“That’s my dog!” This is the unforgettable phrase that you might hear from one of River Region’s finest, Charles Lee. This Montgomerian is trailblazing through the capital city to give back to and support community teens that are less fortunate and facing hardships of violence and poverty. Charles’s three word catchphrase has morphed into establishing a safe haven and a plethora of opportunities for adolescents to stay off the streets. His zest for helping youth reach their all-time potential is contagious, and he is relentlessly spreading his passion throughout the community. Charles’s spectacular efforts led him to be chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Alabama Young Professional’s Hero award and the 2017 Leadership Montgomery Unit award.
Face it—change can make us uncomfortable in most circumstances. New jobs, moving to a different city, or children leaving for college can leave us feeling a little lost. But, when that change involves our favorite restaurant, we become passionate defenders of the status quo. There are times, however, when change takes something great and makes it even better, which is the case for the recent move of Café Louisa and Tomatinos Pizza & Bake Shop to Cloverdale Road in thehistoric district of Old Cloverdale in Montgomery.
At Wingers Sports Grill, the food possibilities are endless. A staple in Montgomery since 2004, Lee Peña and his wife, Mison, have been serving up some of the most unique combinations to grace our Capital City. After reopening in 2014, the growth for Wingers has been exponential. Recently, they opened their doors in Auburn and are very optimistic that business will take off this football season. But two restaurants were not enough for Lee; look for the third location of Wingers coming to downtown Montgomery in the coming months. Lee says, I would like to see Wingers grow to its maximum potential. We take it one day at a time as of right now. What is the maximum potential to Lee? Franchising is one thing on his list. With opportunities constantly opening in the restaurant business, Lee sees Wingers becoming a huge hit in other parts of Alabama.
As a husband and wife who enjoy eating and drinking both with our motley crew of kids and without, the Andersons are not often blown away by new restaurants. In fact, it never really happens. But when we walked in the door of The Cork & Cleaver Gastropub, in the section of Midtown that we often cruise right by in favor of pizza, the first thing noticed was the open kitchen and the smiling face of the line cook who greeted us, pan sizzling. Her broad smile set the tone for our visit.
Earlier this year, IgniteMGM held a pitch competition to award $12,000 to entrepreneurs who contributed to Montgomery in several different ways. The grants were divided into three concepts: a digital/social concept, a community impact art concept, and finally a food truck concept. On a Roll, operated by Nick and Davena Jernigan, was one of the three finalists, along with Fire Meats Wood and NYC Gyro, in the food truck competition.
Upstairs, above B.B. King’s Blues Club at the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Montgomery, sits a restaurant nestled far, far away from the hustle and bustle below. Taking its name from B.B. King’s hometown of Itta Bena, Mississippi, a trip to this restaurant is like walking straight down Beale Street only to find yourself face to face with a hidden gem so unique, you’ll wonder why you’ve never ventured here before. At Itta Bena, everything is made in house, and the appetizers, entrees and desserts are delivered to you from a wait staff that aims to please with good, old-fashioned Southern hospitality. Simply put, dining here is an experience like none other, and it doesn’t boil down to just the amazing food.
If you happen to be in downtown Montgomery and are craving deliciously authentic Southern food, two great choices are Yellowhammer Cafe on Bell Street and Cahawba House on South Court Street. Either location will fill your need for great Southern comfort food and leave you feeling like you’ve shared a meal with family.
Where Atlanta Highway and Perry Hill Road converge, to the right is a new home for three brand new, casual dining restaurants for residents of our tiny metropolis to enjoy. It is a space that offers the city the chance to experience three different, uniquely separate flavors that Montgomery has never seen. At the new Perry Hill Crossing Shopping Center, SOL Restaurante Mexicano & Taqueria, Shane’s Rib Shack, and Wharf Casual Seafood all bring something fresh and inspiring to the table, and people are already flocking to get a taste of what’s new. Developer David McClinton, the man behind the scenes who worked to integrate these new dining destinations, had reasons for wanting to give this area a much-needed upgrade.
Montgomery is a city full of culinary talent providing locals with incredible dining experiences. While dinner often steals the spotlight, who doesn’t love a good brunch? Nothing is better than meeting up with friends over delicious food and bottomless mimosas to discuss the week’s events. We selected our favorite brunch spots based on menu variety, originality and atmosphere -- and boy was the research fun! These restaurants are locally owned and operated, or as we like to call them... Off The Chain.
Tucked away in the Old Cloverdale entertainment district is a rare gem that has a long history of offering fine dining to the River Region. Vintage Year first opened as the Chophouse at Vintage Year in 1984, and after closing for a season, was reopened by new owners Derk Lyerly and Jud Blount on January 5, 2016. In addition to dropping Chophouse from the name, the owners have also changed the philosophy of the restaurant—creating a new history in the process.