Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Here's to @BottletreeCafe, and How Sucky That They're Going Away

Most everything I post, write or print about Birmingham is as devoid of myself as I can make it. With the exception of the very few extremely self indulgent pieces which are very personal to me. 

This is one of those.

When Bottletree was but a twinkle in the eye of a couple of local artsy types, I was running a small renovation company. My crew was working on a house in Avondale, I believe putting a roof on, when we were approached to put some gutters on the house where Merrilee and Brian were living.

We were all kind of artsy-ish and started talking about this and that and other things.

Not too much later, I got a call about helping them with a little work on a start-up bar in an old abandoned building on the edge of nothing Birmingham. 

They were making things work on a shoe-string budget, they explained, and couldn't contract out the whole job. Most of the work was accomplished by their friends and acquaintances, of which I am now one (I count them both friends, although not close and cuddly). I will always be glad I met Merrilee, Brad and Brian back then, and got a chance to see it all go down.

I believe my crew helped with a few tasks, the main one, tearing out the old garage door, a daunting and dangerous apparatus which was held together by old, giant, flingy-flangy steel cables and springs designed to kill and maim anyone foolish enough to approach it. This was located over what is now, and unfortunately soon to have been the sound board.

Small thing, but I was always proud of walking into that place and ordering a beer, remembering how I almost got clocked by that old garage door. It was part of the personality of what I had seen grow from a baby.

I will have to console myself with the notion that what was born there was a spirit, which can move on into new territory. Because for the longest time, when I went out, if I went out, I would begin at Bottletree and end up at Marty's. Now, Marty's is no more, and Bottletree will soon be a fond memory. 

Back in the last cycle of the print version of The Birmingham Free Press (which, I warn you, may crop up again at any time), Bottletree was always very supportive of our efforts, as they have been with many local endeavors. They just exuded a positive energy that is hard to match. 

I'm completely looking forward to the opening of Brian Teasley's new Saturn joint. It will undoubtedly be amazing. But for now, I'm indulging in my "old man-ness" and lamenting the loss of another GREAT Birmingham establishment, and tradition.

I want to personally thank all of the staff and most
of the people I encountered there, for being part of a truly awesome and incredible Birmingham thing. The bar and kitchen staff were always top notch.

And I want to wish the staff GOOD TIDINGS AND HAPPY LANDINGS! You can soothe yourselves with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, but you were there. 



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