Alexandria, VA

A new Nepalese restaurant and market is coming to the ground floor of a West End condominium complex.

Gorkha Nepal is a new location that will replace a previous restaurant and market in Watergate at Landmark, according to staff at the condo building. Like the old location, staff said the new Gorkha Nepal will give residents of the gated community a new place to eat and shop for some essential goods.

The former market had pretty standard fare, like breakfast sandwiches, burgers and pizza. The new location is applying for permits to serve beer and wine, but food options remain a mystery.

The space is currently undergoing renovations, but staff said it should be ready to open sometime next month.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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The start of spring is just over a month away, which means the arrival of Girl Scout cookies is here.

You could just hope to encounter a stand somewhere on your commute, or locate a co-worker with a kid in the Scouts, but if you want to be more strategic about it, the Girl Scouts website has a cookie tracker to find your nearest stand.

You don’t even have to go that far, though, because ALXnow put a list together for where you can expect Girl Scout cookies across Alexandria this weekend and beyond.

Old Town, Eisenhower and Braddock

  • Safeway (3526 King Street): Fridays 4-7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • SunTrust (515 King Street): Fridays 4-7 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Giant (3131 Duke Street): Saturdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Meridian at Eisenhower (2351 Eisenhower Avenue): Saturday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Parc Meridian (750 Port Street): Saturdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Safeway (299 S. Van Dorn): Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Slater’s Market (1561 Potomac Greens Drive): Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Ten Thousand Villages (915 King Street): Saturday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • The UPS Store (3213 Duke Street): Saturdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Carlyle Mill Apartments (2201 Mill Road): Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Carlyle Place (2251 Eisenhower Avenue): Saturday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Crate & Barrel (1700 Prince Street): Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Del Ray and Arlandria

  • Bellies & Babies Consignment Boutique (1913 Mt Vernon Ave): Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 12-4 p.m.
  • Department of Beer and Wine (2724 Jefferson Davis Hwy): Saturday, Feb. 29, 2-4 p.m.
  • Giant (621 E Glebe Road): Saturdays 12-5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21, 4-7 p.m.
  • The Reserve at Potomac Yards (3700 Jefferson Davis Hwy): Saturdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • PetSmart (3351 Richmond Hwy): Fridays 3-7 p.m.

North Ridge, Seminary Hill and The West End

  • Robcyns (3660 King Street): Fridays 4-6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Whistle Stop and Hobbies (1721 Centre Plaza): Friday, Feb. 14 and Feb. 28, 4-7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Giant (2901 South Glebe Road): Fridays 4-8 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Cafe Pizzaiolo (1623 Fern Street): Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Presto Valet of Virginia (1623 Quaker Lane): Saturdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • St Elmo’s (2300 Mt Vernon Avenue): Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • USPS (340 S. Pickett Street): Fridays 4-5:30 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe (6552-A Little River Turnpike): Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Photo via Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital/Facebook

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Holmes Run Trail through Eisenhower’s West End was fragmented by last year’s flooding, and city staff said it could remain that way for years to come.

Under normal circumstances, the Holmes Run Trail runs continuously northwest from Eisenhower Avenue to Columbia Pike with few, if any, interruptions. Flash floods from last year’s July 8 storms changed that.

Jack Browand, division chief of Parks and Cultural Activities, said when the Barcroft Dam overflowed the stormwater caused significant damage to four areas along Holmes Run. Two bridges were damaged, one streambank got washed out and took the trail with it, and one crossing at Ripley Street was closed.

“We had to shut them down,” Browand said. “They’re not $50 fixes, they’re substantial engineering. We had them inspected and we have to keep them closed. So we’ll have to seek funding for design, engineering, and construction [of replacements].”

Browand said the city is still working through the documentation to receive reimbursement as a result of the state declaring an emergency.

“The timetable for seeking funding through budget process means it is likely going to be closed for one to three years in areas,” Browand said. “We established a website and we’re going to put out signs so people know why they’re closed. Some we might be able to open partially on extreme west end — where the bridge was washed out — west of I-395 but east of Beauregard. We can probably open a portion of the trail but the bridge cannot be used.”

As a result, Browand said the trail will not function as a continuous path from Eisenhower Avenue to Fairfax County. Visitors to the trail will have to take several detours, which Browand said will be obvious and clearly defined paths.

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Morning Notes

Seminary Road Saga Continues — Despite suggestions “that the Alexandria Fire Department had significant input into the Complete Streets Design Guidelines and whether to narrow Seminary Road, documents obtained by city residents under the Freedom of Information Act reveal this was not the case.” [Alexandria Times]

Sushi Restaurant Coming to ‘West Alex’ — “Sushi Jin Next Door, which opened its first restaurant in Silver Spring in 2006 and now has a second location in Woodbridge, is opening a third location in Alexandria, Virginia. The new location will be part of the West Alex mixed-use development at King Street and North Beauregard Street.” [WTOP]

New Glass Recycling Bin Now Open — “Alexandria residents wanting to recycle glass now have a fifth bin as an option. MOM’s Organic Market at 3831 Mt. Vernon Avenue is the location of the new purple recycling bin. The city ended curbside glass recycling on Jan. 15, citing increasing recycling costs and the lack of glass-sorting facilities in the region.” [Patch]

ACPS To Buy Five Electric School Buses — “Under the terms of the grant, Dominion Energy will pay the additional costs towards each of the five buses that ACPS was already scheduled to buy this summer, allowing ACPS to upgrade them to electric vehicles. The goal is to have the new electric buses on the roads in time for the start of the 2020-21 school year in September.” [ACPS]

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A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help a 31-year-old Alexandria man in serious condition after being struck by a driver in the 300 block of Yoakum Parkway on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 6.

Jahid Shahbazov, who suffered spinal fractures and had his right leg amputated after the crash, remains unconscious in Georgetown University Hospital, according to his friend and campaign organizer Heydar Allahverdi. Shahbazov, who lives near the scene of the incident, was stopped along the curb and taking something from the trunk of his car when he was struck around 4:30 p.m. and wedged between the two vehicles.

The driver of the car called police, stayed at the scene and has not been charged. The crash is still under investigation, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

“He’s still unconscious. The doctors say they don’t want to wake him up because of the pain,” Allahverdi told ALXnow. “Right now we are just sitting and waiting for him to come back to life. He’s had four surgeries so far. His left leg is in bad condition, too, and they are worried about there being no circulation in it.”

To date, just over $28,000 of a $100,000 goal has been raised through 571 donations to help Shahbazov, a native of Azerbaijan, who has lived with his wife in Alexandria for four years. He’s a part-time Uber driver and has been taking quality assurance automation courses for the last six months, said Allahverdi.

He also doesn’t have health insurance.

“Jahid is a very kind person. I’ve known him for many years,” said Allahverdi, who is roommates with Shahbazov’s twin brother. “I’ve never seen Jahid hurt anyone. He’s a calm person. He never says bad things about people. He just handles his business. I never thought he would go through something like this. His wife, she is devastated. She’s having a hard time and is staying at the hospital the whole time.”

Most of the donations have been raised by friends and family.

“We are from a different country, and we don’t know many people,” Allahverdi said. “He’s going to face a lot of problems after he gets out of the hospital. He’s going to have psychological trauma, he will be suffering from not having a leg and we don’t know how long it is going to take or what the driver’s insurance is going to cover.”

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No injuries were reported after gunshots were apparently fired near Bishop Ireton High School over the weekend.

The Alexandria Police Department said Sunday night that it was investigating shots fired on the 200 block of Ellsworth Ave., in the West End.

There were three calls for service resulting from the incident, police told ALXnow. Officers recovered spent shell casings from a firearm, but no there were no reported injuries or property damaged.

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Computer programming tutoring franchise Code Ninjas is celebrating the launch of its new West End location with a grand opening celebration this weekend.

Code Ninjas has a simple but ambitious goal: make coding accessible and fun for kids. The school’s game-based curriculum focuses on teamwork, logic, math and problem solving, according to the company website. The company has locations across the country, including locations in Falls Church and Burke, and has been working to expand internationally.

The Alexandria location opened in November at 4694 King Street, in the northwest corner of the city.

The celebration is scheduled to run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and will include games and prizes, as well as tours and special membership deals, according to the Facebook page for the company. An event description said the grand opening will feature kid-accessible robotics, drones and virtual reality.

Photo via Code Ninjas/Facebook

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West End bar/arcade/laser tag arena Doyle’s Outpost is planning to host a grand opening celebration on Friday, Jan. 10.

The new “entertainment venue” in the Seminary Plaza shopping center (4620 Kenmore Avenue) features a restaurant and bar along with a two-level laser tag arena, with some arcade games and VR attractions thrown into the mix.

The grand opening is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. with the ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. City officials are scheduled to attend, according to the Facebook page, but whether they will play laser tag is unclear.

The venue mainly focuses on drawing in groups — like birthday parties or corporate events — but staff said the full-service bar and restaurant, arcade games, and laser tag are all open to individuals as well.

Food at the restaurant are mainly sports bar staples like flatbread pizzas and assorted entrees, like meatball subs or tacos. The alcohol menu ranges from cocktails and beers to “slushie drinks.”

The laser tag arena is the centerpiece of Doyle’s Outpost, with a nearly 6,000-square-foot arena depicting a scene of apocalyptic destruction in D.C.: local icons in flames, helicopters flying overhead, the Lincoln Memorial in shambles — all the classics.

Individual laser tag games are $9 per person, $16 for two games, or $20 for three games. The laser tag arena can also be rented out for private events.

Photo via Doyle’s Outpost/Facebook

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Alexandria’s DASH buses may look a little different this week if you ride in the West End.

The new white West End bus traveling the new AT1 Plus route will feature artwork showing the route and various destinations in Alexandria’s West End, according to DASH.

The route runs from the Van Dorn Metro station up past Landmark Mall, Lincolnia, the Mark Center and Southern Towers. In October, DASH introduced a “plus” version of the line with improved service frequency, longer hours of operation, and additional real-time bus arrival displays. The new AT1 Plus route comes every ten minutes during peak hours, every 20 minutes during off-peak weekday times, and every 30 minutes on weekends, according to DASH.

The changes are an early part of efforts to create a transitway that makes bus travel across the West End more accessible and reliable. With redevelopment planned for Landmark Mall, the city is hoping for the improved transit service to be part of a more residential and commercial West End community. Eventually, the city hopes the transitway will connect up to the Pentagon.

DASH also recently approved plans to start moving the bus service towards a focus on rapid service through high-density areas, at the cost of bus routes through some lower-density areas.

Funding for the AT1 Plus service comes from revenue on the new I-395 tolls.

Photo courtesy DASH

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The West End Business Association (WEBA) just celebrated 15 years of promoting businesses across Alexandria’s increasingly developed West End.

The organization was founded in 2005. Wendy Albert, owner of Tempo Restaurant (4231 Duke Street) and former president of WEBA, hosted the birthday celebration at her restaurant.

Tempo Restaurant is, in some ways, an example of the kind of adaptability necessary to open a business in the West End. Albert told guests that the restaurant was once an old gas station the owners renovated — trading car bays for dining tables.

Adapting former industrial sites to retail or restaurant use is a skill likely to come in handy as Alexandria pushes for more of the West End’s industrial zones to become commercial. Virginia Paving was told earlier this year that it had seven years to clear out and — reading the writing on the wall — Vulcan Materials’ plans to redevelop its Alexandria site as mixed-use with a hotel are scheduled to go to the city for approval early next year.

The organization is designed to help local businesses coordinate with other business owners and city leaders, hosting networking events and luncheons throughout the year.

In addition to WEBA members, city councilmembers John Chapman and Del Pepper and former Mayor Allison Silberberg were in attendance, the group said in a Facebook post.

Photo via West End Business Association/Facebook

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) An apartment building in the West End filled with smoke Tuesday afternoon as a result of an electrical fire in the basement.

The fire was reported around 2 p.m. at the Foxchase Apartments, on the 100 block of N. Jordan Street, near Duke Street.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, but residents of the 11-unit apartment building will be temporarily displaced as a result of damage to the building’s electrical system. The power to the building has been shut off, a fire department spokeswoman said, and the apartment management company “will work on relocation for the affected occupants.”

A building inspector and the power company have responded to the scene.

Map via Google Maps

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In an effort to make maximum use of limited space, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is planning to wedge a new gym at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School directly over the student drop-off circle.

Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School — a retrofit of an existing office building at 1701 N. Beauregard Street — opened in September 2018. While ACPS was able to change the office structure into a school for 650 students, the school division said on the project website that building constraints meant there was no physical activity space or assembly area in the original designs.

The new gym would be located between the third and fifth floors of the existing school and parking garage, creating a bridge between the two structures. The addition would offer both a physical activity space for students at the school and a stage to host school and community events. Plans also show a small office and some storage space.

The first community meeting for the project was held last week. The next community meeting on the new addition is tentatively scheduled for late winter/early spring, in the new year. The design is scheduled to be completed and submitted to the city by February.

Construction is primarily scheduled to take place over the summer, with the gym substantially completed by winter/spring 2021. The school will remain open while work is done, according to the school’s plans.

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