Walker's Grille, a newcomer to the Alexandria area, was recently bestowed a truly prestigious leadership and design award. In February 2012, the business became the first restaurant in the state of Virginia to receive the coveted LEED Gold Certification Award - an honor given by the U.S. Green Building Council that represents Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
LEED Certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
At the one-year anniversary ribbon-cutting and LEED award ceremony on March 7, co-owners and cousins Sam Misleh and Jason Musleh celebrated with their families, business partners and friends.
Michael Babcock, the National Capital Region Chapter Chairman for USGBC, congratulated the restaurateurs on their accomplishment, emphasizing his hope that this will lead others to follow in the same footsteps. "To take a project like this on, and be the first in the industry to do so, really says something," Babcock said. "I hope that we can use this as a platform for other restaurants and design leaders to pursue and that, eventually, the next generation says ‘I can't believe you did it any other way!'"
Walker's Grille, which serves up local craft American cuisine, prides itself on using fresh products and all natural foods sourced from local and regional farming communities. The land that the building lives on is also steeped in Fairfax County history - the first freed slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation owned the land, as well as the nearby historic Laurel Grove schoolhouse. That same family also provided the restaurant's namesake - Walker's Grille.
Also on hand at the March 7 ceremony was Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay, USGBC's Bill Eklund, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington's CEO & President Lynne Breaux, Visit Fairfax's CEO & President Barry Biggar and several others who offered their congratulations and recognition to the Grille.
Walker's Grille is also a member of the Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce, the Humane Farm Animal Care and the U.S. Green Building Council. They have received two other awards based on this green design: the ABC Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Construction by Trinity Construction and the NAIOP Award of Merit for Interior Retail Projects. Walker's Grille was also recently named Best New Business of the Year by the Mount Vernon Lee-District Chamber of Commerce.