East Lake is one of those parts of town you might not get to much if you don’t live over there. And, it’s home to some happenin’ spots you’re gonna want to check out.
1—Where is the East Lake community?
This community on Birmingham’s eastern side includes these six neighborhoods:
- Brown Springs
- East Lake
- Gate City
- North East Lake
- Zion City
2—A little history
Back in 1886, Robert Jemison, Sr. and a couple of business partners formed the East Lake Land Company, which developed East Lake, a suburb featuring East Lake Park.
The real estate developers marketed the area as a place for miners to live. In the Sumer 1887, East Lake Railroad started operating, in the Fall of that year, they filled the lake.
The 45-acre lake was the result of dams on Village Creek and Roebuck Springs, and quickly became a day-tripper’s resort, with all sorts of amusement-park type attractions.
Back in the day, people would hop on the train in this part of town to head over to Rickwood Field for games.
3—What’s special about the area?
This community is largely residential, with some shops and attractions. Here are a few of our favorites:
- East Lake Park: great for fishing, family reunions, flag football and more
- Ruffner Mountain: storytime, quilting, hiking, trail running and one of the best sunset spots in Birmingham
- East Lake United Methodist: farmer’s market, Downstairs Diner, community garden
- Ingrid’s Gymnastics
4—Where do locals go to eat or hang out in the East Lake community?
A lot of the hanging out that happens in this part of town is either at people’s houses or at the attractions in the area, such as Ruffner or East Lake Park.
That said, the Downstairs Diner at East Lake United Methodist has some tasty food for a great price.
And, Trussville, Irondale and Avondale are all close by for people in search of restaurants or night life.
Finally, East Village Arts of Birmingham is a new-ish performance space for artists, dancers, musicians. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their busy events calendar, and find them at 7611 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35206.
5—Any home listings in the area?
Check out the full listing for this cute house.
Sometimes when you check out other neighborhoods, it can get you thinking about moving … BRIK Realty has a handy dandy calculator that can help give you an idea of what your options might be.
6—What local events are coming up?
- East Lake Market: Saturdays 8AM-noon at East Lake United Methodist Church until October 12
- “Black Enough,” by Jahman Ariel Hill: Thursday, August 1, 7-9PM at East Village Arts of Birmingham $15 cover, PG-13.
- “Pigment of My Vibration: Paintings and Bling by Hunter Bell”: Friday, August 2, 5-9PM at East Village Arts of Birmingham
- Ruffner Mountain Habitat Garden Club Work Day: Tuesdays, August 6, 13, 20, 8-11AM at Ruffner Mountain. Be sure to complete waiver.
- Fiddleface: Wednesday, August 7, 6:30-8:30PM at East Village Arts of Birmingham, BYOB + food, no cover + donations appreciated. All ages welcome. Fiddleface plays at 7:30PM.
- Bib + Tucker Sew-Op: The March Quilts: Saturday, August 17, 10AM-1PM at Ruffner Mountain. Be sure to register.
- Mitchell’s Place Dragon Boat Race & Festival: Saturday, August 24, 9AM at East Lake Park, no cost
- First Sunday Food Truck Festival Tour: Sunday, September 1, 1-5PM at East Lake Park
- East Lake Senior Hunger Initiative: Saturday, September 21, 7AM at East Lake Market
7—Best Instagram spot / the one thing that everyone who visits the East Lake community needs to see?
So East 59 Vintage & Café had to close back in November 2018 (due to issues with the building), much to the disappointment of all their fans.
The good news is you can still find this awesome mural on the side of the building where they used to be.
8—Where can I read about the other neighborhoods?
This is the 11th installment in a 23-part series Bham Now is doing to feature Birmingham’s 23 communities, comprising 99 neighborhoods. So far, we’ve featured the following communities:
- Red Mountain
- Roebuck / South East Lake
- North Birmingham
Hard to believe we’re almost halfway there! Look for our next installments to learn things you never knew about all 99 of Birmingham’s neighborhoods.