Bring a touch of Germany to Alexandria’s restaurant scene


By Michael Ford, Alexandria
(Stock Image)

To the editor:

Dear whoever may be thinking about opening a restaurant in Alexandria:

We have many fine eateries here, in Old Town in particular. We have coffee shops, hamburger joints, fast casual places and fast food spots. You can get good pasta and barbecue as well as patronize restaurants offering Italian, Mexican, French, Thai, Chinese, English and Southern cuisines. What we don’t have is a biergarten, where you can sit outside on the first day of spring, drink a beer and eat sausage and strudel.

Did you know that the Norwegians even have a special word for a beer enjoyed outside on a sunny day? It’s “utepils.” I think Alexandrians deserve a beer outside, under a shady tree or just under the sky.

Oom-pah music is optional, of course.

Someone pick up the challenge. Right now, we have two spots — the former Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own and the defunct Notting Hill — that would make perfect biergartens.

There are several fine biergartens that are giant successes elsewhere: the Bierstube in Philadelphia, the Old Stein Inn in Edgewater, to name but a few. There are five biergartens in D.C.!

Hear my plea: We pride ourselves on being international in Alexandria, so bring a biergarten in to complete the food scene. That is all.




  1. We completely agree which is one of the reasons why we are launching Portner Brewhouse! The forthcoming restaurant brewery and Craft Beer Test Kitchen will feature both classic German and contemporary American fare including a made-from-scratch “Wurst of the Day” that can be enjoyed with one of our handcrafted beers brewed from recipes of yesteryear and today celebrating the history of a local German immigrant, Robert Portner and his brewery.

    Join us for one of our private pre-opening tasting events by becoming a member of our Taste Test Team. Membership is free and sign-up is easy on our website:

    Catherine & Margaret Portner
    Co-Founders, Portner Brewhouse