A mug of piping hot, velvety, throat-coating liquid cocoa, topped with a caramel-trimmed creamflop, is a true cure-all for fall’s flighty temps and for what scientists call vanilla throat. Indulge in the seasonal sip with today’s Groupon: for $10, you’ll get $20 worth of sugary sips and snacks at ACKC Cocoa Gallery.
A love of Lucille Ball (now immortalized at the ACKC store in mug-form) inspired a chocolatier and an artist to combine their passions and open the city’s first cocoa bar. Sink your sweet-tooth into chewy brownie sundaes ($6.75), Easter egg–hued Parisian macaroons ($2), or red velvet cupcakes scalloped with vanilla icing ($3.65).
Steamy screen goddesses of yesteryear play muse for the mouth-watering haute chocolate menu. Try the Audrey Hepburn, a slow swallow of dark chocolate served in an espresso cup ($3.50 single, $6.75 double), or the semi-sweet chocolate Joan Crawford with a surprising smack of espresso at its core ($4.25 for 12 ounces, $4.95 for 16 ounces).
This ruby-walled sugar shack is also a gallery for co-owner Eric Nelson’s artwork. Take your loved one to the sweetest place in the city for Sweetest Day, or celebrate your singledom with sugarcremes.
- With case-upon-case of handmade truffles and a dessert menu rife with such vices as chocolate fondue, cheese and chocolate plates, dipped pretzels and more, this cocoa bar oozes love for divas of days gone by and all things chocolate. – Molly V. Strzelecki, Metromix
- The decor also sets ACKC apart. Mr. Nelson creates most of the wall artwork and also the hand-painted cafe tables (all of which are for sale). – Karen Goldberg Goff, Washington Times
What Makes Sweetest Day So Sweet
Sweetest Day was created in the 1920s by scientists hoping to discover the effects of gifts and candy on a normally dour populace. Here’s what they found changes on Sweetest Day:
- The ratio of glucose to oxygen in the atmosphere becomes dangerously high.
- Birds in trees serenade young lovers instead of dive-bombing them.
- More single people are fired from their jobs.
- The tongue’s sweetness receptors kick into overdrive, giving everyone a taste for antifreeze.
- Every other day of the year becomes despair-filled in comparison.
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Part art gallery, part cocoa bar, Artfully Chocolate was established in 2007 when owner Eric Nelson quit his job as an executive in order to pursue his artistic passions. Needing a little something extra to draw attention to his shop and unwilling to sound a tornado siren after every purchase, Eric called on the services of a friend and chocolatier who helped infuse the colorful gallery with a sweet allure.
Today, Artfully Chocolate delights customers with artful masterpieces parading across the walls, and a culinary expertise revealed in sips and bites of decadent drinks and pastries. Travel and Leisure has also named Artfully Chocolate as one of the nation's best places to get hot chocolate. They also host tasting classes, including a wine- and chocolate-pairing class, chocolate-tasting class, and art classes with chocolate and wine.
2003 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, Virginia 22301Get Directions