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  • May 27, 2021 9:29 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

    NOTE NEW DATE DUE TO WEATHER: The Del Ray Business Association presents First Thursday: Unmask Your Superhero on Thursday, June 10 from 6 p.m. to dusk along Mount Vernon Avenue. The event features a wide range of activities that promote community while supporting the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club.

    Wear your favorite superhero gear and participate in the following activities:

    -- Recognize Our Community Heroes: Do you have an employee, friend, neighbor, or family member that has gone above and beyond to serve the community during this challenging time? Share their story -- ten individuals will be recognized -- and each will receive a $50 gift card to Spice Kraft! Click here to enter: https://forms.gle/YYobLcBGkQ9zbXP57

    -- Superhero Art Hunt: Hidden throughout the neighborhood are original paintings of superheroes painted by local artists -- find the painting, and it's yours! Pick up clue sheets at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (intersection of Mount Vernon & Oxford Avenues) and at Foundation Fitness (1901 Mount Vernon Avenue) starting at 6pm.

    -- Be A Hero To Kids In Need: Participants are encouraged to donate individually-wrapped children's snacks; mac & cheese cups; fruit or applesauce cups; or juice boxes to the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club. Items will be collected at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (intersection of Mount Vernon & Oxford Avenues) and at Foundation Fitness (1901 Mount Vernon Avenue), Del Ray Psych & Wellness (1900 Mount Vernon Avenue), The Dog Store (2301 Mount Vernon Avenue), Waxing the City (2727 Mount Vernon Avenue) through June 10. To make a cash donation, visit https://bgcgw.org/newdonatepage (please select "Alexandria Club" in the drop-down designation menu).

    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.

  • May 21, 2021 8:54 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       Top area restaurants are slated to participate in the 12th Annual Taste of Del Ray. The event, named one of Virginia Living Magazine's top food festivals in the state, will shift to a weekend-long format from Friday, June 4 to Sunday, June 6.

       Throughout the weekend, each participating restaurant will offer select “tastes” for just $5 each. Restaurants are also encouraged to offer cocktail pairings to complement their dishes. Order a bunch of Tastes to go or enjoy them as an appetizer or part of your meal!

    Online registration for the event is just $5, and includes the exclusive menu of available tastes and specialty cocktails, plus a ballot to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AND FOR THE LATEST MENU ITEMS!

    Participating Restaurants & Ordering Information

    • Participating restaurants to date include Bella Napoli, Cheesetique, Del Ray Pizzeria, Evening Star Cafe, Hops N Shine, Junction Bakery & Bistro, Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, Live Oak Restaurant/Elo's Italian Pop-Up, Pork Barrel BBQ, Spice Kraft, Stomping Ground, and Taqueria Poblano. 
    • Each restaurant has the option of offering up to three food entries in the competition; all entries are available for just $5, and will be available from June 4-6. Restaurants also have the option to offer VIP cocktail pairings (prices vary), which will not be judged.
    • Pre-orders are STRONGLY encouraged to help our restaurants plan ahead. All orders should be placed online or by phone per the restaurants' usual operating procedure for carryout.
    • Special menu items will be available June 4-6 for pick-up at the restaurants during their normal operating hours. Tastes are available for dine-in or carry-out (or both!) depending on the restaurant’s protocols.

    People's Choice Award

    • All registrants will receive a ballot for the People's Choice Award, to the email used for registration. Online voting closes at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 6.
    • The Judge's Choice and the People's Choice awards will be announced on Monday, June 7.
  • April 02, 2021 2:43 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)
         The Del Ray Business Association will host an Alexandria Mayoral Democratic Primary Debate on Wed., May 12, moderated by NBC News 4 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey.   The debate will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.   Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg have both confirmed that they will participate. 

         "We look forward to a wide-ranging discussion about the future of our City -- including how we help our small businesses rebuild and thrive after the pandemic," said Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher. "There are few Alexandria residents who know the challenges facing our City better than Julie Carey.  We're thrilled that she'll lead this important debate."

         The Del Ray Business Association will also host a virtual forum with the Alexandria City Council candidates on Monday, May 17 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  All are invited to attend both virtual forums; recordings will also be available on visitdelray.com.  

        Carey, the Northern Virginia Bureau Chief for NBC News4, has covered Northern Virginia since joining the station in 1992. She has covered the governor, the general assembly, and every statewide election since 1993, and frequently moderates debates for local elections across the region, including moderating the first Alexandria Mayoral Debate in 2018, which was sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association.

        The Alexandria Democratic primary takes place on June 8.     

        The Del Ray Business Association is comprised of the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, serving as an advocate, representative, and educator.  For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.

  • March 15, 2021 8:54 AM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The Del Ray Business Association presents First Thursday: Petal Porch Party from 6 p.m. to dusk on Thursday, April 1. In the spirit of Del Ray's summer street festivals, the event features a wide range of activities that promote community while maintaining social distancing standards.

        Wear your mask, keep social distance, and participate in these community activities:

    -- Decorate your porch for spring!: 
    Del Ray will be part of the National Cherry Blossom's Petal Porch Parade. Decorate your yard, sidewalk, window, or any space visible from the street or sidewalk in a Cherry Blossom theme.The best decorated porch in Del Ray will receive a $50 gift card to their favorite Del Ray restaurant, retailer, or wellness provider. Click here to learn more and to register!  Please note: If you do not see your house on the National Cherry Blossom map, please email drbanews@gmail.com to have your house included in Del Ray's First Thursday Petal Porch contest. We look forward to seeing your creativity!

    -- Join the Cherry Blossom Challenge!  Starting April 1, there will be  Cherry Blossoms hidden in storefronts along Mount Vernon Avenue -- find them all by April 15 for a chance to win $50 to your favorite Del Ray restaurant or retailer, and other fun prizes!

    -- Be a hero to kids in need: Participants are encouraged to donate colored pencils (12-pack), crayons (24-pack), and reusable water bottles (new, kid-friendly, BPA-free sport/water bottles) for Mount Vernon Community School & Maury  Elementary School's Blessings in a Backpack program. On Thursday, April 1, plastic bins will be placed along Mount Vernon Avenue by 4 p.m.   Blessings in a Backpack works to provides food staples to Mount Vernon Community School and Maury Elementary School children in need. 

    -- Support our restaurants: Order dinner and drinks for carryout from one of Del Ray's local restaurants, and have dinner on your front porch, front steps, or front yard!

    -- Share the love: During First Thursday, take a video or post it on your social media accounts with the hashtags #VisitDelRay

         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. For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com.

  • March 10, 2021 7:42 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

         The Del Ray Business Association launched a new raffle to thank the community for their year-long support of small businesses throughout the pandemic.  One lucky customer will win a trip to Delray Beach, Florida for a winter escape from December 28, 2021 to January 2, 2022.

       "After a long and difficult year, the vaccine is here, bringing new hope for a safe and gradual return to normal," said Del Ray Business Association President Dr. Lauren Fisher.  "One of the things we're looking forward to most is traveling again.  This fun promotion is a way to say thank you to the community for their tremendous support of our small businesses, and to encourage customers to continue to shop local as we wrap up these tough winter months."

        From March 10-31, customers will receive an entry for every $25 in purchases from an independent, locally-owned small business in Del Ray. The deadline to submit receipts is Wednesday, March 31 at 5 p.m.  Complete details and an entry form is available at visitdelray.com/delraybeach.

         The winner will be announced during the community's first First Thursday of the year, which takes place on April 1 from 6 p.m. to dusk.  

  • February 12, 2021 1:44 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       The Del Ray Business Association presented Dolce & Bean with the 2021 "Heart of Del Award" on Feb. 12.  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.

        "It's overwhelming -- I'm so humbled by this award," said Petros Ghebre-Egziabher, who opened Dolce & Bean on Mount Vernon Avenue in 2017. "I'd like to express my love to this community that has welcomed me and supported me."

         "The things that people said about Dolce & Bean are exactly what this award was made for -- where do you go, when you walk in, that warms your heart. That's exactly what people said about Petros.  Over and over, people said how welcoming he is, how he knows the kids' names, and that's really what makes a community," said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter.  "Petros’ caring and welcome nature makes you feel like you are his favorite customer each time you visit," said Del Ray Business Association President Lauren Fisher.  

         Patrons cited Ghebre-Egziabher's warm and welcoming spirit.  "Petros is the nicest, most welcoming business owner -- he always greets guests with a smile!  His spirit, even throughout COVID, has put a smile on my face, as well as lightened up the community atmosphere," wrote one nomination.  "He takes the time to get to know all of his customers and has fostered a culture in his store of exactly what I think of when I think of the word 'community,'" wrote another.

          Over 1,400 neighbors, friends and customers participated in online voting. Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker of 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, and Ms. Preeti's 7-11.  A business cannot win the award multiple years.

  • February 03, 2021 1:39 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

       Voting is now open for the 2021 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 represents 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 the Del Ray community.

         The nominees for the 2021 Heart of Del Ray -- plus comments from the customers who nominated them -- are:

    • DEL RAY PSYCH & WELLNESS:  Their bright blue building is a hub of community activity -- including donation drives for local non-profits, free outdoor yoga, pop-up markets, and more.  "This business has become a neighborhood bright spot and part of its foundation. From how festive the building looks now, to its outside free classes and all the workshops offered to help keep Del Ray happy and healthy, especially now!" wrote one nomination. "The virtual resources that Del Ray Psych has provided during the pandemic have been so, so helpful and accessible.  Community is at the core of everything they do," wrote another.

    • DOLCE & BEAN: Dolce & Bean features delicious desserts -- and one of Del Ray's favorite neighbors, owner Petros Ghebre-Egziabher. "Petros is the nicest, most welcoming business owner -- he always greets guests with a smile! His spirit, even throughout COVID, has put a smile on my face, as well as lightened up the community atmosphere," wrote one nomination. "He takes the time to get to know all of his customers and has fostered a culture in his store of exactly what I think of when I think of the word 'community,'" wrote another.

    • ROCK OF AGES MUSIC (ROAM): Founded by Alexandria native John Patrick, ROAM is an all-inclusive music center that discovers and cultivates artistic talents. “They are building a safe community for our kids, all while embracing the arts. The end results are amazing and fill the kids with such a sense of accomplishment and self esteem," wrote one nomination. "JP and the gang always have the kids best interests at heart, and keeping them occupied and creative through this pandemic," wrote another.

    • ROSEMONT LANDSCAPING & LAWNCARE: While this Del Ray business has seen tremendous growth, they've remained committed to their hometown, volunteering with community projects and cutting lawns at no cost for those who are terminally ill. "This is a home-grown business that is always ready to donate a helping hand to the local community through school donations, playground installations, Rebuilding Together and many more," wrote one nomination. "They are compassionate and passionate about building the best community, yard by yard, playground by playground," wrote another.

    • ST. ELMO'S COFFEE PUB: Known as "Del Ray's Living Room," St. Elmo's Coffee Pub has been a community gathering place for over 20 years; after COVID, they moved from hosting poetry readings and jazz nights to being a collection center for Grace Food Pantry. "When I think of a heart, I think of a beating hub of activity. I think that perfectly describes the role St. Elmo's plays in Del Ray," wrote one nomination. "This neighborhood has been built around St. Elmo's. It’s time to recognize the place that started it all!" wrote another.

    • STOMPING GROUND: Three words are used most often to describe chef/owner Nicole Jones’ Stomping Ground -- friendly, welcoming, and delicious. “Nicole epitomizes the life and love in Del Ray. She’s inclusive, supports diversity, brings southern hospitality, and provides a certain spice that is so rare anywhere else,” read one nomination. "In addition to making amazing food, Nicole is such a champion of other small businesses in Del Ray! She's also so good to her staff and works really hard to make sure they earn a living wage. Through COVID she's put them first and made changes to ensure their safety stays key while keeping her business open."
         Voting is now open at visitdelray.com/heartofdelray; voting closes at 12 p.m. on Th., Feb. 11.  A large heart-shaped award will be displayed on the winning business on Fri., Feb 12 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, Jen Walker of 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, Taqueria Poblano, and Ms. Preeti's 7-11.

  • February 02, 2021 4:09 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The Del Ray Business Association board elected Dr. Lauren Fisher president of the business group representing small, independent, and locally-owned businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.  Mara Benner, the founder of Four Directions Wellness, was elected vice president.

       "I am honored to be representing an amazing group of resilient, supportive, and community-oriented business owners," said Dr. Fisher. "I look forward to helping our local businesses and community members adapt, evolve, and strengthen over this next year. In the words of Helen Keller, 'Alone we do so little, together we can do so much.'"

       Dr. Fisher is the co-owner and founder of Del Ray Psych & Wellness, an integrative wellness center in the heart of Del Ray. In addition to running the business, Dr. Fisher is a clinical psychologist; her specialities include mindfulness-based psychotherapy, positive psychology, trauma-informed approaches, and wellness coaching.

       Dr. Fisher has served on the Del Ray Business Association board since 2017; most recently as vice president. She also co-chairs the Wellness District, a collaborative group of wellness providers within the association; and has been an active member of the events committee, chairing the popular Spring Bar Crawl and Candy Cane Bar Crawls, which have brought the community together to benefit local non-profits.  She received the Business Star Award from the Del Ray Business Association in 2017 for her community involvement and service; was named to the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce's 40 Under 40 list in 2019; and her practice, Del Ray Psych & Wellness, received the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce's 2020 Rising Star Business Award.

       "Together, we have accomplished so much to get Del Ray on the map," said outgoing Del Ray Business Association President Sue Kovalsky of The Jen Walker Team.  "We have great momentum, which will only continue under Lauren's leadership."

        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.  

  • January 19, 2021 1:59 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The Del Ray Business Association presented its annual Star Awards on Jan. 19, recognizing key individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Del Ray community.

        Jason and Loren Yates, owners of Yates Automotive, Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, Yates Dry Cleaners, and Yates 7-Eleven were presented with a Business Award.   "Jason & Loren Yates’ generosity to countless nonprofits, their support and participation of all the events that Del Ray Business Association sponsors, and their dedication to providing the best services to the community is unequaled," said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter. "Even in the mist of the country’s worst pandemic and the worst possible time for businesses to survive, they have never wavered in supporting their employees and donating critical services and funds to nonprofits that are helping those most in need."

       Mara Benner, owner of Four Directions Wellness, also received a Business Award.  "Mara is one of our most dedicated volunteers and a tireless advocate for small business," said Del Ray Business Association President Sue Kovalsky "As chair of our membership committee and a key member of our wellness committee, Mara has led tremendous efforts to promote our small businesses and help them survive this pandemic -- safely."

       The Del Ray Business Association presented its Star award for public service to retiring Alexandria City Councilwoman Del Pepper, in recognition of her 35 years of service to the City of Alexandria.  "Del has been a long-time supporter of the Del Ray Business Association, an advocate for small businesses, and one of the biggest cheerleaders of our community events," said Del Ray Business Association board member Pat Miller.   "From promoting the Alexandria Turkey Trot from the City Council dias, to judging decorating contests at the Del Ray Halloween Parade, to showing up to show her support for new businesses at their ribbon cuttings, you could always count on Del Pepper to be there with her smile and positive words of encouragement."

        The Del Ray Business Association presented a special award to the Alexandria Curbside Dining Group, a Facebook group with over 11,000 members focused exclusively on supporting our restraurants during the pandemic, founded by and moderated by The Zebra Press' Mary Wadland and Lucelle O'Flaherty.  "This is a great example of someone asking, 'How can I help businesses directly?' -- and making a huge difference," said Reuter.  

         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.


  • January 10, 2021 11:17 PM | Pat Miller (Administrator)

        The Del Ray Business Association kicked off the new year by launching the I LOVE DEL RAY campaign,  which highlights ways the Alexandria community can safely support locally-owned small businesses during these challenging times.

        "Now through April, you're going to see a lot of marketing and promotion out there about all of our wonderful small businesses -- both in-home and brick-and-mortar -- and how we can support them through these really tough upcoming winter months," said Del Ray Business Association Marketing Chair Amy Eggers, of FLORA Living + Design.

       Visit Del Ray's social media channels, @visitdelray on Facebook and Instagram, will spotlight individual businesses with special promotions, workshops, profiles, and more. The themes:

    • NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: January 11-24 -- spotlighting health, wellness, and beauty

    • GET IT TOGETHER!: January 25-February 7 -- spotlighting professional services

    • SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP: February 8-21 -- spotlighting retail and at-home entrepreneurs

    • EAT YOUR HEART OUT: February 22-March 7 -- spotlighting restaurants

    • SPRING CLEANING, March 8-21 -- spotlighting professional services

    • EXPLORE DEL RAY, March 22-April 4 -- walking tours highlighting the history, murals, and more in our Del Ray community

       "Del Ray is truly a one-stop-shop to eat, shop, and live your best life," said Del Ray Business Association President Sue Kovalsky.  "While Main Street is best known for our restaurants, retailers, and wellness providers, we also have experts on everything you need to take care of yourself, your home, car, finances, and more.  Now more than ever, we need to support our neighbors and keep our dollars local." 

        Shop small, shop local, and support your community! Follow @visitdelray on Facebook and Instagram, and learn more at visitdelray.com/ilovedelray.

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