Do Di Yo's
The former Do Di Yo's location is being renovated to house multiple new tenants.
Two different projects are moving forward on opposite sides of the Soho development surrounding Rosewood Hall.
The first is Market Table, a new restaurant combining breakfast and lunch cafe with a corner butcher shop, to be located in the former Which Wich? location at 1830 29th Ave. S. Laurel Mills of First Avenue Ventures said the menu will feature locally-sourced, non-GMO foods in addition to craft beer and wine.
“We want to be a trusted source for providing delicious food that you can also trust is locally sourced,” Mills said.
The cafe menu will feature sandwiches, salads and bowl dishes with plenty of lean proteins, leafy greens, fruit and "super foods" such as chia seeds. Breakfast will include classic dishes with "a spin," Mills said, as well as sausage and bacon prepared in-house. The butcher will also sell a variety of cuts of chicken, beef and pork.
“If you can think of a meat, we will have it or we will find a way to get it to you,” Mills said.
While Market Table does feature a butcher and some of the same members of the ownership and employee teams as the now-closed Bottle & Bone, Mills said the restaurant will be very different. Construction is still underway and Mills said right now they are shooting for a late spring opening.
Across the city hall plaza, the vacant Do Di Yo's space is being renovated to house multiple new tenants. Bubba Smith of Capital Properties said he and Soho co-developer Scott Bryant are turning the 9,000 square feet Do Di Yo's left behind when it closed in 2015 into two to three new retail spots.
Smith said they are planning for one new restaurant at the current 1831 28th Ave. S. storefront, to take advantage of the existing kitchen and attached plaza dining area. There's a large array of existing restaurants in the immediate area of Soho, and Smith said he and Bryant want to choose something that will be successful without cannibalizing other businesses. They've talked with a few restaurant concepts, but Smith said the right fit is a "you know it when you see it" situation in this case.
Smith said Market Table is a good example of a restaurant that can create its own niche in downtown.
"They were the best concept for Homewood, and they're not competing," Smith said.
The rest of the Do Di Yo's space will be occupied by one or two tenants, depending on space needs. Smith said they are considering an office tenant on the side fronting 28th Avenue, or leasing to a technology company or soft goods retailer such as women's apparel. He added that these tenants will also be chosen with the current downtown market in mind.
"The worst thing we can do for ourselves ... is create competition when you don't have to," Smith said.
So far, Smith and Bryant have met with new concepts, existing businesses looking to relocate in Birmingham and a few regional businesses looking to add Homewood locations that are not currently in Birmingham.
Smith said gutting and renovation of the Do Di Yo's space will be complete in 30 to 45 days. After that, progress will depend on how long it takes to find and negotiate with tenants, as well as for them to build the space to suit their needs. Right now, their goal is to have the tenant list set by mid-summer and for the retailers to open their doors in the fall.
"Nine thousand square feet is not a lot ... but we want to do it right," Smith said.