As you know from all of this reporting from Birmingham Weekly and others such as The Terminal and Wade on Birmingham, City Stages is gone. It was a good thing for Birmingham while it lasted, and we had 21 years of great music thanks to that festival. In the wake of City Stages' demise, however, the festival unfortunately left some vendors unpaid--specifically, Bottletree Cafe, a place that many of us have come to love for the great food and amazing music the venue has provided during its relatively short existence.
Well, the reason was that over the weekend the enitre [sic] Bottletree staff (including brother/sister owners Brad and Merrilee Challiss) took on the gargantuan task of catering the entire City Stages festival in Downtown Birmingham. It was an immense undertaking feeding over 60 bands and miscellaneous crew as well as festival staff. Well over 850 meals were prepared in a 72-hour period. By all reports the Bottletree team passed with flying colors and got major accolades on both the quality of the food and the attention the staff gave to the bands.
It's not a surprise that Bottletree's food was great, but the fact that half of their considerable fee might not be honored was no doubt a surprise. As a result, the restaurant could have some problems making payroll. So after I saw this post over on The Terminal imploring folks to go eat and drink at the Bottletree as a favor to the owners, I got in contact with Andre Natta of The Terminal and Wade Kwon of Wade on Birmingham to see what we could do.
The result is something called Bottletree Bailout. Andre had previously decided to call for a Terminally Happy Hour on Thursday (see Andre's post here), though he hadn't announced it yet. We're also asking that you start your Independence Day weekend right by having lunch at Bottletree on Friday. So please join us for drinks or dinner on Thursday, July 2 after 4 p.m. and join us after 11 a.m. on Friday, July 3 for lunch. Bottletree has been notified of the event and can handle the crowd.
It's no mystery why we love Bottletree--thanks to that venue, great bands that might otherwise drive from New Orleans to Atlanta now stop in Birmingham and play to appreciative crowds. Vampire Weekend, for example, played to a sold-out crowd at Bottletree two days after their breakout appearance on SNL. The Alabama Public Television live music show We Have Signal is also filmed at the venue.
Not to mention, the venue's food ain't too bad either.
We hope to see you there.
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