Top 5 stories you missed including 2 Birmingham favorites announced as finalists for James Beard Awards

Iron City Grill, top 5 stories
Iron City Grill is no longer serving pre-show dinners. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Happy Monday, Birmingham! Let’s kick off the week with the top five stories you might’ve missed, including new nonstop flights at the Birmingham Airport from Delta and Southwest, Golden Rule BBQ under new ownership and Iron City Grill closing.

1. 4 businesses arriving in The Magic City including a new coffee truck

Temper Coffee
Can’t wait to try these acaí bowls. (Temper Coffee / Facebook)

Now open:

Opening soon:

  • Three new AIM preschools are set to open in the Greater Birmingham Area this year. Chelsea will open this spring, while the Trussville and Helena locations are estimated to open in September or October.

Read more.

2. Johnny’s Restaurant Chef Timothy Hontzas and Bottega named James Beard Awards finalists

Frank and Weston Stitt preparing the bar at Bottega. (Larry Norton)

What’s happening: Once again, the Birmingham area will be well-represented at this year’s James Beard Awards. For the second year in a row, Johnny’s Restaurant Chef Timothy Hontzas was named a finalist for the Best Chef in the South category. Bottega, owned by Pardis and Frank Stiff, is among the five finalists in the Outstanding Hospitality category.

Why it matters: Also known as the “Oscars” of the food world, the James Beard Awards was first started in 1990 by the James Beard Foundation to recognize culinary professionals and their achievements in the field. Mark your calendars for June 5th when the winners will be announced.

Read more.

3. Golden Rule BBQ, Alabama’s longest-running restaurant, under new ownership

Golden Rule BBQ in Irondale. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

What’s happening: Golden Rule BBQ has been purchased by Brian Kemp, owner and founder of Kemp’s Kitchen, according to a statement on the Kemp’s Kitchen Facebook page. Today, the legendary eatery holds the distinction as the longest-running restaurant in Alabama.

Why it matters: Kemp’s Kitchen has made a commitment to keep the Golden Rule BBQ name and maintain the same menu. They will also retain employees at the three locations in Pell City, Irondale and Trussville. 

Read more.

4. Birmingham Airport adding Delta & Southwest nonstop flights to NYC, Las Vegas and Detroit

Southwest at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport. (Birmingham Airport)

What’s happening: Thanks to an uptick in first quarter passenger traffic, Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines are adding nonstop flights out of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) to New York City, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando and Las Vegas.

Why it matters: According to the Birmingham Airport Authority, the number of passengers boarding flights out of BHM in January increased 17% over 2022 traffic. The numbers in February increased 13% over the previous year.

“We have worked diligently to show the airlines that this region needs additional flights to accommodate growing demand. Nothing proves that point more than the increases in traffic we’ve seen so far this year.”

Darlene Wilson, Chair, Birmingham Airport Authority Board

Read more.

5. Iron City Grill closing, but keeping private events and bar service

Iron City Grill
We are sad to see Iron City Grill leave, but thankfully the shows are still on. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

What’s happening: Iron City Grill announced on social media this week that it is closing on Saturday, April 1 after serving pre-show dinners.

Why it matters: According to their statement, despite the closure of the dining area, the eatery will continue to host private events and offer bar service during concerts and shows at the popular entertainment venue.

Read more.

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Emma Johnston
Emma Johnston
Articles: 139