• 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 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)

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        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

  • 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.

  • January 02, 2017 3:01 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        Congratulations to ALIVE! -- the winner of the 2016 Del Ray Tree Decorating Contest!  The Del Ray Business Association will donate $500 towards ALIVE's important work in the Alexandria community.  ALIVE! serves thousands of Alexandrians annually with shelter; low-cost early childhood education and childcare; financial help for rent, utilities, medical care and other critical needs; emergency food; and deliveries of donated furniture and housewares.

         ALIVE! won the competition with 23% of the online vote; the Mount Vernon Community School PTA came in second with 19%, followed by the Del Ray Kinderchoir with 11%.

         Held each year, the Del Ray Tree Decorating Contest spotlights non-profits that do great work in the City of Alexandria throughout the year.  Thank you to all the participating non-profits: The Community Kids Club, The Alexandria Police Foundation, The Del Ray Montessori School, The Salvation Army, YoKid, Cub Scout Pack 135, The Del Ray Kinderchoir, Alexandria Film Festival, Mount Vernon Community School PTA in Alexandria,VA, ALIVE!, Friends of Duncan Library and Del Ray United Methodist Church.

  • December 30, 2016 3:16 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Image result for first night alexandriaFirst Night Alexandria will be back in Del Ray!  Join us for an Old-Fashioned Carnival from 6pm to 9pm at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center, featuring carnival games for all ages, line dancing, fortune teller, performances by Rainbow Rock at 6pm and 7pm, and MORE!

    The price of an admission badge is $30/adult, and includes access to ALL First Night Alexandria venues. Tickets for the Del Ray carnival only are $15/adult. Kids 12 and under and active military get in for FREE!  Click this link for full info on tickets.  

    Volunteers get a free pass for the night!  We are looking for volunteers to help with games, selling tickets, and prizes. To volunteer, contact Pat Miller at Volunteers get a free pass to all First Night activities! The Old Fashioned Carnival ends at 9pm, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the rest of First Night Alexandria -- including the fireworks!

  • December 22, 2016 10:04 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    Photo By Mary Wadland    The Del Ray Business Association presented its annual Del Ray Star Awards on Dec. 19, to recognize key individuals that have gone above and beyond in their volunteer roles to help the Del Ray Business Association and Del Ray community.

          "2016 has been a bittersweet year, its nice to end it on a positive note by recognizing a few tremendous people here in Del Ray," said Del Ray Business Association President Bill Blackburn.

           The Del Ray Business Association presented its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Tommy Knoernschild. "There are some that have spent their lifetimes helping others and helping the community and Tommy Knoernschild is one of those unique people," said Del Ray Business Association Member Gayle Reuter. "Born and raised in Del Ray,  you won't find someone more giving and helpful & always with a smile."

          The Business Awards were given to Sue Kolvalsky of McEnearney Associates, who has volunteered in the neighborhood for the past seven years and serves as co-chair of the Events Committee; and Mary Wadland of The Zebra,for her tremendous efforts in promoting Del Ray and the neighborhood's small, independently-run businesses.

           The Citizen Award was presented to Lindsay Nelson, who chairs the fundraising and sponsorship committee for the Alexandria Turkey Trot.  The event is the Del Ray Business Association's primary fundraiser, which funds many of the neighborhood's special events.  "Lindsay is the first volunteer to show up to help at events and last one to leave," said Reuter.

    Photo by Mary Wadland

  • December 16, 2016 9:00 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

          In the week since a beloved restaurant employee, friend, neighbor, and mother of four died from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle, the Del Ray business community hosted a fundraiser that raised $26,221.35 for her family.

         During the "Rally for Rose" fundraiser on Tue., Dec. 13, restaurants on the St. Elmo's block of Mt. Vernon Avenue --  Market2Market, St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, Holy Cow, and Pork Barrel BBQ -- offered special menu items for a donation; the dinner fundraiser raised $11,380 for the family of Rose Cruz.

        In addition,a number of Del Ray businesses donated over $5,000 in gift certificates and items for a raffle that was held during the event; the raffle, plus cash donations, raised an additional $14,841.35

        "She brought so much love to all of us, her family, our staff, our customers, the whole community," said Larry Ponzi, the owner of Market2Market, St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, and Cafe Pizzaiolo.  Cruz was the deli manager at Market2Market.

    It was a wonderful night showcasing the spirit of Del Ray," said Del Ray Business Association President Bill Blackburn, of Pork Barrel BBQ.  "Rose was a positive force in our community, this tragedy leaves a painful wound."

         Rose Cruz, 49, passed away on Dec. 4 from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Mt. Vernon Avenue at W. Glebe Road.  She lived in Alexandria with her husband and their 10-year-old and 12-year-old daughters.  She also has a 26-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son in the Phillippines.  

         For those who want to make a donation, a GoFundMe account has been set up at  To date, the GoFundMe account has raised over $50,000. 

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This website was made possible in part by a grant from the City of Alexandria Marketing Fund.