9 Birmingham businesses we love that have thrived—despite the pandemic

Cheers to Birmingham businesses like Harvest Roots. Gif via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on everyone in The Magic City, including Birmingham businesses. While multiple businesses we know and love have closed their doors, today, we’re celebrating the businesses that are making their way into 2022.

Arts + Theatre

1. Alabama Symphony Orchestra

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra is Alabama’s only full-time orchestra that began a century ago in 1921. Since their founding, they’ve brought joy to Birmingham through their beautiful music. Their annual events like their upcoming New Year’s Eve concerts are the perfect way to celebrate that live music has survived in Birmingham, after a year when no one knew if it would.

2. Red Mountain Theatre

Red Mountain Theatre
Have you checked out the new Red Mountain Theatre campus? Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

We’re thrilled that live theatre is back, and Red Mountain Theatre is one of Birmingham’s best venues. Their 2021-2022 season of shows is the first at their brand new arts campus and includes classics like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

3. Saturn

Saturn
All arrows point to a good time at Saturn. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

When we asked our Facebook audience what vulnerable Birmingham businesses they’re grateful are surviving despite the pandemic, multiple commenters mentioned Saturn. Music venues were some of the hardest hit businesses, so we’re happy to see that Birmingham’s vibrant music scene will continue flourishing.

Restaurants

5. Harvest Roots

Harvest Roots pickling
I’ll try one of everything, please. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Harvest Roots Kombucha Taproom officially opened in September of 2020, and since their opening, they’ve been bringing the tangy, delish kombucha and pickled products we all love. They provide one of Birmingham’s most unique offerings, and they constantly collaborate with other restaurants and chefs.

  • Location: 4420 4th Ave S Suite B, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • Hours: Thursday-Friday Noon-6PM | Saturday 10AM-6PM | Sunday Noon-4PM
  • Instagram | Facebook | Website

6. Chez Lulu

Chez Lulu
I know where I’m going to dinner this weekend. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

The pandemic led to plenty of our favorite restaurants closing their doors, whether it was due to safety concerns or slow business. We’re especially grateful for the Birmingham businesses that reopened after being closed, including Chez Lulu.

Chez Lulu reopened for outdoor dining in May 2021 to provide the experience and food they’re known for, all while taking care of their employees.

7. The Little London

Little London Kitchen
Looking delicious. Photo via Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

The Little London Kitchen announced their plans to open a pub in addition to their beloved food truck at the beginning of 2020, and, of course, the pandemic led to a few setbacks. Now, they’re officially open for business and serving drinks.

“They had some heartbreaking setbacks, but I’m so glad they’ve managed to establish a real neighborhood pub with incredible food.”

Sarah Rich, Facebook commenter
  • Location: 162 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-10PM | Sunday 12-8PM
  • Instagram | Facebook

Retail

8. Thank You Books

Thank You Books - Birmingham businesses
One of my favorite spots on a Saturday afternoon. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

After a few years that have found more people turning to online shopping (that doesn’t usually invest back into the city), we’re grateful for the businesses that remind us to support local and turn to community, like Thank You Books.

We asked Thank You Books what they’re excited about in 2022:

“A return to in-person events in our newly-expanded space—our expansion should be complete before the new year. We love what we do, and we only know one way to do it—by being ourselves. And we love our customers for welcoming us into their lives so warmly!”

Thank You Books
  • Location: 5502B Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-6PM | Sunday Noon-5PM
  • Instagram | Facebook | Website

9. Sojourns Fair Trade

Sojourns Fair Trade
Some of the goods you can find at Sojourns Fair Trade opens in Crestwood. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Plenty of Bham Now’s Facebook commenters shouted out Sojourns Fair-Trade, Birmingham’s oldest fair trade store. They officially opened their Crestwood store in 2020 after moving from a downtown location. When you support this locally-owned store, you aren’t just investing in a favorite Birmingham business—you’re purchasing with a purpose.

“Just shopping there helps people around the world, and it is truly an asset to this area. I know it was hard on them, but they survived, and I, for one, am grateful. It’s my favorite store!”

Robbie Hassell, Facebook commenter
  • Location: 5520 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-6PM | Saturday 11AM-5PM | Sunday 12-4PM
  • Instagram | Facebook | Website

What vulnerable Birmingham business are YOU grateful are continuing to flourish despite the pandemic? Tag us @BhamNow to let us know!

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Cecilia Wood
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