As the downtown Leesburg renaissance continues, more shops and restaurants are inching closer to their public debut. High atop that list is the first U.S. location of Delirium Café, brought to downtown patrons by Curtis Allred, former manager of the Shoes Cup & Cork.
As the week dawned, Allred and his management team, which includes Assistant General Manager Aislin Kavaldjian, were not sparing a minute to get the Loudoun Street space ready for its first patrons. It has been a hectic few months for the duo since announcing the project. The lease on the former Crème de la Crème space was signed Jan. 1. Exactly a month later, Allred signed an additional lease for the upstairs space when another tenant moved out. And when Sugar Magnolia, located in the building adjoining the former Crème de la Crème space, announced it would be closing up shop, Allred jumped on the chance to lease that space too, allowing for outdoor seating and room to seat 150 guests at once.
“It just kind of fell together for us,” he said.
Getting the physical space ready has been but one, although lengthy, item on the to-do list. Training a staff with a focus on hospitality and a thorough knowledge of all the 200-plus beer offerings, wine, spirits, and expansive menu, has also been a priority. The total employee base, including management and both front and back of house operations, now stands at just fewer than 50.
The original Delirium Café in Brussels is known for its long beer list, standing at more than 2,000. The Leesburg location will be its fourth international franchise; with others in Rio de Janeiro (2010), in Japan (2011), and in São Paulo and Warsaw (2014).
Allred credits Kavaldjian and business partner Rick Leith with setting up collaborations between Delirium and Loudoun area brewers, forging relationships that Kavaldjian says will be long-lasting.
“We’re emphasizing that we’re willing to invest in the local beer community as well as the international beer community,” Allred said. “We want it to be mutually beneficial.”
Delirium is set to open its doors to the public in time for lunch Monday, May 8. Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with dinner service beginning at 4 p.m.; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. In addition to lunch and dinner offerings, Saturday and Sunday mornings will also offer a brunch menu.
Allred and his team are well aware of the buzz surrounding Delirium’s opening, and he said he is excited to be a part of the many great things already happening downtown. For the Leesburg native, the early goal is to sustain the initial momentum and excitement to ensure Delirium has staying power. And doing that means catering to the local public is the top priority.
“I think we are way ahead of the curve as far as the experience we’re going to create here,” he said. “The person who flies in here once a year … we’ll capture that. But ultimately you have to stay rooted in our community. You’ve got to remember where you came from. I think if you stick with that the rest of it falls into place.”
For more information on Delirium, go to deliriumcafeusa.com or go to the Delirium Cafe USA Facebook page.
NEXT WEEK: Sweet tooth lovers rejoice! Downtown Leesburg is about to get a few new delicacies.