BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham City Council could be voting Tuesday on a $1.3 million grant that would allow for Yo Mama’s restaurant to move into a space under a parking garage on 4th Avenue and 21st Street that’s been vacant since 2004.

In Yo Mama’s current location on 2nd Avenue downtown, the owner says it doesn’t have room for big parties or business lunches. If the council approves their move to this spot under the parking deck, the restaurant hopes to have a private room created to accommodate this.

“We do good here but I would like for the customers to be a little bit more comfortable,” Denise Peterson, co-owner of Yo Mama’s, said.

Peterson says they’ve been working on the plans for this move for about a year, drawing up blueprints and talking with contractors to present to the Birmingham City Council.

“We actually hadn’t had a big conversation with the employees because I wanted to make sure we waited to see what the city council said. I didn’t want, I’m not jumping ship. You know, I want to know for sure that it’s going to happen,” Peterson said.

Peterson says not only would this new location give the restaurant more space but more parking, which is something she says customers often complain about.

“Everybody around here seems to have ownership of the [parking spots] they do have and I understand that because it’s a lot of restaurants and a lot of businesses in between here and there,” Peterson said.

Birmingham Council Member Hunter Williams says the city is hoping to create a long-term lease for up to 10 years with Yo Mama’s in the new space.

“It’s a real win-win for the city of Birmingham because we have had a very large retail space that the city was hoping to lease out several decades ago that really has just been sitting vacant and unfinished,” Williams said. “What we’re doing is taking funding that we have available to us to finish out that space, put in a long-term tenant, and then have that space now on the tax rolls producing revenue for the city of Birmingham.”

Yo Mama’s says if it moves, it will still have to pay rent to the city for the new space. The restaurant says should the council approve the grant, construction could begin as soon as possible and take 12-16 weeks to complete.