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Old 12-22-2008, 04:00 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,526 times
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Hey everyone I would appreciate any help.

I'll be staying the Redmont Hotel for a few days in the near future. It's at 5th Ave N. I'm just wondering how safe the surrounding area is. Am I on the outskirts of downtown? Can I safely walk around at night? Should I just stay in the hotel to play it safe, lol?

I was thinking of going to that Dreamland BBQ that everyone seems to rave about on the southside. How is that area?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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You'll be in the middle of downtown. It is not unsafe any more than any normal downtown area. That being said, downtown is really not the entertainment district of town. There are a number of bars and restaurants that are opening in the downtown area, but the real action can be found about 15 blocks south in either the Five Points, the Pepper Place, or the Lakeview Districts. Some exceptional restaurants can be found in those areas. Highlands, Hot & Hot, and Bottega are especially noteworthy for the ridiculously beautiful clientele. Dreamland will be about a mile to the west of Five Points behind UAB.

I'd go online to Yelp.com for some interesting reviews of local places in those areas. Hope you enjoy your stay in the 'ham. There really are some great places around here.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:31 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
You'll be in the middle of downtown. It is not unsafe any more than any normal downtown area. That being said, downtown is really not the entertainment district of town. There are a number of bars and restaurants that are opening in the downtown area, but the real action can be found about 15 blocks south in either the Five Points, the Pepper Place, or the Lakeview Districts. Some exceptional restaurants can be found in those areas. Highlands, Hot & Hot, and Bottega are especially noteworthy for the ridiculously beautiful clientele. Dreamland will be about a mile to the west of Five Points behind UAB.

I'd go online to Yelp.com for some interesting reviews of local places in those areas. Hope you enjoy your stay in the 'ham. There really are some great places around here.
Excellent info, thanks.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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By the way, if your hotel reservations are not set, I would recommend this hotel instead, that puts you in the middle of the Five Points district, if walking around and checking out the local scene is what you value:

Birmingham Alabama Hotels - The Hotel Highland
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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I live close enough to Dreamland to be able to smell it from my apartment and work close enough to the Redmont hotel to be able to see it from my office window. I don't feel unsafe in either area.

However, while I wouldn't think twice about walking around in the area around the Redmont after dark (and have), there's not much reason to do much strolling. There just isn't that much open downtown after work hours. If you do want to remain in that area, the closest thing is Icon restaurant in the Tutwiler hotel two blocks away. It's moderately upscale ($), and they have a little bar and sometimes a jazz group.

My next suggestion might be John's City Diner, about four blocks south of you on 21st Street. It's casual and reasonably priced, and I always enjoy the food there. They have their own upscaled versions of classic diner food. John's is probably my favorite restaurant downtown.

A half block further, on First Avenue North, there's Matthews Bar & Grill and a wine bar. I'll confess I've never been to either, so you're on your own there. There's also Fife Restaurant, a 50-year old classic "meat and three" place two blocks away from the Redmont to the East, but it closes up at 8pm. They're considered more of a lunch joint.

Other than that, the downtown area is pretty dead.

Most of the bars and restaurants are in the places already mentioned: 5 Points and Lakeview being the most obvious. For restaurants, 5 Points has Fire & Ice, Ocean (upscale), 26, Jim 'n Nick's (BBQ/home cookin'), Surin (Thai), a relatively new Greek place whose name escapes me, a Tapas bar, a French place, a small Middle-Eastern joint, a Japanese place, Ranelli's Deli and an idiotic Ruby Tuesday's in the middle of it all, blighting the neighborhood. Somebody should burn that place down. A few blocks away are Bottega and Hot and Hot Fish Club (both $) and Taj India, which is Indian if you didn't guess already. There are a number of bars and clubs in that area also, as well as an unusual fountain in front of the church at 5 Points that depicts Satan conversing with his animal minions.

It's been so long since I've ventured over to Lakeview I don't even know what's over there now.

Since you specifically mentioned it, Dreamland is in the middle of a residential neighborhood several blocks from 5 Points, surrounded by old houses and small apartment buildings. The restaurant had a loyal following before it ever opened its Birmingham location, or it would never have succeeded because nobody would have known to look for it there. There is nothing commercial around it except for a small, sad neighborhood grocery and laundry across the street. I've lived in the neighborhood for two years now and have never felt the slightest bit nervous walking around.

You will likely want to get a cab to any of those places if you don't have your own transportation with you. Birmingham's not a great walking city. I would suggest that you get the name and number of a cab company from the hotel and keep it with you while you're out. You can't just hail a cab in Birmingham. You'll need to call for one, especially if you go to Dreamland.

Good luck. Birmingham might seem a little sleepy to the casual observer, but we like it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:15 AM
 
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Yeah, 3 a.m. covered it pretty well. I think you should change your hotel reservations if you like getting out and about. I mean, it's a lot more fun to be about to wander about around your hotel and actually see human life.

Personally, I think we should start a "Where Do I Eat" thread. Birmingham has a disproportionate number of really good restaurants. A shame that they dont' get a proper shout-out.
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