Avondale businesses feel safe, despite crime surrounding them


AVONDALE, Ala (WIAT) — Police are still investigating a shooting that happened in North Avondale Tuesday night, but despite some of the violence, business owners said security is better than ever.

On top of Birmingham police officers patrolling the area regularly, business employees said they hire their own security, and keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

In the past few years, Avondale has become a hot spot for people to go eat and drink. 

“Avondale has come a long way, a long way as terms of security, family-friendly streets to walk around, good restaurants and bars,” said Joey Dickerson, the executive chef of Melt & Fancy’s on 5th. 

In the past, business employees said Avondale wasn’t known to be safe, and with 3 people getting shot at in North Avondale Tuesday night, they said even though it’s only 5 minutes away, they’re still not worried.

“Avondale is really big. Let me stress that .This part of 41st street near the park has turned into entertainment district . We have security involved every night. We personally between Melt and Fancy’s on 5th have our own Birmingham police officer that comes here and patrols,” said Dickerson. 

“I think it’s sad but I think it’s a very different neighborhood than North Avondale. I believe the crime that happened here a while ago has migrated out,” said Jennifer Shurbet, bartender at 41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales. 

Birmingham police said the 3 people shot will be ok, but they don’t have any suspects. 

They say with increase in people visiting Avondale, they know there is opportunity for crime.

“We have to adjust and grow with the area as a department so we have to go and talk to business owners and person who live in those areas,” said Sergeant Johnny Williams with Birmingham Police. 

The businesses also keep in close contact with each other.

“Keeping an eye out for each other, its easier to tell them what our needs are,” said Shurbet. 

“Of course it’s going to deter some people away I think from coming down here, but it’s a part of this city, a part of life, and we just grow,” said Dickerson. 

Birmingham police said the biggest help they get in Avondale is when they’re updated on anything suspicious or concerning. 

So the ‘see something say something’ can go a long way.

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