Dick O’ Dows restaurant to redesign storefront
By Kevin Elliott
Longtime Birmingham pub and restaurant Dick O’ Dows intends to redesign its storefront to include a recessed dining area into its facade, following recommended approval from the city’s planning board at their meeting on Wednesday, August 25.
The restaurant has undergone several changes that started prior to the pandemic, renovating its interior and adding an open air aspect with a bay door that opens in the rear to Willits Alley. In 2020, the city fast-tracked an outdoor dining patio in the rear alley, as it temporarily lost it's dining platform along Maple Road to road construction. In June 2020, the restaurant was approved for an outdoor dining expansion in the rear to allow for nine tables and 36 chairs, as part of the emergency COVID dining regulations.
Birmingham City Planner Nick Dupuis said the restaurant is looking for permanent approval of the rear dining patio, as well as a redesign of the front facade.
“They plan on doing a bit of a remodel, taking the storefront back about 12 feet to create a recessed, outdoor dining area,” Dupuis said. “They want to create a new space in what is sort of a dark, front indoor area and open it up.”
The new space will contain five tables and 20 chairs. The front door will be moved to the existing, second door inside the vestibule area. Sliding doors will be used along the front facade, which will open it up to allow for an indoor/outdoor experience.
Planning board member Stuart Jeffares praised the plans.
“I noticed the front of the building is getting a little old, and I think this is so cool,” he said. “We kind of rate our outdoor dining spaces – some are primitive or what-have-you – this is the Cadillac. This is the Birmingham of outdoor seating, in the front. And the back – I just love the back. I think this is a home run.”
Board members unanimously recommended approval for the special land use permit, site plan and design review. The matter will go before the Birmingham City Commission for final approval.