11 of the most anticipated new restaurants, breweries and bars coming in 2021

2021 has us looking forward to a ton of developments in Bham. Photo via Grand River Drive-In

It’s a new year so we’re taking a look at what’s opening soon in Birmingham. Here’s the rundown of the 11 most anticipated new restaurants, breweries and bars coming in 2021.

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The following restaurants are in no particular order. Honestly, we couldn’t even begin to rank how excited we are for all of these developments.

1. Back Forty Birmingham’s expansion

As soon as Back Forty hit Birmingham’s craft brew scene, they became a fan favorite. Their success has them looking forward to expansions that will enhance the already stellar craft beer experience, including a brand new Barrel Room.

Last year, we announced they would be embarking on this 5,000-square-foot expansion that includes:

  • Large event space perfect for customer overflow, private and corporate events
  • Green room for screenings on the big screen
  • Private dressing room

“Live music and sports events will be featured on our large stage and 20 foot wide projection TV screen.  In addition to beer and wine, we can also serve cocktails during private events, and our executive chef will work with event planners to customize a delicious menu for their guests”.

Owner and CEO of Back Forty Beer Co. Birmingham Doug Brown
  • Opening: End of January 2021
  • Location: 3201 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35222

2. Brock’s Gap Brewing Co.

Brock’s Gap Brewing Co. Rendering via Black Design Architecture

Back in October, we filled you in on a new brewery in the works for Hoover. Brock’s Gap Brewing Co. will bring world-class beer and quality events to the area. The owners Jamie Cato and Michael Blumenthal will team up with brewmaster Brian Watson—the owner of many breweries and winner of over 100 international beer awards.

It will feature an indoor/outdoor space for live entertainment, too. According to the Council President at the City of Hoover John Lyda, the new brewery was officially approved and is free to begin construction on their schedule.

  • Opening: TBD (No word from owner at this moment)
  • Location: 5478 Stadium Trace Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35244

3. Buka

In 2020, it broke our hearts to say goodbye to some local spots like Woodlawn Cycle Cafe. However, the owners aren’t leaving us hanging because they’ve been working on their new concept coming to West Homewood called Buka.

Buka will be a neighborhood wine shop, market and takeaway cafe in the newly-renovated 186 Building. They’ll offer market options like meats, cheeses, bread and a cafe menu focused on seasonal produce.

  • Opening: TBD from owner, but fingers crossed before Summer 2021
  • Location: 186 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood, AL 35209

4. Campus No. 124

Campus No. 124. Renderings via Schrimsher Properties

Campus No. 124 is an exciting new entertainment district in Pelham at the former Valley Elementary School on Highway 31. With Schrimsher Properties heading up the redevelopment, it’ll bring a wide range of tenents, including:

Campus No. 124 is right down the road from Pelham Civic Complex and Oak Mountain State Park which is sure to bring a dynamic atmosphere to the Pelham area.

  • Opening: Late Spring/Early Summer 2021
  • Location: 2408 Pelham Pkwy, Pelham, AL 35124

5. Eat at Panoptic

Award-winning chef Raquel Ervin started with a food truck and now she’s opening her first brick-and-mortar in Irondale. The Eat at Pantopic food truck is known for creating gourmet dishes as it rolls around the Birmingham metro area.

Now you’ll be able to find the same special dishes at their upcoming restaurant location on Crestwood Boulevard. Chef Raquel Ervin described the space as “a vintage old school feel with a modern twist.”

  • Opening: February/Spring 2021
  • Location: 1819 Crestwood Blvd, Irondale, AL 35210
  • Note: The Eat at Panoptic food truck is closed until further notice. Follow them on social for updates.

6. Ghost Train’s new location at M2

M2, the mixed-use expansion project from MAKEbhm is bringing three exciting tenants under one roof, including a second Ghost Train Brewing Co. location.

This new space will be dubbed as the Ghost Train Gathering Hall & Gardens. Sounds dreamy, right? It’ll include a larger taproom, cocktail bar concept and a green space with a walkup bar.

  • Opening: Looking to open June 2021
  • Location: 3501 1st Ave. S, Birmingham, AL 35222 (formerly Old Car Heaven)

7. Neighbor’s Brew & Pies at The Backyard (Grand River Drive-In)

We recently learned that Leeds is getting a new brew-pub concept from the co-founder of Avondale Brewing Co. Hunter Lake. Neighbor’s Brew & Pies is going to be the newest addition to The Backyard behind the Shops of Grand River.

My first time seeing The Backyard was at Sidewalk Film Festival and I was blown away by the ultimate hang-out spot complete with mini-golf, yard games, a dog park and space for live music.

Neighbor’s Brew & Pies will feature a variety of in-house brewed beers, pool hall, Neighbor’s stone-fire pizzeria and food from local barbecue favorite, Saw’s.

  • Opening: March 2021
  • Location: 6200 Grand River Blvd E, Leeds, AL 35094

8. Neon Moon

Y’all already know that Birmingham loves a good cocktail bar, and the owners of Queen’s Park is bringing their newest project to 2nd Avenue North called Neon Moon.

It will be Birmingham’s newest neighborhood cocktail bar specializing in draft and package beer, whiskey, cocktails and a small snack menu. The bar will be located next door to where Urban Standard previously stood. 

  • Opening: February 2021
  • Location: 2318 2nd Avenue N, Birmingham, AL 35203

9. Slutty Vegan

If you haven’t heard about Slutty Vegan coming to Birmingham, where have you been? Whether you’re a vegan or not, their mouth-watering menu had Birmingham lining up at their food truck last September.

The outstanding response caught the owner Aisha “Pinky” Cole’s attention and she just announced the restaurant’s first brick-and-mortar location coming to Alabama. She decided that Woodlawn would be the ideal neighborhood due to its rich culture and amazing efforts towards community revitalization.

  • Opening: Spring 2021
  • Location: 55th Place N, Birmingham, AL 35212

10. UMAMI

I’ll be the first to admit that I was shocked to learn that Babalu in Lakeview would be closing, but reassured to hear that something just as yummy would take its place. Last October, we learned that UMAMI would be joining the Lakeview scene.

UMAMI is a new restaurant from the owners of Nori Thai and Sushi and Shiki. The joint Thai and sushi restaurant is set to be a hit and we’re already texting the group chat for dinner plans.

  • Opening: March 2021
  • Location: 2808 7th Ave S, #117, Birmingham, AL 35233

11. Underground Vegan

Yet another win for vegan food lovers. Last November, we discovered Underground Vegan will be launching a new restaurant in Birmingham’s Five Points South. The restaurant is owned by Birmingham native Khalilah Sowell who started with a food truck and is now expanding into her first brick-and-mortar.

Underground Vegan’s new spot is the former location of Iron City Pizza. No worries, though—Iron City Pizza isn’t going far. They’re just moving across the street to the former location of The Preservery.

  • Opening: April 2021
  • Location: 2012 Magnolia Ave S, Suite R-3, Birmingham, AL 35205
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  • Chaise is a brunch-loving Content Producer and helps manage the Bham Now Instagram account.