Tag Archives: Birmingham Business Journal

Progress in 2 districts

Black and tan, Todd English style

Downtown may be getting it’s first non-local celebrity chef restaurant: according to the Birmingham Business Journal, chef Todd English plans to open a Todd English P.U.B. (Public Urban Bar) concept at the new Westin Hotel currently wrapping up construction. While Todd English runs numerous restaurants across the US, most are in Boston, New York, Las Vegas, and LA. None are in the South (save one at Disney World in Orlando), making the choice of Birmingham pretty interesting. Could it be that our own nationally recognized local food culture is now attracting not just good press, but out-of-town nationally recognized chefs? The menu in the one other P.U.B. (Las Vegas, at City Center) is decidedly gastropub, with lots of sliders and draft beers (pictured above; we assume prices would be slightly lower in this market). Bar games such as beer pong are advertised as well. The beer-ish theme seems well-suited to a city undergoing a full-fledged renaissance in beer making and appreciation.

Curtains in the windows, dining coming soon

Above is the current state of the Westin (2200 block of Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. North) where workers are racing to get the hotel open in January. The main lobby will enter under the canopy with the nameplate; the restaurant space is on the ground floor to the right in the photo, with outdoor seating facing the planned Entertainment District, of which Texas de Brazil is the first announced tenant. P.U.B.’s theme and celebrity chef concept seem promising as a place that could attract convention-goers and locals alike.

Park, meet ballpark

A dozen blocks north at First Avenue South between 14th and 16th Streets, Regions Field, the new home of the Birmingham Barons, is taking shape across from Railroad Park (above, looking south from the park–check out the live construction cam here). Now that the rough massing is taking shape, the scale and edge it gives to the corner are feeling pretty good. Given the April 10 opening date, we should be able to analyze the finish materials and streetscape soon enough.

We hope there’s lots of coordination forthcoming between UAB, area property owners, developers, and the City to plan a new Parkside district that’s a win-win for everyone. With Good People Brewing Company expanding across the street, and Southpace Properties working on a new restaurant project (no drive-throughs, please!) next door, the potential is there. Now, if we just had that new streetcar to take us effortlessly from an IPA at the ballgame to a Spring Street Saison at the P.U.B….

[thanks to cdtatro for the P.U.B. pic]

More eats, and Design Review September 26

Reservations are recommended

The Dallas-based restaurant chain Texas de Brazil is bringing its grand all-you-can-eat steakhouse concept to downtown Birmingham, as reported by the Birmingham Business Journal this afternoon. It will open next year adjacent to the new Westin Hotel in the BJCC‘s entertainment district. This is the first of planned announcements for new tenants in the district.

In the meantime, below is the agenda for this week’s Design Review Committee meeting. Remember, the meetings are open to the public and take place at 7:30 AM at Auburn Urban Studio, 3rd Floor of Young and Vann Building, corner of 18th Street North and First Avenue downtown.

I.        Call to Order:  Minutes of the September 12, 2012 meeting.

II.        Name: Mr. Jason Robb

Site Address: 2504 Aberdeen Road

District:  Red Mountain Suburbs Local Historic

Requesting approval for: Renovations to existing residence (Painting existing brick, soffits, and fascia; installing new front doors; installing new front windows; installing front door pediment; installing columns and transoms around/over doors on the sides of the front entrance; and installing gas lanterns)

III.       Name: Mr. Mark Williams (Reliable Signs)

Site Address: 517 22nd Street, South, Iron City Live

District: Midtown

Requesting approval for: operating guidelines for sign

IV.       Name: Mr. Keith Rouss (Harbert Realty)

Site Address: Two North 20th

District: Birmingham Green

Requesting approval for: Roof top advertising sign

V.        Name:  Mr. Jared Pineda

Site Address:  18 Richard Arrington Jr., Blvd, North

District:  21st Street North

Requesting approval for:  Roofing samples

VI.       Name: Mr. Russ Walter

Site Address:  2805 3rd Avenue, South (Pittsburgh Paints)

District: Lakeview

Requesting approval for:  Sign

VII.     Name: Mr. Jerry Nelms (BJCC)

Site Address:  Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd between 22nd & 24th Street,

District:  Cultural

Requesting approval for:  Street improvements and parking

VIII.    Name: Mr. Jimmy Harvell (Larry Signs)

Site Address: 7737 1st Avenue, North (Quik Pawn Shop)

District:  East Lake

Requesting approval for:  Signage

IX.       Name: Ms. Sheila Chaffin (UAB)

Site Address: block between 5th & 6th Avenues and 11th & 12th Streets South

District: Midtown

Requesting approval for: Demolition and site restoration of the UAB Theater Storage temporary structure.

[thanks to Texas de Brazil for the pic]