BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Friday night was a big night for Birmingham businesses as some major attractions lured people downtown.
A restaurant and rooftop bar at the new Elyton Hotel opened for the first time, drawing dozens of people to check out the view. The Barons game was also sold out for the fifth time this year, bringing downtown establishments even more potential customers.
“Actually I was really surprised the Barons game was sold out, usually about this time, you can still get a ticket, but actually one of my friends just came by and he said he couldn’t get one. It’s going to be a big night it looks like,” said Alex Sturdivant, who lives in Vestavia.
As new eateries continue to open up, people who live in the suburbs now consider downtown for entertainment. That wasn’t always the case a decade ago.
“There’s so many things downtown now, great restaurants, nightlife, it’s awesome,” said Mary Beth Rooney.
The Rooney family also drove in from outside the city. The chance to look at the skyline view from the new Moon Shine rooftop bar was on their to-do list.
“It’s great to come downtown and sit outside and enjoy a drink and you know, enjoy the city,” said Rooney.
The new Elyton Hotel is in the old Empire Building. It’s one of several that is eligible for a historic tax credit program that incentivizes developers to fix up older buildings for new beginnings.
Recent success include The Pizitz, The Lyric, and The Jefferson Hotel. Birmingham
Mayor William Bell was out at the Elyton Friday to see the rooftop.
“With the opening of this new hotel, rooftop bar, just gives an added attraction, to make people want to spend time and money in the city of Birmingham,” said Bell.
Once in danger of expiring, the state legislature voted to renew the statewide historic tax credit program. Governor Kay Ivey signed the measure into law in May.
In addition to the rooftop bar, the Elyton Hotel also features a restaurant.
Friday’s sellout crowd at the Barons game was the 40th in Regions Field history.