6 Years. It’s one more than 5!

Y’all. Six years. Six years. While it isn’t as sexy as five years or as much of a milestone as ten years, I’m celebrating hard this year.

After 2020, I have never, ever been happier to live and own businesses in Alexandria. Alexandrians fought hard for Stomping Ground. You came out to support us when many in our field, without die-hard communities to lift them up, had to shutter. You bought lots of biscuits for comfort, and you tipped generously, you delivered masks, flowers, and baked goods. You sent cards. You waited patiently as we changed again and again. You rolled with the punches. You ate the wrong orders. You drank cold coffee. You ate a lot, and I mean a lot, of scones. You cared about our wellbeing. You have made it all possible for us to be standing here in 2021 celebrating six years, and we are so thankful for each and every one of you.

I hate to break any hearts out there, but I also have the best staff of any restaurant in the DMV. I’m actually speechless when I think about what this family has been through and how they continue to come in day after day with positivity. Amidst their own fear of the pandemic and the world that was 2020, they would just keep grinding, often with blind faith that we would be okay. They worked in pods, understaffed during busy services to keep each other safe. They took pay cuts, adjusted schedules, did more difficult work with fewer resources, they changed jobs every day, and then changed again. They did all this while often being yelled at by customers that didn’t understand. They have been told they are terrible at their jobs by people with so much grief that they had to unload it on others. They were accosted by unhappy guests for my choices, acting as silent enforcers. Despite it all, they stuck it out. They are warriors.

This anniversary feels like we are putting all of that behind us. We opened The Alley, where the food and cocktails are “just for fun” to give us a place to be creative and light after so much heavy. I’m also so pleased that we are making some aesthetic and layout changes to our dining room, with the hope of opening for indoor dining by the end of summer. Yes, we will be behind the rest of the country in doing so, but we are moving at our own pace so that our wounds can heal slowly as we remember. Remember what it feels like to have our walls hold our community together again and to say thank you, for everything.


Want to celebrate with us? Friday during the day, we’re giving out a free mini biscuit with every purchase! At night in The Alley, we’re selling Raquel’s boozy, delicious birthday jello shots!



  • The latest from Nicole
Head Janitor, Chef, and Proprietor | Stomping Ground
Nicole’s cooking style is rooted in, but not limited to, her love of southern biscuits and her diverse culinary upbringing. A military brat, she spent her childhood in the Chicago suburbs enjoying her great-grandmother Mae’s Lithuanian cooking. As a tween, she moved to Paulding County, Ga. where she begrudgingly fell in love with the charmingly perplex small towns of the Deep South. She fondly remembers grubbing on Martin’s biscuits, late-night Waffle House debauchery and cooking with her family. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Nicole started a marketing career at an art nonprofit in Atlanta. At 25 years old, she became the youngest executive at the local Atlanta NPR affiliate. Chasing her dreams, she moved to Alexandria, Va. where she took a short post in the Whole Foods marketing department. Realizing that cooking had been her true love all along, she began night courses at L’Academie de Cuisine. She completed her apprenticeship at Blue Duck Tavern where she was promoted to a line cook after graduation. From there, Nicole worked as a private chef for busy Washington D.C. executives and their families. As grown-ups tend to do, Nicole realized something about her childhood — the best parts were enjoying small town communities, cooking with her great-grandmother and sharing meals with family and friends. She opened Stomping Ground to build a safe and welcoming community around yummy, handmade food from local sources. As her first foray running her own kitchen, she has shamelessly hired better, smarter cooks to fill her kitchen and your bellies. Her great-grandmother’s recipes often appear on the Stomping Ground menu without advertisement and, no, she won’t tell you the secret ingredients. Nicole lives in Del Ray and won’t shut up about how much she loves living there.

If you wander down Del Ray’s, “The Avenue,” you won’t miss the farm-red building with a rustic fence bordering the patio. Stomping Ground opened two years ago and quickly became popular for its made-from-scratch biscuits and its neighborhood vibe. On weekends, excited guests line up before Stomping Ground opens hoping to be the first to get a just-out-of-the-oven biscuit or a fresh salad. Stomping Ground is mostly known for its fast casual breakfast and lunch but on Thursdays and Fridays they provide a full dinner service after 5:00pm. All meals are built from local, seasonal food that is organic whenever possible.


2309 Mt Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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