With the much-anticipated opening of supposedly on the near horizon (no, we don’t have a date), plans are already moving forward for a potential second barbecue joint in Del Ray.
Erik Dorn and Eric Reid of (and formerly ) have submitted a special use permit application to the city to transform the boarded-up Alexandria Sanitation Authority pump house at the corner of Jefferson Davis Highway and E. Howell Avenue into a barbecue restaurant called The Howell’n Pig.
According to the application, the restaurant “will have a traditional southern roadside menu of BBQ chicken, pork, ribs, pork BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches, southern side orders and desserts. Served counter style with three inside seats and seasonal outside picnic table dining during daylight hours.” It would focus primarily on takeout orders.
Along with just the few indoor seats, the picnic tables will provide 16 seats. The application proposes the sale of beer for on-site consumption as well as off-premises. The restaurant would operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Plans call for an assemblage of the pump house lot and an adjoining empty lot located at 519 E. Howell Avenue. The pump house structure would be renovated (with no additions) and the empty lot would be transformed into a six-spot parking lot and storage area.
The application was presented briefly at Thursday night’s meeting of the Del Ray Citizens Association Land Use Committee at .
A multitude of E. Howell Avenue residents attended to voice their varied concerns with the project to members of the city’s Planning Department. The applicants did not attend the meeting, but the presentation will be made again at the next DRCA Land Use Committee meeting.
Uniformly, the E. Howell residents expressed worries the restaurant would increase traffic on an already busy and narrow street. Since access to Monroe Avenue was complicated following construction of the Monroe Avenue Bridge, residents said there has been an uptick in traffic on Howell. Residents said they frequently see cars racing down the street ignoring stop signs.
Residents also said they have seen delivery trucks using the street illegally to reach businesses on Mt. Vernon Avenue. Monroe and E. Glebe Road are the assigned delivery routes for trucks.
In February, Howell Avenue residents held a meeting to address the delivery truck problem and traffic calming options. The group drafted letters and constructed delivery route maps and handed them to business owners up and down Mt. Vernon Avenue.
At Thursday's meeting, the Howell residents also expressed concerns with the barbecue smell entering the neighborhood, potential littering and the name of the proposed restaurant.