A new tavern and cocktail bar, Ashlar Restaurant and Bar, will open in Old Town Alexandria, in Virginia, in spring of 2016 adjacent to the renovated Kimpton Morrison House. Designed by Los Angeles-based design studio DH Design, Ashlar Restaurant and Bar is a neighborhood retreat, tucked off bustling King Street. Named for the “perfect ashlar,” which symbolizes a high degree of mason mastery and strong personal character, Ashlar Restaurant and Bar pays homage to the freemasonry history in Alexandria.
Ashlar Restaurant and Bar will bring an unfussy, Mid-Atlantic flare in the form of an upscale tavern, accompanied by a beverage program emphasizing fortified wines and traditional spirits. The kitchen will be led by Chef Bobby Surdam, formerly of Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia. Chef Surdam brings over 10 years of experience to the property, having spent time in some of Washington, D.C.’s most venerable kitchens including Marcel’s alongside Chef Robert Wiedmaier and Blue Duck Tavern alongside Chef Brian McBride.
“Ashlar Restaurant and Bar is a marriage of rustic meets fine dining,” Chef Surdam says. “With an attention to the details and service elements that embrace our Mid-Atlantic roots and history, in a warm yet modern space.”
The 32-seat dining room will be flanked by a new 18-seat bar led by bartender Maria Tan who comes to property from Baltimore’s B&O American Brasserie. The beverage program will use Alexandria’s founding in 1749 as an inspiration point, emphasizing spirits that hearken back to that time including rum, madeira and sherry. The program will also boast a wide array of local Virginia whiskey, beer, and wine.
The general manager position will be filled by Steve Greksouk, a long time member of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group and former general manager of the Evening Star Café in Del Ray.