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You might want to get your prescriptions transferred, because CVS store and pharmacy at 3120 Duke Street in the city’s Taylor Run neighborhood is closing.

A note posted by management states that the store will be closing on Thursday, May 23. The CVS is across the street from the Alexandria Commons Shopping Center.

There are two other CVS stores on Duke Street — at 1680 Duke Street in Old Town and at 5101 Duke Street in the West End.

Map via Google Maps

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It’s not as exciting as the Washington Wizards and Capitals, but Amazon Fresh in the Potomac Yard Shopping Center is still moving forward.

The Washington Business Journal first reported that Amazon is gearing up to open at 3801 Richmond Highway.

A peek through a window at the former Shoppers Food Warehouse reveals a large grocery store with empty shelves and counters. A Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control license application is also posted on the front door showing that the retail giant applied in February to sell gourmet wine and beer.

The Washington Business Journal also found recent permit applications for the installation of refrigeration cases.

Property owner JBG Smith lists the property as a “Future Grocer.” As a policy, Amazon does not comment on its “future store roadmap.”

Amazon Fresh closed earlier this month in Crystal City, ARLnow reported. The store was open for less than two years. The company also abandoned plans to open locations in Columbia Pike and Bailey’s Crossroads after a fourth quarter earnings call in February put a halt to expansion plans.

The Shoppers in Potomac Yard closed at the end of 2019 and Amazon Fresh was announced to go into the space in 2021. It’s located in the northern section of Potomac Yard near the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and less than two miles from Amazon’s HQ2 development in Crystal City.

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The 7-Eleven at 6120 Lincolnia Road (via Google Maps)

A 30-year-old man is being held without bond for allegedly stealing juice drinks and assaulting an employee from a West End 7-Eleven.

On Feb. 7, the employee at the store at 6120 Lincolnia Road called 911 to report the incident, according to a recently released search warrant affidavit. The victim told police that the suspect walked into the store, took three-to-four juice bottles and then walked out without paying and sat across the street at a bus stop.

“The victim followed the unknown suspect outside the store to the bus stop across from the 7-Eleven,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “The victim demanded the suspect return the merchandise. The suspect put the bottles down on a nearby parked vehicle. As the victim leaned forward to grab the bottles the suspect punched him several times in the face. The suspect then took the bottles and fled the scene.”

The victim sustained a broken nose, a hematoma on his forehead and lacerations near his left eye and nose, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Churchill Oluwole Hamid was arrested on Feb. 15 for the incident and is being held without bond. He was charged with malicious wounding and petit larceny and goes to court on April 3.

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Updated 2/27: Justin Marino, owner of Mason and Greens, reached out to ALXnow. Marino said:

We would like to thank the community, the City and all who have supported our small business over the years. We had a good run, and hope we introduced you to new items that are good for you and the planet, and different ways to live a cleaner and better life. We will miss our customers the most, the Mason & Greens family wishes you the best, and much success in your journey to a more sustainable future!

Zero waste boutique Mason and Greens (913 King Street) seemingly closed in Old Town earlier this month.

The store closed earlier this month with no public notice. Calls to the store went unanswered and the doors were locked at the store, with all the interior shelves emptied.

The shop opened in Old Town in 2020 with a focus on sustainable, zero-waste products, offering an eco-friendly alternative to other grocery stores.

The other Mason and Greens location in D.C. closed last October.

A picture of the sign in front of the store just before the closing was sent to ALXnow with notes attached to the board:

We’re abruptly closing and displacing all our employees just like the DC Store! Going out of business. Goodbye. Come and get what’s left! And let the employees know about current job openings! Thanks!

Sign outside of Mason and Greens (photo contributed)
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The 7-Eleven at 800 Franklin Street was robbed on Friday, Dec. 22 (via Google Maps)

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of the 7-Eleven at 800 Franklin Street in Old Town. It’s the second time that the store has been robbed in just over a month.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at around 1:30 a.m., according to the police scanner.

A Black male wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt walked into the store, implied he had a weapon, walked behind the counter and took cash from the register, according to the police scanner. The suspect never touched the employees in the store and fled the scene on foot. Police also found a discarded blue hooded sweatshirt near the store, according to the police scanner.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

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The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the theft of an ATM stolen from the 7-Eleven at 6120 Lincolnia Road in the West End early yesterday morning.

APD was notified of a hold-up alarm in the store at around 2:30 a.m. A store employee called police and said that four male suspects entered the store, that employees were told to keep their heads down, and that the suspect fled in a vehicle, according to the police scanner.

No injuries were reported, according to APD.

There have been a number of ATM thefts in and around Alexandria this year. In November, the Fairfax County Police Department announced it was investigating a series of ATM thefts that occurred near Alexandria. In May, a truck crashed into the CVS in Del Ray and suspects unsuccessfully tried to steal the ATM, followed by a theft from a Del Ray 7-Eleven in June.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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(Updated 10/13) Chris Harvey is retiring and hopes to sell his hardware store in Del Ray as-is before the end of the year. If that doesn’t happen, he plans on selling all his merchandise at deeply discounted rates.

Chris and his brother Gary Harvey opened Executive Lock & Key Service at 2003 Mount Vernon Avenue in the mid 1990s. Chris runs the business now and Gary says he’s been trying to get his brother to retire for years.

“Hopefully I can sell it and pass the torch, because everyone in town doesn’t want us to leave,” Chris said. “Put your money together. I don’t want that much. You get half a dozen guys together and you have your workforce right there. And you all say ‘Hey, we’re the owners of a hardware store,’ and you can drink your latte and go up and down the street.”

The Harveys are T.C. Williams High School graduates and got into the hardware store business in 1986 by opening locations in Crystal City. One of their True Value stores was only 800 square feet, and Gary says it was the smallest store in the country.

“They had a 550-square-foot location in Chicago that burned down, so we took the title after that happened,” Gary said. “We had a unique clientele and we didn’t sell lawnmowers or chainsaws. We made it cutting keys and selling picture hooks and little hammers and stuff.”

Chris said that he’ll keep his rolodex of 400 customers for his key-making business, which will continue on more of a freelance basis, he said.

“I’m going to miss it, especially all the customers,” Chris said. “It’s all I’ve known, getting up early and going to work, and I like to BS with folks. I’m a BS-er. My dad was military, so if we wanted things in life we had to work. From the time I was a snotty nosed kid, I was out on a paper route, cutting grass, raking leaves.”

The small neighborhood hardware store is full of merchandise, which Chris says he will discount and sell off unless he can find a new owner to take it as-is.

“But if you’re going to buy it, you’re gonna have to commit,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of people who backed out the last minute and I told them they they wouldn’t fit in because they knew nothing about hardware. You got to be married to the business and be ready to not get home for dinner all the time. You’ve got to begin here in the trenches and be passionate about helping people.”

H/t to John Antonelli

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Alexandria land use attorney Cathy Puskar claps at the Chamber ALX Best In Business awards, October 27, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Chamber ALX has released the finalists for the Best in Business Awards, and the top businesses will be announced at a gala in Old Town next month.

It’s no secret that Don Simpson, Jr. is the chamber’s 2023 business leader of the year, since that cat was let out of the bag last month. Just who will receive the other highly coveted awards, however, is still secret. This year’s nominees are listed below, and winners are determined by a panel of previous awardees.

The Best in Business Awards, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank, will be held at the Westin Old Town Alexandria (400 Courthouse Square) from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Octo. 12. The event costs $125 for members and $150 for non-members.

Land use attorney Cathy Puskar was named business leader of the year last year. Read more about last year’s event here.

Alexandria’s 2023 Best In Business finalists

Small Business of the Year

Medium Business of the Year

Large Business of the Year

Rising Star Business of the Year

Nonprofit & Association of the Year

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T.J. Maxx is planning on moving to a sectioned-off portion of the former Shoppers Food Warehouse in Potomac Yard next month.

T.J. Maxx staff told ALXnow that the store will move from its current location at 3451 Richmond Highway and reopen at 3875 Richmond Highway on Thursday, Oct. 19.

The former Shoppers closed in 2020 and until recently was expected to be transformed into an Amazon Fresh.

Now with those plans scrapped, T.J. Maxx will take up more than half of the 50,000 square foot former grocery store, which was divided into two properties (3875 and 3801 Richmond Highway).

“The sign is up and we’re moving,” a T.J. Maxx employee said. “We’re reopening on Oct. 19. It’s very exciting, after being here all these years.”

Potomac Yard is managed by JBG Smith Properties and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which are both overseeing a massive mixed-use development of the area.

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Frank Kozuch sits behind the counter Whistle Stop Toy & Hobby with the agreeable air of a man who’d rather talk than sell.

But, he tells ALXnow, sales right now are better than ever.

The owner of the hobby shop in Fairlington Centre says that the key to his success has been adapting to the times. Gone are the days he mostly sold model trains: today, Whistle Stop Toy & Hobby caters to more hobbyists with varied interests, including board games, puzzles, kites, rockets, models and figurines.

“Too many people in life want to tell you what you should do,” Kozuch said. “Your hobby should never be that. It should be what you want.”

Kozuch’s lifelong hobby is trains. He got his first train set when he was just a year-and-a-half old, and later built his first large set on a ping pong table in the basement of his parents’ home.

He abandoned the pursuit as he got older and it was not until his mid-30s he became reacquainted with model trains. By that time, he’d earned a degree in computer science from the University of Maryland and was working as a government contractor building computer systems for the Department of Defense and the Census Bureau, among other departments.

He began selling model trains and equipment at train shows in 1993, slowly expanding these operations until he opened a brick-and-mortar shop in 2005. Even with the changes, the shop has nearly everything a model train enthusiast could ask for, from complete train sets to model buildings, trees and grass.

“The store is 85% different than when I first opened in 2005,” Kozuch said. “I wish I could sell 100% trains, but you have to be able to expand and change.”

Prompted by the pandemic, Kozuch added more supplies to cater to to the influx of parents who needed activities to do with their kids while stuck at home together. This surge in demand buoyed Whistle Stop Toy & Hobby, like other hobby shops across the country, when other retail stores were struggling.

“The government told them to stay home and they bought puzzles, models, and LEGOs for the kids,” Kozuch said, “anything with a lot of pieces to keep junior happy for two or three days.”

Families were not the only group coming to Kozuch, however. Many adults came to the store for the first time, nostalgic for and ready to dive back into childhood hobbies.

“When I come in here,” one customer told him, “this puts me back into a real calm place when I was eight years old building models.”

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