Virtue Feed & Grain, the newest venture by Old Town restauranteurs Chef Cathal Armstong, his wife Meshelle, and mixologist Todd Thrasher, opened its doors on June 10.
Located at 106 South Union Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virtue's expansive, inviting two-story space once served as a 19th century feed house. Most residents remember its much more recent incarnation as one store in the now-shuttered local chain Olsson's Book and Records.
This exceptional site has been transformed into a rustic and beautifully decorated restaurant, bar, cocktail lounge and game room (complete with an antique billiards table and vintage arcade games). It also boasts off-street outdoor seating for up to 50.
According to General Manager Melissa Horst, what sets the new restaurant apart from other pubs is the focus on fresh ingredients. She boasts that the restaurant doesn't even own a freezer (except for a small one specifically for ice cream–thankfully!).
Lunch/Dinner: The full menu is available on both floors of the restaurant for lunch and dinner with no variance in price or portion. Although the restaurant has only been open since June, emerging popular dishes are the Shaggars Pie (a version of Shepherd's Pie), the Cuban sandwich and the Rockfish entree with Colcannon (a nod to Armstong's Irish origins). The menu also showcases unique meat dishes, from the Ox Tongue Salad and the Steak & Kidney Pie to the Crubeens and Bone Marrow.
For vegetarians, vegans and individuals with dietary restrictions, Melissa says that most menu items can be prepared to order. She also says a daily veggie plate (not featured on the menu) is available and assures, "If we can accommodate the guest, we will."
Virtue's lunch service is available Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Dinner hours are Monday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. and Sunday 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. A late night menu will be available Thursday through Saturday.
Brunch: Tentatively scheduled to begin the weekend of July 16–with "pajama brunches" rumored to be offered on the first Sunday of every month!
Bar: Beer is the star of Virtue's drink menu, which includes a draft list of 20 rotating beers, an additional 60 bottled and canned beers and seasonal "hoptails"–cocktails made with beer– that have been developed by Todd Thrasher. Happy hour prices are available Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. and include $2 off draft beers in the bar and cocktail areas. The restaurant has a 12:30 a.m. last call policy.
The restaurant will be closed every Monday throughout July, but will eventually be open seven days a week. Block parties (with themes like Octoberfest and pig roasts), hosted in the adjacent Wales Alley, are currently being planned. Melissa promises "a lot more to come" and suggests checking the restaurant website and Facebook page for updates. Phone: 571-970-3669.