Birmingham’s Future Looks Bright, and Local Businesses Benefit

We’re proud of our city, and of all the businesses and individuals who are standing up and innovating.

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Photo courtesy of Grace Davis

It’s a good time to live — and work — in Birmingham. Revitalization of our city, especially our downtown districts, seems to be getting stronger every day. We’re proud to be part of the positive change by creating sites for fantastic community partners like The Community Foundation (click here to read our blog on their LightRails project) and Birmingham Business Alliance. Last week, several of us here at Infomedia trekked downtown to the first of many REV Birmingham pop-up shop events. REV brings start-up and established businesses to empty storefronts in areas across Birmingham. Our favorite shops last week included screenprinting from Yellowhammer Creative, donuts from Doughboys, and incredible jewelry from Rugged & Fancy.

To wrap up the week, we watched as the Lyric, a once-rundown theater across from our famed Alabama Theater, was brought back to life, its sign relit and glowing into the night. This project is especially near to our hearts because our president, Jason Lovoy, practically grew up at the Lyric: His family ran businesses located in the same building, and he used to explore the theater, dreaming of a day when it could be brought back to its former glory. He’d stop at Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill for lunch, and they’d know his order (hot dog with cheese, hold the onions) as soon as he walked in the door. When Glenny Brock began exploring and restoring the Lyric, she actually found windowpanes that a young Jason had marked with his signature — even back then, Jason was determined to leave his mark on Birmingham.

Rewritten Laws and Open Containers

What’s fueling this progress? Ingenuity and can-do spirit — and a little sip of spirits as well. A few years ago, Alabama had a strict set of laws that put a stranglehold on the creation and sale of certain alcohols. Now, due to the perseverance of people (and movements like Free the Hops), much of that seems to be changing, and it’s good for our business community. Several of our favorite local businesses are now breweries (Good People, Avondale Brewing Company and Cahaba Brewing Company, to name a few). And we’re even seeing a new open container law in Birmingham, allowing for five different districts where wristband-wearing patrons can carry open containers without penalty. These areas include such hotbeds of new business as Regions Field, Second Avenue North, Five Points South, and Lakeview.

Music and Spirits at Cask & Drum

This weekend, Lakeview welcomes Cask & Drum, a celebration of wine, beer and music. It’s an all-day festival in a large field near Sloss Furnaces featuring tastings of both wine and beer, plus music on two stages. Our work at Infomedia is often fueled by music, so we’ll be bringing our blankets this Saturday to see acts such as Dwight Yoakam, Shovels & Rope, Railroad Earth, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Lord Huron. (Click here for event details and to buy tickets.)

Birmingham Won’t Stop Innovating

We love this innovation partly because it makes our city stronger (and our downtime a little more fun). But the important lesson is that none of this would be happening if groups of volunteers weren’t willing to fight for change, if business owners weren’t willing to take risks, and if we weren’t all willing to get out there and support our local businesses and our new downtown. We’re proud of our city, and we’re proud of all the businesses and individuals who are standing up and innovating. We at Infomedia strive to never stop doing the same.

woman laughs while looking off camera for Infomedia

Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.


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