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Juice Box in Old Town North (image via City of Alexandria)

A juice trailer parked in North Old Town is headed to Planning Commission review next month after a zoning inspection triggered by a complaint found it was not in compliance with city ordinance.

Juice Box Old Town is a cold-pressed mobile juice bar set up at 500 North Union Street, near Founders Park. The Juice Box website describes it as a perfect site to catch locals and visitors walking along the river. What it was not, a staff report said, was in compliance with city zoning ordinance.

“On June 10, 2022, a zoning inspection of the subject site was conducted after the City received complaints of the operation of a commercial trailer,” the report said. “A Zoning Inspector confirmed that a trailer was being used as retail juice establishment at the subject site and the proprietor was informed of the need to bring the trailer into compliance through Special Use Permit approval. To bring the business into compliance with the City’s Zoning Ordinance, the applicant has submitted the current application for an after-the-fact SUP review.”

It is likely Juice Box will get that approval, though, with the staff report recommending approval and saying the trailer makes a welcome addition to the city’s efforts to make the waterfront more vibrant.

“Staff recommends approval of the applicant’s request for a temporary trailer. The temporary trailer would provide a desirable amenity in close proximity to the City’s active waterfront area and in a location where this relatively small business would not impact the surrounding commercial and residential neighborhood.”

The trailer turns the empty lot into a space for beverages; offering pressed juice, water and coffee at a walk-up window.

The report also said there’s no reason to believe the trailer would impact parking of traffic flow.

Juice Box is a seasonal business, and the report said the trailer will be permitted for up to two years beginning on April 1, 2023, when the business reopens. Additional years could be approved via an administrative special use permit.

The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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Burgers, fries and drinks from Five Guys (via Facebook)

Five Guys is moving its corporate headquarters to Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The burger chain, which opened its first location in Arlington in 1986, has been headquartered in Lorton for nearly a decade. It is moving to a 40,000-square-foot space on the fifth floor of 1940 Duke Street in the Carlyle Crescent building.

Contractor L.F. Jennings lists the project on its website, and says that the interior construction schedule will run from January to June 2023. The work includes new flooring, drywall and tile installation.

The building is located by the intersection of Duke and Delaney Streets, near the Whole Foods Market (1700 Duke Street).

Five Guys opened its second and third locations in Alexandria before experiencing explosive growth by franchising in 2003. There are now more than 1,600 locations around the world and more than 1,500 in the works.

Five members of the Murrell family started Five Guys in 1986 with a simple concept — fresh burgers and fries without all the frills. All their food is free of trans fats, the restaurants use fresh ground beef, the fries are cooked in peanut oil and the food is not stored in freezers.

Via Facebook

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Buffet at Bollywood Masala La Plata (via Bollywood Masala/Facebook)

Old Town could be getting a new Indian restaurant next year, replacing a sushi restaurant in the heart of Old Town.

According to a recently filed special use permit, Ichiban Sushi and Ramen at 211 King Street in Old Town could be undergoing a change to become a new Bollywood Masala.

Bollywood Masala is an Indian restaurant currently based out of La Plata, Maryland. The restaurant features dishes like vindaloo and the eponymous masala along with other regionally-based meals like lamb gosht and various types of curry. The restaurant also features chai and coffee on the menu.

Staff at Bollywood Masala said the restaurant is currently working through the permitting process but the plan is to open in summer 2023.

Photo via Bollywood Masala/Facebook

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Alexandria land use attorney Cathy Puskar was named the 2022 Business Leader of the Year by the Chamber ALX at its annual Best In Business awards on Thursday night (Oct. 27), and restaurant Chadwicks (203 Strand Street) was named Overall Business of the Year.

Puskar, a well-known attorney with Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, thanked a packed ballroom in the Westin Alexandria Old Town, and said that it means a lot since she’s a native Alexandrian.

“I don’t just ‘Remember the Titans,'” said Puskar, a 1985 graduate of T.C. Williams High School (now Alexandria City High School). “I am a Titan.”

Alexandria land use attorney Cathy Puskar was named business leader of the year by the Chamber ALX, October 27, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Puskar frequently represents landowners in major development projects, like Inova Alexandria Hospital’s massive redevelopment of Landmark Mall.

She added, “I love living in a vibrant progressive city where I’m surrounded every day and tonight by family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and ‘YIMBYs’ who share a vision for moving our city forward, championing economic development, supporting our public schools, celebrating our diversity, helping others, and bringing the fun back to Alexandria.”

Chadwicks owner Trae Lamond accepted the Overall Business of the Year award.

“Anyone that’s told you that a business starts from the top down is wrong,” Lamond said after receiving the award. “We’ve got dishwashers, busboys, servers — they’ve been there for  25 years. They’re the reason Chadwicks is standing here now.”

The Awards

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There’s a new cheap lunch spot in Old Town. On Halloween — Monday, October 31 — franchise Falafel Inc will formally open at 726 King Street.

Foodies may remember that the location is the former home to Nicecream, the shop that made ice cream with liquid nitrogen, which closed a year ago.

Lunch at Falafel Inc. costs $10 or less, with entrees ranging between $5 and $7, and sides (Baklava, hummus, pita bread)  ranging in price from $1 to $4.

The menu is simple:

  • Falafel sandwich, $5 — Falafel, letuce, red cabbage, pali salad, tatbili, tahini and red sauce on a fresh-baked pita.
  • Falafel bowl, $6 — Falafel, red cabbage, tabouli, tomato, cucumber, pickles, and greens, with chips
  • Shawarma sandwich, $6 — Vegan meat, red ummi cabbage, lettuce, pickles and special sauce
  • Rice shawarma bowl $7 — Vegan shawarma meat, red umani cabbage, pali salad, pickles and special sauce, on a bed of rice

The company was founded in D.C. in 2015 by entrepreneur Ahmad Ashkar, and there are three locations in Washington, D.C., as well as locations in Tysons Corner and Los Angeles.

The restaurat will be open from 12 to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

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Zenn Press juices (image via Zenn Press/Instagram)

Zenn Press, a wellness-focused juice bar and cafe in Fairfax, is planning to open a new location in the heart of Old Town.

Zenn Press’ owner filed a special use permit application to open a new cafe at 806 King Street — formerly a Galt & Bro. jewelry store.

According to the Zenn Press website:

At Zen Press, we have one goal in mind — crafting the perfect recipes that will boost your wellness and elevate your nutrition in the best way possible. With our fresh flavors and natural ingredients, all that’s left to do is choose the daily blend that will turn your day around and get you the glow you deserve. Meet your daily ritual — stay fresh, stay balanced.

The menu features healthy and vegan-friendly sandwiches, bowls and more. The application said the new location will serve juice and coffee along with prepped meals, salads and sandwiches with no cooking done on-site. The application also said the cafe is hoping to have outdoor dining.

The new location will be open every day from 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

Photo via Zenn Press/Instagram

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Sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s (photo via Jersey Mike’s/Facebook)

Popular sandwich franchise Jersey Mike’s Subs is opening a new location in Alexandria tomorrow.

The shop is opening at 3219 Duke Street — formerly Sweet Frog — on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

In addition to in-store dining, guests can order through the website or app and delivery is available. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., seven days a week.

The grand opening will coincide with a fundraiser — kind of. The fundraiser is running from Wednesday to Sunday, Oct. 23, supporting the One Love Foundation, but donations are only valid for customers who received a coupon through a “grassroots effort” prior to opening and it is not available on online, app, or third-party orders.

“Customers who receive a special fundraising coupon distributed through a grassroots effort prior to the opening can make a minimum $3 contribution in-store to One Love Foundation in exchange for a regular sub,” the restaurant said in a release. “Customers must have a coupon to be eligible. Coupons are not available for online, app, or third-party orders.

Photo via Jersey Mike’s/Facebook

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After a two-and-half year hiatus, The Tasting Room (1602 King Street) has reopened in Old Town.

The 2,500-square-foot restaurant is owned by Lorien Hotel & Spa, which also owns BRABO (1602 King Street) next door. Both restaurants are run by Executive Chef Fredy Garciaguirre, who was promoted from executive sous chef over the summer.

The Tasting Room softly reopened on October 5, and there will be a grand opening later this month, although a definite date has not been set.

On the menu, expect to find hearth-baked goat cheese with spicy tomato-pesto and a warm baguette, skillet cornbread with jalapeno honey butter, and other French staples. The signature cocktail menu features Sweet Old Town, a concoction of Blanco rum, pineapple juice, vanilla syrup and lime juice.

Hotel General Manager Phillip Blane says that the restaurant has a fresh vibe.

“We are so thrilled to bring this restaurant back for the Alexandria community and area visitors to enjoy again,” Blaine said. “It will be a destination perfect for pre-dinner tipples, grabbing a beer with a neighbor, or enjoying a nightcap. A great addition to Alexandria’s thriving culinary scene.”

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A pizza (courtesy photo via Andy’s Pizza)

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.

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Halloween pop-up bar ‘Nightmare On The Avenue’ is back in Del Ray.

The pop-up bar at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue is decorated for the occasion, and offers spooky cocktails and snacks in the space previously home to the Tiki Bar Del Ray pop-up.

Customers can snack on light fare, like nightmare nachos, while drinking Harry Potter-themed butter beer, a Vampire’s Kiss (Tito’s vodka, pumpkin pie syrup, pumpkin puree, heavy cream and sugar) and the Insane Clown Painkiller (Pusser’s Rum, Coco Lopez, pineapple juice, orange juice and nutmeg).

Owner Bill Blackburn of the Homegrown Restaurant Group told ALXnow that customers are in for a spirited time.

“It’s a great spot to get into the Halloween spirit,” Blackburn said. “We wanted to create a fun place with a Halloween theme, and I think we succeeded with that.”

The pop-up is located between HRG’s other Del Ray restaurants Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue.

After Halloween, the bar will be transformed into the Christmas-themed “Joy On The Avenue.”

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