Every February, the Del Ray Business Association presents the Heart of Del Ray Award to the business that serves as the heart and soul of Del Ray, as determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers. Selection is based on which business best demonstrates their warm and welcoming attitude to the community/customers, their commitment and generosity to the community, and to their overall contribution to the Del Ray community.
The nominees for the 2018 Heart of Del Ray — plus comments from the customers who nominated them — are:
- BEAN CREATIVE: “Bean Creative always gives to the community. Young and old look forward to Spooky Bean every year for Halloween. Their yard is filled with bands, artists, dogs, and others during Art on the Avenue, La Bella Strada, First Thursdays and other Del Ray events. They provide space for the We Live Big public art projects that inspire us all. Finally, Bean Creative opened their yard the evening of June 14, 2017 for the community to gather, share the shock and start the healing process after the Simpson Field shooting.”
- PORK BARREL BBQ/HOLY COW/THE SUSHI BAR: “Besides great food, they are one of the most community-minded businesses in the DC area.” “Holy Cow donates a quarter of every burger to area non-profits. They even organized a fundraiser for Al’s, one of their competitors, and they rent a flatbed to cut down and donate Del Ray’s gigantic Christmas tree every year. No matter the event, they pitch in by volunteering or sponsoring. They are what makes Del Ray so special.”
- ROCK OF AGES MUSIC (ROAM): “What John Patrick and his team of talented instructors have done for musicians and children in the neighborhood is astounding and I know they do it with all of their heart!! They coordinate great community events like ROAMFEST and the Del Ray Music Festival that help showcase what a great neighborhood Del Ray is, and at the Halloween Parade, they donate every year to the TC Williams High School Marching Band.”
- ST. ELMO’S COFFEE PUB: “What can one say – an institution in Del Ray. A great place to meet friends or listen to music.” “When you think of anchors in Del Ray, you think of St. Elmo’s. Staff always makes you feel welcomed and the owners are wonderful in supporting local causes and events.” “Have been going to St. Elmo’s for years and thankful for having such a friendly and welcoming place to go and meet friends or just relax.”
- TAQUERIA POBLANO: “A neighborhood favorite — like Cheers where you walk in and they know your name.” “We love the food and love to take friends from out of town because it always feels so welcoming.” “Appreciate Jeff [Wallingford] and Taqueria Poblano who are always willing to support community events.” “Besides the best margaritas ever, the staff is always friendly and happy to see you. Taqueria Poblano is the heart and soul of Del Ray.”
Visit this link to vote; voting closes at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 8. A large heart-shaped award will be displayed on the winning business on Friday, February 9 to greet them for the Valentine’s Day weekend.
Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, Caboose Cafe, and Del Ray Cafe.