New entertainment complex, The Backyard, to open at Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds

Birmingham, Leeds, Shops of Grand River
Birmingham, Leeds, Outlet Shops of Grand River
Fun at the Grand River Drive-In in Leeds, AL. Photo via the Outlet Shops of Grand River on Facebook

More growth is on the radar for the city of Leeds. Get excited for a brand new entertainment complex, The Backyard, opening at the Outlet Shops of Grand River this July.

The Project

Hunter Lake (Birmingham Investor). Photo via The Shops of Grand River

Behind the project is Hunter Lake. You’ve probably heard his name before. That’s because he is behind more than $1 million in rehabilitation of many commercial properties in Birmingham’s Avondale area. Avondale Brewing Company, Post Office Pies and Saw’s Soul Kitchen… just to name a few.

I named this “The Backyard at Grand River” to support friendship and community. This is the same idea behind my naming Neighbors Beer House. As a community backyard, we will have BBQ, outdoor movies, mini-golf, yard games and snacks, which all come together to build friendships and family connections. We want people to come out, stay out, come back, enjoy old friendships and make new friends.”

Hunter Lake, owner, Neighbors-Leeds, LLC, developer of The Backyard at Grand River

According to Stacy Smith, spokesperson for the Outlet Shops of Grand River, the development will occur in two phases.


Phase 1 will include:

  • The grand re-opening of the newly-named Grand River Drive-in movie theater (July 3). Expect a big celebration with a food truck rally and fireworks!
  • Re-landscaped 18-hole mini-golf
  • New snack shack
  • Relocated and upgraded children’s playground
  • New off-leash dog park

Smith also confirmed that in the Fall of 2019, more will open, including a Neighbors Beer House and Saw’s BBQ.

Phase II will include:

Though phase 2 isn’t expected to happen until 2020-2021, here is what plans to come:

  • Amphitheater estimated to accommodate up to 6,000 people for concerts and events 
  • Canoe/kayak/tubing launch on the Cahaba River
  • Observation deck for people to sit and relax on the bank of the river 

What else is happening in Leeds?

So much! One event to put on your radar is “First Thursdays,” which are planned to take place on the first Thursday of the month in June and August in the historic downtown of Leeds.


Along with experiencing the charm of the city’s downtown, you can also check out:

  • Food trucks
  • Street performers
  • Kids Activities
  • And more!

Click here for more details on all the growth happening in Leeds. 

What do you think of all the new things headed to the city of Leeds?