Appetite: Off the Menu: Alexandria Restaurant News and Notes

Appetite: Off the Menu: Alexandria Restaurant News and Notes

Openings, closures and coming-soons – it’s a busy time in the Alexandria restaurant scene. Here are some of the latest news and notes from around town.

Hank & Mitzi’s Closes

Call it another casualty of the pandemic: Hank & Mitzi’s restaurant in North Old Town has closed its doors. The restaurant, a new concept from Chef Jamie Leeds, had opened its doors only last summer at 600 Montgomery Street.

The restaurant posted a statement early this month on its website and social media channels:

“Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic was not without challenges and even with dedicated staff and loyal customers we find ourselves needing to pause, regroup, and determine the best way to move forward in this space. Effective immediately we are closing Hank & Mitzi’s for the foreseeable future. We thank you for understanding: it’s been a true pleasure serving you and the North Old Town community.”

Old Hat Bar Soft-Opens, Pauses to Prepare

It’s been a long wait for the erstwhile King Street Blues space at 112 N. Saint Asaph St., but last week signs of life were once again prevalent with a new concept – Old Hat Bar, a gastropub that has been a much-anticipated new offering in Old Town. Last week, Old Hat hosted a soft opening from June 9-12 and has now closed again in preparation of its grand opening at a time yet to be determined.

The soft opening menu featured the eclectic likes of steak frites, a Japanese egg salad sandwich, a BLT and crab Rangoon. And as expected, its cocktail menu was diverse and extensive, ranging from a “Paper Plane” with Maker’s Mark cask bourbon, Aperol, Montenegro amaro and lemon juice to, well, old hats such as a French 75 and a Manhattan.

Emmy Squared Pizza Moves In to King Street Digs

After Pizzeria Paradiso turned out the lights and closed the door last year, the plum spot at 124 King Street has remained dormant. But now a new pizzeria is moving in and the space is buzzing with pre-opening activity. Emmy Squared, which recently opened an outpost in Washington, D.C. (as well as maintaining space in nearly a half-dozen other cities), is setting up shop in the bustling 100 block of King. Unlike its predecessor, Emmy offers up Detroit-style pizza as well as sandwiches, salads, desserts and more.

A soft-opening date has not yet been announced, though Emmy Squared promises the Old Town location is “Coming soon (very soon!).”

Hope Nelson is the author of “Classic Restaurants of Alexandria” and owns the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at