Marble Ring

I first heard of it via a friend at work and what they told me intrigued me.

“Its a speak easy” they said. Well that got my interest immediately.
I went looking online and found out where they are.

If your familiar with the Avondale area of birmingham this should be steps you will know pretty quick.

Go into the heart of avondale at the corner of 5th avenue south and 41st street across the park from Avondale Park.

There you will find on the corner Fancy’s On Fifth.

If you go around the corner there is a sign that leads you up the stairs to Hot Diggity Dogs. You continue up the stairs to the 2nd floor and once there. Look for the blue police box.. 

Step inside and there is a phone.

Pick up and someone inside will answer and ask how many in the party. At one point I heard they used a password for entry that you had to figure out from the clues in the booth but apparently this has been phased out.

Once you tell them how many in short order the door opens and you go inside (At this point its a surreal moment as its truly almost the SpeakEasy effect) into the main part of the bar.

Look closely at the 2nd image. See the matrix in the back with the round lights?
Those are semaphores that when you pull the rope at your seating area turn on a light to let them know that you need something. If you don’t pull it they leave you along.

My friend and I ordered from the waitress who was dressed accordingly for the period including the hair waves.
She had a gin fiz and I had the death in the afternoon>

Yes that is my hat  and steampunk shades (was a cold day)

The drinks were super cold as they should have been and well mixed with the death in the afternoon being the most unusual version of an absynth drink I have tasted to date (its champaign and absynth instead of water w/sugar).
We had a fantastic experience and the wait staff were outstanding.

On a 1-5 I would give them a 4.9


Roots & Revelry

I went to R & R in the Thomas Jefferson building on April 16th while studying for the bar.

I Found it by accident when looking for something different for lunch.
First some back history on where it is should be mentioned.

The Thomas Jefferson Hotel was finished in 1929 and at the time was one of the tallest buildings in Birmingham. They installed then what is now the only surviving Dirigible mooring tower.

It served as the TJ till 1972 when it changed names to the Cabana Hotel.
At that time A radio station was broadcasting from the top floor of the hotel.
It finally closed in May of 1983 when it was being used as a cheap monthly rent building.

Recently revamped and converted into 98 Condominiums it has seen a lot of traffic even without the Restaurant.

Now that we are all up to speed on the building.
The restaurant is on the 2nd floor at the corner where the Ballroom and the balcony are located.

I went there not expecting such a great place for having been open for such a short time.

When you come up the stairs their door creates a mystery unto itself as its frosted such that you  can’t even begin to see whats inside. 

Once the young lady at the front desk had seated me I was blown away by the overall look to the whole room..
At the south end of the room is an enormous mural along with one of 2 gorgeous art deco chandeliers (not sure of their origin frankly)

The other end is the bar that I want to sample at a later date also with the 2nd of the chandeliers.

Looking toward the outside its the original enormous windows that look out onto the balcony that is original to the building.

I looked over the menu and saw they had a French Dip sandwich with prime rib and raw cut fries.

I must admit I’m not much of a french dip fan but theirs is great. Not Salty or flat but was very good and a little tangy. The white sauce is a champaign aioli that goes well with the rough cut fries. The Tea they serve has a slight hint of Blackberry in it and is not overly sweet.

The entirety of the experience was great. Service was good but as others have observed they are not fully ready for full on constant service.

I will be revisiting them again to see if there is any difference in their service.

The images below are of the balcony and terra cotta wall pieces out in front of the restaurant.