New music venue and pub revives a chapter of Fairfax history

A new music venue and pub is planning to open in six months after encountering delays during the pandemic.

Earp’s Ordinary is under construction in the City of Fairfax at 10420 Main Street, a spot that has previously hosted restaurants, a judicial center space, and duckpin bowling alley.

“We tore down to the walls and are building it over from scratch,” said managing partner Josh Alexander, who is opening the site with owner Michael DeMarco.

The venue’s name is a tribute to 18th century businessman Caleb Earp, who ran a tavern and store. That building was demolished in 1920.

“We’re right at the same intersection where it was,” Alexander said. “We’re using the name, sort of like a throwback to something that was there that had food, music, spirits.”

A nearby brick property called the Ratcliffe-Logan-Allison House — also bearing the name of Earp’s Ordinary — has inherited the history and legacy of Earp’s establishment and still stands at 10386 Main St. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alexander and DeMarco began demolition for the new venue in February 2020. To get through COVID-19, the pair began hosting outdoor shows in front of the space they’re upgrading.

They also made a deal to temporarily repurpose Zandra’s Taqueria (3950 University Drive, Suite 210), which remains closed amid the pandemic, for a pop-up pub that opened in December.

The interim site lets the business keep building momentum as the pair makes the new, permanent 10,600-square-foot space for Earp’s Ordinary a reality.

DeMarco envisions the pub drawing national and regional talent and won’t pigeonhole the venue into any particular musical genres.

He estimated that the space is 60% ready, but they’re still in the process of installing an elevator.

The owners plan to hire around 30 people, including individuals interested in getting training in the music industry to become sound technicians, hosts and more. They’re also seeking performers, including musicians and comedians.

“This is a great neighborhood spot,” said Christian Lanoue, a former chef turned real estate agent, while recently enjoying drinks at the pop-up. “We need more of these in Fairfax.”