All in the Neighborhood

Eight local establishments that reflect the spirit of some of Birmingham’s most beloved communities.

Complain all you want about superstores and megachains; from where we sit, there will always be a place for neighborhood markets and cafes, locally owned boutiques, favorite libraries and parks—the kinds of places you have to live here to know about.

Cahaba Heights/Manhattan South

“We’re a women’s boutique inspired by the West Coast vibe—but in addition to keeping our clients ‘in the know’ and on the cutting edge of fashion, we also strive to be a cool place just to hang out. I have clients who come in when they’re not even shopping. It’s relaxed and no-pressure. That was my original idea—I wanted the store to be open and inclusive to anyone.

“One thing I love about our community is how all the merchants are so good about working together. We recently started the Cahaba Heights Merchants Association and have a lot of fundraisers, including a big one in May called Heights Hangout—we’ll close the street, put up tents and serve food and drinks. It’s a fundraiser for the beautification of Cahaba Heights.” —Lesley Vedel, owner

Crestwood/Crestwood Pharmacy and Soda Fountain

“We are a primarily a pharmacy, including compounding services and a full over-the-counter selection. But the soda fountain helps set the vibe and make us a community gathering space. I always hoped for a business where people felt comfortable coming in to hang out, and that’s true here.

“Crestwood is a great neighborhood. It’s a tight-knit community and a little quirky, so that’s appealing to me as a resident and as a business owner. It’s an up-and-coming area and a great mix of people. Someone recently made a shirt that says, ‘Crestwood: Mayberry with a twist.’ That’s about right.” —Taylor Trammell, co-owner

Forest Park/Triangle Park

“What a gem is our little Triangle Park—maybe the tiniest park in the Birmingham Park system! The park serves as a recreational space for Forest Park kids and parents alike. There is a ball field for informal pick-up games of baseball, football, kick ball and soccer. There is a playground with swing sets, monkey bars and seesaws. At any given time, you will find children at play. And at Christmas, everyone celebrates when Santa arrives by firetruck, and parents and children gather for caroling and celebratory libations.

What makes our park special though is that the neighbors—the Friends of Triangle Park—provide the money and muscle for much of the maintenance.  Annually, friends and neighbors gather to spread mulch, cut overgrown shrubbery, make minor repairs to equipment, and otherwise perform acts of loving kindness for the park. A plaque stands near the playground commemorating the neighborhood and the neighbors who for more than 100 years have loved and cared for the park.” —Maury Shevin & Joyce Spielberger, local residents

Homewood/The Trak Shak

“We know that if it wasn’t for our running community, we weren’t be here, so a lot of our focus is on listening to our customers, stocking relevant inventory, and helping our community grow. We’ve done so by hosting a weekly run since we opened in 1995, donating supplies to local road and trail races, creating premier events like Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend, and developing a wonderful relationship with the Birmingham Track Club and other local clubs.

“Homewood has been wonderful to us! They’ve allowed us to run through their streets and take over the curb with events for going on 24 years now. I think that indicates a pretty fun community to be a part of!” —Jeff Martinez, managing partner

Hoover/Hoover Public Library

“A lot of people say the library is one of the truly special places about Hoover, and that’s because of what we do in the community. Our children’s program is huge, with children involved from the time they’re born up to college. We even have a staff member who remembers coming here for story time when she was one; not too long ago, she taught her first story time here. We strive to be an integral part of the community and be of service to them in any way we can.

The community is great. It really is about the people, and they brighten our day as much as we do theirs.”  —Todd Richardson, marketing coordinator

Mt. Laurel /Mt. Laurel Grocery

“Mt. Laurel Grocery is a full-service grocery store—you name it, we sell it, from fine wines to glass-bottle Coca-Colas. We even sell the vintage signs that hang on the wall. Our deli serves lunch weekdays, which is another big draw, and after school the school bus pulls up to drop off the kids outside, so they all come in. It’s like going back in time.

“Everybody is family in Mt. Laurel. Everyone looks out for one another. We also have offices here where people come from outside the neighborhood to work at Mt. Laurel, so we get to know them, too.” —Julie Numnum, longtime team member


The Preserve/Moss Rock Tacos &


“We love tacos and we love tequila! That’s the simplicity and the beauty of Moss Rock Tacos & Tequila. After a long day of playing at the Moss Rock Preserve, it’s perfect to relax with a delicious margarita and a plate full of tacos. Of course, when you want something that’s ‘not tacos,’ we’ve got something for those days on our menu, too. We’ve worked hard to create an atmosphere that celebrates life in Alabama. From the mural painted by a local artist to the hand-crafted bar and reclaimed tiles on our wall—every detail of our restaurant celebrates the local history and culture of the Birmingham area.” —Brianna & Benard Tamburello, owners/managers/chef

Trussville/DeDe’s Book Rack

“When I bought the bookstore, there was already a core group of book lovers who were dedicated customers. I’ve added to that by reaching out to schools all over the area to find out what books they’ll be reading so that I can supply good-quality secondhand books for all the kids. It also gets parents into the store; a lot of them become regulars, too.

Trussville is just a great community. It’s also a growing community, and it has a lot to offer for people of all age ranges. We love being here.” —Debra McCarley, owner

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