Birmingham's Next Great Neighborhood: Avondale

We're proud to call Birmingham home, and we love it when we can feature our own backyard in our pages. This month we spotlighted Avondale, one of our favorite neighborhoods to shop and play. (Yes, you will see Southern Living editors enjoying pulled pork sandwiches at Saw's and picking up groceries from Freshfully. Pro tip: Freshfully is stocking some delicious Alabama strawberries).

Here's the low-down on why we call Avondale one of the South's Next Great Neighborhoods:

The Background:

Built in 1887 as a neighborhood for workers at a nearby textile manufacturing firm, Avondale has experienced a resurgence as artists and young professionals move into the historical homes in this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. In just four years, the four-block commercial area in the heart of the district has gone from 25% occupancy to 75%, thanks to entrepreneurs who recognize the potential of the area 2 miles east of downtown Birmingham.

The Picks:

1. SAW'S SOUL KITCHEN

The barbecue-and-soul-food dive is known for its pork and greens ($9.50). 215 41st Street South; 205/591-1409

2. 41ST STREET PUB & AIRCRAFT SALES

Try the signature Moscow Mule ($7) at this classic city pub. 130 41st Street South; 41ststreetpub.com

3. FEEDBACK MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Musicians buy and sell instruments and gear here. 408 41st Street South; 205/440-1838

4. PARKSIDE CAFE

This funky neighborhood bar features rotating displays by local artists and indoor and outdoor bars. 4036 Fifth Avenue South; 205/595-0920

5. FRESHFULLY

This market and cafe specializes in foods grown and made in Alabama. 200 41st Street South; freshfully.com

6. AVONDALE BREWING COMPANY

Choose from one of six flagship beers or seasonal offerings ($4.50-$6.50). 201 41st Street South; avondalebrewing.com

Next Up: Avondale will host a "Pop Up" project, Saturday May 4 (8 am-2 p.m.), featuring potential tenants like Birmingham Juice Project and Brocade Revival Vintage, bike clinics, and art projects. Attendees are encouraged to walk or bike to the event to show just how easy it is to get to and around this neighborhood. The event will be a great change to get a glimpse at Avondale's future.

Tell us: What Southern Next Great Neighborhood should we feature next?

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