During the week, the lot at The Drive-In sits vacant—but it's far from abandoned. A bit before the clock strikes 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, cars start to crowd into empty spots. The carloads of families and couples on date night are there for the feature, which usually includes one kid-friendly movie—think Planes—or one for grownups, such as Wolverine. Plus, audience members can munch on buckets of popcorn as films unfold.
Jeremy Douglas and Paul Burgess worked at a Fultondale sports bar in the spring of 2011 when vicious storms tore through the area and decimated it. Dead set on turning tragedy into opportunity, the two opened North Tavern to continue the traditions of the restaurant they lost.
Patrons sit at square wooden tables in North Tavern's airy dining room, with metallic walls and a high, loft-style ceiling that conforms to zoning regulations that date back to when giants ran the city. Live musicians take advantage of the eatery's booming acoustics as visitors grab drinks at the bar or dig into half-pound burgers with homemade chips, chicken alfredo, classic BLTs, and fried pickles.
The Edge’s movie masters light up wall-to-wall screens with anticipated blockbusters and obscure indie flicks as guests kick back in high-backed, adjustable chairs. 18-inch risers position each row at just the right height for an unobstructed stadium-style view, and Dolby Digital surround sound systems tickle eardrums with multidimensional soundscapes. While cinephiles tuck in to tasty tidbits and delicious plotlines, moveable cup-holder armrests make it easy to stow beverages, snuggle with loved ones, or catapult beverages onto not-so-loved ones. The concessions stand sells beer and wine throughout screenings.
Inside 20 auditoriums at two locations, The Edge’s movie masters light up wall-to-wall screens with anticipated blockbusters and obscure indie flicks as guests kick back in high-backed, adjustable chairs. 18-inch risers position each row at just the right height for an unobstructed stadium-style view, and Dolby Digital surround sound systems tickle eardrums with multidimensional soundscapes. While cinephiles tuck in to tasty tidbits and delicious plotlines, moveable cup-holder armrests make it easy to stow beverages, snuggle with loved ones, or catapult beverages onto not-so-loved ones.
Stone's Throw Bar & Grill serves contemporary American cuisine made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Daily menus reflect offerings from regional farmers, including the watercress salad, bursting with a harvest of avocados, corn, citrus supremes, goat cheese, and toasted cumin-lime vinaigrette ($7). A plate of fried green tomatoes ($8) works as a home-style opening act for the simple grilled fish, which is served on a bed of caramelized-onion-basil mashed potatoes ($23). Sides such as cheese grits and braised collards ($4 each) sing backup for the Meyer Ranch burger's ($9) protein-packed rock ballad. Splitting desserts of white-chocolate bread pudding ($6) and chocolate truffle tart ($7) prevents hurt feelings on the side of the delicious dessert menu.
City Vineyard's viticultural mart purveys over 700 international fine wines and beers in a casual, non-intimidating atmosphere. Classes—many of which are overseen by local vino aficionado Foster Smith—are held every other Tuesday and traverse a seemingly infinite wine-scape, exploring the grapey libation's interaction with barbecue, sushi and sake, cheese and desserts, and more. Pluck basic tidbits from the vine of wisdom during the Wine 101 class (January 11), which unmasks the fundamentals of winemaking, source regions, tasting methods, and wine-speak. If you're a cigar devotee, sign up for the Big Reds, Port & Cigars course (January 25) to discover the proper pairing of smokes and juices before knowledge of the technique vanishes in a swirling cloud of ashes.
The Humidor Room surrounds smokers with a selection of distinguished stogies and a host of relaxation-inducing items, such as HDTVs, couches, and a fully stocked bar (Groupon not valid on alcohol). The Oliva Serie V Churchill ($8.69), Ashton Aged Maduro ($12.39), and Padron Serie 1926 No. 6 ($16.59), provide puffers a tasty alternative to smoking rolled-up issues of National Geographic, while a Xikar Crystal Clear Humidifier ($7.99) maintains smoking-torpedo moistness. Those in search of surprise may try their luck at snagging a number of mystery grab bags ($19.99).