Coming Soon to a Lot Near You: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Posted by / Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Loudoun

A rendering of how the Loudoun Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will look/Photo courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

The Oscars are Sunday. Quick, what food do you pair with films? Though the Family Feud survey might say popcorn, that’s not what the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemathe theater-restaurant that went viral in 2011 by posting a hilariously angry customer’s voicemail (warning: NSFW language) to Youtubehas in mind. With one location already opened in Winchester, the theater chain plans to bring its menu of gourmet movie grub to Ashburn by early May.

Alamo Loudoun’s Head Chef Johnny Dooher says it’s “going to be a huge deal,” adding that the theater will “totally change the way people see movies in the Washington area.” Unlike big-box movie chains, the Alamo Drafthouse focuses on the formula they helped pioneer: pairing new-release films with upscale comfort food and tons of craft beers on tap (32 at the Ashburn location). Patrons order whole meals from their seats instead of at concession stands, and each theater comes equipped with its own full bar stocked with liquor, wine and local brews from Port City Brewing, Lost Rhino Brewing Company and DC Brau Brewing Company

Chef Dooherwho once served as the Atlanta Braves’ clubhouse chefplans to pack the menu with personal touches. “There’s always a little Old Bay in most of my stuff,” he says of his Chesapeake-inspired style. Though the primary menu is conceptualized by Alamo’s corporate location, Dooher will have creative control over special event menus, which can range from gigantic Lord of the Rings feasts to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pizza parties. Keeping in tune with Alamo Drafthouse’s mission statement, most of the menu’s ingredients will be locally sourced, and the chefs will forge most of the recipes right there in the kitchen. “We do almost everything we possibly can from scratch…there’s some heart and soul put into this,” says Dooher.

“We want to have fun. And why can’t you?” he adds. “You have food, beer, and movies. What can go wrong there?”

And while you’re on the topic of having fun, check out Patton Oswalt’s interpretation of that angry customer’s crude voicemail (as before, warning: NSFW language)

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