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A Waterfront Bar Made of Converted Shipping Containers Is Coming to Old Town

Barca comes from the team behind Vola’s Dockside Grill

A rendering of Barca Pier
Al fresco diners will enjoy front-row waterfront views at Barca Pier.

A sprawling pier along historic Old Town’s riverfront will get a splashy new life next year as a Mediterranean-themed wine bar and restaurant, reports Northern Virginia Magazine.

Barca comes from prolific neighborhood hospitality group Alexandria Restaurant Partners, which plans to transform the scenic site along the banks of the Potomac River into a traditional chiringuito — aka a Spanish beach bar that’s commonly built out of shipping containers. HapstakDemetriou+, the D.C. design team behind Rose’s Luxury, Fiola Mare, and Taco Bamba, is charged with the look of the newly approved project.

The two-part venture includes a full-service, year-round wine bar, dubbed Barca Wine Bar. A neighboring 200-seat al fresco restaurant called Barca Pier will operate from March through the end of October. The waterfront getaway, comprised of carved-out shipping containers, will serve small plates filled out by Mediterranean, Greek, Italian, and Moroccan flavors.

Construction is expected to kick off in the first quarter, a rep for ARP tells Eater, with a hopeful delivery by the time summer starts.

The pier at Barca
A rendering of the pier portion of Barca.
A rendering of Barca wine bar
A cozy, year-round indoor wine bar will welcome 64 guests at a time.

As WBJ reported in September, approvals are already in place for an additional to-be-named restaurant from ARP that’ll serve up seafood, steaks, and soaring glass-enclosed views of the water. A rep for ARP declined to provide further details on the third restaurant piece for now.

The multi-part hospitality project sits inside a former industrial area bordered by Duke, Wolfe, and South Union streets and the Potomac River. A pricey new condo project dubbed Robinson Landing will help anchor the revitalized site.

Old Town’s waterfront dining scene will get an additional boost come late 2021, when a two-piece casual restaurant and market dubbed the Mill at 10 Duke debuts inside a converted riverside warehouse. James Beard Award winner John Currence, a star Southern chef from New Orleans, is the newly named chef-operator.

ARP’s area expansion comes on the heels of a super busy year for the group. After buying an equity stake in decades-old sports bar Joe Theismann’s Restaurant, the team renovated and reopened the former Redskins quarterback’s restaurant this summer.

ARP also operates Vola’s Dockside Grill, Mia’s Italian Kitchen, and months-old Riverside Taco Company in the neighborhood.

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