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Hope Nelson

Stories by Hope

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Northside 10 Settles Into Alexandria Neighborhood

It’s true: Being the kid brother of an older, wiser sibling is difficult at times.

Hosting a President for Lunch

Fireflies’ owner looks back on the day President Obama paid her restaurant a visit.

On one summer day in 2014, President Obama found his way to Fireflies in Del Ray for lunch.

Dairy Godmother Says Goodbye to Del Ray

Dairy Godmother frozen custard shop in Del Ray is closing their doors.

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Bagels, Pickles Take Center Stage at Del Ray Pop-Up

Two farmer’s market favorites find a temporary indoor home.

Friday, Jan. 20, may be listed as Inauguration Day on the calendar, but within the heart of Del Ray there’s another inauguration on the horizon that will hit closer to home: The grand opening of Salt | Bagel, a pop-up blending two Alexandria favorites in one spot.

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Bagels, Pickles Take Center Stage at Del Ray Pop-Up

Two farmer’s market favorites find a temporary indoor home.

The grand opening of Salt | Bagel, a pop-up blending two Alexandria favorites in one spot.

Del Ray: A Pie for All Seasons

Need a pie for the holidays? Del Ray’s Happy Tart has you covered.

The holidays conjure many mental images — a large turkey on the table, for instance, or your grandmother’s beloved sweet-potato casserole.

Appetite: Three Beverages for a Wintertime Brunch

Amid the Thanksgiving prep work and holiday shopping sprees, sometimes it’s best to stop for brunch and order a beverage to treat yourself. Here are three great spots to visit.

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The Italian Place Brings Taste of Europe to Old Town

New shop has been labor of love for owner Adriana Penachio-Sifakis.

When it comes to international cuisine, Old Town is no slouch.

Alexandria Appetite: Food and Drink Events Abound

Some snippets from the Alexandria restaurant scene over the coming month.

Autumn is in full swing, and with the season comes a passel of activities in the food and beverage scene across the city (and beyond). Here are some items to put on your docket in the coming weeks.

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Alexandria Appetite: Mystery and History Mix in Port City-Gadsby’s Event

Port City Brewing, Gadsby’s Tavern, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church commemorate 200 years since Female Stranger’s death.

Long before Alexandria’s current heyday, when the Port City was in the middle of becoming a port city, a mystery woman came to Gadsby’s Tavern with her gentleman caller, became ill, and died, her final resting place the St. Paul’s Cemetery. “To the memory of a Female Stranger,” the gravestone reads in part, launching two centuries’ worth of lore and theory about her identity, her companion, and her presence in Alexandria in the first place.

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Alexandria Appetite: BurgerFi Sets Up Shop in Old Town

With its opening last week, local co-owners celebrate a homecoming.

Peer down the 100 block of North Pitt Street and it’s easy to spot a new neighbor. The erstwhile Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own, shuttered for several years, now has new life in the form of the city’s first BurgerFi. Open since Sept. 26, the locally owned franchise has begun to generate quite a bit of foot traffic — and prelaunch interest, too, with would-be customers peeking in the front door in anticipation. But you haven’t missed a grand opening event, franchise co-owner David Landry says.

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Alexandria Appetite: It’s a Family Affair at Thanida Thai

Newcomer in space formerly owned by Thailand Royal Street has brought a taste of Thailand to North Old Town.

Walk past the location of the most recent restaurant addition at 835 N. Royal St., and it’s easy to miss the facelift from years past. What was long the venerable Thailand Royal Street, and then the erstwhile Casa Felipe, has once again taken up the Thai mantle — only under new leadership, with a new name, and with big plans for the future.

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Alexandria Appetite: 2 Restaurants Hidden in Plain Sight

Finding these gems requires a bit of searching, but the result is worth it.

Tucked away amid retail shops, barbershops, and numerous other storefronts, some of the city’s restaurant gems are a bit tricky to uncover. But the result is worth the search. Here are two of Alexandria’s best strip-mall selections.

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Alexandria Appetite: 3 Spots to Get a Great Beer Around Town

Whether watching a game or enjoying an after-work happy hour, these spots won’t disappoint.

Ready to kick back with friends or catch the big game? Here are three spots with great beer lists — and great food, too.

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Alexandria Appetite: 3 Spots to Pencil in for Restaurant Week

The city’s offerings are their most diverse ever.

Alexandria’s summertime Restaurant Week is back in action for another season, and diners will find plenty of options that are sure to appeal to every appetite. Here are three to be sure to try.

Alexandria Appetite: A Home Away from Home in Heart of Del Ray

At Front Porch: Kick back, relax, and have a snack and a beer.

Walk down Mount Vernon Avenue on any summertime weekend, and if the weather’s even remotely nice, you’re sure to see a crowd congregating on a patio two doors down from the Evening Star Café.

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Alexandria Appetite: 3 Gold-Medal Spots to Watch the Olympics

Looking for a restaurant to whet your appetite while you cheer on the USA? Here are three at the top of the list.

After the usual four-year absence, Summer Olympics mania is ready for liftoff again. Looking for a change of scenery to watch your favorite sports? Here are three restaurants that are sure to be gold-medal bets.

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Alexandria Appetite: 3 Cool Menus for Hot Days

Here are three restaurants to refresh you as the mercury soars.

There’s no denying it: The dog days of summer have arrived in full force. Local thermometers have flirted with the triple-digit mark all week long, and normally bustling King Street has found its sidewalks nearly empty as residents take shelter from the heat. When you’re looking for some cooler fare, try these restaurants on for size.

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Alexandria Appetite: Vola’s Dockside Grill to Bring Classic Fare to Waterfront

The restaurant and bar take the place of the former Waterfront Market near the Torpedo Factory.

Saunter toward the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria and you’re sure to spy progress afoot near the Torpedo Factory. The former Waterfront Market space at 101 N. Union St., closed since last year, is being transformed into Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge, with an aim at opening in August after months of construction.

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Alexandria Appetite: 3 Restaurants To Help Pack Your Picnic

Running short on time but still want to dine al fresco?

By this point in the year, outdoor movies, jazz concerts, and wine festivals are in full swing. And with the Fourth of July in the rearview mirror, the summer picnic season is well under way.

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Junction: A Crossroads of New Food and Old Favorites

The new bakery and bistro aims to open shortly after Independence Day.

On the corner of Monroe and Mount Vernon avenues, a landmark building has been given new life.

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Alexandria Appetite: Port City’s Derecho Storms Back Into Town

Brewery is hosting annual release party on Friday and Saturday.

The origins of one of Port City Brewing’s most popular beers came from a rather unfortunate situation.

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Alexandria Appetite: Majestic Reopens With New Chef, Menu

After a facelift, the Majestic reopens with executive chef Gaby Hakman at the helm.

Walk past the exterior of the Majestic on King Street and at first glance, it seems nothing much has changed over the past several months.

Alexandria Appetite: Lift a Glass at Vine on the Waterfront

Annual food and wine festival returns to Oronoco Bay Park in June.

Ahh, summertime: The perfect season for sipping wine and sampling food alongside the Potomac River, nestled within the confines of Old Town’s Oronoco Bay Park.

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3 Food Trucks to Wish For in Alexandria

Now that City Council has permitted trucks in several places around town, here are three to keep an eye out for over the coming months.

With the Alexandria City Council’s decision last week to allow food trucks at designated areas on West Street, King Street, and Eisenhower Avenue, some new menus may be rolling into town over the coming weeks and months.

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Alexandria Appetite: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at These 3 Spots

Whether Mexican or Tex-Mex, these restaurants will hit the spot.

To be sure, Cinco de Mayo’s origins are often misunderstood in the United States. Often incorrectly referred to as Mexico’s independence day, the fifth of May is actually the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory against France in 1862. (Mexico’s independence day is actually in September — a date not nearly as well-known in America.)

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3 Alexandria Farmer’s Market Finds for Spring

Alexandria has plethora of market options throughout the year.

The dawn of spring brings lots of vendors back to Alexandria’s farmer’s markets. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, the short-but-sweet ramp season — it’s always a feast for the senses this time of year. Here are three area vendors to pay particular attention to.

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Don Taco: New Take on Longtime Favorite

Newcomer to King Street offers diners a wealth of innovative options.

Walk the length of King Street from Route 1 to the river, and you’ll see a brand-new restaurant on your stroll. Nestled between Alfred and Columbus streets on the southern side of King, Don Taco Tequila Bar beckons to passersby, inviting the neighbors in for a taco or three and a frosty margarita.