New location of Nicecream Factory in Old town Alexandria, virginia

Photo credit: Google Maps

Arlington based Nicecream Factory opening up shop in Old Town

According to planning documents filed this week with the City (PDF), Nicecream Factory, located on Clarendon Blvd in Arlington, is opening a new shop at 726 King Street in Old Town Alexandria. The shop will be replacing the Jeymi Salon & Spa. The salon has apparently closed based upon reader input below. We have heard that the rent is this space has run fairly high.

According to their website, Nicecream uses a freezing agent and liquid nitrogen which allows them to freeze the ice cream on the spot in front of guests, creating the freshest handcrafted cup of ice cream. Their slogan is ‘It’s not just ice cream – it’s Nicecream’.

Here, Sandra Tran and her business partner Gilbert Welford discuss the Nicecream process…

They plan on having 250 to 400 patrons a day with 3 employees per shift for a total of 6 employees per day.

The proposed hours of operation for the new store will be:

  • Monday through Wednesday 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
  • Thursday and Sunday 11:00 a.m.until 10:30 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

If you have any comments regarding the request, please contact Planning and Zoning staff at(703) 746-4666 or email the Planner associated with this case no later than September 22, 2016.

Fire at Al's Steakhouse in Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia at 1504 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia

(Photo credit: @296Winnie on Twitter)

UPDATE (11:09 PM): Have confirmed from multiple sources this was a grease fire. There is a rumor going around Del Ray this was arson. From the folks I have talked to, this was NOT arson. Fire is still under investigation. Here’s hoping the community can rally around our neighbors and come together to help the joint re-open once again.

UPDATE (5:09 PM): Confirmed this was a 3-alarm fire. What does a 3-alarm fire mean? Likely upgraded to 3-alarm due to heat and the gear the firefighters have to wear.

UPDATE (5:04 PM): Added link to Pat Malone photos below.

UPDATE (4:50 PM): Added the APD tweet – wide angle view of the response to the fire.

On the day of their grand re-opening, Al’s Steakhouse has suffered what appears to be a devastating fire. We understood from our sources that there had been extensive clean up of the joint prior to the re-opening with new equipment, etc and an expanded menu (pizza). We heard Bo Severson, John’s son, was even back working the grill.

Very sad news. No word on the cause. We did hear no injuries.

Our followers were quick to Tweet out photos and video from the scene.   (more…)

Junction Bakery on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia

Junction Bakery FULLY opens July 11 for breakfast, lunch & dinner

This is an update to this post. Owned by Noe Landini (behind Landini Brothers, Fish Market and Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream), Junction Bakery + Bistro is NOW OPEN under a SOFT open (limited hours)  in the space previously occupied by Mancini’s at 1508 Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Junction Bakery + Bistro’s name is a homage to the Potomac Yard rail yards and the workers who lived in Del Ray in that era.

The concept calls for the new joint to operate as a cafe in the morning and a bistro in the afternoons and evenings. The majority of the space will be taken up by the bakery, which we hear will service both Landini’s own group of restaurants and other surrounding business with freshly-baked items. The retail space takes up about 25 percent of the restaurant.

The restaurant concept is under a SOFT open through this week. Menus have been posted online.

This week’s hours are:

  • July 6-8 – 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • July 9-10 – 7:00 AM through last brunch seating at 2:00 PM

Starting next week (July 11), the restaurant will be open:

  • Monday – Friday: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Junction Bakery + Bistro on Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia

Bertucci's in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia at 725 King Street

Bertucci’s, located at 725 King Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, has closed to make room for an expanded Five Guys, the Arlington, Virginia based burger chain.

The current Five Guys located on N. Fayette Street will be relocating its existing operation. This proposed restaurant location would be part of the corporate structure, owned by original members of the Five Guys Family (Murrell Family) and not a franchised location.

Plans approved by the City of Alexandria show this Five Guys to have 83 seats inside and seating for 12 outside on the N. Columbus side of the restaurant. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sources tell me a November 2016 opening is planned.

Five Guys Burgers began as a local Arlington-based restaurant in 1986 when Jerry Murrell started the business with his five sons. Since then, the first restaurant the company has expanded through franchise opportunities to over 1,000 locations nationally and to locations in Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.

The closest Bertucci’s locations to Alexandria are on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, D.C. and on Frontier Drive in Springfield.

Five Guys in Old Town Alexandria, virginia

(H/T Anne)


1920 Ballenger Avenue Alexandria, Virginia

1920 Ballenger Avenue in the Carlyle neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, owned by Helicopter Association International, has been actively seeking a lessee for its large retail space(s). We hear from sources that one of the ground floor spaces has been looked at by Great American Restaurants. This space originally was to be the new home for the Carlyle Club.

Which Great American Restaurant brand do you think would be the best fit for Carlyle?

Al's Steakhouse on Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia
This is an update to this post. As readers know, we’ve been keeping close tabs on one of the most iconic institutions in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, Al’s Steakhouse. We had heard that the eatery was for sale. John’s son Bo Severson has been looking to sell the joint after the passing of his Dad in August 2014.

As you can see above, the new owners have new signs went up at the joint announcing the grand re-opening date of July 6.

We understand from our sources that there has been extensive remodeling of the joint with new equipment, etc and yes, new ADA bathroom’s. We’re hearing an expanded menu is in the works as well.

As John ‘Big Al’ Severson used to say “cook your onions first, then the mayo and the provolone are heated together on the grill”.

We will update as more becomes available.

(Photo via Al’s Steak’s on Facebook)

Yates Pizza Palace in Alexandria, Virginia (Photo credit: Julie Keegan)

(Photo credit: Julie Keegan)

This is an update to this post. As we told you here first, a reader had reported that construction fences have gone up around the long-delayed Yates Pizza Palace in Alexandria, Virginia. As you can see, the old Generous Georges is being demolished to make room for the new 3 level restaurant.

The bottom floor will have the floors lowered (longtime Generous George’s customer will remember the low ceiling downstairs) and will include a bar area. The upstairs floor will include a bar and we hear there will be a large communal table on this floor. The communal table is a large slab seating eight to 20ish people, in small groups of strangers or one large party. Restaurants prize them for their versatility, and also because they evoke a sense of community and sharing — plus, they look awesome (if you have never seen one). We hear the one at Yates will be quite large. Plans call for 387 seats inside the restaurant and seating for 61 on the rooftop.

We also hear where the holdup (now going on 2 years…) has been is the roof deck. This area will also have a bar and LIVE music. One of the holdups has been on the type of live music there will be allowed. Mr. Yates said he’d like to see live music at the location on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant will include two kitchens instead of one, valet parking, and include take-out and delivery.

A rendering of the new joint is available at this link. As you can see, it will look quite different than the original building (hence the amount of demo).

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