Located in the big shopping mall with a lot of traffic. Business serving dine in and high volume of carry out and perfect for any type of cuisine. Ample parking all around and lease is inexpensive. Owner is seeking a retirement.”
- Busy high-end Mediterranean restaurant — Sales at this location are listed at more than $75,000 monthly, and the seller claims that the owner income is $250,000. The restaurant seats 104, has 12 trained employees and is surrounded by commercial and residential properties.
- Dog waste removal company — “Currently have 500 active customers and growing quickly! Fully staffed and great reviews. Owner is looking to relocate and invest in a new venture.”
- Full-service restaurant with outdoor seating — “Prime location full service restaurant in the heart of Alexandria. Located on a heavy traffic road surrounded by residential, retail and offices. This restaurant has 3 floors which is great to host private events, lounge area as well as the sit down restaurant portion. The menu/concept can be kept the same or converted to your own. Large kitchen area with top of the line equipment. This is a must see location for any restauranteur looking to expand or take over an established turn key location. The current owner is ABSENTEE but ready to retire and we are looking for a new hands on owner/operator to bring this location to its full potential.”
- Profitable fast casual restaurant — “Profitable Thai restaurant in a very busy shopping center on a high traffic road in Alexandria VA. This restaurant has been in business for almost 10 years and has a great following with excellent google reviews by serving the most authentic Thai food with the highest quality ingredients in the area. All furniture, fixtures and equipment are in excellent condition and are included in the sale of this restaurant. Can be converted to fit most concepts & menus.”
- Mexican restaurant in Alexandria part of Fairfax County — “Fast casual dine in & carry out Mexican restaurant in a high traffic shopping center. This restaurant needs an updated menu with a hands on owner to manage daily business and take this location to the next level. The current Mexican menu can be changed to fit most concepts. Great layout for almost any type of fast food restaurant. All furniture, fixtures and equipment are in great working order.”
- Optometry practice — “Turnkey Optometry and Optical Business. Lease is assignable. Business is established and profitable. Optometry is considered “essential” business. Sellers will stay for transfer training. Beautiful store fully stocked with inventory, equipment, lab, exam room. 5 star location. Database, business name, website, inventory, and seller training all included. Priced below market.”
- Pizza restaurant — “Pizza restaurant established in 2014 for sale in Alexandria. This restaurant is located on a heavy foot traffic road surrounded by residential, retail and businesses. Great location with very low rent. Perfect starter restaurant for anyone looking to get into the restaurant business as well as a great location for restauranteurs looking to expand. This restaurant serves hand crafted pizzas, sandwiches and pasta’s as well as beer and wine. All furniture and fixtures are in excellent condition. High end kitchen equipment.”
- Japanese restaurant — “The restaurant is located in a busy area, and has been in the operation more than 8 years. More than 5000sf, high-class construction and decoration. The menu includes sushi, hibachi, and ramen. First generation owner since the business was founded, tons of the local customers and Japanese food fans from other places, the business can make $180k sales per month, lease can be extended definitely.”
- Barbecue chain with food trucks — “An American-style (Kansas City ) BBQ Restaurant with food trucks. They also have a nice catering component to the business. Decorated in a rustic decor, these units are located in great locations in easily accessible areas close to Washington DC.”
- Remodeling business — “After serving the community for 7 years, the current owner is ready to retire from this successful construction business. Ranked as a Top 100 Remodeling Company in the United States by Remodeling Magazine, the company provides exterior remodeling, windows, roofing, siding, gutters, doors, and attic solution services to their residential clients, tailored to fit their needs.”
- Auto sales and repair shop two blocks from Metro — “Auto use is grandfathered making this literally a once in a lifetime deal!”
Connecticut-based pizza chain Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is expanding to Alexandria.
The 97-year-old company plans on opening in early July at 3231 Duke Street in the Alexandria Commons Shopping Center, according to an email to ALXnow.
Frank Pepe’s, which is widely lauded as a classic old school pizza parlour, is also opening its first location in the region on March 28 in Bethesda, Maryland. The chain offers delivery, and is well known for pizza with a chewy, slightly charred crust.
“It may have taken nearly a century for America’s best pizza to arrive in the DMV, but we are thrilled to finally be here,” said Jennifer Kelly, granddaughter of founder Frank Pepe. “These are our family’s original recipes… We even replicated our signature coal-fired, hand-built brick oven using iron castings from the original restaurant.”
Photos via Google Maps and Facebook
Alexandria restaurant owners Larry and Kristine Ponzi plan on opening their newest St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Fairlington in mid-May. The couple, who own Cafe Pizzaiolo (1623 Fern Street) and two other St. Elmo’s shops, also just bought a family restaurant in Nags Head, North Carolina.
The Ponzis shuttered their Cafe Pizzaiolo location in Shirlington in May 2020, and then entered 2022 strong with the opening of a second St. Elmo’s in Old Town North in January. The newest St. Elmo’s will open at 1536 Kenwood Avenue in mid-May — across the street from Cafe Pizzaiono, Ponzi said.
“Let’s just say this will keep us busy this year,” said Larry Ponzi. “We have an addiction. You know, we’re trying to control our growth, but it’s hard to not grow. There’s that old saying — if you’re not growing, you’re dying. We’re making sure that we keep growing.”
In February, the couple bought the Red Drum Grill & Taphouse in Nags Head, North Carolina, and now plan to reopen it by the beginning of April.
“We’re not we’re not planning on retiring,” Ponzi said. “This is our way to have a place to go to in the latter part of our lives. We get keep keep our businesses in Alexandria, and then go to the beach the rest of the week.”
Ponzi said that the Red Barn will mostly be the same, with subtle tweaks to the menu, and some painting and remodeling.
“This business has been a very successful business for more than two decades, and we want to keep that momentum going and put our own touch on it as we go,” Ponzi said.