News

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  • May 12, 2017 7:30 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    With rain in the forecast on Saturday, plans for this weekend's events in Del Ray have changed slightly....

    The Tot Rock Fest will take place on SATURDAY, MAY 13 as planned, but will be moved INDOORS to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center  (2701 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria).  Join us for an amazing day of music, movement, and making a difference for children in and around Del Ray, featuring Rainbow Rock Band, Rocknoceros, The Great Zucchini, and more!   The event is free and open to all; festival attendees are encouraged to bring new or used musical instruments for Now I Play Along Too.  For more information, along with a complete schedule, visit totrockfest.com.

    La Bella Strada will take place on SUNDAY, MAY 14 from 9am to 3pm. La Bella Strada is a modern street painting festival that originates from an ancient Italian art form. Organized The Del Ray Montessori School parents, this unique event takes place along Mount Vernon Avenue and brings artists, energetic volunteers, and local businesses together to enliven our cottage neighborhood with vibrant colors, crowd-drawing masterpieces, and a one-of-a-kind experience of witnessing the creation of large-scale chalk paintings directly on the sidewalks.  The event is free and open to all.

    The Mount Vernon Community School PTA Garden Party will be rescheduled to SATURDAY, MAY 20 from 8am to 2pm. Come by the Mount Vernon Community School playground to shop herb and veggie plants, cut flowers, baked goodies and kids’ crafts -- all proceeds will go toward the MVCS playground project.

    And, of course, the Del Ray Farmer's Market is rain or shine, every Saturday from 8am to 12pm!

    See you on the Avenue this weekend!


  • May 01, 2017 10:44 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         The Del Ray Business Association is thrilled to welcome Dolce and Bean Confectionary Boutique to Mount Vernon Avenue!  The family-owned dessert shop will host its Mayoral ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, May 6 at 4:30pm, with sampling throughout the day. Dolce and Bean is located at 2003A Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.

         "Our artisans were hand-selected, and are respected and well-known professionals at their craft," said Dolce and Bean owner Cookie Seifu. "While we take the quality of our products very seriously, we know how to satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth, and work to create treats that add fun and excitement for kids and adults alike.”

        As part of the grand opening celebration, Dolce and Bean will hold a drawing for gift certificates plus a “Good Eats and Sweet Treats” grand prize -- dinner at a four four to a Del Ray restaurant plus a guided dessert tour.  

        “Just as with wine, every person has a taste profile when it comes to sweets," said Seifu. "The contest winner and guests will be given a ‘taste-tour’ to learn more about their preferences, and how to pair various confections with different food and drink.”

        To enter the drawing, register in-store, or by “liking” the Dolce and Bean Facebook page.  

         Dolce and Bean focuses on providing excitement and variety in fine desserts, including authentic French Macarons, Belgian chocolates, and authentic, slow churned gelato. The boutique has both gluten-free and vegan options, plus premium coffee beverages and pure sugar cane fountain sodas. The Dolce and Bean Confectionary Boutique offers catering for special events and gatherings, as well as special occasion gift baskets. 

       “We are very excited to be doing business in Alexandria, and serving the Del Rey area, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. We hope to be providing an exceptional dessert experience to the community for years to come, but especially to mothers this May 14th," said Seifu.

       From Neuhaus Beligian chocolates, to authentic French pastries, indulgent gelato and coffee, Dolce and Bean is a one- stop shop for an immediate sweet delight, that perfect gift, or a trusted partner to cater and enhance your next event or gathering.  

        Dolce and Bean is located at 2003A Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.  For more information, visit dolceandbean.com.


  • April 27, 2017 9:35 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        Del Ray, one of the most dog-friendly neighborhoods in the region, highlights "Dog Days in Del Ray" during its May First Thursday.  The monthly street festival takes place on May 4 from 6pm to dusk along Mount Vernon Avenue. The event is free and open to all.

        Bring your favorite four-legged friend out to the Avenue for a wide variety of canine-themed activities for dogs (and their humans!), including: 

    • Pet adoption information from Homeward Trails, Operation Paws, Lu’s Labs Labrador Retriever Rescue, Pet Rescue Alliance, and Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
    • Obstacle Course hosted by Your Dog's Best Friends at the Bean Creative lot
    • Conditioning & Training with Wholistic Hound's Sandy Modell located at the breezeway near The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray
    • Musical Matts/Tug-a-war hosted by Your Dog's Best Friends at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square
    • Smooch-a- Pooch hosted by Your Dog's Best Friends in front of The Dog Store
    • Bark & Grilllll hosted by Your Dog's Best Friends in front of The Dog Store
    • Spin Wheel hosted by Your Dog's Best Friends at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square'
    • "Pet planning" -- information on taking care of your pets in your estate planning with attorney Lonnie Rich
    • Dog Tails -- storytime with Duncan Library at the Bean Creative lot
    • Face painting in front of Bellies and Babies
    • Dog Art with Friends of Guest House in front of The Department of Human Services
    • And treats for humans, too -- including dog bone-shaped cornbread with whipped honey butter from Northside 10, in front of Pork Barrel BBQ

        Participants are encouraged to bring unopened dog or cat food (especially cat food for nursing mothers and kittens); training treats for dogs; or KONGS, unused nylabones, Greenies pill pockets, or Martingale collars to support the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.  The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria provides shelter to animals in need and promotes adoptions, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership in the Alexandria community. Donations will be collected at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, located at Mt. Vernon & Oxford Avenues.  For more information on the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, visit www.alexandriaanimals.org.

        Held the first Thursday from April to September along Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals that bring the community together around a fun theme, benefiting a local nonprofit.  This month’s event is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association and Your Dog's Best Friend.

  • April 06, 2017 3:36 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         Hold on to your hats!  Due to inclement weather, First Thursday will be postponed until Thursday, April 13 from 6pm to dusk along Mount Vernon Avenue.  The event is free and open to all. 

         Wear your favorite hat, Easter bonnet, or crazy hat day-inspired creation, and stroll the Avenue for the theme "Hats Along the Avenue."  The event features live music; a photo booth; children's activities, including hat-making with Upcycle Creative Reuse Center at Bellies and Babies Consignment Boutique; and more. Pets are welcome.

        Participants are encouraged to bring donations of painting supplies, hammers, screwdrivers, bits, drills, small step stools, shovels, and rakes to the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, located at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Oxford Avenues for Rebuilding Together Alexandria.  Rebuilding Together Alexandria volunteers repair and rehabilitate homes free of cost for those in need, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, military veterans, and families with children. Together, the Del Ray Business Association and the Del Ray Citizens Association will help rebuild a home in Del Ray on National Rebuilding Day, April 29.  
    For more information on Rebuilding Together Alexandria, visit www.rebuildingtogetheralex.org.

         "Our businesses and volunteers are proud to be a part of this important initiative, which directly benefits our neighbors in need right here in Del Ray," said Del Ray Business Association President Dennis Belmont.

        Held the first Thursday from April to September along Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals that bring the community together around a fun theme, benefiting a local nonprofit.  


  • March 23, 2017 7:27 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Image result for rebuilding together alexandria    With the arrival of Spring, the to-do list of home improvement and garden projects grows.  The Del Ray Business Association and the Del Ray Citizens Association are joining forces with Rebuilding Together Alexandria to ease that burden for residents in the City of Alexandria, as part of the April 29 National Rebuilding Day.
         "Our businesses and volunteers are proud to be a part of this important initiative, which directly benefits our neighbors in need right here in Del Ray," said Del Ray Business Association President Dennis Belmont.
         During National Rebuilding Day, thousands of volunteers across the nation repair and rehabilitate homes free of cost for those in need, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, military veterans, and families with children.
         "Among the core missions of the citizens' association are enhancing the quality of life in Del Ray and stimulating community engagement," said Del Ray Citizens Association President Rod Kuckro. "This project serves both of those goals, not to mention that it's going to be a lot of fun!"
         Whether being a part of fundraising, planning, or actual building, there are plenty of ways to be involved:

    • Raise a Glass to Raise a Roof: Join the Del Ray Business Association for a spring bar crawl down Mount Vernon Avenue to benefit Rebuilding Together Alexandria.  Wristbands are $10, with all proceeds benefiting Rebuilding Together Alexandria.  Click here for tickets.

    • First Thursday: Del Ray's series of monthly street festivals returns on Thursday, April 6, benefiting Rebuilding Together Alexandria.  With the theme "Hats On The Avenue," participants are urged to wear their favorite hat, Easter bonnet, or crazy-hat-day inspired creation for a free street festival along Mount Vernon Avenue from 6pm to dusk.  The event is free and open to all; participants are encouraged to bring donations of painting supplies, hammers, screwdrivers, bits, drills, small step stools, shovels, and rakes to the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, located at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Oxford Avenues.

    • National Rebuilding Day: Volunteers are needed on National Rebuilding Day on April 29 to help rehabilitate a Del Ray home. All skill levels are welcome!  Contact Lauren Fisher at drlaurenfisher@gmail.com to help.
  • February 17, 2017 10:04 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       From Feb. 17-26, 2017, select Alexandria restaurants will feature a $35 three-course dinner for one OR a $35 dinner for two during Alexandria Winter Restaurant Week; some restaurants will also offer lunch specials.  The week-long event showcases the inventiveness of local chefs in neighborhoods throughout the City of Alexandria. 

        Click here for menu details, reservations, and more.  Participating Del Ray restaurants:

    • Bombay Curry Company, 2607 Mount Vernon Avenue
    • Cheesetique, 2411 Mount Vernon Avenue
    • Del Ray Cafe, 205 E. Howell Avenue
    • Evening Star Cafe, 2000 Mount Vernon Avenue
    • FireFlies Bar & Restaurant, 1501 Mount Vernon Avenue
    • Live Oak Restaurant, 1603 Commonwealth Ave
    • Northside 10, 10 E Glebe Rd
    • the sushi bar, 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue
  • February 10, 2017 8:08 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         The Del Ray Business Association presented Del Ray Cafe with its 2017 "Heart of Del Award,"  The annual award, given to the business that represents the heart and soul of Del Ray, is determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers. 

        "Margaret and I are truly surprised and humbled by winning the Heart of Del Ray award. We were just honored to be included with the amazing group of other nominees Cheesetique, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow, ROAM and Taqueria Poblano," said Del Ray Cafe owner Laurent Janowsky.  "Our guiding philosophy since the day we conceived Del Ray Cafe is to welcome everyone as if they are family visiting our home. Our fantastic staff are an integral part of conveying this feeling to each and every customer; we have to thank Nadir, Abdel, George, Cesar and the rest of our staff."

         Patrons cited this welcoming atmosphere in their nominations. "Every time we go there, the waiters welcome us like we are old friends," read one nomination. "Friends from D.C. joined us there for dinner and said that they have never received that warm a welcome anywhere!"  Many of the nominations also cited Del Ray Cafe's commitment to giving back to the community, particularly through their donations Alexandria schools and nonprofits.

        "As we approach our 5th anniversary in May, looking back, we couldn't have guessed what a fantastic community we were joining!" said Del Ray Cafe owner Margaret Janowsky. "The DRBA is so intricately woven into the fabric of the community. We feel so lucky to have the support of both the residents and the businesses of Del Ray."

          Over 1,000 neighbors, friends and customers participated in online voting. Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, and Caboose Cafe.  

  • January 30, 2017 11:10 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         Voting is now open for the 2017 "Heart of Del Ray" contest, sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association.   

         Every February, the Del Ray Business Association presents the Heart of Del Ray Award to the business that serves as the heart and soul of Del Ray, as determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers. Selection is based on which business best demonstrates their warm and welcoming attitude to the community/customers, their commitment and generosity to the community, and to their overall contribution to the Del Ray community.

         The nominees for the 2017 Heart of Del Ray -- plus comments from the customers who nominated them -- are :

    • Cheesetique: "Long time favorite for our family."  "You can always count on great food and great service as indicated by the many national awards they have won." "Thankful to Jill [Erber] for supporting so many important causes in the community."

    • Del Ray Cafe: "Every time we go there, the waiters welcome us like we are old friends.  Friends from D.C. joined us there for dinner and said that they have never received that warm a welcome anywhere!" "The Del Ray Cafe not only treats its customers like family, it also gives back to the community.  They hosted a restaurant night for my daughter's school, and they were generous with their time and donation."

    • Pork Barrel/Holy Cow/Sushi Bar: "Besides great food, they are one of the most community-minded businesses in the DC area." "Holy Cow donates a quarter per burger to ACT, they supported Rose's family, organized a fundraiser for Al's, one of their competitors and they donate the Del Ray's Christmas tree every year. They are what makes Del Ray so special."

    • Rock Of Ages Music (ROAM): "What John Patrick and his team of talented instructors have done for musicians and children in the neighborhood is astounding and I know they do it with all of their Heart!  And they coordinate great community events like ROAMFEST and the Del Ray Music Festival."

    • Taqueria Poblano: "A neighborhood favorite -- like Cheers, where you walk in and they know your name."  "We love the food and love to take friends from out of town because it always feels so welcoming."  "Appreciate Jeff [Wallingford] and Taqueria Poblano who are always willing to support community events."
         Click here to vote; voting closes at 5pm on Wed., Feb. 8.  A large heart-shaped award will be displayed on the winning business on Fri., Feb 10 to greet them for the Valentine’s Day weekend.

          Last year, over 1,600 neighbors, friends and customers participated in online voting.  Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, and Caboose Cafe.  

  • January 26, 2017 9:00 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Inline image 1

        At its January membership meeting, the Del Ray Business Association elected Dennis Belmont president of the business group representing small, independent, and locally-owned businesses.

          "It's an honor to work with such an incredible group of independent, locally-owned businesses," said Belmont.  "As both a Del Ray business owner and resident, I'm excited about this opportunity to help our business community continue to grow, and share why our neighborhood is the best place in the region to work, live, eat, and shop.  Del Ray truly has it all."

          Belmont, the owner of Belmonster Creative, has been a small business owner since 2000 and has served on the DRBA board as chair of the Marketing Committee since 2014.  He has participated in multiple CEO training programs, including Vistage, Strategic Coach, and Leadership Alexandria.  His graphic design talents are showcased throughout the Del Ray neighborhood; his work in the community includes designing the DRBA logo and the "Eat, Shop, Live" street banners along Mount Vernon Avenue, plus design work for Holy Cow, the sushi bar, and the Alexandria Police Foundation, among others.  He has lived in Del Ray since 2005.

         During his two-year term as president of the association, Belmont plans to focus on expanding opportunities for small business education and growth; while continuing to lobby the City of Alexandria for improvements to Del Ray, including pedestrian-scale street lighting.  

          The following members were elected for two-year terms:

    • Shannon Catlett, of John Marshall Bank, who currently serves as secretary of the DRBA board
    • Lauren Fisher, owner of Del Ray Psychological & Wellness Associates 
    • Nicole Jones, owner of Stomping Ground
    • Sandy Modell, owner of The Wholistic Hound Academy and former DASH general manager
    • Hilary Riedermann, owner of Idea Sink Marketing

         They join Mara Benner of Four Directions Wellness, Bill Blackburn of Pork Barrel BBQ, Pat Miller of Art on the Avenue, Anthony Istrico of Istrico Productions LLC, Sue Kovalsky of Jen Walker Real Estate, citizen member Gayle Reuter, and Brian Story of AXA Advisors, LLC on the board.

         The Del Ray Business Association represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria; DRBA also hosts community events, including First Thursdays, Taste of Del Ray, The Del Ray Halloween Parade, The Alexandria Turkey Trot, and more.  For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.

  • January 25, 2017 11:14 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)


    Del Ray Business Association President Bill Blackburn and DRBA Board Member Gayle Reuter present the business association's 2016 STAR Award in the public service category to Alexandria Police Deputy Chief Dianne Gittins.  Gittins, who serves as the police department's liaison to the Del Ray community, has been with the Alexandria Police Department since 1989; in 2014, she was the first woman to reach the
    rank of Deputy Chief.  "The Del Ray community is so thankful for the great relationship we have with the Alexandria Police Department and appreciate the tremendous resource Deputy Chief Gittins provides to our community," said Reuter.


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