Day: June 3, 2020

Business Profile

Maria and George Christou At the Helm of RT’s Restaurant

By Bob Tagert Maria and George Christou At the Helm of RT’s Restaurant Last October, after spending many years at her father’s restaurant, Taverna Cretekou in Old Town Alexandria, Maria and her husband George Christou decided to strike out on their own. The word in town was that owner Ralph Davis was considering retiring from his very successful restaurant career and sell his last remaining property…RT’s Restaurant on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. They began negotiations and eventually closed the deal. “It was what we were looking for,” says George. “It reminded us of Taverna, a family owned and run business that has been around for 30-40 years,” he continued. Maria started working for her parents, Chris and Denise Papaloizou at the popular Taverna in 2005 as their bookkeeper and also worked the kitchen for 2 to 3 years and worked the floor as well, from hosting to waiting tables. She has experienced every aspect of running a restaurant from a hands-on point of view. George, on the other hand, got into the food hospitality business by accident. “I was in the Greek Army and they needed help in the kitchen, so I volunteered. I liked it,” he tells me. “I was cooking for 1000 people, three times a day.” When George came to America to study, he took a job at Angelo’s Italian Restaurant in Virginia Beach. While attending classes he would cook part time and then cook full time in the summer for the next five years. After school George worked in the IT field but still had a passion for the restaurant business. He eventually joined his wife at Taverna and worked on the floor and managed. “In the last 6 or 7 years I really got into it, and now we have our own place.”…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes June 2020

We have been through two months of quarantine and now restrictions are being relaxed. Some of our shops are reopening with limited customers and the restaurants are beginning to seat a percentage of customers. I, for one, will do what I can to protect myself and others within reason. I hope you do the same. The wineries, distilleries and breweries in Virginia are now allowed to use their outdoor facilities while practicing social distancing. Check out your favorite wineries and make a trip to Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville and enjoy a whiskey alongside the Thornton River. Our Dining Out column has changed with the times. See what the new rules are and what some others think. In Gallery Beat Lenny Campello tells how “The Covidian Age” has affected the art scene. In From the Bay we learn how the crab fishery will fare during this pandemic. With all of this isolation, Miriam Kramer stepped outside of her normal Last Word book reviews and offers her take on a couple of binge worthy cable series. In Take Photos and LeaveFootprints Scott Dicken takes us trekking for gorillas. With all of this staying at home, come and take a Road Trip with us and visit the spectacular Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Solomons, Maryland as well as the businesses that are reopening there. This is a great family trip – they opened up the Garden in mid-May. In Caribbean Connection read how the island beaches are planning to reopen and welcome tourists back. Check out our special feature on Father’s Day this month and embrace all of the good dads out there. We also celebrate Flag Day on Sunday, June 12th and welcome summer on the 20th. I am hoping that when I write Publishers Notes next month that we have not…

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

You Take What You Get

By Doug Fabbioli You Take What You Get Over the past few decades we have had some great times growing a culture and an economy around agriculture. Combining history, open spaces, celebrations, weekend getaways, retreats, culinary artistry, craft beverages, performing arts, and nature in a way that allows us to create a respite zone for our urban neighbors and for ourselves is more than just a job. Our agri-tourism industry and all of the wonderful venues we have is proof that we have had great success. This spring has been more of a challenge than usual, and as we start to reopen our barns and lands to our guests, cautious hospitality will be an overriding theme. As much as we want to welcome everyone and return everything back to “normal”, rushing it is the worst thing we can do. The staff members at the different venues of our rural economy have had to learn more than they ever planned to about sanitation, social distancing, personal protection equipment, and communicative diseases. The learning curve has been tremendous and now we must apply that learning to our policies and practices, and pass that learning on to our guests as we begin to open our doors a bit. The policies as well as the spaces themselves will be different and evolving. We will each learn what works best for our business, in consideration of the regulations and the safety of all involved. We want to be as hospitable as possible but hugging everybody right now is just not a good idea. A more cautious approach will have to do. At Fabbioli Cellars, our outdoor seating areas have plenty of space to spread out and we are implementing a reservation system with minimum purchases. We are very grateful to the wine club and other…

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