This fall, a little space just off Little River Turnpike will become the latest spot for small regional chain Taco Bamba. For the restaurant owner, the restaurant will also be a full-circle return to where his culinary career got started.
The Landmark neighborhood will be the seventh Taco Bamba, Chef Victor Albisu said in a press release. The Taco Bamba will open at 6259 Little River Turnpike. The restaurant will feature and indoor/outdoor bar and a seasonal patio area.
The site is significant for Albisu, who grew up in nearby Annandale and worked in his mother’s market in the Landmark neighborhood.
“”I haven’t been this excited about opening a Taco Bamba since we debuted our first location eight years ago this month,” Albisu said. “I worked at my mother’s Latin market in Landmark while growing up in nearby Annandale where I graduated from high school. I got an early education in global cuisine between my mom’s store and the area’s delicious Italian, West African, Korean, and Middle Eastern restaurants. And I have fond memories of spots like Generous George’s, Starvin Marvin, and H I Ribsters. It’s a community that is close to my heart and I can’t wait for Taco Bamba to be a part of it.”
The restaurant will feature the usual mix of tacos and tostadas, but the Landmark location will have an exclusive empanada on its menu. Albisu said the restaurant will also have specific types of tacos for the Landmark location that honor other nearby local restaurants and some old favorites that have since closed.
The Taco Bamba bar will have cocktails with a focus on agave drinks.
Albisu said he hopes the restaurant will draw from other surrounding neighborhoods, like Bailey’s Crossroads, Lake Barcroft, Cameron Station and other parts of Alexandria when it opens sometime this fall.
Courtesy Google Maps
Doyle’s Outpost just expanded their hours to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The West End’s 16,000-square-foot family-friendly gaming spot at 4620A Kenmore Avenue has eased all of its COVID restrictions, expanded their hours, and is hiring. There’s a two-level laser tag course with a take-back-D.C.-from-the-zombie-apocalypse vibe, video games and more than 25 high definition TVs behind the full bar.
They’re also hiring.
“We need more servers and bartenders, gaming techs and laser tag techs,” owner Kevin Fagan told ALXnow. “Gaming techs start at $13 an hour. This is definitely a good summer job and our managers can hire on the spot.”
It took Fagan more than two years to develop Doyle’s Outpost. A retired Wall Street banker, Fagan is the former owner of the Planet Fitness next door (and 10 other Planet Fitness gyms). He opened Doyle’s Outpost to great fanfare at the end of 2019 — and then COVID-19 forced it to shut down 10 weeks later.
Doyle’s Outpost was closed for six months, before reopening in October. It’s now open Thursday through Sunday, and may be open more days per week depending on demand.
Manager Natese Ragland weathered the pandemic with a skeleton crew of four employees.
“My coworkers keep me motivated,” Ragland said. “We want you to bring the happy and relax. If you’re not happy when you come in, I want you to be happy by the time you leave.”
Fagan is working on bringing back customers. He lives in Summit, New Jersey, visits multiple times a month, and also just signed a one-year deal with student tour group Gerber Tours.
“On Thursday and Friday, we have a $25 all-you-can-play deal where you can play all the games all day long, and two games of laser tag,” he said. “On Sunday Funday, we offer four $20 game cards with a large pizza and sodas for $99.”
Doyle’s Outpost is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Courtesy Doyle’s Outpost/Facebook
ACPS wants input on how to spend COVID relief funds — “Feedback on use of the American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief can be provided through June 18, while the Equity for All Climate Survey is open through June 20.” [Patch]
Memorial bike ride Sunday at for bicyclist killed — “Join FABB’s memorial ride in honor of Fatima Del Carmen Alvarez Romero this Sunday, June 13, at 10:00 am at Huntington Metro kiss and ride lot. Ride to crash site for a moment of remembrance and to call for much-needed safety measures. Please wear white and bring signs.” [Twitter]
Karma Modern Indian Eyes Expansion into Old Town — “Karma Modern Indian, a Michelin-recognized destination for fine Indian cuisine in downtown Washington, D.C., is opening a sister restaurant in Alexandria. Dubbed Kismet Modern Indian, the restaurant will be at 111 N. Pitt St. and is set for a fall opening. The location was formerly home, for a short time, to BurgerFi and before that, Ireland’s Own. The late Pat Troy presided over the legendary spot for more than three decades.” [Alexandria Living]
Mayor Wilson named president of Virginia Transit Association — “VTA is a nonprofit corporation of transit professionals from public and private organizations; it includes transit systems from across the state, businesses that serve transit systems and local government officials and organizations concerned about transportation, mobility, affordable access to employment and quality of life issues.” [Zebra]
Alexandria to start nominating committee for collective bargaining labor relations administrator — “The City has been notified that each of the following groups are interested in having a representative on the nominating committee: American Federation of State; County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); International Union of Police Associations (IUPA); and the Southern States Police Benevolent Association (PBA). To participate on the nominating committee, any employee organization interested in representing a bargaining unit must notify the City Manager by email at [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16.” [City of Alexandria]
West End Business Association hosting COVID meeting for restaurants — The Alexandria Health Department will update restaurant owners on how to open post-COVID. Homegrown Restaurant Group’s “Mango” Mike Anderson will also speak at the event, which will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, at Glory Days Grill. [Facebook]
Today’s weather — “Rain (during the day). High near 70F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch. Locally heavy rainfall possible… Rain early (in the evening)… then remaining cloudy with showers late. Low around 65F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” [Weather.com]
New job: Dog daycare playroom attendant — “If you are a hard and reliable worker looking for a fun and rewarding job, we encourage you to apply. We are also offering a limited-time signing bonus to those who can reliably commit to the job for at least 4 months.” [Indeed]
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne to receive Lifetime Valor Award — “In recognition of his retirement, we are pleased to honor Sheriff Dana Lawhorne with a Lifetime Valor Award at this year’s Valor Awards. Join us virtually, on June 22nd, to honor Sheriff Lawhorne’s 43 years of law enforcement service to Alexandria.” [Chamber ALX]
West End Business Association hosting 1 p.m. conversation with Mayor — “Take this opportunity to ask questions and connect with Mayor Justin Wilson about how he would continue to serve the city of Alexandria.” [WEBA]
Chinquapin Recreation Center closing for improvements June 26 — “The City of Alexandria’s Chinquapin Park Recreation Center and Aquatics Facility (3210 King St.) will close Saturday, June 26 through Monday, Sept. 6, for several planned facility improvements and annual cleaning.” [Zebra]
Vaccine Equity Clinic on Route 1 in Fairfax County offering free transportation — “The Health Department and Fairfax Connector have partnered to offer free transportation to those who want to get vaccinated at the clinic, located in the former Safeway site at 7451 Mount Vernon Square Center in Alexandria. Fairfax Connector’s Free Vaccine Shuttle will run along Fairfax Connector’s line in that region.” [Fairfax County]
Annual Waterfront Commission walk is today — “The walk will be in person starting at (5 p.m. at) the intersection of Oronoco and South Union Streets and will proceed south to Robinson Landing. The walk is anticipated to end at 6:30 p.m.” [City of Alexandria]
Fire Department conducting community meeting on restructuring today — “The Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) will implement an organizational restructure, effective Saturday, June 12, 2021. The goals of the changes are to improve service efficiency and response times across the City; reduce cost; increase safety on the roadways; and improve response preparedness for specialty teams such as the Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials, and Inland Water Rescue teams. AFD Representatives will present the upcoming changes to the community and answer questions.” [City of Alexandria]
Today’s weather — “Rain showers in the morning with numerous thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 81F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%… Thunderstorms in the evening, then variable clouds overnight with still a chance of showers. Low around 65F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” [Weather.com]
New job: Ghost tour guide — “US Ghost Adventures, a national tour operation is seeking energetic storytellers to lead 90-minute walking tour groups downtown. This part-time position is ideal for self-motivated candidates looking for a fun way to make extra income in the evenings.” [Indeed]
At Los Tios Grill in Del Ray, former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg told enthusiastic supporters that conversations over issues like the Seminary Road Diet and Taylor Run Stream restoration project would continue, although the candidates who put those issues at the forefronts of their campaigns lost.
Silberberg said that her supporters should join boards and commissions and join their civic associations, continue speaking out and working on changing the city from within.
“This is a democracy,” Silberberg said. “All voices need to be heard. I remain dedicated to those causes and getting things done, and I encourage people to stay involved.”
On the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook group, a page that had been a social gathering place for locals frustrated with city leadership, the reaction was dour, with members calling the results “depressing” or blaming the outcome on outside influences in local politics.
In terms of voting precincts, Silberberg won City Hall and a handful of the more residential areas in the center of the city, like around Seminary Hill, but Wilson won the more densely urban West End, Old Town, and Del Ray.
The election saw 23% of registered voters show up to the polls — a relatively high voter turnout rate for a non-Presidential election year.
Clarence Tong, chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, said the high number of candidates — 13 candidates in the Democratic primary for six seats — was likely one of the reasons for the high turnout, and that last night’s results were an endorsement for the leadership of Wilson and the incumbent City Council.
“Yesterday we experienced high primary turnout in Alexandria. this was a reflection of the high quality of the democratic statewide and local candidates on the ballot, likely the largest number in our history,” Tong said. “The great thing about the Democratic Party is the broad range of experiences and perspective from our candidates.”
“I would fully expect the policy issues that were debated during the Council primary to continue in other public forums,” he said.
Photo via Alexandria Democratic Committee/Facebook
Updated at 8:45 a.m. — Brynn Orrin-Brown was found safe on Friday morning, according to Alexandria Police.
The Alexandria Police Department issued a Critical Missing Person Alert for a verbal 13-year-old autistic boy who was last seen on North Pegram Street in the West End.
Police said on Twitter just before 7 p.m. that Brynn Orrin-Brown was last seen in the area at around 1:35 p.m. Thursday and was wearing a gray shirt, gray cargo shorts, black boot socks and hiking boots.
He was also carrying a green backpack, police said. Anyone who has seen him is asked to call 911 or the police non-emergency number at 703-746-4444.
CRITICAL MISSING PERSON ALERT:: APD is searching for 13-year-old Brynn Orrin-Brown, who is a highly-functioning teenager with autism. He was last seen on North Pegram St. today around 1:35 p.m.
Brynn Orrin-Brown is 5’6” and 130lbs with a fair complexion and medium build. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/EWy1es54Ab
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 3, 2021
(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) President Biden again visited Alexandria this morning.
Biden was joined by First Lady Jill Biden and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at the Sportrock Climbing Center on Eisenhower Avenue in the West End.
Biden traveled to the city to “discuss the state’s progress against the coronavirus pandemic” and “celebrate summer as Virginia lifts all COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions” today, according to media guidance. He touted the quarter-billion dollars of federal investment in vaccination sites and Virginia’s declining rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a press pool report.
Several dozen people were on hand at the center for the event, including 17-year-old Lake Braddock High School junior Jacob Bosley, who introduced the president before he started speaking around noon. Also in attendance were Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and Reps. Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly.
Prior to the speech, the president spoke briefly with reporters and sized up which wall he would want to climb, according to the pool report.
The president also visited Alexandria last month, stopping by a COVID-19 vaccination site at Virginia Theological Seminary.
More from the president’s visit, below, via social media.
President Biden and Governor Northam deliver remarks on Virginia’s progress in the fight against COVID-19. https://t.co/MAIm9fCVSU
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 28, 2021
"I’d like to,” Biden says of trying climbing wall at Sportrock Climbing Centers in Alexandria, Virginia.
“I'd rather try the straight wall.” pic.twitter.com/cMR1UAEQGe
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 28, 2021
Biden was enthralled by the climbers here at Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria. He’s here to deliver remarks on progress made on COVID-19 and offer a message of “hope” in time for Memorial Day weekend. pic.twitter.com/jWcyi7leEw
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) May 28, 2021
President Joe Biden watches as climbers practice at Sportrock Climbing Centers in Alexandria, Va. pic.twitter.com/pUJBzE7Mvg
— Evan Vucci (@evanvucci) May 28, 2021
Biden is at Sportrock Climbing Centers in Alexandria, Virginia, where he’ll give remarks about the number of coronavirus cases dropping nationally.
Virginia had 504 cases per 100,000 population in late January; now has 32 cases per 100,000, per White House. pic.twitter.com/5hQgrnpDn8
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 28, 2021
The building blocks for what will become a sweeping mixed-use development replacing Landmark Mall are almost in place. A small discussion about street ownership could also have big implications for the future of the site’s identity.
The Eisenhower West Landmark Van Dorn Implementation Advisory Group met on Monday to put some of the finishing touches on some of the initial framework discussed over the last few months. One of the major points of discussion is over who will own the roads.
While The Wharf is cited as an inspiration behind some of the development concepts at the former Landmark Mall site, some at the advisory group meeting pointed to the city’s Carlyle neighborhood for inspiration.
“If it’s a private street, we would require public access easements so everyone has access, making sure it’s open and available to everyone,” said Jeff Farner, Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Alexandria
Jonathan Rak, a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, said his leading preference would be for privately owned streets with public easements.
“All of these framework streets will have public access easements so that they function with the same types of access as any dedicated street,” Rak said. “As a comparison, all streets in Carlyle are privately owned but have public access easement and look, smell, and feel like any other public street.”
Rak said privately owned streets with public access easements can help give more flexibility with how the street is built and how it operates.
“In terms of why we’ve been asking for some private streets… one of the things we want to be able to do is enhance paving materials in those areas,” Rak said. “Having a private street gives us more flexibility in terms of paving materials. [If we] want to have the ability to close down some portions of those streets to make them into farmers markets, street festivals, those kinds of activating type uses, private street with public easement lets us do that.”
There are other questions and concerns moving forward that will need to be addressed down the road by the City Council and Planning Commission. Agnes Artemel said there are still lingering questions about sustainability and building heights — particularly minimum heights, as some developers have come back to the city saying they aren’t planning to go as high as some earlier estimates.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to review the early plans for Landmark Mall at the June 24 meeting, with those plans headed to the City Council on July 6.
Image via City of Alexandria
For thousands of customers in Alexandria’s West End, power is still out after last night’s storms.
According to Dominion Energy’s power outage map, 3,703 customers in the West End — from the border with Shirlington down to the Van Dorn Metro station — are currently without power.
The outages are broken into two sections, with an unfortunate handful of homes near Hammond Middle School caught in the overlap. The northern half of the outage has been identified as being caused by a blown circuit and work crews are currently dispatched to fix the problem. For the southern half, the cause is still under investigation.
Storming on and off here. Really coming down now. My mom is without power for a few hours in Alexandria.
— Maureen 🐤🐈 (@maurnd) May 27, 2021
— Stephen Carcamo (@scarcamoboom) May 26, 2021
Good morning! Clean-up and repair work is underway after last night's storms. Please be patient. If you come to an intersection with flashing or dark traffic lights,🚦 treat it as a stop sign.🛑
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) May 27, 2021
Map via Dominion Energy
It was another busy week in Alexandria.
There are less than three weeks before the June 8 democratic primary, which will determine the candidates for lieutenant governor, the 45th District in the House of Delegates, Alexandria Mayor and City Council.
Speaking of elections, this week we covered two election forums hosted by the Seminary Ridge Civic Association. Much of the conversations were focused on community engagement, colocating affordable housing on school grounds and the Seminary Road diet. Thursday night’s forum also introduced candidate Darryl Nirenberg, who is a lone Republican contender facing off against a mostly Democrat slate of candidates in November.
In our weekly poll, we tried to settle the appropriate name for the Parker-Gray/Braddock neighborhood. What should it be called? Of the 339 votes tallied, 53% (180 votes) favor Braddock, 32% (110 votes) call it Parker-Gray and 14% (49 votes) use both interchangeably.
- Did You Know: The last time Alexandria elected a Republican mayor was in 1872
- City Council candidates talk Seminary Road Diet, colocating affordable housing on public school property (Part 1)
- City Council Candidates talk Seminary Road Diet and government transparency in Seminary Ridge forum (Part 2)
- Inmate commits suicide in Alexandria Jail
- Alexandria lifts face mask mandate, aligns with state to eliminate distancing requirements on May 28
- Alexandria Police investigating knife fight, prostitution and drugs at West End hotel
- Here’s a preview of what’s ahead for Alexandria’s post-pandemic economic development
- New Parker-Gray development pushed to veer away from Old Town aesthetics
- Alexandria man arrested after allegedly eluding police outside William Ramsay Elementary School
- Cleanup ends for Lake Cook chemical spill, fishing to resume later this week
- Alexandria History Museum remembers 2020 protests with ‘Black Lives Remembered Collection’
- Photos: More than half of the Potomac Yard Metro Station is complete
- Here’s what’s open and closed in Alexandria on Memorial Day
- Go-go music star-turned Alexandria teacher ‘Sugar Bear’ in the spotlight after Oscars shoutout
- Inova wants to convert Alexandria Hospital into residential properties
- Racism, sexism and favoritism reported within the Alexandria Fire Department
- Here’s how expensive it is to rebrand Alexandria City High School and Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School
- PHOTOS: King Street-Old Town Metro Access Improvement Project nears completion
- Amazon Fresh supermarket planned for former Shopper’s Food Warehouse in Potomac Yard
- Local diner franchise pinches former crab shack in Old Town, crawling toward fall opening
- Officials find Cameron Run Regional Park at fault for chlorine spill in Lake Cook
- Catholic Charities hopes to turn vacant Carlyle restaurant into workforce training kitchen
- Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
- ARHA aims to convert Old Town public housing properties to resemble the mixed-use ‘Lineage’ development
Have a safe weekend!