We were able to sample the soft opening selections at Mix this week (a new bakery-cafe-bar that opened on the corner 0f 19th Street and 4th Avenue North). Besides a good variety of pastries, muffins, and donuts, the fresh bread stood out in a city where artisanal fresh bread is often hard to find. A baker was bringing out a fresh batch once we’d finished lunch; loaf sales have been brisk.
The interior has been lightened and feels much less formal than the old restaurant. Wonderful art by local artist Amy Pleasant adorns the walls (with more to come). Chef/Owner Chris Dupont spoke with us about his plans, which include an evening bar menu, movie and poetry nights, and lots more bread. It’s an ambitious effort to overcome a tricky location, and to introduce a quirky, hip vibe into a somewhat unquirky, unhip building. Perhaps if someone can do it, it’s Chris, who helped pioneer a new attitude about downtown dining at his Cafe Dupont a few blocks away.
Two facts make us optimistic: a large awning with the Mix logo has been approved to cover the sidewalk patio area, and a 1960’s New Wave film was projected on the wall when we dined. You can’t help but feel good about large outdoor seating areas and New Wave films. By the way, the food was delicious.
To round out our foodie lunch week, we stumbled into the Peace Dog stand today at the corner of 6th Avenue and 20th street North downtown. This is not your normal Birmingham hotdog stand–I felt transported to Austin. Hebrew National and veggie dogs, grilled to order, local small-batch mustards and relishes, Urban Standard provisions—all in a neat, compact, pedestrian-friendly package on the corner. You can find the stand there most Mondays, but for other days of the week follow their tweets to find out when they’ll be where (they also go to the Summit Shopping Center some days): @peacedogbham