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Local Architect McAllister Draws from his own Chef experience to Design Incredible Restaurant Spaces

By Robert F. Murray

The McAllister Architects Team
(Left to Right., Theresa Yates, Anthony Scovazzo, Gasim Elfaki, Amelia Decker, and seated, Lee McAllister and Lesley Goloner with best friend)
Courtesy Photo.

Lee McAllister has been practicing architecture in Alexandria for over 20 years.  You could consider this his second career.  Lee established his own practice in the mid-1990s, after a successful 15-year culinary career, including 10 years as a sous-chef for the Washington Marriot-Wardman Park.  It is Lee’s drive for quality and attention to detail that facilitated his transition from the culinary world into architectural practice.

Lenox School Condominiums & Townhouses, Washington, D.C.

Today, McAllister Architects has expanded its staff who together process and complete a range of project types. With Lee’s background and expertise around a stove, it is a natural progression that the firm specializes in restaurant design. What makes the firm unique in the industry is its capability to creatively design dining areas as well as kitchens, making for better coordinated projects and decreased costs for the client. McAllister Architects has a long track record of successful projects in other typologies, including single and multi-family residential, health care facilities, retail/commercial, historic preservation, and government buildings.


Rustico Restaurant, Alexandria, VA

Known for building and maintaining client relationship, McAllister has a keen determination for collaboration and problem-solving. They enjoy working with clients’ ideas and aspirations and endeavor to meet deadlines and stay within the construction budget.  Historically, most of their work has come from repeat clients, including a recently completed 50,000 square foot catering facility as well as the corporate offices for Occasions Caterers in Washington, D.C.   Recently, the firm has attracted many new projects especially within the healthcare industry, leading to several successful tenant fit-out projects within the past year.

Occasions Caterers, Washington, D.C.


With a diverse team of registered architects and LEED-accredited professionals, be confident in the quality of services you receive at McAllister Architects, whether you are a developer, builder, homeowner, or business owner. The office is conveniently located in North Old Town Alexandria, 1437 Powhatan Street.  Feel free to stop by or contact them to discuss your next residential or commercial project. Other projects include Carlyle Club, Carlyle Development, Alexandria, Virginia, Pork Barrel Barbecue in Del Ray, Prince George’s & Reston Hospital (Selected Renovations) and  Corner Bakery Projects in Maryland.






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