Tag Archives: Cloverdale

Graham Woods Neighborhood Pub

One of the most popular posts over at Midtown Montgomery Living is the one where we published the speculation we had received about an Irish pub opening in the “Five Points” area of Cloverdale. No seriously, if you want to see some hilarious comment section trolling, check out that post. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the label of “Five Points,” I’m talking about the part of town over by The Capri.

An Irish Pub in Cloverdale? People freaked out. Again, check out the “love it or leave it” tenor to the comments section. Also, an Irish pub just opened downtown. The concerns about Cloverdale parking and trash pickup are legit, especially the parking ones. But while concerned, we also don’t want that strip to remain empty. Someone to buy and fix up that building? Sounds great. We support economic development. And if we can get a nice beer in a chill environment, all the better. Competition is good for everyone, and even the sanctified El Rey and LeRoy bar scene(s) could use a healthy (and friendly) rising tide to lift all boats.

So here’s the latest: It’s not going to be the SugrueBAR. It’s going to be named after the original name for Cloverdale, which is at least a cool historical nod. It’s still going with the ethnic gimmick. If you can’t have an Irish pub, why not just switch it to Welsh Gaelic Scottish? And the spelling on their promotional material reflects an attention to detail that is, um, “forthcomming.”

When they say "comming soon," they mean that they will be using communication devices like in Star Trek

When they say “comming soon,” they mean that they will be using communication devices like in Star Trek

For what it’s worth, yes, that is a falcon ripping apart a stork. We assume that the anti-stork sentiment is part of a critique of over-population. And the “Ne Oublie” thing means “never forget,” which the Graham Clan says means we are never to forget “the concept of chivalry, bravery and Christian service to your fellow man.”

So, ladies, keep in mind that chivalry. And Christian service. Two universal hallmarks of a fun bar. And don’t forget that Scottish clan. And beer in the neighborhood pub. Huzzah! Economic development!

EOL

One rumor is that he lives in the dumpsters behind Tomatino’s and “Eats Only Lizards.”

One rumor is that she is a deranged botanist, seeking to conduct an underground marketing campaign for the Encyclopedia of Life.

And one rumor is that he/she is a hacker and a big fan of the movie Tron, in which “End of Line” is a phrase signifying terminal communication.

And maybe we just made up all of those rumors when we went out New Year’s Eve and saw that the main drag in Cloverdale had been tagged up by EOL.

We’re in a bit of a weird space since we love graffiti, but we also love our local merchants who, understandably, don’t want graffiti on their properties. And this isn’t really anything that merits the label “graffiti,” in the sense that the word can have positive connotations. It’s really just tagging. And there’s nothing all that artistic about it. The tags look like some 11-year-0ld got hold of a large-gauge Sharpie and ran down the street.

There’s a complex social history behind tagging, one that is way deeper than “so-and-so was here” and the usual uninformed stuff about marking gangland turf. But our observations were mostly in the vein of mocking EOL’s lack of talent. Sure, not every scribbler is going to throw up a major piece, a Montgomery-themed burner mural with wildstyle font and thought-provoking images. But seriously, EOL ought to practice in the ol’ notebook before going live and messing up the exteriors of some of our favorite establishments.

If you go: Mulberry street shops

It was Sunday and we were determined to find something Montgomery-ish to do. Despite our general aversion to charming and useless household decorations and brightly colored things with ribbon on them (a.k.a. much of rich folks’ visions of “Alabama art”), we soldiered forth to the Mulberry shopping district’s annual Holiday Open House. It seems to be a sort of stroll-n-shop, and all the stores were offering some kind of treats to munch on, from sugar cookies to suspicious-looking dip to tiny bottles of water.

Now, a discourse on the entire concept of the Southern Rich Lady Gift Shop is proper for another post. But you need to know that sort of thing to fully appreciate the Mulberry Shopping District and the Holiday walkabout. It’s the aging sorority girl who has always been told that she is creative, opening up a shop of her handbags and “Bless This Mess” signs. It’s the wife of the coach needing a place to invest the family money while “keeping busy” and thus stockpiling a collection of antique stuff that could go on an end table in a beach house. It’s the old lady who collects angels or roosters or kitty-shaped candles. Know the place?

We learned about the open house at our monthly neighborhood association meeting, where a neighbor passed around a postcard that talked up an art show called “Cloverdale Relics” at an establishment called In the Mood. This seemed cool to us – the postcard described an artist that was building stuff from ‘found items’ in Cloverdale (our neighborhood) in unusual ways. We are very interested in art made from found items, and especially appreciate the idea of capturing the spirit of a neighborhood in this way.

Which might go a long way toward explaining why we were so epically saddened by what we found at the gallery. Which is really more of a gift shop. This was evidenced by our conversation with the owner who told us that she buys from artists who “sell to gift shops all over the nation.” The artist in question evidently sells to any number of exotic locations – Cape Cod, Aspen, Key West – a claim that, once we saw her work, seemed both highly dubious and depressingly likely.

Quotes from “classic rock” bands painted in pastels on planks? To hang on the wall of what? Your lake house? Your intellectual property law firm that you run to sue artists who steal lyrics from bands and sell them as “art?”

What do you even say about something like this? Sure, it’s great that someone found some wood siding in Cloverdale and wanted to do something with it. But painting a candy-colored peace sign? That’s the thing? We saw one sign that said “Old Cloverdale” and another that said “Sweet Home Alabama,” and everything else in the “show” could have been put in any other tchotchke shoppe in the world and pronounced “absolutely precious” in any variety of regional dialects by ladies whose appreciation for Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones was probably rather limited in the first place but is now deepened in the sticky honey nostalgia machine now busily re-purposing The Sex Pistols and The Clash for the charming wall art of our coming twilight years.