The (Happiest) Hour
I always appreciate meeting the local business owners and operators around the Alexandria area, but I must admit that some interviews and visits are mixing business with pleasure. In preparation for the New Year, I was fortunate enough to meet with Victoria Vergason. Victoria is the proud owner of The Hour, the very welcoming vintage glassware, barware, and cocktailware shop located right in the heart of Old Town at 1015 King Street. Being the destination spot that is just a few months shy of its five-year anniversary, I imagine that many readers are well aware of this local business. Nonetheless, if you enjoy your occasional (or frequent, no judgment) cocktail, you will want to read on. From one-of-a-kind antique glassware, to the low-down on the best bars, restaurants, and cocktail recipes in town – The Hour can help make your parties memorable in 2014 and beyond.
With a Master’s in Business Administration in International Project Finance, Victoria has the know-how to run a successful business. She has turned her hobby and love for antiquing during graduate school into a career as she continues to build her industry. I had the opportunity to learn about Victoria’s many projects and ventures, as well as the story behind her choice to call the store, The Hour. She and her dedicated team have managed to build the only true brick and mortar vintage glassware shop in the country, deserving of a meaningful and memorable name. The Hour was chosen in honor of Bernard DeVoto’s book, which is a commentary on how and why we drink, and most importantly, how to do so properly. Much like Victoria and her store, DeVoto educates his readers and sheds light on the simple joys of the cocktail hour.
With a clever name to support her growing success in the community, Victoria was ready for her next big challenge. Having gone to University of Virginia for her undergraduate degree and George Washington University for her graduate degree, she knows the ins and outs of the Washington, D.C. area. Victoria found a way to put her passion, experience, and taste buds to the test through the compilation of her popular book Capitol Cocktails. She worked with bartenders and businesses all over the area; from bars and restaurants to distilleries and vineyards, to the farmers markets that stock the fresh and local ingredients, she provides us with the areas first book showcasing all aspects of today’s local cocktail culture. The book even features over 28 recipes and a glance at some of the inventory at The Hour!
As if she wasn’t busy enough with a family and full-time career, about a year ago Victoria began partnering with Niemen Marcus and has opened boutiques in Beverly Hills and Atlanta! While The Hour is still the only shop of its kind in the area, you will now be able to capitalize on Victoria’s eye for vintage pieces on both coasts.
A true lover of Old Town, Victoria is drawn to the area for its culture and community. It is her goal to showcase the stories behind her inventory and the vast history that exists here in our hometown of Alexandria. Tourists and neighbors alike come to visit The Hour, and know that they will find what they are looking for at this specialty shop. It’s always cocktail hour (the happiest hour) here, and you you’re invited!
Written by: Elizabeth Jones