The Wait is Over: River Bend Bistro is Now Open

After a year of anticipation, the restaurant opened its doors to customers Monday.

River Bend Bistro at Hollin Hall Shopping Center officially opened its doors on Monday. (Photo by Raytevia Evans)
River Bend Bistro at Hollin Hall Shopping Center officially opened its doors on Monday. (Photo by Raytevia Evans)
After months of waiting, Alexandria-area residents can now enjoy River Bend Bistro at Hollin Hall Shopping Center. The restaurant opened for business on Monday after a long process of getting permits approved through Fairfax County.

Co-owner Caroline Ross said after getting permits, renovating the space and passing inspections, it's a relief to finally open the doors to anxious customers.

"It took from November until the end of April to get permits to build a few walls, a bar and two bathrooms," she said Wednesday night. "You would think we were constructing a building from the ground up. But the response so far has been incredible, so I'm happy."

Ross, a chef by training and former manager of Rick's Wine and Gourmet, co-owns the restaurant with her husband Bill. Caroline grew up in the area and said a lot of old classmates and classmates' parents have dropped by the restaurant since it opened.

Although the bistro has only been open for a few days, Caroline said there are already a few popular dishes. For lunch, the popular dish is the duck confit salad, and the popular dinner dish is the liverwurst sandwich on rye with sweet onions.

The restaurant offers a diverse lunch and dinner menu, and also has a dessert and bar menu. 

"I'm so relieved we're finally open and I'm happy with the response we've received so far," she said. "The only negative response we've gotten is when we ran out of entrees last night [Tuesday]."

No worries. Caroline and her staff are now prepared for the rush of customers that they didn't expect in their first few days. In fact, the bistro is still accepting applications for waiters to help serve the community that has been waiting for a year for the restaurant to open.

River Bend Bistro is open every day for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant is also open for dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The restaurant also offers free wifi and a plug-in area at the bar for those looking for a new hangout in Alexandria.
Bill Sams October 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Congratulations Caroline & River Bend Bistro! Welcome to the community. Looking forward to stopping by soon!
John Smith October 28, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Looks interesting. Strangely, their website does not give their address or include link to a map! Not helpful to anyone wishing to visit for the first time!
Liza Hearns October 30, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Great new restaurant with some of the best Crab Cakes I've ever had in a restaurant. Would like a few more wine choices (particularly Chardonnays) but the one we had was still fine.
Dave Doane November 02, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Hi, Caroline! Can't wait to come see you and congratulate you on your new venture. Best wishes for you and River Bend!


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