Tag Archives: Studio Arts Building

Eclecticism approved

At 3 AM it's hard to resist

Birmingham’s Design Review Committee approved a new urban storefront Waffle House in Five Points South, in the Studio Arts Building facing the traffic circle. [Strictly prohibited by the committee was any additional signage/posters beyond the main illuminated “Waffle House” sign above the storefront.] Also approved was exterior projecting signage for El Barrio, the long-anticipated latin-inspired restaurant in the 2200 block of 2nd Avenue North.

One is a national greasy spoon chain open 24/7; the other should prove to be a hotspot for foodies and hipster-ish urbanites. A vibrant city center caters to all tastes, so we welcome the opening of both of these restaurants in the upcoming few months! Dig in.

[thanks to taopauly for the scrumptious WH selection pic]

Design review alert

A sad end is in the works

We have learned that the owners of the building that for many years (1945-2004) housed The Social Grill, plan to sell to downtown landowner Bobby Crook, who in turn plans to tear the building down for surface parking.

The historic building (distressed after years of deferred maintenance and showing the remains of 1960’s-era metal insert panels at the storefronts) holds the SE corner of Third Avenue North and 23rd Street, and is notable for its large projecting sign. While in an official Historic District downtown, and subject to Design Review Committee approval, unfortunately the Committee is limited in its ability to prevent owners from tearing down buildings for surface parking. Once again, Form Based Code would be helpful in setting guidelines that, for instance, would state that corner buildings in particular districts must remain; and conversely corner parking lots should be turned back into buildings.

As of yet, there is not a date set for when this proposal goes before Design Review.

Waffle House across from...the Pancake House?

We do know that this Wednesday morning one of the Design Review items will be a new Waffle House in the Studio Arts building (pictured above right) which faces the circle at Five Points South. The Original Pancake House has occupied the opposite building (pictured above left) for many years and is a local institution for breakfast (although it’s part of a national chain). Waffle House, evicted from its current location just west of the UAB campus to make way for university development, already plans a new storefront location a few blocks west of Five Points in the heart of the university medical district (recently approved at Design Review). Despite the roughly similar menus, Pancake House is only open for breakfast/brunch daily, while Waffle House is a 24-hour, 365-day/year diner.

Finally, on Wednesday the  wonderful guys (from Trattoria Centrale) opening El Barrio in the 2200 block of 2nd Avenue North will reapply to the Committee for approval of a tasteful projecting sign [see our previous post here]. Our verdict: the Committee needs to approve this sign!!!

[thanks to bhydro for the Five Points pic]