Photos by Stephen Poff
Montgomery taps into the future of brews with Tower Taproom, located at 101 Tallapoosa Street, in the downtown entertainment district. Owned and operated by Montgomery restauranteur Jake Kyser of Central, Dreamland and more, Tower Taproom is Montgomery’s newest and most innovative way to kick back and relax with a specialty beer and a fabulous burger all in the heart of the action.
Ten years after Hampstead opened its doors, the community looks different from the early days - and exactly what its town planners and founders envisioned: a mixed-use community of neighbors, friends, homes, businesses and gathering places that's unlike anywhere else in Montgomery.
Walkable, creative urban places are now the norm rather than the exception in the US, and they're booming. None more so than Hampstead with its growing Town Center and home sales. RSVP Magazine sat down with Anna Lowder & Harvi Sahota, Directors of Hampstead, to talk shop on founding the community, what ten years have taught, and what's next...
Alabama Shakespeare Festival has given us more reason than ever to seek the theatre. “Romeo & Juliet” recently returned to the stage and is the first Shakespearean play directed by Rick Dildine since joining ASF. Named Artistic Director in August 2017, he’s being ‘shaking’ things up for all the right reasons. This year he courageously programmed a Festival Format with more shows than any season in ASF’s history, with variety and affordability to create a theatre experience for everyone.
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer, but the benefits are enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. Serving others can help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. It doesn’t always have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even the most simple ways can help others and improve your health and happiness. Here are a few of our favorite organizations that might tug at your heartstrings and encourage you to get involved.
Spiritual growth is an important part of living a full, rewarding life. Are you increasing in love? In joy? In patience? Or are you in need of emotional healing or a support group but don’t know where to start? Realizing we aren’t alone and knowing we are safe and in a supportive environment allows us to begin to feel comfortable sharing our feelings and life circumstances. There are several support groups, Bible studies, programs and small groups available that will strengthen your spiritual walk and support you making the journey of life a little more fulfilling.
If you’re looking to increase your overall health through strength, flexibility, coordination and endurance without much risk of injury, Club Pilates is the perfect place for you. The motto “Do Pilates. Do Life.” speaks to how this exercise method, an art of control over your body, mind, and muscles, can improve your everyday life.
His voice draws you in. His personality wins you over. His talent shines brighter than all the Christmas lights in our neighborhoods combined. Montgomery is in for a real holiday treat to start the season with one of the most accomplished entertainers of our generation, as Harry Connick, Jr. takes the stage at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, December 13th. This showcase pays homage to Connick’s deep southern roots, in tribute to his New Orleans boyhood on the bayou, with a holiday twist. So before you hang the stockings or top your tree, gift yourself with tickets to an evening of musical merriment: A New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration, Holiday Edition, featuring Harry Connick, Jr. and his amazing band.
For almost 200 years, Commerce Street has served as the main mercantile, transportation and business artery for the city of Montgomery. From that day in October of 1821 when the steamboat Harriott reached the Montgomery landing after a treacherous ten-day journey up the Alabama River from Mobile, the citizens of the recently united settlements formerly known as Alabama Town and New Philadelphia were connected to the markets around the globe. Montgomerians now had access to all types of finery from Europe and Asia. After that cargo was offloaded onto the wharfs at the foot of Commerce Street, the empty space on the decks was replaced with hundreds of bales of short staple Alabama cotton headed for the textile mills of Europe. There were over 300 pick-up spots at river wharfs between the ramps and slides at the foot of Commerce and the port in Mobile. The rudimentary feeder system allowed area farmers to arrange for wagonloads of their cotton bales to lade aboard the broad decks of the steamships bound for the transoceanic cargo ships and lucrative foreign markets. In this part of antebellum Alabama, "Cotton WAS Commerce."
In 1896, S. H. Kress built a chain of five and dime stores that grew to 264 locations and dominated our country for years. Most were located downtown at five or six stories high and, because he was an avid art lover, each building incorporated distinctive architecture with detailed artistic flourishes on the exterior. His Montgomery store was his third to be built but was destroyed by fire in 1927. In December of 1929, architect George E. Mackay rebuilt it with a Greek temple design that remains today. It closed in 1981, and over the years began to deteriorate, along with several other buildings on Dexter Avenue. So much history happened on Dexter: Martin Luther King, Jr. led thousands on the Selma to Montgomery March from this street. Nonviolent activists organized sit-ins at the eating counters in the Kress Department Store. The Webber Theatre, the oldest theatre in Alabama, is where actor and assassin John Wilkes Booth performed regularly. Dexter Avenue created a platform for Civil Rights activists. It tells a story…several stories. How could Montgomery afford not to restore it?
In 2008, The United States elected its first AfricanAmerican president, Congress bailed out the big three automakers, China hosted the Summer Olympics, Heath Ledger died and a little publication called RSVP Montgomery was born. Despite the economic crash in 2008, two friends in Montgomery, Alabama, were determined to make their dreams of starting amagazine a reality.