Arlington, VA

An Arlington pet rescue and a Dulles brewery have joined forces for a unique fundraiser that will help find new homes for dogs and cats in need.

The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation has partnered with Solace Brewing Company for the second year in a row to produce a special Rescue Ale that will be sold to raise money for the nonprofit, which is dedicated to rescuing homeless, abused, and neglected pets and facilitating their adoption.

This year’s Solace-produced Rescue Ale is an India Pale Ale brewed with mosaic and Amarillo hops at 7% alcohol by volume. It will be available for sale at the Solace Brewery on Oct. 8 and at all Lost Dog Café locations — including on Columbia Pike and in Westover — starting at 5 p.m. on Oct. 9.

The collaboration enables the rescue foundation to continue an annual tradition of working with local breweries despite challenges caused by the need for social distancing during the pandemic.

“Our annual fundraiser has always been an extremely important driver for engaging with the broader community, garnering resources, and ultimately gaining supporters that strengthen our important rescue mission,” Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation public relations manager Kim Williams said. “With the generosity of Solace Brewing Co., the Rescue Ale tradition is still alive, and people can enjoy a charitable beer in the comfort of their home while supporting a worthy cause.”

A portion of all Rescue Ale sales will be donated to the foundation.

The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation first started working with local breweries to develop special Rescue Ales in 2017 when the nonprofit partnered with Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company.

Owned by Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation founders Pam McAlwee and Ross Underwood, the Lost Dog Café originated in Arlington and now also has locations in McLean, Dunn Loring, and Alexandria.

In the past, the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation hosted large fundraising events like a “Paws Vegas” carnival held at Solace Brewing Company last October, but because crowds currently pose public health risks, the nonprofit has pivoted instead to an auction with tickets for a private tour of Solace Brewing Company.

On top of a guided tour, ticket winners will get to see the canning process for this year’s Rescue Ale and receive a catered lunch, a four-pack of the Rescue Ale, Lost Dog Café and Solace Brewing Co.-branded pint glasses, and a Rescue Ale 2020 T-shirt.

Bidding on the “Behind the Brew: Rescue Ale Canning Day Fundraiser” tour started on Sept. 23 and closes at 12:00 p.m. on Oct. 26.

The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation is also holding an outdoor adoption event at Solace Brewing Company on Oct. 10. Masks and adherence to social distancing rules will be required.

The foundation, which has a rescue care center facility in Falls Church, says it has rescued 2,183 pets and facilitated the adoptions of 2,015 dogs and cats in 2020 so far.

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Morning Notes

Flag at Saturday's 9/11 Memorial 5K race (photo by maryva2)

Deputy Accused of Murder Again Denied Bond — Arlington County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Patterson, who is accused of murdering Julian Dawkins, has been denied bond for a third time. Patterson’s defense attorney argued that Dawkins may have been using and dealing drugs, and Dawkins’ previous dealings with police caused his confrontational nature the night of the incident. Patterson’s trial starts on December 9. [WUSA]

Home Sales, Prices Rise — The combination of higher sales and increasing average sales prices boosted Arlington’s total sales volume for August by 29.4 percent, to $173 million, compared to last year. The average price of all residential properties rose 8.1 percent to $594,479. Homes sold last month spent an average of 29 days on the market between listing and contract, compared with 50 days a year ago. [Sun Gazette]

Lost Dog/Stray Cat Profile — A Washington Post story profiles two of Arlington’s well known restaurants that help pets find homes — Lost Dog Cafe and Stray Cat Cafe. Co-founders Pam McAlwee and Ross Underwood describe how they started rescuing strays from shelters before the age of cell phones and the internet. Each year the duo, along with their 300 volunteers, helps around 1,800 dogs and 700 cats find homes. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by maryva2

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Congratulations to the 15 businesses that emerged as winners in the voting for this year’s Arlington’s Best Business Awards.

About 10,000 people participated in the online nomination and voting process, according to Arlington Economic Development, which sponsors the annual contest. That’s about twice as many nominations and votes as last year.

Among the big winners were Northside Social, voted Arlington’s Best New Business, and Lost Dog Cafe, the only business to win in two categories.

The winners, which will announced at the county board meeting that’s getting underway now, are:

  • Best Boutique: ShoeFly
  • Best Brunch: Carlyle
  • Best Community-Based Nonprofit: AFAC
  • Best Customer Service: Eventide
  • Best Dessert: Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
  • Best Late Night Spot: Bob and Edith’s
  • Best Performing Arts Organization: Signature Theatre
  • Best Place to Care for Your Pet: Ballston Animal Hospital
  • Best Place to Dance the Night Away: Clarendon Ballroom
  • Best Place to Learn Something New: Arlington Public Library
  • Best Happy Hour: Liberty Tavern
  • Best Neighborhood Bar: Whitlow’s on Wilson
  • Best “Bargain” Restaurant: Lost Dog Café
  • Best Family Friendly Restaurant: Lost Dog Café
  • Best New Business: Northside Social

The incumbent winners from 2009 had a particularly strong showing. Only the Best New Business, Best Happy Hour, and Best Customer Service categories changed hands this year.

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What started out 25 years ago as a small neighborhood eatery in North Arlington is blossoming into a full-fledged local chain.

Lost Dog Café, which last year added a South Arlington location on Columbia Pike, is close to signing a lease for a storefront on Colshire Drive in McLean. And they’re not stopping there.

Lost Dog’s expansion is being undertaken not by the owners of the original restaurant, but by four friends who used to work there as teenagers.

Wes Clough, Mike Danner, Jim Barnes  and Mike Barnes are all graduates of Yorktown High School. Their devotion to Lost Dog Café started at age 16, when they started working there as drivers.

That dedication carried over through college, office jobs and marriages, and came full circle when Lost Dog owners Pam McAlwee and Ross Underwood gave their blessing for the friends to start the restaurant’s first franchise.

The Columbia Pike location, across the street from Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse, opened in May 2009. McAlwee and Underwood donated the franchise fee to their charity, the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation.

The new venture has been a success, winning awards and gaining customers at a pace well exceeding the friends’ expectations. Even this past weekend, during the height of Snowmageddon, the restaurant was packed.

Part of the success, says co-owner Jim Barnes, can be attributed to Lost Dog’s focus on serving customers. During the snow storm, Barnes personally delivered phone-in orders in his Jeep Wrangler.

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