\r\nGrilled Cheese, Murals and Moonshine at the Latest Del Ray Hot Spot\r\nBy Mike Salmon\r\nALEXANDRIA, VA - Let\u2019s face it, cooking a grilled cheese sandwich doesn\u2019t require a lot, but throw in some steak or turkey, a bed of Tater Tots\u00ae, chase it with a local IPA, and it\u2019s the formula that works at Hops N Shine, the new kid on the block in Del Ray. Throw in hand-painted murals, sports on the TV screens, a back-porch dining area, and prices that aren\u2019t out of the park, and the beer crowd in Del Ray has a new place to walk to. Even when they\u2019re dressed in flip flops and cut-off shorts.\r\n\u201cOur concept is to let people chill,\u201d said Matt Rofougaran, the CEO at Hops N Shine on the north end of Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. \u201cThe whole concept is more of a chilled, relaxed place,\u201d he said.\r\nThe Shine part of it isn\u2019t like the internet-hipster concept of \u201cthrowing some shine,\u201d or real moonshine from a backyard still. Since real moonshine is illegal in Virginia, except on reality TV, theirs is \u201cmoonshine infusion,\u201d said Rofougaran, and those spirited drinks are $8. \u201cWe try to put the modern twist to it,\u201d he added.\r\nThere is a variety of sandwiches, hot dogs, appetizers, and Tater Tots with catchy, in-your-face names such as Let\u2019s Shroom ($9.50), Gangsta Grilled Cheese ($8) and Holy Cheesus ($9.50). The Tater Tots are big sellers and have out sold French fries lately, according to sales stats. \u201cTots are the in-thing these days,\u201d said C.J. Cross, the restaurant\u2019s operations manager.\r\nBoth Cross and Rofougaran have known each other since they were teenagers and went to high school in Fairfax County. On April 20, aka \u201cWeed Day\u201d to a certain crowd, Hops N Shine had chef Casey Chapman in to cook \u201ca rump-roasted pork butt,\u201d said Cross. \u201cJust a fun thing to do,\u201d he added.\r\n\r\nKeto Diet\r\nA lot of dishes at Hops N Shine follow the formula for the Keto Diet, which is short for Ketogenic diet, a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate regimen that started as a treatment for difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet \u201cforces the body to use fat as the primary energy source,\u201d said Cross.\r\nThe \u201cTBA\u201d is on the Keto menu, which stands for turkey, bacon, and avocado ($10.50). Also the \u201cDouble Fried, Triple Layered Ham & Cheese\u201d ($9.50). Each item on the keto menu has carbs, fats and sugar amounts listed.\r\n\r\nHop N Shine\u2019s Brother Restaurant\r\nHops N Shine at Del Ray is an off-shoot of Cross and Rofougaran\u2019s bigger restaurant, Tysons\u2019 Biergarten, in Tysons Corner. The restaurants have some of the same faces behind the action, but they are very different. Tyson\u2019s is a more upscale, with a bigger patio. \u201cTyson\u2019s doesn\u2019t sell custom grilled cheese sandwiches,\u201d Rofougaran said.\r\nThe names are different, but both have signature murals. \u201cWe contract local artists all the time, we\u2019re very big on art,\u201d said Rofougaran. The murals change throughout the year.\r\nLocal artist Gary Whitt painted the Del Ray mural on the main wall inside. The murals on the back porch patio are by Amy Tubbs. The scene on the outside wall has rolling hills and Tudor houses \u201cto give it that feel that you\u2019re somewhere else,\u201d Tubbs said. \u201cThis is representative of a little Bavarian village,\u201d she said, which is in line with the beer selection.\r\nTaps are Full of Featured Beers Hop N Shine has 55 varieties of beer ranging from Old Rasputin and P\u00eache Mel Scaldis Fruit Beer at $10 a glass to Port City Porter at $6. During happy hour, a three-beer taster flight of brews from either Fair Winds or Port City is just $7. \u201cOur beers rotate frequently,\u201d said Cross. For the wine drinkers, they offer an assortment of wines from Charlottesville varieties to France and Argentina.