Live Oak offers Charleston inspired southern cuisine in Del Ray, Alexandria.
We are devoted to preparing and serving upscale comfort dishes such as shrimp and grits and gumbo using the freshest ingredients available.
From our friendly and efficient service to our relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, Live Oak is the perfect neighborhood gathering place.
Justus was born in Oklahoma, but grew up in Northern Virginia, where his dad was stationed as an army officer at the Pentagon. He attended Johnson & Wales University for the Culinary Arts in Charlotte, NC, where his love for the restaurant business, in particular food, turned into a profession.
His culinary internship landed him at Notti Bianche in Foggy Bottom working under Anthony Chittum, who would later become the chef of Vermilion and Chef/Owner of Iron Gate Restaurant in DuPont Circle. Justus worked for two years as the Sous Chef at Vermilion, learning the ins and outs of farm-to-table cuisine from one of its leaders in Chittum. He also worked under Shannon Overmiller at the Majestic and Miles Vaden at Eventide, where he would meet his wife as well as his future business partner Jeremy Barber.
In March 2011 Justus began working at Fiola in Washington, D.C. as the Chef de Cuisine under James Beard award winning chef Fabio Trabocchi. Justus remained there for three years, and was given the Executive Chef title in 2012. Under the first time restauranteur Trabocchi, Fiola was able to receive three stars from the Washington Post, #4 restaurant in all of the metropolitan area from the Washingtonian, the RAMMY award for best new restaurant 2011, and the James Beard finalist nomination for best new restaurant in the country.
In 2014 Justus and Jeremy began to develop plans to open Live Oak, and opened in 2016 with a dedication to hospitality and locally/sustainably sourced food.
When Justus is not working he can be found chasing his daughter, spending time with his wife Amanda (sister-in law to Barber), or hovering around the kitchen of whatever place he finds himself.
Chris McWhirt was raised in Calvert County Maryland, about thirty minutes south of Washington, D.C.
Working in the restaurant industry was only supposed to be a summer job for Chris during nursing school however, Chris developed a passion for the restaurant industry, especially in the kitchen, prompting him to change career goals. He spent twelve years working at a local seafood house in every capacity of the restaurant to include food runner, expediter, busser, dishwasher, server, and cook. He eventually spent five years as lead cook/kitchen manager at that same restaurant, Stoney’s.
Chris graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine in 2016. He started at Live Oak as an intern that same summer, preparing the restaurant for opening. Being able to work for a family-owned business allowed Chris to participate in the renovation of the restaurant, providing him with an additional sense of ownership and devotion.
When Chris is not at Live Oak he is usually going to southern Maryland, capitalizing on the current hunting season, or visiting his parents down at Smith Mountain Lake.
Born and raised in Northern VA, and a former resident of the City of Alexandria, Jeremy has over twenty years of experience in the restaurant business.
He began his hospitality career at age fifteen at the former Springfield Mall Bennigan’s where he would work after school as a busboy. After high school he worked as a server and bartender into his early twenties, absorbing as much as possible of the Northern Virginia food scene.
In 2011 Jeremy was hired as a bartender for a new upscale restaurant in Clarendon, VA, named Eventide. Shortly thereafter his talents were recognized and he was promoted to General Manager. He worked alongside the then Chef de Cuisine, Justus Frank, who would later become his brother-in-law and business partner.
While working at Main Street USA, an Annandale favorite in the late nineties, he happened to meet the most wonderful woman, who would later become his wife, Kati. Thirteen years and three amazing little girls later, he and his family reside in the house he grew up in in Springfield, VA.
After years of planning and research, Jeremy and his brother-in-law Justus decided it was time to pursue their dream of restaurant ownership. Focusing on quality upscale food, exceptional service, and a tasteful bar program he, with the help of his business partners, saw his dream come to fruition with the opening of Live Oak Restaurant in late 2016.
When not at Live Oak or Charlie’s on the Avenue, Jeremy can be found spending time with his family, researching restaurant literature, and occasionally playing golf.
Will Witherow was born and raised in a small town in Michigan where farm to table was the way of life. His instant and unexpected love of the service industry led him from years as a nine-to-five worker to a career in the restaurant business. He has performed most jobs in a restaurant, including dishwasher, busser, bar back, bar manager, and beverage director. His passion for the craft of bartending has given him the opportunity to travel, be featured in publications, and work with amazingly talented people.
Before the opening of Live Oak, Will took six months off to assist at different wineries, breweries, distilleries, and bars with the intent of ensuring that Live Oak’s beverage program would be on par with the restaurant’s excellent cuisine. Will and Sous Chef Chris McWhirt are devoted to sustaining ownership’s vision of a neighborhood restaurant that serves exceptional cocktails and cuisine.
When not behind the bar you will usually find Will out and about with his wife and his young son… Or with his face buried in a cocktail book for new inspiration.
Social Media & Marketing Manager
Catherine Jackson moved to Del Ray from Atlanta, Georgia in 2015. After working with several local restaurants in Alexandria, she joined the Live Oak family in 2016. When she’s not taking photos or running food at the restaurant, you can find her anywhere where sun shines on the patio and they serve Mexican beer with her soon-to-be husband Fritz (August 4th, y’all!). She also enjoys pining over everyone else’s puppies.
She graduated Georgia Southern University in 2013, where she studied Communication and Graphic Design.
For inquiries about catering or private events at Live Oak please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deviled Eggs $2 each
Rappahannock Oysters on the ½ Shell $1.50 each
Side Mixed Greens Salad $3 per person
Side Baby Arugula Salad $3.50 per person
Side Caesar Salad $3.50 per person
Fried Green Tomatoes $3.50 per person
Local Cheese & Fruit Selections $4 per person
Spiced Steamed Peel & Eat Shrimp $5 per person
Yukon Gold Potato Salad $3.50 per person
Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/ Brown Sugar & Molasses $3.50 per person
Pickled Cucumber Salad $3.00 per person
Green Beans w/ Smoked Ham Hock $3.00 per person
Collard Greens $3.00 per person
Yukon Gold Potato Chips $2.00 per person
Corn Bread $2 per person
Red Cabbage Cole Slaw $3.00 per person
Buttermilk Biscuits $2.50 each
Black Eyed Peas w/ Benton’s Bacon $3.50 per person
Hoppin’ Johns Rice-Gold Rice, Black Eyed Peas, Benton’s Bacon $3.00 per
Macaroni & Cheese $3 per person (add bacon $1)
Weisenberger Grits with Cheddar Cheese $3 per person
(available in slider portions for $2.50 each)
Shrimp Po-Boy Sandwich $10 each
Corned Brisket Reuben Sandwich $11 each
Braised Chicken Thighs $7 per person
Almost Famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken $10 per person
Herb-Grilled Chicken Legs or Breasts $7 per person
Pulled Pork BBQ w/ Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce $8 per person
Fried Catfish w/ Remoulade Sauce $11 per person
Corned Beef Brisket $11 per person
Country Fried Steak $12 per person
Grilled Angus Beef Burgers- Pimento Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato $12 each
(available in slider portions for $3 each
Carolina Rock Shrimp & Weisenberger Grits $11 per person
Peanut Butter Squares $1.50 each
Pecan Sandies $1.50 each
Toasted Benne Seed & Powdered Sugar Beignets $1.75 each
Fruit Cup w/ Vanilla Whipped Cream or Yogurt $3 per person
Strawberry Shortcake $5 per person
Buttermilk Chess Cake $4 per person
Berry Cobbler with Shortcake & Whipped Cream $5 per person
Bartlett Pear Brown Butter Cake $4 per person
Blueberry Buckle $4 per person
Justus Frank – Executive Chef
Chris McWhirt – Sous Chef
Hours of Operation
Sat and Sun: 10am to 3pm
Sun: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Mon – Thu: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Fri and Sat: 5:00pm to 9:30pm
Bar Open Daily: 4:00pm to Close
Common Fare Menu Available Until 10:30pm Friday & Saturday