Changes on the way to Birmingham's entertainment district - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Changes on the way to Birmingham's entertainment district

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

 

Big changes to the entertainment world in Birmingham. New restaurants are being added to the "Uptown" entertainment district. It went under construction in 2011. This week, the restaurant Texas de Brazil" opens, but many of the buildings are still under construction. Builders say it's right on schedule, but people in the Magic City say it's still too empty. 

The announcement of the uptown district came three years ago, but the question we keep hearing - why isn't most of it open yet? 

"I like it," Mary Bayhi, a visitor said. "I wish it was all open, but it wasn't, but where we went was great."

We found a couple visitors from out of town. They came to the district for a place to eat, but said they didn't find many choices.

"We came up here hunting for a restaurant and that was the first one we actually found," Marianne Moiso, a visitor said.

City councilors told us, it's been a slow process.

"Everything good takes time," Valerie Abbott, Birmingham City Councilor said. "It's slow, but you have to consider the nation has been in a downward spiral and people are not willing to make commitments. We are pleased with what we have and we are looking forward to more."

"It's still a tough economy in respect to what we might think. It's still a tough economy," Steven Hoyt, City Councilor said.

We met up with the project's developers. They told us that while it might seem slow, the project is doing fine. It's unique in that the building was built before tenants signed on.

"By the time you work through the design process, permitting, and construction - which has taken more than 240 days on some of these more complicated build-outs, and every one of these is a complicated build-out, it's right there where it should be," Tad Snider, Executive Director, BJCC.

With Texas de Brazil opening this week, they're hoping more people will consider stopping by.

"Younger crowd, music, entertaining, so just lots of great options right here around the BJCC," Snider said.

The developer told us, Mugshots will open April 15th. Cantina Lareda is under construction and will likely open in June. One of the store fronts remains empty.

 

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