For most of us, the concept of bellying up to the bar means a stiff drink is in our future. Not at Beeliner Diner. “It’s kid-friendly,” explains co-owner Markos Panas.
Indeed, the bar, which is 120 feet in circumference and seats 38 souls, does serve some boozy milkshakes for those who need a winter warmer, but the focus is on sweets that will appeal to all ages. “It isn’t a drinking bar, it’s actually an open dessert kitchen,” says co-owner Noelie Rickey. “Cakes and pies and milkshakes will be plated from the bar, so there’s kind of a show in the middle of the space.”
The desserts include slices of TowerCakes, an invention from pastry chef Temperance Puffer. “One slice feeds three or four people,” says Panas. An entire cake weighs between 25 and 35 pounds. The slices are already available at the team’s other business, Bread & Water Company (which has locations in both Alexandria and Arlington), on weekends. Customers can order whole cakes in flavors like fresh strawberry, orange creamsicle, and mint-chocolate chip at the TowerCakes website.
But fans of Bread & Water Company will find lots of familiar favorites at Beeliner Diner, including the burgers, dogs, and chicken sandwiches they’ve come to love at Bun Papa, the business that takes over the Alexandria bakery in the evening. “We make the world’s best buns and put the world’s best stuff in it,” claims Panas. Bun Papa is already operating as a ghost kitchen inside Beeliner Diner, which will officially open early next year. (There’s another Bun Papa location inside Capital One Arena.) When it does, expect additional virtual food hall concepts to add even more dishes to take home or eat at the diner.
Boom Chicky will serve fried chicken, while ALX Pizza will fill the shoes of Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant, which served Alexandria for 38 years in the same space inside Bradlee Shopping Center. “Pizzas, we’re doing a hand-tossed dough, selling artisan-style pizza. We have some kind of unique flavors,” says Rickey, who owns the diner alongside Panas and Dagmawi Abedje.
Rickey also emphasizes the large supply of vegan options that will grace the menu. About a quarter of the menu will be vegan by default, but many burgers and pizzas that usually contain animal products can also be made without them, she says.
You can bet eaters of every stripe will be making a beeline to Alexandria soon.
3648 King St., Alexandria
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