BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Birmingham City Council voted on Tuesday to make Pepper Place an entertainment district.
One of the benefits is that you will soon be able to carry alcoholic beverages within the district. Chef Chris Hastings owns Ovenbird, a restaurant at Pepper Place.
“We’re a live fire restaurant. No gas line,” said Hastings.
According to Hastings, the entertainment district designation will help businesses at Pepper Place better support each other.
“It allows someone to come into my restaurant or any number of bars and restaurants inside the Pepper Place District to get an adult beverage or libation of your choice, wonder into any of the retail stores, do some shopping,” explained Hastings.
Being an entertainment district, also means bigger events at Pepper Place.
“One of the cool and exciting things about having this new Pepper Place entertainment district designation is for me as a tenant and a member of the Pepper Place business community, we’re going to all band together as a collection of businesses to create new and dynamic events,” said Hastings.
That includes what Hastings describes as interactive dinners.
“You may come into Ovenbird for appetizer, you may wonder over into Charlie Thigpen’s store, and then maybe go to the next stop on a food and beverage dinner," continued Hastings. “Kind of like a dine around program that folds in the retail piece, local vendors and shop owners that are not food and beverage."
“We’ll be announcing soon a plan and a schedule for how we’re going to operate events for Pepper Place,” said Tom Walker, Chief Operating Officer for Sloss Real Estate. “That will include a kick off event for this entertainment district.”
Hastings said those events would be in support of the independent restaurant community, and highlight the importance of those restaurants to Birmingham.
“We would really like to be part of that message in a more distinctive way, certainly here at Pepper Place, but also across the city," said Hastings. “It’s very important.”
“Entertainment districts in general are very beneficial to the communities in which they operate, but also the city as a whole,” explained Walker. “We believe people will come down to Pepper Place who are from Birmingham, but also people from outside of Birmingham because this type of designation.”
The entertainment district designation goes into effect in February.