Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes August 2021

By Bob Tagert

As the month of July closes with pretty darn nice weather, I hope the trend continues into August. Thirty years ago August was a slow month in Old Town Alexandria for the restaurants and shops. Not so much anymore! The town is four times as big as then with an equal increase in people. When I started the Crier in 1988 I remember one merchant telling me, “business is so slow, I may as well close up for the month.” Thirty years was a long time ago.

Speaking of thirty years ago, Chadwicks had already been open for 12 years. We revisited them for brunch last month. Check it out in Dining Out. Julie Reardon talks about her new pup in To the Blue Ridge while Doug Fabbioli expands on what a “Farden” is in Exploring Virginia Wines. We put a twist on the Business Profile column and asked Rick Myllenbeck to fill us in on the 2021 “Festival of Speed and Style” scheduled for September 5th.

This month we introduce a new column written by long time Alexandrian Timothy Long about Getting Crafty in these days of craft beverages. Sarah Becker explores The Art of a Nation in A Bit of History and Lori Welch Brown explains “The Dog Days of Summer…then and now” in her Open Space column. In Take Photos/Leave Footprints, fly with Scott Dicken and his beautiful wife Ashton to Lukla, the world’s most dangerous airport – this is a great story. The Road Trip column highlights Ashley Stimpson’s trek up north to Havre de Grace, Maryland where the Susquehanna River enters the Chesapeake Bay.

On a sad note, Old Town Alexandria lost one of its early building blocks. Bryan Watson passed away last month at age 78. Bryan was the living definition of a hockey player. In the formative days of Old Town and after his retirement from hockey, Watson tore out the front windows of a warehouse on King Street, moved in some pizza ovens, patched the front up and opened a pizza place with an Armand’s franchise. He also created the popular Penalty Box bar upstairs in memory of his penalty minutes accumulated over his career. Today that pizza and pasta place is called Bugsy’s. Bryan Watson was an original. He will be missed, but his memory is indelible!

My parting words this month….Get Vaccinated! I hate needles but that didn’t keep this 74 year old from doing my part. I didn’t even feel the needle or have any kind of reaction or soreness either time. I might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but this is a no brainer…

Enjoy the “Dog Days of Summer” folks, and pray for a nice breeze.


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