Celebrating Red Hot & Blue’s New Fairfax Location

Celebrating Red Hot & Blue’s New Fairfax Location

‘Hometown restaurant’ for barbecue and ‘true Southern cuisine.’

Cutting the ribbon.

Cutting the ribbon.

For the popular barbecue restaurant Red Hot & Blue, it’s out with the old and in with the new. In February, it closed its signature Fairfax City location on Chain Bridge Road and, instead, is focusing on its recently opened eatery at the other end of the City.

The new spot is at 10940 Fairfax Blvd. in the Fairfax Marketplace shopping center, near Audacious Aleworks. And if customers want to enjoy both places at once, they can order food via QR Code from Red Hot & Blue – while enjoying a beer at the brewery – and the restaurant will bring it to them.

People may dine leisurely inside Red Hot & Blue or take advantage of its outdoor seating. But for those in a hurry, needing to get their food quickly and go, the owners say they can get them in and out in just two minutes. 

Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m., daily, and catering is available. For ordering, see RedHotandBlue.com or call 703-520-0872. 

In addition, said Red Hot & Blue CEO Adam Bradley, “We do school-spirit nights, giving a portion of the proceeds back to the school.”

He and the restaurant’s owners, Rachid Elkhasouani and Josh Jnah, gathered outside of it for its ribbon cutting, emceed by Fairfax City Economic Development’s Tara Borwey. And possibly no one was happier about the new location than Fairfax Mayor Catherine Read.

“Red Hot & Blue has been such a great community partner in the City of Fairfax for such a long time,” she said. “And their [former] location near City Hall hosted so many community events that people in the City of Fairfax really see Red Hot & Blue as a hometown restaurant.”

“The fact that its new location was chosen here, in the Kamp Washington area, benefits me, personally,” continued Read. “The opening of the Hill Street pedestrian cut-through makes this location a three-minute walk from my house – even with my dog. So this has opened opportunities for my neighborhood, Fairchester Woods, and Cobbdale, to take advantage of Red Hot & Blue without having to go across town.

“We welcome Josh and Rachid and commend them on their great analysis for where this should be in Fairfax City. It offers excellent barbecue and true Southern cuisine, and we look forward to having you here for a very long time.” Read then gave an enthusiastic plug for the restaurant’s Idaho Stuffed Pig – a large potato stuffed with Carolina pulled pork, cheddar cheese, green onions and butter – which is her favorite item on the menu.

Next, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Chairman Doug Church called Red Hot & Blue and its owners “just incredible members of the Chamber. It’s been such a nice partnership. And they’re the host for our annual Independence Day Parade breakfast for local people, politicians and leaders. It’s always very well attended, and we really do appreciate it. I’m also a big patron of theirs. Congratulations, guys, and thank you so much for your support.”

In response, Elkhasouani thanked everyone for coming to the ribbon cutting and said he and Jnah took over the previous location in 2018. “This one is about the food quality and the speed of service,” he said. “It’s an honor to be in Fairfax City. Go, Red Hot & Blue!”

Then, pointing to Bradley, Jnah thanked him for his help in making the new location a reality. Also thanking the City, Jnah said he and Elkhasouani pride themselves on offering their customers barbecue that’s made fresh daily. “That’s very important,” he added.

Fairfax City Revenue Commissioner Page Johnson said he looked forward to “counting the money” this restaurant will yield. And Beth Young, the City’s Economic Development Authority Chair, told the owners, “I’m excited that you’re here, and we’re very happy to have you.”

Bradley said the new location was the culmination of two years of planning and he was pleased to see it finally come to fruition. “We know there’s growth and opportunity here,” he said. “Thanks to all of you, and we want the community to know Red Hot & Blue is as good as always, just faster and more focused on barbecue. That’s what we’re about.”

The first Red Hot & Blue opened in Arlington in 1988, thanks to the collaboration of a group of friends who shared Southern roots, an appreciation for authentic, Memphis-style barbecue and a love of blues music. The Memphis-style barbecue is slow cooked in a pit with the ribs covered in either a dry rub of salt and spices before cooking or a sauce. And the restaurant honors the blues’ influence on American culture in its name.

The menu features hickory-smoked ribs, plus barbecued pulled pork, smoked chicken, tender beef brisket, smoked sausage, sandwiches, salads and desserts including chocolate chess pie, banana pudding and fruit cobbler.

Jnah said the most popular item at their new location is the beef brisket, slow cooked for 12 hours with hickory smoke and served with potato salad. And customers may also have different meats on one platter. 

Other favorites, said Elkhasouani, are the St. Louis-style ribs, Kansas City chicken wings (smoked before frying), macaroni and cheese, baked beans and homemade hushpuppies. “We feature Texas, Missouri, North Carolina, Memphis and Maryland styles of barbecue,” he said. “And Red Hot & Blue’s signature barbecue sauces come in mild, sweet, vinegar and hot versions.”

Elkhasouani said that, after the pandemic, curbside pickup and outdoor seating became especially important, and this location offers both. Besides that, he added, “People come here because of our Southern hospitality, great barbecue, good service, friendly people and fresh food every day.”