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A ‘champagne boutique’ hopes to open in Crystal City within the month

Beauty by Society Fair, a “champagne boutique,” is hoping to start serving bubbly in Crystal City within the next month, co-owner Zena Polin tells ARLnow.

The store at 576 23rd Street S., which we first reported about in October, is set to be a combination of retail store, bistro and wine shop. The small, 800-square-foot space will include a front room offering items for sale and a side room with 10 seats. The business’s focus will be selling locally produced gifts, serving fresh cakes and treats, and providing space for a glass of wine or, yes, champagne.

“We want this to be a place where you come at the end of the day for wine and a piece of cake,” Polin says.

Beauty by Society Fair is owned by notable local restaurateurs Zena Polin and Meshelle Armstrong, who are also behind Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen in Old Town Alexandria. Both are associated with Eat Good Food Group, which owns a number of local restaurants including Mattie and Eddie’s in Pentagon City and is helmed by Meshelle’s husband, chef Cathal Armstrong.

This new shop is somewhat of a revival of Alexandria’s Society Fair, a gourmet food market that closed in 2019, and its offshoot location on Columbia Pike, which shuttered in 2014.

“The front [of the shop] will be most reflective of what Society Fair used to look like,” says Polin. “With fresh baked cakes, candy, and treats… and gifts, with a large focus on local and women-owned companies.”

Polin also credits Cheesetique, with locations in Del Ray and Shirlington, as an inspiration.

The residential-looking building is the former home of Agents of Style, a consignment boutique. The look fits the shop’s motif well, notes Polin. The aim is to appeal to the local neighborhood and community, while also being less than a mile from Amazon’s new headquarters in Pentagon City.

The location was scouted out by Armstrong prior to the concept being fully formed.

“We jumped on it before [the concept] was quite ready, but that happens,” says Polin. “We’ve been working on it for about a year.”

The shop is essentially ready to go, with the owners just waiting on inspections. They believe that Beauty by Society Fair could be open by the end of February.

While the store may not be as big as some of its predecessors, Polin thinks this is the perfect size and fit for the moment.

“With the way the world is working now, something smaller and more manageable is the way to go,” she says. “It’s a function of the times.”

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