If the Avondale neighborhood has a symbol, it is surely Miss Fancy. The former circus performer delighted Avondale audiences of her day with what we assume was a unique combination of grace and heft. Posthumously, she’s become the icon of Avondale’s resurgence as mascot and legend of the booming Avondale Brewing Company.
Click here for a five-minute Avondale history, as told by the Avondale Brewing Company. It includes a Civil War battle and more of Miss Fancy’s origin story.
Speaking of which, it’s hard to imagine Avondale as we know it without the bars. Parkside, Avondale Brewery, and 41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales anchor the neighborhood’s commercial district. Great food options have grown up around them, creating a neighborhood food vibe of dishes that pair well with beer. (Post Office Pies even has a menu of beer cocktails.) And since Avondale and 41st Street don’t have their own food menus, they encourage enjoying your takeout on their premises.
We especially like 41st Street’s official outside food policy: “Yes, you can absolutely bring food in to the pub! In fact, we encourage it. …Ask your bartender for a menu!”
In fairness to Parkside, they have Hotbox. We will gladly forgo an extra stop in exchange for a burger with bacon jam.
But Avondale’s draw extends beyond its food and drink. Avondale Park, renovated in 2011, includes the usual play areas plus ponds and geese and impressive heritage masonry. The amphitheater space hosts summer movies in the park, and its tiered design means you can actually see the screen.
Recent additions like the Yellowhammer Creative storefront and The Nest event space have given the neighborhood a distinctly creative atmosphere. It’s also home to MAKEbhm, a self-described “community of makers,” where “people of all skill levels are able to engage design and craft at their own comfort levels and learn from one another in a supportive environment.”
All told, we think of Avondale as Birmingham’s craftiest neighborhood. So if you enjoy the indie vibe of 2nd Avenue North but prefer bungalows and and green space, Avondale is just right.