Heard the good news? Green Springs Highway is getting renovated. The Green Springs area has diverse restaurants and stores, offering unique flavors and history. We’ve shown how to shop at the local markets, but let’s dive deeper. Here is what you need to know about Green Springs.
How did Green Springs get its name?
Fellow Bham Now writer Pat Byington’s research shows Green Spring’s name coming from Robert L. Green. He purchased 800 acres of land in 1852.
Mayor George Ward bought 100 acres from Green for a public park in 1906. There are several springs in this park, giving the area its name Green Springs.
From Green Springs to George Ward
George Ward, Birmingham’s 13th Mayor, wanted to clean up the city. His plans included an expansion of dedicated public park land. Ward’s park project debuted as Green Springs Park in 1925.
The park fell into disrepair until a 1950’s restoration plan came to fruition. The park was renamed as George Ward Park and now features six lighted softball diamonds, a 24-hole disc golf course, the first public dog park and eight tennis courts.
George Ward Tennis Center’s 12 and Under Intermediate team won the 2019 Auburn State Championship after all the rigorous training they did at the park. Coach Rudy Lewis learned from another renowned Coach Lewis—a steel worker who taught and supported people learning tennis in Ensley for 30 years. His legacy continues to impact lives today on the tennis courts.
- Hours: Sunday-Saturday 8AM-8PM
- Location: 1901 Greensprings Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35209
Chop Suey Inn
Mr. Chen’s is a popular spot for Chinese food in the Green Springs area, but right across the street is a restaurant with history dating back to the 1920’s.
Willie Woo, the owner of Chop Suey Inn, is a former employee of the iconic Joy Young restaurant. People swear that Chop Suey Inn’s egg rolls taste like the ones from Joy Young.
- Hours: Sunday-Saturday 11AM-9PM
- Location: 813 Green Springs Hwy, #160, Homewood, AL 35209
- Contact: Call
Paw Paw Patch
In 1985, Joyce Melton reinvented their family snack shop into the country style restaurant her father dreamed of. Paw Paw Patch is affectionately named after their grandfather and the folk song she remembers from her childhood. Restaurant manager John says Thursday is their most popular day, and the Thursday special—turkey and dressing—is a fan favorite item.
- Hours: Monday-Friday 11AM-7PM
- Location: 410 Green Springs Hwy, Homewood, AL 35209
- Contact: Website | Facebook | Call
Replacing George’s Lebanese Restaurant is a new spot called Tortas Locas. Tortas are sandwiches made with a fluffy buttered bun and stuffed with the same toppings as a taco. These sandwiches are huge and just as yummy.
Tortas Locas also offers typical Mexican dishes and a variety of guisados (stewed meat). Aside from their namesake tortas, owner Alicia says their guisados are their most popular meal. I’d consider it the perfect dish for cold weather.
Mini-Spanish lesson: torta can mean cake, sandwich or omelet in Spanish—all depends on where you are.
- Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9AM-9PM
- Location: 44 Green Springs Hwy, Homewood, AL 35209
- Contact: Facebook | Call
This is just a sample of what Green Springs has to offer. They have great taquerias, cultural super markets and cuisines to explore. I can’t wait to see what other history Green Springs creates.