Reviewed by: Pat Byington
The House of Found Objects, a new bar in Birmingham founded by experienced local entrepreneur Feizal Valli, will be opening to the public on Wednesday, November 16th at 4PM. Keep reading for an inside tour to learn what to expect.
The idea for The House of Found Objects
The idea for The House of Found Objects dates back to late-2021, just before the closure of The Atomic Bar & Lounge. The meticulously-designed cocktail lounge offered a nightlife experience unique to The Magic City, where guests could wear costumes, order the signature “Legendary Sex Panther” cocktail and—if they were lucky—have a drink named after them.
Over its four-year lifespan, The Atomic was named one of the South’s best bars by Southern Living, received three James Beard Award nominations and managed to not only survive, but thrive during the tumultuous post-Pandemic period.
After The Atomic closed in late-2021, owner Feizal Valli busied himself with creating a new—and even better—bar.
“I feel like The Atomic didn’t run its course; it didn’t get to finish saying what it needed to say. With The House of Found Objects, I’m hoping to pick up and finish what The Atomic was trying to say, which is: a bar is only as good as the people that come through it.”Feizal Valli, Owner, The House of Found Objects
Introducing The House of Found Objects
As the name indicates, The House of Found Objects is filled with countless found objects that Feizal has collected over the years.
“The idea started at The Atomic with the artwork I had on the bar and around the lounge. Little by little, people would get connected to those pieces—they’d talk about them, they even tried to steal them. I thought that the next bar could be centered around those pieces—Found Objects.”Feizal Valli, Owner, The House of Found Objects
As Feizal explained, a found object (also called a ready-made) is a genre of art that takes normal, everyday items and reimagines them into a new form.
What to expect at The House of Found Objects
Each time you enter The House of Found Objects, your experience will be different.
“It’s not just the drinks you’re experiencing here. Every seat is a different experience, on a sensory level. If you sit in the double booths, you have phones that are hooked up to play loops of different televangelists. When you’re in the front in the Jungle Room, you’re transported to waterfalls and birds. When you’re in the Listening Room, you’re listening to music on your headphones. You can warm up at the Fireplace Table. And at the Elvis Table, you are Elvis Presley eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”Feizal Valli, Owner, The House of Found Objects
Patrons who remember the unique, intimate atmosphere of The Atomic will feel right at home at The House of Found Objects.
“I brought back the Jungle Room, the bubbles, one costume and the Sex Panther. But there are some new elements as well. We have a video feature that pays tribute to people in Birmingham, and a weather system over the tables. The poetry corner and listening room are two new pieces as well. The color palette is a bit different, and there is a mezzanine that overlooks the entire bar.”Feizal Valli, Owner, The House of Found Objects
Speaking of the Legendary Sex Panther, the acclaimed cocktail will be making a comeback alongside other fan-favorite drinks from The Atomic, such as the Chase Lewis.
Central to The House of Found Objects experience is an art installation of people on video, displayed via projector onto a screen behind the bar. Over the summer, Feizal extended an open invitation for guests to film themselves doing anything—or nothing—in a booth for the project.
“I wanted to create a space that engaged my guests, so I started going to fringe art galleries to see what they were doing. With this installation, you’re looking at this person while they’re looking at you—you’re engaging. I left it up to people to define themselves. One guy is plucking his eyebrows, another is smearing lipstick on his face. Another guy just read from a breakup text. It’s a level of creativity where everyone can share their different perspective.”Feizal Valli, Owner, The House of Found Objects
The House of Found Objects opens November 16
- The House of Found Objects: Instagram
- Address: 2205 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
- Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 4PM–12AM; Friday and Saturday, 4PM to 2AM
After over a year of planning and preparation, The House of Found Objects is ready to welcome its first visitors.
“Come expecting to be reminded of The Atomic, but be prepared for a new experience. Make a video for the display, put on a costume—be active in The House of Found Objects’ experience.”Feizal Valli, Owner, The House of Found Objects
The cocktail bar opens at 4PM on Wednesday, November 16th.
Planning to go to the grand opening of The House of Found Objects on November 16? Tag @bhamnow on Instagram in your photos!