BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood is already a popular place to hang out and business owners there hope adding an entertainment district will attract even more people to the area.
The new entertainment district opened over the weekend after about three years of efforts to get it. Saw’s Soul Kitchen is among the restaurants that hope to benefit from it.
“We’re just really excited about it,” general manager Matthew Statham said. “(We) look forward to getting it rolling with everybody on the block, with all the work that we’ve put into it, and just look forward to what it brings us in the future.”
The designation of an entertainment district means people will be allowed to walk around outside with alcoholic beverages at certain times using special cups provided by participating establishments. The timing of the district’s creation is great for Saw’s, which just got a liquor license in the last couple months. Statham said anticipation of such a district in the area is one of the reasons they wanted the liquor license.
“That was always kind of at the back of our minds,” he said. “Obviously, you know, the immediate benefit just from having the added revenue is fantastic. But then also for the block to be an entertainment district is great. You know, we’ve got some great restaurants, some great bars, and I think it just kind of ties everybody together a bit more.”
Statham said Avondale is set up well for an entertainment district with all its bars, restaurants and dessert shops on each block. And having the designation will change the neighborhood’s atmosphere and attract more people to hang out there.
“(You can) have food, have a drink from here and just kind of enjoy the whole block,” he said. “And I think it’ll make it a little more appealing as like a destination as part of the city.”
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