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  • February 15, 2020 10:16 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)


    The Del Ray Business Association is proud to present our first-ever Forever Heart of Del Ray to Affordable Signs & Banners. "Affordable Signs and Banners has been in Del Ray from the beginning, when there were so few businesses on the Avenue," said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter. They help business open up -- and stay open -- and do amazing projects with little notice and make them look so good. This team is amazing -- they are what Del Ray is all about."

    In 1989, Ken Boland started his sign company in his basement on Hume Avenue, outgrowing three locations (including one on Mount Vernon Avenue) before ending up in their current 5,000 square foot facility on Route 1, utilizing several state-of-the-art, large format, digital printers. Boland: "As we travel up and down 'The Avenue,' we see a countless number of our signs and we also see long-time and new friends behind all those signs. In the years we have been in business, we have outgrown three locations but we have always managed to relocate to a new facility within Del Ray's boundaries. We wouldn't want it any other way."


  • February 14, 2020 9:47 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    The Del Ray Business Association Board presents the 2020 Heart of Del Ray to Ms. Preeti's 7-Eleven

    ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The Del Ray Business Association presented Ms. Preeti's 7-Eleven with the 2020 "Heart of Del Award" on Feb. 13.  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.

        "I'm so glad to be a part of this community," said Preeti Patel, who has owned and operated the 7-Eleven at 2108 Mount Vernon Avenue for 10 years.  "There are kids who came in here buying candy and Slurpees who now are grown or in college.  As a mother myself, I love watching them grow over the years."

         "It's really unusual for a 7-Eleven to become such a huge part of the neighborhood," said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter. "There's never been a time when we have an event that she hasn't asked, 'How can we help?' ... Ms. Preeti, you are a neighbor. You are a friend. You are family. And the voters obviously felt the same."  

           Patrons cited Patel's warm smile, welcoming spirit, and her support of local events and causes.  7-Eleven has donated over 2,000 hot dogs for the Halloween Parade every year.  “She knows all the families, supports all our events, supports the schools, and so much more,”  read one nomination.  “She is always pleasant, always working hard, and always so kind and welcoming to my kids,” read another.

          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, Caboose Cafe, Del Ray Cafe, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow/the sushi bar, and Taqueria Poblano.  A business cannot win the award multiple years.

         The Del Ray Business Association represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.  

  • February 03, 2020 12:57 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         Voting is now open for the 2020 Heart of Del Ray award, 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 and customers, their commitment and generosity to the community, and to their overall contribution to Del Ray.

         The nominees for the 2020 Heart of Del Ray -- plus comments from the customers who nominated them -- are:

    • LENA'S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA & TAP: For decades, the Yates family has been known for their commitment to the community and customer service -- values that they have carried over to their restaurant, Lena’s.   The restaurant hosts regular fundraising nights for local schools and community organizations, and leads the party during Del Ray’s popular charity bar crawls.  “They are the epitome of the neighborhood,” read one nomination.  “Good food and a great environment.  The staff is wonderful,” read another nomination.

    • MS. PREETI'S 7-ELEVEN: The biggest smile in Del Ray is the one behind the counter at 7-Eleven.  Owner Preeti Patel is a fixture in the community, known for her welcoming spirit and her support of local events and causes -- including donating over 2,000 hot dogs for the Halloween Parade every year.  “She knows all the families, supports all our events, supports the schools, and so much more,”  read one nomination.  “She is always pleasant, always working hard, and always so kind and welcoming to my kids,” read another.

    • ROCK OF AGES MUSIC (ROAM): Founded by Alexandria native John Patrick, ROAM strives to be "an all-inclusive music center to provide the area with all of its musical needs."  That mission is at the core of all that Patrick does -- not only does he teach up-and-coming musicians, he volunteers countless hours chairing the Del Ray Music Festival, bringing top local talent to the neighborhood. “They are building a safe community for our kids, all while embracing the arts,” read one nomination.  “The end results are amazing and fill the kids with such a sense of accomplishment and self esteem."

    • STOMPING GROUND: Three words are used most often to describe chef/owner Nicole Jones’ Stomping Ground -- friendly, welcoming, and delicious -- all the things a great neighborhood restaurant should be.  “Nicole’s energy, community involvement and culinary talent are the very best Del Ray has to offer.  Her actions and work bring great credit upon her and our town,” read one nomination.  Another nominee summed up the restaurant’s community vibe: “It’s like Cheers for biscuits!”

    • STUDIO BODY LOGIC: For over 20 years, Studio Body Logic has been a leader in the wellness community, with a commitment to giving back; the studio offers free Pilates classes for wounded veterans through their non-profit, Next Step Pilates. “The women who run it are widely recognized as some of the very best in their fields, and most importantly, they have formed a supportive community of people who laugh, hurt, and grow together,” read one nomination.  “They have been improving lives of residents like myself for many years, and they are also helping some of those who need it most,” read another.

         Visit www.visitdelray.com/heartofdelray to vote; voting closes at 12 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 12.  A large heart-shaped award will be displayed on the winning business on Th., Feb 13 to greet them for the Valentine’s Day weekend.

          A business can only win the award once. Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, The Jen Walker Team, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, Caboose Cafe, Del Ray Cafe, Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow/The Sushi Bar, and Taqueria Poblano.

  • January 22, 2020 5:53 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)


        Spice Kraft Indian Bistro celebrated its grand opening and ribbon-cutting on Jan. 20.  The new restaurant, which brings features Indian cuisine, catering, and takeout, is located in the former Bombay Curry Company space at 2607 Mount Vernon Avenue.
        "This is a place we have loved for a very long time," said Del Ray Business Association president Sue Kovalsky, nodding to Bombay Curry Company owner Balraj Bhasin, who retired in 2019 after 23 years in Del Ray, and was selective in choosing the new restaurant to fill the space.  "We couldn't ask for a better businessman, community leader, and friend who waited to find the perfect fit for this neighborhood."
        Spice Kraft owner Anthony Shankar managed Taaza, a popular Indian restaurant in Roanoke, for seven years before relocating to Alexandria to open Spice Kraft. He brought along former Taaza chef Premnath Durairaj, who has worked with Shankar for more than two decades. "'Our chef's name means 'love' -- perfect for Del Ray," said Shankar, noting the warm welcome the restaurant has received from the neighborhood.
       “We are thrilled that Anthony is continuing the tradition of bringing great Indian food here to Del Ray,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson  
       For restaurant hours and menus, visit www.spicekraftdelray.com.

  • December 19, 2019 12:11 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)


        The Del Ray Business Association presented its annual Star Awards on Dec. 16, to recognize key individuals who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer roles serving the Del Ray community.

          The Business Award was presented to "Mango" Mike Anderson of Homegrown Restaurant Group, which includes Pork Barrel BBQ, The Sushi Bar, and Holy Cow in Del Ray. “He’s always the cheerleader, always trying to figure out what can he do to help make things better,” said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter. “Holy Cow has donated 450,000 quarters to nonprofits. He is giving every single day and brings such excitement, such positivity.”

           The City/Government Award was presented to Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the Alexandria Small Business Development Center.  “Bill is one of the most supportive, kind, but stern taskmasters,” said Jill Erber, the founder and owner of Cheesetique and a former Del Ray Business Association president, who presented the award. “When times were tough, and I got stuck, and I didn’t know what to do my first call was always to Bill Reagan."

           The Citizen Award was presented to Amy Shopkorn, who is the Del Ray Business Association's volunteer coordinator and co-chair of the Well Ray Festival.  "This year's Well Ray was bigger and better than ever, thanks to Amy's great efforts," said Del Ray Business Association President Sue Kovalsky. "We are so fortunate to have someone like Amy be our point of contact for volunteers year-round. She brings a tremendous energy and dedication to all that she does."

           The Youth Award was presented to William Jahns, 14.  "Del Ray is so fortunate to have both active business owners and community members who work together to make incredible events happen," said Reuter.  "William has been volunteering for most of his life at the Turkey Trot, and helps set up at numerous community events. It's been amazing to watch him grow up, and become more and more involved in the community each year."  

         The Del Ray Business Association represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.  For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.

  • December 01, 2019 10:57 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The Del Ray Holiday Season Kick-Off will take place Sunday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, beginning a month-long holiday celebration on Main Street. The holiday activities reflect the Del Ray neighborhood's reputation as a dining, retail, wellness, and arts destination in the region, along with its commitment to supporting Alexandria non-profits year-round.

    All events are open to all. Among the activities planned:

    • Holiday Season Kick-Off: The Del Ray community will come together on Sun. Dec 8 at 6 p.m. for the annual Christmas tree and Menorah lighting at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, located at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Oxford Avenues. The event features an appearance by Santa, who will lead carols and sit for photos with children. Participants are urged to bring full-size lotions, full-size soaps and/or body wash, men's and women's deodorant, new men's and women's underwear in various sizes, new men's and women's long johns in various sizes, or twin air mattresses for Carpenter’s Shelter. Continue the celebration (and start your holiday shopping!) with a stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias in honor of the late Nancy Dunning.

    • Twelve Days of Wellness in Del Ray: From Dec. 9-20, the Del Ray wellness community will offer twelve days of self-care during the holidays, featuring special promotions, classes, workshops, and more.

    • Shops of Del Ray’s Ladies’ Night Out: Join the Shops of Del Ray on Th., Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to shop local and enjoy special promotions — all while sipping Virginia wine. Find the perfect gift on The Avenue or at an outdoor pop-up market featuring local artisans at the Del Ray Psych & Wellness parking lot, located at the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and Bellefonte Avenue.

    • 4th Annual Candy Cane Bar Crawl: Take a break from the bustle of holiday preparations and enjoy specials at top Del Ray restaurants during a neighborhood beer crawl on Sat., Dec. 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $15, with proceeds benefiting Community Lodgings.  Click here for tickets.

    • Del Ray Holiday Pop-Up Market: Find one-of-a-kind gifts made by local artisans and at-home entrepreneurs on Sat., Dec. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square.

    • First Night Alexandria: On New Years' Eve from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., bring the entire family out for an old-fashioned carnival featuring games, face-painting, and more at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center.

         All events are presented by the Del Ray Business Association, which represents the independently-owned shops, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. For complete information, visit www.visitdelray.com.


  • November 23, 2019 6:59 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        In recognition of his service to the City of Alexandria and the Del Ray community, Jack Taylor has been selected as the Grand Marshal of the 44th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot.

        "There is no one in Alexandria with a bigger heart than Jack Taylor,"  said Del Ray Business Association President Sue Kovalsky.  "On a day that is about giving, we're thrilled to recognize his devotion to the City of Alexandria and his incredible work with Alexandria non-profits."  Taylor, a self-made businessman, philanthropist, and owner of Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota, has been recognized as a Living Legend of Alexandria and past recipient of ACT for Alexandria’s Legacy of Service Award.  Earlier this year, T.C. Williams High School dedicated the Jack Taylor College and Career Wing in honor of his 25 years of generous donations to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria

        A Thanksgiving morning tradition, the Alexandria Turkey Trot will take place on Th., Nov. 28 at 9 a.m.  This fast, flat, USATF-certified course runs through the heart of Del Ray, and is the Mid-Atlantic's premiere Turkey Trot, featuring over 5,000 runners, including some of the fastest elite runners on the east coast.

        The five-mile run/walk goes through the heart of Del Ray, starting and ending at George Washington Middle School at the corner of Braddock Road and Mount Vernon Avenue. The event is Metro accessible to the Braddock Road Metro Station.  Dogs and strollers are welcome, and have their own starting area.

        In the spirit of the holiday, runners and spectators are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items on race day to support ALIVE!, a nonprofit serving Alexandria’s needy.  Last year, ALIVE! received over 2,000 pounds of food, $485 in cash donations, and a $5,000 check from the Del Ray Business Association to support ALIVE!'s Food Program as part of the 43rd Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot.

          For complete information on the race and to register, visit www.alexandriaturkeytrot.com.  Due to high registration numbers, early and pre-registration is recommended.  
  • October 31, 2019 1:33 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         Superheroes, ghosts, goblins, the T.C. Williams Zombie Band, and scores of decked-out strollers and pets in costume marched down Mount Vernon Avenue for the 23rd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade on Sunday, Oct. 27.  

       As part of the parade festivities, the Del Ray Business Association presented awards for best stroller, best pet costume, best decorated business, and best decorated house.

       The winners:

    Stroller Contest
    Most Creative: Signs of Elements & the Atoms Family
    Less is More: DJ Joe & Hype Mom
    Most Humorous: Thank You for Being A Friend
    Best Group: Dawn of MTV
    Best Overall: The Seas are Rising and So Are We

    Pet Contest
    Most Creative: Mario Cart
    Best Team (tie): Batman, Robin, Wonder Women + Villians and Super Girl  
    How Could You Do This To Me:  Chocolate Taco
    Vola Lawson Best in Show:  Racehorse & Jockey

    Best Decorated Businesses
    1st Place: The Garden
    2nd Place: Del Ray Psych & Wellness
    3rd Place: The Front Porch
    Honorable Mention: Artifacts, Pork Barrel BBQ, and Waxing the City

    Best Decorated Halloween Houses
    1st Place: 307 E Clifford
    2nd Place: 410 E Nelson
    3rd Place: 4 W Custis
    Honorable mention: 104 W Monroe, 8 E Bellefonte 
    People's Choice: 410 E. Nelson

       Held each year on the Sunday before Halloween, the Del Ray Halloween Parade is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association, which represents the independently-owned shops, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.

  • October 22, 2019 5:14 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Voting is now open for Del Ray's Best Decorated Halloween House!  Click here to cast your vote.  The winner will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Del Ray Halloween Parade after-party on the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center fields.  PHOTOS BY WILL NICCOLLS

    The ten finalists:

    410 E Nelson Ave.


    8 E Bellefonte Ave.


    104 W Monroe Ave.


    4 W Custis Ave.

    2215 Russell Road

    25 W Mt. Ida Ave.


    11 W Uhler Ave.


    69 Kennedy St.


    317 Hume Ave.


    307 Clifford Ave.


  • October 15, 2019 9:21 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)
        One of Del Ray's favorite traditions, the 23rd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. along Mount Vernon Avenue.  The parade, which begins at E. Bellefonte Ave., ends with a party at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center fields featuring live music, treat bags for children, free refreshments, children's games, awards for Best Decorated Stroller, House, Business & Best Pet Costume, and more.  The event is free and open to all.  

        Last year’s parade had more than 7,500 participants, which included over 2,500 children, special dignitaries and elected officials.  
      
          Among the events on the day's program:
    • Pet Costume Contest and Stroller Decorating Contest:  Registration for the Pet Costume Contest and Stroller Competition takes place before the parade start. Stroller and pet entries must register by 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Mt. Vernon and E. Howell Avenues; look for signage. Once registered, strollers will line up on Howell to be judged prior to the parade. Pets will be judged immediately at the end of the parade route. There is no fee to register.  For complete details and categories, visit www.visitdelray.com/halloween

    • Best Decorated House and Business:  The deadline for nominations for Best Decorated House and Best Decorated Business is Sunday, October 20 at 12 p.m.  To nominate a home or business, email the street addresses to delrayhalloweenparade@yahoo.com by October 20; please state if it should be judged during the day or night.

    • Costumes for Children In Need: The Del Ray Business Association collects and distributes Halloween costumes for children who would otherwise go without.  New or gently used costumes can be dropped off at collection bins at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (located at Oxford & Mount Vernon Ave.) or on the porch at 110 E. Del Ray.  Costumes are distributed the day before the parade from 2-4 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave. In 2018, over 200 costumes were distributed.  Click here for our Boo-tique's Amazon Wish List, and have the costume shipped directly.
       Held each year on the Sunday before Halloween, the Del Ray Halloween Parade is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association, which represents the independently-owned shops, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.  For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com/halloween


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