Tag Archives: restaurant

Design Review signage approval means third Waffle House location slated for greater downtown Birmingham

New Waffle House 2015Birmingham’s Design Review Committee heard a signage case during Wednesday morning’s regularly scheduled meeting that sets the stage for a Waffle House location on the edge of the city’s central business district. It would be the third location in the greater downtown area — all opening in the last 3+ years.

There was no timetable given by the applicant for when the new location will open, though the proposal includes a refinishing of the facade. It will be the first one with direct access to Interstate I-65 since the location adjacent to the Medical Center Inn was demolished shortly after the purchase of the property by UAB in late 2011 to use as intramural fields.

The building in question, located at 1104 3rd Avenue North, has seen several restaurants in recent years. It also sits at the foot of one of the busiest off-ramps for Interstate 65 northbound into the downtown area. Its most prominent usage during that time period though would be that of campaign headquarters for former Birmingham mayor Larry Langford during his successful 2007 run for office (as this photo of Langford in front of the building by Bob Farley shows from that evening).

Photo: Rendering courtesy of applicant.

Bettola’s Lewis involved in new Aspen concept restaurant

chefs-club interior. courtesy of their websiteLast week the St. Regis Aspen opened a new concept restaurant. Why should this culinary event in Colorado mean something to Birmingham residents? It matters because James Lewis, the chef at Bettola in Pepper Place, will be among the first of the chefs to be involved in the project.

The 2011 winner of Food & Wine magazine’s New Chef award is one of four past recipients chosen to collaborate on the initial menu offerings for the new Chefs Club by Food & Wine. Lewis will join George Mendes of ALDEA in New York City; Alex Seidel of Fruition in Denver, CO; and Susan Zemanick of Gautreau’s Restaurant in New Orleans, LA. Plans call for the chefs to make appearances at the restaurant during their involvement and work with Food & Wine editors to determine and/or create the restaurant’s wine and cocktail offerings. Plans also call for the venue’s artwork to be changed out twice a year to showcase local artists.

Photo: Interior of the restaurant. Courtesy of its website.

Bogue’s moves into new fire station location on Clairmont

part of Bogue's new interiorFolks driving along Clairmont Avenue near 32nd St. South this Saturday may have noticed some cars sitting in the parking lot adjacent to the renovated Fire Station No. 22.

Bogue’s was getting a chance to kick the tires on their new space in the building – its front door marked by an orange awning – and are continuing to do so today. They are not as of yet able to accept credit cards (read: cash only), but if you’re in the mood to see what the new space is like before everyone starts to swarm on the building, you may still have some time. The most notable of the new features for the space is the patio that looks out onto 32nd St. and the site of the first ever Alabama vs. Auburn football game (it’s important to note there’s currently no furniture on the patio).

Workers were almost finished putting the fence up around the old location (first inhabited by the restaurant in 1946) as we left this morning, suggesting that demolition of that structure is imminent to allow for construction of a new Walgreens location seen as the centerpiece of this redevelopment project.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll see some of the perks of the new Walgreens flagship store up in Chicago that opened last month when it opens this summer…

Three years later, Einstein Bros. arrives

Einstein Bros. logoJust as Megabeth is preparing to leave Birmingham, AL, Einstein Bros. finally arrives in The Magic City. It just took a little longer than they thought it would…

The national bagel chain drew attention to itself more than three years ago when it announced  plans to offer franchising opportunities in Alabama and six other states.

The new location, the company’s first franchised location in metro Birmingham, is in fact the fourth one in the state – all located on college campuses (joining locations in Auburn, Mobile and Troy). This one is housed in UAB’s Learning Resource Center (located at 1714 9th Ave. South)

This UAB-produced video about the restaurant’s opening suggests that it fills a need for those working between the university’s student center and 20th Street South.

A place to Mix it up downtown

Mix Restaurant sign. acnatta/FlickrFolks in Birmingham’s central business district will soon have a new place to visit for sandwiches, sweets and drinks before they spend the evening enjoying a show. It appears that Mix will be joining the mix in the very near future.

The ground floor space at the corner of 19th Street and 4th Avenue North has been vacant since August 2006 when Restaurant G decided to move into The Tutwiler Hotel and become Icon. This is the latest venture by Chris DuPont, owner of Café DuPont (located just a few blocks over on 20th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues North.

Well, folks that have driven by the space in One Federal Place in recent weeks have noticed new furniture and equipment recently moved in to the space. Today, while passing by, people would have seen a new sign (pictured above)  just days after new dark red awnings replaced the black ones that shaded its windows. The sign tells us all that we currently know about the new space – that it will serve sweets, sandwiches and drinks – though we’ve also heard that you shouldn’t be surprised to see some interesting stuff on the walls once it opens…

Photo: Mix Restaurant sign. acnatta/Flickr

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: Fire + Ice COO responds

This morning I received the following message from the COO of Fire + Ice restaurants, Hol Hustus in response to our email to them and yesterday’s post about the status of the Five Points South location:

“Thanks for the e-mail. Unfortunately the restaurant has recently closed. The owners plan on making some changes and re-opening in a few months. We will try to keep you posted through out website and e-mails.

Thanks again.”

Sounds like we’ll know what’s coming next in that spot soon. Thanks to Hol for the prompt reply.