We’ve written plenty about Birmingham’s pizza scene, but that was before Parkside was a neighborhood. And it turns out, it will be a neighborhood for pizza. With news reports of two pizzerias in the works, we like the look of Parkside’s pies per capita.
Pies and Pints is coming to Station 121, and the company’s online menus look promising. There are fancy pizza options, a decent salad range, a World of Beer-like drinks list, and maybe even lunch hour slices. Locations in other states feature modern industrial bar stools and reclaimed wood — both a nice complement to Glory Bound Gyro’s look at the other end of Station 121. Also like Glory Bound, its semi-healthy take on fast casual works well with Parkside’s active branding.
For a long time the commercial part of Station 121 was more of a goal than a reality. But as the BBJ reported, Pies and Pints fills the development’s final vacancy. The only thing better than living within walking distance of the UAB hospital complex and Rotary Trail? Living steps away from pizza. Unless you’re trying to make yourself cook at home, no matter what. In which case, this is not your neighborhood.
On the other side of Railroad Park, locally-owned Tortuga’s will launch its second location, the BBJ reported. The focus here is on Chicago-style pizza: thick, cheesy, rounds that make no pretense of health-consciousness. Its location near Regions Field feels right for a pizza style that boasts a sporting Midwestern attitude. There’s even a “Wrigleyville” pie on the Hoover menu.
There’s no beer on that menu, so setting up behind Good People Brewing Co. may be strategic in more ways than one. Either way, this Tortuga’s will be taking advantage of the surrounding industrial aesthetic. The restaurant will be built out in what is currently “a loading dock,” owner Matt Vizcaino told the BBJ, but “will be completely redesigned.” And that’s the prevailing model for this B&A Warehouse/Baker’s Row part of Parkside.
More than the sheer volume of pizza we plan to eat, that Parkside duality is the real moral of this story. It may be one district, but there are two Parksides. One is scrappy and post-industrial, the other is a mixed-use development. That could sound like a judgement, but it’s actually a nice balance, especially with the patterns of growth in the loft district. Indie-minded areas around Pepper Place and Railroad Park frame a corridor of convenience in the middle. It’s not a bad deal for anyone.