The incredible amount of brainpower and creativity in Alexandria never ceases to amaze me. Many of the area’s best restaurants, shops, homes, projects, events, and organizations are evidence of the things that can happen when some of Alexandria’s best brains team up. Cue Snackbar, Del Ray’s newest restaurant and a true meeting of the minds.
Located in the space formerly occupied by Caboose Café, Snackbar is the result of some local Alexandria minds bringing their hospitality expertise together and making this new adventure something to watch. The two leaders of the group are Scott Mitchell, a Del Ray staple who originally opened St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub and, later, Kaizen Tavern, and Allen Smith, also an owner of Kaizen Tavern. Also on the team is Christi Hart, an original Del Ray restaurateur and one of the original owners of NRG, which started the Del Ray restaurant boom with Evening Star, and Mark McCaslin, current owner of Key Brewing Company. Edward Felise, also a Kaizen staff member, is adding his talents in the kitchen and stirring up some awesome creations. In addition to being longtime friends, five members of the group were South Austin Grill staff back in the 1990s and want to bring that feel and fun atmosphere that many locals loved to Snackbar.
Co-owner Michelle Mitchell describes the restaurant as “American fare catered to families and local neighbors; a nice place for kids to come after school to grab a snack and also a place for families to have dinner. And, eventually, a place to welcome a warm neighborhood bar crowd.”
McCaslin, who was involved in planning the operation, said he wanted the restaurant’s environment to mirror that of the old Snackbar, a sandwich shop that used to draw crowds in Old Town. The rustic and warm décor is inspired by Forge Industrial, a destination shop in Old Town also owned by Scott and Michelle, where a lot of the unique accessories in the restaurant are for sale! To me, it felt like a local Magnolia Market (hello, Chip and Joanna!).
The space is intimate and makes a great spot for a seated dinner for up to 20-25 people. It’s also a fantastic place to host a private party or event. The chef is happy to work with you to develop a menu based on your likes and dislikes and you can choose from a lovely selection of beers and wines.
Snackbar was kind enough to allow us to be their first guests, and our table of thirteen experienced a meal that would rival a 4-star D.C. restaurant, right in our own backyard. They pulled out all the stops with a 5-course meal that included cream of celery soup, our choice of house or Caesar salad, sea scallops wrapped in bacon, our choice of chimichurri or sautéed halibut, and Dairy Godmother’s pumpkin custard with a ginger cookie for dessert.
Snackbar also carries two things you can’t find in most other places: Misha’s Coffee and, on Saturdays and Sundays, Bagel Uprising. Add to that their life-changing breakfast tacos, which are full of sausage, onions, peppers, cheese, and eggs and are so good on their own that I found the perfectly paired salsa unnecessary.
I enjoyed them on a Friday morning after spin class and spent the rest of the day talking about how good they are — to the point where my husband got up on Saturday morning while I was still asleep and went to get some for himself.
Needless to say, Snackbar, you have some fans.
The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.
400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314