O’Carr’s and the chandelier: a classy addition to Birmingham’s theater district

Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama

Earlier this month, O’Carr’s Delicatessen,  one of Homewood’s oldest and most popular restaurants, opened a second eatery (214 18th Street N. Birmingham 35203) in Birmingham’s theater district.

On its fourth day of operation, Bham Now made a surprise visit to the new O’Carr’s.  We took pictures of the dining area and met with the owners Cameron and June Carr.

Below is my account of that special meeting:

Before entering the new restaurant, you see the OCARRS sign nicely juxtaposed along the Lyric Theater and the Alabama Theater in the background.

Birmingham Alabama
O’Carr’s sign with the Lyric Theater and the Alabama Theater in the background

Once I entered the dining area, I was welcomed by Cameron and June Carr. It was about 2:30pm, after the noon lunch rush, so the place was quiet, not busy at all.  The couple greeted me like I was family, and proudly showed me around the new restaurant.  They even let me pull the entire staff out of the kitchen and dining room to take a group picture.

O'Carrs Staff Birmingham Alabama
O’Carr’s staff with the chandelier
The story of O’Carr’s and the chandelier

One of the most distinctive new items in the dining room is a beautiful chandelier in the front of the entrance.

Noticing the chandelier’s prominence, I remarked to Cameron how nice it connected with the elegant historic theaters across the street. Beaming, he began telling me the inside story behind O’Carr’s and the chandelier.

“We had been looking for 1 1/2 years for fixtures,” Cameron stated as he comfortably leaned back in his chair.  He then proceeded to tell me that a store across the O’Carr’s in Homewood, called Festivity, had closed almost a year ago. Before they shuddered their doors, according to Cameron, June wanted to purchase the chandelier for the new restaurant.

He told me, he wasn’t really thrilled about purchasing and storing a large chandelier, but they did, and the piece was delivered to the O’Carr’s Homewood location across the street and promptly “crammed” in the front of the Homewood restaurant.

Cameron then, described how he and members of his staff moved the chandelier at 4:30am before daybreak out of the restaurant, by strapping it on his Chevrolet HHR with… saran (plastic) wrap! Once it got to their house, they stored it for about 6 additional months.

Birmingham Alabama
O’Carr’s beautiful chandelier in the entrance of the new restaurant. Now, imagine it strapped on top of a car with plastic wrap

When the chandelier was installed at the new location, they had the tedious task of “taking off” and then “putting back on” the chandelier’s 500 – more or less – crystals. Not an easy chore indeed.

Looking up at it with me, Cameron concluded the story about the chandelier and the new O’Carrs location in the theater district, saying, “it sure looks like it belongs in a theater.  She (June) was so right about bringing it here.”

A classy addition to downtown Birmingham, O’Carr’s Delicatessen, continues its 44 year tradition of great food, a family friendly atmosphere and now a beautiful chandelier .

 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.