The customers of several Alexandria restaurants and retailers may feel jilted this Valentine’s Day, but at least one eatery in town is feeling the love from its foodie faithful in the face of hard times. This February, a tour of closures – and near-misses – has dotted the restaurant landscape around town.
Society Fair Gets By With a Little Help From Its Friends
Society Fair, a South Washington Street mainstay for several years, raised some eyebrows – and jangled some piggy banks – over the past couple of weeks with a call for financial assistance from the public. The restaurant and market, owned by Dan Fisher and Nadine Brown, created a GoFundMe page asking customers to give them a financial boost.
“2018 was a difficult year to say the least. We lost some amazing staff that went on to new opportunities. We lost our catering manager who went back to her old job. We lost our beloved butcher. It has taken us almost a year to rebuild our staff,” the GoFundMe page read. “… December and January with the government shutdown and record-breaking temperatures were like a final one-two punch. This is a unforgiving business at times and we have made mistakes.”
The campaign’s goal was listed at $30,000, and as of press time the initiative has raised $7,420. But according to co-owner Brown, that is enough to tide Society Fair over for now.
“Because of all of you and a generous landlord we will not be closing after service (tomorrow),” she wrote. “We have many changes coming and hope to be able to provide cake and gumbo for years to come.”
Flat Top Burger Closes in Del Ray
Visitors to Flat Top Burger on the outskirts of Del Ray have found the lights off and the doors locked over the past weeks. The burger-and-shake shop, which opened its doors in December 2016, has closed in its current location at 529 E. Howell Ave., adjacent to Route 1 and just beyond the Monroe Street bridge. Owners and managers have not returned calls for comment, but a post on Flat Top Burger’s website reads, “Flat Top Burger is closed – but don’t worry, we will be re-opening soon at a new location! Check back soon for more information!”
Williams Sonoma Closes in Old Town
Drivers along the George Washington Parkway will likely notice a shuttered storefront along the 800 block of South Washington Street. The Williams Sonoma location that had resided in the strip for many years has closed its doors for good. The company has been systematically closing underperforming stores (while opening new ones in promising locations) for the past several years. In the wider region, the Reston Town Center location also closed in January.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.