After closing for nearly a year to undergo renovations in a historic building, Augie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden is set to reopen in Old Town this week with an Old World look, a spacious outdoor area, and a signature burger topped with crispy onions.
The 140-seat restaurant (1106 King Street, Alexandria) opens for lunch and dinner tomorrow in the former Hunting Creek Steakhouse, which closed in the spring of 2018. Augie’s operated as a pop-up in the 1800s-era building for a few months last year but went dark in December.
As the name suggests, there are lots of options for mussels (10 types) and beer (35 taps). The Belgian-themed business comes from Common Plate Hospitality, the Alexandria-based bar team behind Urbano 116, Mason Social, and Catch On The Ave.
Chef Alam Mendez Florian (Urbano 116) and Chad Sparrow collaborated on a menu filled out with bar-friendly appetizers like pretzels and beer cheese, sandwiches, and salads. Weekend brunch will join the mix soon. Sparrow recruited Florian, a Mexico native, who runs an esteemed restaurant in Mexico City, last year.
The design pays tribute to St. Augustine, the patron saint of brewers. The building got an industrial-styled overhaul, lined with reclaimed barn wood, tin, exposed brick, stone fireplaces, fabricated steel, and wide plank wood flooring. The heated patio, supposedly the biggest on King Street, has three big-screen TVs and room for 75 people.
Glowing stained glass-like panels lining the bars were crafted with recycled broken beer bottles that customers guzzled at Mason Social. There’s loads of natural light across the restaurant, thanks to four huge operable industrial doors spanning the building. Salvaged signs double as wall art, like an Alexandria Marine sign from the 1940s waterfront business.
Augie’s is the latest addition to Alexandria’s thriving dining scene, which has welcomed Oak Steakhouse, Chop Shop Taco, and a bevy of breweries in the past year.