Two Areas of Cloverdale Included in Entertainment District Maps


By Heather VacLav

A final proposal for Montgomery's second entertainment district is in the works and it would allow people in two parts of Cloverdale to walk to and from restaurants and bars with alcoholic beverages.
The original proposal for the Cloverdale entertainment district was for the area around East Fairview Avenue near El Ray and Sinclair's, but now, Montgomery City Councilman Arch Lee is trying to include the area surrounding Cloverdale Road.
Two neighborhood associations in midtown, the Cloverdale Idlewild Association and the Old Cloverdale Associations have already voted in favor of it.
“I think it would be good, I think it would bring a lot of young people to the area and revitalize this area of town,” Frann Bonn, a 12-year Cloverdale resident, said.
Lee says he is drawing up maps for the district next week, and says the feedback from the community is overall positive, with only a handful of nay-sayers.
“I think its great, the area has so much character, and with the history of the area, so I think it’s great,” Bradley Moon of Wetumpka said.
Tony Reid thinks the entertainment district should include both business areas in Cloverdale. “I hang out at the Pine Bar occasionally and sometimes it’s nice to have some other things to do in the area, so I think it'd be great to have other venues for activities,” Reid said.
The latest proposal includes restaurants and bars around East Fairview Avenue, like the 1048 Jazz Bar and Sinclair's, but also stretches a few blocks away on Cloverdale Road to places like True, Pine Bar, and the Chophouse.
Some surrounding local businesses say the district would do wonders for Cloverdale.
“That is another element that would bring to our store, to have people walking around and pop in when they didn't know about us,” said Heather Steen, co-owner of the Hue Studio Inc.
Unlike the downtown entertainment district, Cloverdale is in a large neighborhood, so a few residents said they were concerned the open-container policy could cause problems.
“It would be something to consider,” Bonn said, “But with everything there is always a good and a bad side, always a flip side.”
“Montgomery is kind of a nice quiet little town,” Moon explained, “Compared to a lot of the other bigger cities; I don’t see that happening at all.”
After the map of the entertainment district is decided, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) will need to approve it and then Arch Lee says it's up to city council to make it happen.
Lee expects a decision in February or March and patrons walking around with drinks by spring.