When the Ensley Merchant’s Association (EMA) set out to activate an underutilized lot in historic downtown Ensley, they joined forces with Ensley Alive and REV Birmingham to form a plan for the space.
The challenge: Attract residents out of their homes, workers of their offices, and people bypassing the area into downtown Ensley.
Merchants brainstormed a number of opportunities, but one stuck out: Food. There are few dining options within walking distance of the core of the Ensley Business District. So the group called in food trucks and dubbed the event Ensley Eats. Every first Wednesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (sometimes beyond because of demand) food trucks showed up, and the crowds shortly followed.
Ensley Eats demonstrated that the importance and demand for spaces to connect with community were much needed. People from throughout the community showed up in droves to get a bite to eat and spend time with their neighbors. In the end, the community expressed the desire to have more events like Ensley Eats as well as a need for a food truck in Ensley on a more consistent basis.
Although Ensley Eats is finished for this season, don’t be surprised if you see a food truck or two attracting lines in historic downtown Ensley. The next Ensley Eats season will kick off in May 2018.
If you’ve been following REV for a while, you probably remember The Big Pitch Competitions we used to hold back in the day. The Big Pitch presented by PNC was essentially our own little version of Shark Tank. And a lot of your favorite local businesses that participated in this competition now have active retail storefronts that you can go check out. Let’s start with some of our finalists that are based in the City of Birmingham and see what they’ve been up to!
Have you been to Downtown Birmingham’s newest development located on 25th Street? If not, you need to head down there ASAP and check it out! This new single story development is a product of a collaboration between David Baker Architects (DBA) and Locke General Contractors, led by DBA’s very own Amanda Loper. It is intended to be a “collaborative commercial space in a catalyst development area of Birmingham.” Both DBA and Locke General Contractors will be tenants of the space, along with June Coffee Roasters, Zephyr Barber, and Last Call Baking Cooperative!
One of Birmingham’s many hidden treasures is the music scene downtown. The sheer volume of concert venues we have in downtown Birmingham is something most people aren’t even aware of – but it really is remarkable! There is truly something for everyone, whether you’re into the smaller, more intimate venues or the large-scale venues for those big name artists. Keep reading to check out some of the cool venues downtown Birmingham has to offer.