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
Stopped by early Thurs am-doubled parked on 19th St (keeping fingers crossed police don’t aggressively ticket) to get some bread for the office. They had to take it into kitchen to slice- which they did graciously. Raisin-nut-cranberry bread fabulous.
As the season wore down at the Pepper Place market, the Wright’s Dairy guys were talking about having their cheeses available here when it opened. Has this happened, or will it? I’m very glad to see something more accessible there than the previous tenant. Having a bakery downtown is certainly another good step towards providing grocery services to the growing community, so Yay for that at least.
To answer my own question, after a phone conversation: Yes, they are using Wright’s Dairy cheese in the kitchen, and plan on having those cheese’s available to buy when they put the display case together. Maybe in a month, but I sure hope sooner.
Great news. You’re right–the sooner the better! While the V. Richard’s market planned a couple blocks away now looks like less of a reality, at least having fresh bread and Wright’s Dairy here is a step forward.
Jeremy C. Erdreich, AIA, LEED AP Erdreich Architecture, PC 2332 Second Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203 tel 205.322.1914 fax 205.322.1925 http://www.erdreicharchitecture.com
Note that Corey Hinkel, the baker and co-owner of Mix, is also a partner in Wright Dairy’s “Yellow Moon” cheesemaking operation.
V Richard’s isn’t going to happen? That’s unfortunate. To the best of your knowledge, is the Pizitz renovation still going forward?
We all still hope the renovation is happening–but the loss of their major tenant was a huge blow. Most other developers would have closed up the project; the one reason I give Pizitz a fighting change is because Bayer is so well-resourced, and is backed by the City in a big way on this one.
Ah crud. Maybe a Trader Joe’s would be interested? Good grocery store for downtown dwellers and a destination store for people outside downtown who miss them from where they lived before.
Right now this City lacks a proactive redevelopment authority, or other aggressive agency that could identify potential sites and develop incentives for businesses like grocery stores to locate downtown. I hope we get both that type agency and a grocery store soon.
Peace Dogs is awesome!!!
Glad to see you stumbled into it.
Delicious hot dogs from fresh/top quality ingredients at a fair price. It’s sooo much better than the typical sneaky/gus/pete/ et al dog!!!
It’s become one of our favs!!