New Art Experiences 2023
New Art Installation at the Old Town Waterfront March 2023
The new installation by New York-based artist Nina Cooke John, takes inspiration from Alexandria’s excavation of 18th century ships and is meant to resemble a ship’s hull complete with beams, images of gin, coconuts, fish, and more. Visitors will find text on the ground inside of the installation and they’ll be able to feel the writing on the steel, creating an immersive experience. During the evening, the site will feature cascading lights.
Hotel News 2023
Aparium Hotel Group, May Reigler Properties, and Potomac Investment Properties are collaborating to open Hotel Heron, an upscale hotel, in the heart of Old Town at 699 Prince Street where the former George Mason hotel building resided.
Hotel AKA Alexandria Winter 2023
The new extended-stay hotel located in North Old Town and slated to open in winter 2023, will replace the now-closed Holiday Inn Express. The hotel will focus primarily on weekly and monthly extended stays. “Designed for longer stays, AKA offers sophisticated hotel accommodations and spacious furnished residences with exceptional business, wellness, and lifestyle amenities in iconic neighborhoods,” according to the company’s website. A new Holiday Inn Express is in the works further south on North Washington Street, where the company is incorporating a historic home into the construction of the new, five-story hotel.
Restaurant Openings 2023
New Italian Restaurant Opening on King Street
Thompson Italian, a family-friendly restaurant, is planning to open its second location in Northern Virginia on King Street in the former location of Hank’s Oyster Bar. Thompson Italian opened its first location in Falls Church in 2019 and offers simple Italian dishes as well as take and bake meals to make at home.
Columbia Firehouse Makes Plans to Reopen
Columbia Firehouse, closed early in the pandemic days of 2020, plans to reopen in early 2023.
Tatte Bakery & Cafe Coming to King Street
Tatte Bakery & Cafe will be opening in the former SunTrust bank branch location at 515 King Street. Tatte is an Israeli-inspired bakery serving up brunch all day with delectable pastries, coffee, breakfast sandwiches and salads.
Zen Press Moving to King Street
Relocating to 806 King Street, Zen Press juice bar and cafe will serve brunch items such as avocado toast, zen rolls, overnight oats, and pad thai, as well as specialty juices and coffees.
Elaine’s Modern Mediterranean to Open on Queen Street
Elaine’s Modern Mediterranean will open at 208 Queen Street, formerly where Bilbo Baggins restaurant resided. This family-owned restaurant will serve modern Mediterranean dishes, which will entail “Alexandrian” cuisine with French and Greek influences. The building is undergoing renovations and an opening date has not yet been announced.
District Biscuit Co. Coming to Del Ray
District Biscuit Co. which started as a pandemic project, will expand from farmers’ markets to a permanent location on Mount Vernon Avenue near the intersection of East Glebe Road at the border of Del Ray and Arlandria. From the savory Honey Chicken Biscuit and the Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Biscuit, to the sweet Biscuit Beignets or create-your-own biscuits, there is something for everyone.
Lady Camellia Pastry and Tearoom
Promising a sophisticated tearoom experience, Lady Camellia has crossed the river from Georgetown and plans to set–up shop on Strand Street. The plan was to open in fall of 2022, but the location remains closed; we’re looking forward to an opening hopefully in early 2023!
Upscale diner Ted’s Bulletin (and its bakery, Sidekick Bakery) will open its latest location in the recently completed mixed-use Carlyle Crossing development in Alexandria’s Eisenhower East neighborhood.
Development News 2023
Braddock West Development in Progress
This mixed-use development will encompass a 180-unit multi-family residential building with retail along the lower floor, and will also include 14 affordable units. The 10 homes in the immediate neighborhood are boarded up and will be demolished to make way for the development. Wythe Street between North Fayette and North Payne streets will remain closed until early 2023 for sewer construction.
The Potomac Yard Metro Stations was supposed to open in April and then November of 2022, but has been delayed until a date to be determined in 2023. According to Executive Vice President of Capital Delivery, Andy Off, “the team has been working around the clock to push the project delivery team to perform in accordance with the schedule.”
Virginia Hospital Center’s New Outpatient Center in Arlington
Virginia Hospital Center’s 245,000 outpatient center in Arlington is slated to open in winter of 2023. The center will be equipped with physical and aquatic therapy rooms, surgery and endoscopy treatment rooms, and women’s imaging suites. The outpatient center opening will mean more than 100 beds can be added to the main building.
New and Improved Eugene Simpson Dog Park
The popular Del Ray neighborhood dog park is currently being renovated for improved drainage, an updated playground, enhanced open space, renovations to the athletic fields, as well as a new entrance and drinking fountain.
George Washington Birthday Parade – February 20th
Celebrate Washington’s birthday in his adopted hometown, Old Town Alexandria, in the oldest and largest George Washington Birthday parade in the country. The parade will feature over 2,500 participants, including drum corps, color guards, city and community dignitaries, community and fraternal organizations, bands, youth groups, and of course George and Martha Washington.
Historic Homes & Garden Tour – April 15th
This walking tour of Old Town includes private homes and secluded gardens as part of Virginia’s annual Historic Garden Week. In addition, the tour ticket allows access to two Garden Club of Virginia restoration projects, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens and Green Springs Gardens. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning in February 2023.
Portside in Old Town Summer Festival – TBD June
Kick off summer with this free festival featuring an array of live music, local food and craft beer from Port City Brewing Company, and various art and history activities for the whole family.
Juneteenth Celebrations – June 19th
Learn more about Juneteenth and Alexandria’s Black history and culture with enriching historical tours and lectures, musical performances, and more! In the days surrounding Juneteenth, you’ll be able to participate in jubilee celebrations including outdoor garden concerts, as well as festive celebrations at Carlyle House and the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
Fourth of July/Alexandria’s Birthday Celebration – TBD July
The City of Alexandria will celebrate its 274th birthday while the United States celebrates its 247th birthday. Enjoy live music, local vendors, and a patriotic performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra as you watch the grand finale fireworks display.
Alexandria Old Town Art Festival – TBD September
Rated as one of the top 100 art shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine, at this festival you’ll be able to peruse art from all over the country.
Historic Homes Tour – TBD September
The Historic Homes Tour began in 1941 hosted by the Hospital’s Senior Auxiliary to raise money for the Hospital. Since 1997, The Twig Thrift Shop has hosted the Tour offering a self-guided walking tour of the beautiful homes and gardens in Old Town. Highlights include original structures, curated artwork, and historical collections.
Art of the Avenue – October 7th
Del Ray hosts more than 300 artists for a fun afternoon of shopping, live music, kids’ activities, and more. Art on the Avenue celebrates its 28th year in 2023.
Scottish Christmas Walk Parade – December 2nd
Kickoff the holidays and celebrate Alexandria’s Scottish heritage during the Campagna Center’s 52nd annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. The parade is not to be missed, and features dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans, pipe and drum bands from around the region, terriers and hounds, and local businesses like us! Throughout the day in Old Town various festive events take place culminating in the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade.
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – December 2nd
At the 23rd annual Holiday Boat Parade, you can watch more than 50 brightly lit boats cruise up and down the Potomac River. Enjoy dockside festivities in Waterfront Park including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company, food, and various family friendly activities!
New Year’s Eve and First Night Alexandria – December 31st
Ring in the New Year with special menus at restaurants across the city, live music, various performances, and a grand fireworks display. First Night Alexandria showcases the performing arts by giving exposure to rising stars, new artists, and seasoned professionals. A diverse group of artists will perform all over Old Town from 12 pm – 12 am. Various churches, museums, retail establishments, libraries, private clubs, buildings and offices, recreation centers, city-owned facilities, theaters, and hotels will transform into venues to enjoy artistic expression. All FNA Matinee and Prime Time performances will be held indoors. FNA After Hours is an outdoor street party at Market Square. The venues are walkable and within a maximum distance from the river to the metro of 1 mile. Stroll through Old Town and enjoy various performances throughout the afternoon and evening!