Updated: Old Town Alexandria's Grape + Bean Plans to Open New Location
Owners plan to open a market in Alexandria's Rosemont neighborhood.
Grape + Bean plans to open a market in Alexandria’s Rosemont neighborhood that will be a “high quality low pretense place,” according to co-owner David Gwathmey.
The building at 2 E. Walnut Street is currently Rosemont Park Market, a convenience store owned by Tung Fat Lau, who is a member of the third Chinese immigrant family to own the store, according to Gwathmey.
Gwathmey grew up in Del Ray, worked his way through the public school system and says he feels very connected with the community. He and Grape + Bean co-owner Sheera Rosenfeld recently moved to Old Town from Del Ray.
“We think our new store will be an upgrade with the neighborhood and a little more in line with people’s preferences,” Gwathmey said. “We hope to be a neighborhood partner for many years to come.”
The store, expected to be named Grape + Bean Rosemont, is slated to open around November after some “fairly simple cosmetic renovations” to the building along with some landscaping and bench seating. Gwathmey hopes to incorporate the neighborhood’s iconic Rosemont Park Market sign into the building’s design. Additionally, the sign for the still-operating Chao’s Lawn Service that hangs on the side of the building will remain.
Gwathmey anticipates that the store will get a lot of foot traffic from locals on their way to King Street Metro or out enjoying the parks nearby and hopes the store will become a staple of the community.
Like Grape + Bean on South Royal Street in Old Town, the store will feature artisanal and local products.
“We want to talk to the people who live around there so we can make good choices,” said Gwathmey. “We want to offer products that you may not see everywhere. It may be a subset of what you find in a Whole Foods or Balducci’s but there’s certain to be items that you won’t find at those places.”
The owners are still trying to determine how much refrigerated, fresh and frozen goods to have in the mix. However, you can expect breads from the baker at Restaurant Eve, who is a friend of Gwathmey’s, along with meats from Martin’s in The Plains and eggs from Polyface Farms in the Shenandoahs.
“We strive to create a place that feels welcoming and comfortable for everyone,” said Gwathmey. “Kind of like in our Old Town store where someone could be having coffee sitting next to someone drinking a $200 bottle of wine and it all feels good. That’s what we’re trying to create here.”