A popular Italian restaurant in Alabama closes for renovations

Giuseppe’s coffee, a popular and welcoming spot in the Glen Iris area of ​​Birmingham, closes on May 21. But fans of the restaurant need not worry; the closure is temporary and prompted by renovations to the building at 925 Eighth St. South.

“Don’t panic, but our building needs some love, and to do that we have to TEMPORARILY close,” Giuseppe’s owners said via Facebook and Instagram. “We will serve until next Friday, May 20, so there is still time to satisfy your Giuseppe’s desires. If you pass our business after the 20th and things seem to be under construction…don’t panic! Our building needs it and we will reopen stronger than ever once this is all over! We’ll be posting updates on our social media and website, so stay tuned! And tomorrow we begin the countdown to our last days! We love you all and we promise this is all good news! »

It is not yet known about the extent of the renovations, nor how long the restaurant will be closed. However, people who love Giuseppe immediately started spreading the word and planning their visit over the next 10 days.

“I suddenly need lasagna, calzone and pizza for the freezer,” Dana Pharo said in a Facebook comment.

“Oh no! Gotta get to it soon,” @susansirobins posted on Instagram.

Giuseppe’s Cafe, which opened in 2002, has developed a loyal following in Birmingham’s Southside.

“Seattle native Joe Williams has put down his roots in the South and created a restaurant and staff that epitomizes Southern hospitality and community with delicious, large-portion Italian-American plates,” the website says. restaurant. “Our dining room is small, which helps maintain the family feeling. Most of our employees have been there since the beginning, and the regulars are part of their family. If you are looking for a place with good food and a family atmosphere, come and sit with us.”

The menu includes baked ziti, chicken pesto linguine, spaghetti, manicotti, seven-vegetable penne and other hearty dishes. Lunch specials are on the menu, including a meatball sub and a plate of homemade chicken salad. Desserts include cannoli, tiramisu, and New York-style cheesecake. The prices displayed in a menu online range from $4 to $19.

Susan Swagler, freelance writer for The Birmingham News, praised Giuseppe’s cooking in a 2010 review.

“The Italian sausage sub was delicious,” Swagler said. “The sausage, lean, juicy and flavored with fennel, comes from an award-winning butcher in New Jersey. For this sandwich, the sausage is first simmered in marinara sauce, then served with some of the same sauce and melted Provolone cheese on a homemade bun. This sub came with a butterfly pasta salad tossed in a light herb vinaigrette.

Another high praise from Swagler: “We also loved the rich and creamy – yet bright – pesto linguini with shrimp. We had a generous number of well-cooked and tossed large shrimp with sautéed, but still slightly crispy, red peppers and purple onion. It was a beautiful and tasty dish.

Swagler noted that Giuseppe’s decor could use an update, but said: ‘We loved the trompe l’oeil mural of a city canal on the back wall and the folkloric paintings of Italy and a stunning vintage travel poster hanging on the other walls.

People who want to recreate Giuseppe’s experience at home can try the restaurant’s recipe for seven-vegetable penne, shared with AL.com in 2010.

Seven vegetable penne pastas at Giuseppe’s Cafe in Birmingham. (File photo AL.com/Tamika Moore)

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