Tag Archives: Homewood

Get ready for Hey Octane Boy posts from Homewood

Updated below | Octane-Boy-screenshotThere have been rumblings since November (long proven true) that Atlanta’s Octane Coffee would be opening its first location out of state (and third overall) here in Alabama – specifically in Homewood. It’ll be next to the first location for parent company Fresh Hospitality‘s new fast casual restaurant Little Donkey. They’re currently scheduled to open this spring along Central Avenue.

They’ll be using beans roasted by Primavera Coffee Roasters, a locally owned favorite among area coffee drinkers (it was first written about back in October) with the long-time Cahaba Heights resident moving its operation into Octane’s space OTM.

The addition of the new restaurants to the local scene may also lead to us seeing photos of the shop’s male employees shared for all to see via the Hey, Octane Boy site on Tumblr. The chain had already received some attention earlier this year thanks to the “hipster barista” meme and now this relatively new fan boy site (eerily similar to one called Feminist Ryan Gosling and Hey girl, I heart NPR) has been recognized as the Eater.com website of the day and given a shout out on Foodista.

Can a Hey, Urban Standard boy site be far behind?

UPDATE (8/18/2012): It appears as though the building permit’s been issued for construction of the new space (thanks to Landon Howell)…

Cruising and guzzling around metro Birmingham

Soho Square development, downtown Homewood. via City-Data.comIt’s time again to take a look at the most walkable cities in the state of Alabama as rated by walkscore.com.

While the 2010 scores were only posted on this site back in mid-December, the new scores were released today and reported on by the Birmingham Business Journal.

Homewood repeats as the state’s most walkable city scoring a respectable 53 – down from last year’s score of 55. Birmingham’s score remained steady at 40. While the score stayed the same, the city is now tied for second statewide with Selma and Florence.

The release of this year’s rankings coincided with the unveiling of an infographic created by online money management service Mint.com earlier this week. It lists Birmingham as the No. 2 Guzzler city among its users, with them averaging $216/month for gas.

We figured we’d do a comparison similar to the one we conducted in December – sharing the average amount spent per month in the cities visited by the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce as part of the B.I.G. trips taken between 2002-2008. They’re again listed in the order they were visited:

  • St. Louis – $136 – Teetotaler
  • Baltimore – $136 – Teetotaler
  • Charlotte – $195 – Guzzler
  • Nashville – $149 – Sipper
  • Pittsburgh – $155 – Sipper
  • Denver – $112 – Teetotaler
  • Austin – $169 – Gulper
It may be helpful to check out how Fast Company’s Co.Design blog presented and interpreted the data – specifically how it related to lists of the best places to live.

Camp Taco empire expands

Fans of Camp Taco who ventured into Homewood in recent days may have done a double take after seeing the logo hanging over a former Qdoba location.

It appears that the Five Points South-based restaurant is preparing to open a new location on Greensprings Hwy, one that gives them much more space and an outdoor patio so regulars have another option of where to enjoy their meals.

The Qdoba location it replaces was the last one operating in Alabama. The metro area had two locations as late as early last year. The other location, at 18th Street and 5th Ave. S., closed in early 2010 and was replaced that May by a Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Could Homewood be poised to land a Target?

Targets in metro BirminghamThe Birmingham Business Journal is reporting that the city of Homewood is providing $10.4 million in incentives to Colonial Properties Trust – $1.4 million for road improvements and $9 to help Trust potentially lure Target to their Colonial Brookwood Village development (located along Lakeshore Drive between Highways 31 and 280).

The $1.4 million had been previously brought before Homewood’s City Council earlier in September though no action had been taken at that time. Representatives for Target in a story filed by The Birmingham News mid-August stated that no plans had been announced for a location in Homewood, Another story filed during that period suggests that the discount retailer was being sought by Colonial.

It would definitely reduce travel time for those located in metro Birmingham’s core. There are Super Targets located in Hoover (as of this posting the country’s largest),Trussville, and along Highway 280 and “regular” locations in Fultondale and Bessemer. Using our offices as a starting point, it would reduce our drive to the closest Super Target (280) by 5 miles and to the Fultondale location by three.

It would also not be the first time that future plans for the development had been discussed including a period in late 2006 when it was believed that a Westin hotel would be built on the property; despite an announcement, plans never materialized.

Map: Courtesy of Target.com search function.

Franklin Biggs sells Homewood Gourmet

Franklin BiggsFranklin Biggs has sold the Homewood Gourmet to Chris and Laura Zapalowski. The popular chef announced the decision via Facebook and the front page of the Homewood Gourmet’s website on May 14, with The Birmingham News doing a story the next day.

Biggs has been undergoing treatment for throat cancer since January and as a result of treatment, he has lost his sense of taste. He is scheduled to complete radiation treatment on June 25.

According to Biggs’ note, fans of the Homewood Gourmet will be in good hands. Both Zapalowskis have experience in the kitchen; Laura once worked for Biggs while attending Samford University. The couple relocated to Birmingham after Hurricane Katrina and have both been working for Chris Hastings at Hot and Hot Fish Club (Chris as Chef de Cuisine and Laura doing editing and recipe testing on Hastings’ cookbook).

We’re just wondering about the next time he decides to make Baby Blue Salad in the back of a pickup truck.

UPDATE: Grey House Grille closes today


UPDATE: One of our readers called the restaurant and was told that the restaurant will be closing with some of the employees going to work at Do Di Yo’s, the restaurant opening in the former Tria Market space. Apparently the new restaurant’s chefs will be the ones providing the cooking demonstration at Pepper Place tomorrow.

We just received an email from someone who went to the Homewood restaurant Grey House Grille for lunch today who learned that today was its last day of operations. The restaurant had been in operation since 2004 in Homewood’s SoHo Square development.

Attempts to access the official website and its menu were met with Forbidden and Not Found messages. An email has been sent to the email address provided in the restaurant’s birminghamrestaurants.com listing. We’ll let you know if we hear anything from them.

wOOt! Foodimentary wins a “Shorty”

food24Kudos to Foodimentary, a blog and Twitter feed based right here in metro Birmingham, AL (Homewood to be exact) as they are the winner of this year’s Shorty Award for food! The Shortys recognize leaders in producing short content using the popular microblogging site. Here’s a video primer for those not familar with Twitter.

Wondering just how popular and powerful Twitter can be? Foodimentary’s profile currently provides fun facts about food to more than 29,600 followers!

We don’t know if they’ll be able to attend tomorrow’s awards ceremony, but we hope they are able to, considering that CNN’s Rick Sanchez will be hosting with tweeters Shaquille O’Neal and MC Hammer being involved in the fun.


Image: Foodimentary logo, courtesy of the website.