Eamonn’s in Arlington will become a second branch of Society Fair

(Stacy Zarin Goldberg / For The Washington Post)
(Stacy Zarin Goldberg / For The Washington Post)

The cocktail list and the fish and chips are staying. But almost everything else at Eamonn’s/A Dublin Chipper in Arlington is being rethought as its owners turn it into a second branch of Society Fair, the popular market/wine bar/bakery/butcher shop in Alexandria.

Todd Thrasher, a principal in both businesses, says customers of Eamonn’s in Arlington (the original is in Old Town) prompted the change after they began asking for healthier options; the chipper is best known for its fried dishes, including chicken wings, sausages and candy bars. To address diners’ concerns, Society Fair began sending over sandwiches, salads and other items. “They sold out every day,” Thrasher says.

Couches have been purchased to make the new place cozy. The switch should be official once fresh signage and coffee equipment arrive, probably mid-February. Like the original, the second Society Fair will be open three meals a day, with the larger Alexandria operation providing the bulk of the eats.

Eamonn’s isn’t a lost cause. Thrasher says he and his partners, including chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, are actively looking to open another chipper in a more urban environment (read: the District). And the Society Fair in Arlington won’t be the owners’ last: Thrasher, Armstrong and company plan to expand the brand with additional units down the road.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.
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