West Homewood is experiencing a boom in growth. The small neighborhood that once was mostly homes and a couple of old parks has transformed itself in the past few years. Its West Homewood Farmers’ Market is a beloved Tuesday evening staple that attracts throngs of locals to enjoy its food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, live music and, of course, farmers. And nearby Patriot Park boasts a drool-worthy new pool that includes a splash pad, mushroom waterfall, huge slide and concession stand. The city recently overhauled the old West Homewood Park, converting it to the Homewood Athletic Complex. The pristine grounds include 11 baseball and softball fields, eight tennis courts, two large flag-football and lacrosse fields, and an athletic center.
“This area is up and coming, and there are going to be a lot of changes around here,” says Giani Respinto, owner of Pizzeria GM. The city approached him about opening a restaurant in the pizzeria’s current spot as another means of jump-starting growth in West Homewood. “Homewood is a very aggressive city in a positive way. They built that brand-new field house on Oxmoor Road with new ball fields, batting cages and fields for field hockey and lacrosse. They really make an investment in the community, and I think that’s why people want to live here too. It’s a nice environment.”
So, after you walk in the park, play a match of tennis or splash in the pool, head to some other great spots in West Homewood. Here are some of our faves.
Seeds Coffee Co.
174 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209 • (205) 259-6405
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Closed Sunday
This neighborhood coffee shop has an inviting, warm, industrial feel and attracts all walks of life to grab a cup of joe and catch up with friends, have meetings, work on computers or just relax. And Seeds Coffee Co.’s coffee is no joke. They have high standards of quality and excellence when it comes to their farmer-focused buying practices. Says Seeds’ Green Coffee Buyer Jeff Huey, “When each player in the coffee supply chain is seen as important and honored by what they do, everyone wins.” Jeff puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to treating not only guests but his staff members as well with integrity. “Our employees are a part of a larger family, not just a business,” he says. “We treat one another as brothers and sisters, and our goal is to make our employees feel like more than just people we see in the workplace.” So, when you get a coffee at Seeds, you can rest assured that from the coffee bean to the barista to your cup, it’s a fair and feel-good experience.
600 Oak Grove Rd, Homewood, AL 35209 • (205) 905-3266
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Closed Sunday
This neighborhood pizza joint is a local favorite. Pizzeria GM’s New York-style pizzas are certainly the focus, but they are only one-third of the menu, which also features fabulous small plates like a big meatball with Sunday sauce and melted mozzarella, a 6-ounce oven-roasted Wagyu beef or tempura squash blossoms, or Bresaola and Burrata with arugula, shaved Parmesan, rosemary honey and extra-virgin olive oil. That’s just the tip of the culinary iceberg: There are charcuterie boards, salads, sandwiches (including a killer burger), homemade pasta, 20 mostly local beers on tap and 16 wines on tap. Yup, they are on the cutting edge of the kegged wine revolution. They even have some wines that are exclusive to Pizzeria GM, thanks to Giani’s personal relationships with some wineries. “People are starting to be really responsive to kegged wine,” he says. “I believe it is the future of wine by the glass.” Bring the whole family to enjoy this great spot.
705 Oak Grove Rd, Homewood, AL 35209 • (205) 558-9401
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Closed Monday
Ash was the dream of husband-and-wife duo Mark and Ashley Driskill. This hidden gem has a laid-back elegance and offers fine-dining quality dishes without breaking the bank. “People go crazy over our fried green tomatoes and our BBQ offerings with a twist,” says Mark, who doubles as Executive Chef. “We have specials Tuesdays through Thursdays that draw a crowd. Our most recent is Taco Thursdays with $5 margaritas, never made with a mix — only fresh juice here!” The wood-fired kitchen produces classic Southern fare with a global twist. “Our favorite thing about Ash is knowing we are giving huge pieces of ourselves and watching people feel that when they dine here. They feel like they’ve stumbled upon some secret that should be shared, and we appreciate that,” says Mark. He and Ashley live just three blocks from the restaurant, and they love West Homewood. “It feels like a big family where everyone is caring for and supporting one another.”
Magic City Sweet Ice
715 Oak Grove Rd, Homewood, AL 35209 • (205) 907-2125
Hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday
Magic City Sweet Ice started by selling their all-natural homemade Italian ices, and have since added gelato, soft-serve ice cream, pastries, cookies, pies, beignets, espresso drinks and more. They recently expanded to add more indoor seating and a proper kitchen to their existing front window seats and charming patios. The kitchen will allow them to debut some fabulous savory options like gumbo and an impressive chicken-stuffed waffle. Don’t miss this little powerhouse eatery!
Enjoy your time in West Homewood!
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