Old Town Alexandria was once dominated by chef Cathal Armstrong. While he has sold restaurants during his reign, the demise officially started last summer with the closure of the nationally recognized modern American, fine-dining Restaurant Eve. This summer, Society Fair (which was sold to an employee) closed, as well as Eammon’s A Dublin Chipper and the groundbreaking speakeasy PX (with collaborator Todd Thrasher). Only Hummingbird inside Hotel Indigo maintains the Irishman’s footprint. Armstrong and team decamped to the city, opening pan-Asian Kaliwa and Potomac Distilling Company at The Wharf.
New players have moved into his turf. Armstrong’s The Majestic Cafe and Virtue Feed & Grain are owned by Alexandria Restaurant Partners, which also runs a handful of spots spanning from the waterfront to Braddock Road Metro. Developer Teddy Kim transformed neighborhood Parker Grey with cool-casual spots like Chop Shop Taco and Pendleton Carryout Co. And, Common Plate Hospitality serves everything from mussels (Augie’s) and Mexican (Urbano 116) on King Street to seafood (Catch on the Ave) in Del Ray.
Old Ox Brewery opens a second location in Middleburg; Crooked Run Brewing opens a second location in Sterling, flush with a biscuit shop, cocktail bar and pop-up farm stand; and pioneer Mad Fox Brewing Company blames a saturated marketplace for shuttering a week after its ninth anniversary.
A decade after it opened in DC, Agora opens a second location in Tysons Corner, this time with 12 seats overlooking the kitchen. // 7911 Westpark Drive, McLean
(Fake) Food Holidays
Sept. 7: Beer Lover’s Day
Sept. 10: Hot Dog Day
Sept. 29: Coffee Day
Longtime roadside stand The Pit Stop is on an expansion plan: It opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Sterling earlier this year and now serves pulled pork and brisket for lunch and reopens at 11 p.m. for the late-night crowds inside of One Loudoun. // 44717 Thorndike St., Ashburn
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