10/15/2009 - O'Henry's at Brookwood is now Open!
Welcome to O’Henry’s at Brookwood
O’Henry’s was founded
in 1993 by Dr. Henry
Bright in the
middle of downtown Homewood on 18th Street South. He
roasted coffee beans right in the store.
This was clearly a new idea in Birmingham and it was a success from day one.
The latest O’Henry’s
location, near Applebee’s next to Brookwood Mall, recalls the heritage Henry
began; he “opened the door” to specialty coffee in Birmingham. Note the unique reclaimed doors on the west
wall above the booths. Each one
represents one of the three great coffee growing regions in the world. Latin America is
one region. East Africa is another and Indonesia is the third. We buy exceptionally high quality green
(unroasted) coffee beans from each region and many countries within each
region. They are all fresh roasted at
O’Henry’s Coffee Roasting Company in West Homewood
and delivered to our Birmingham stores.
We had some help
putting together this new store. Our
landlord, Colonial Properties, was easy to work with. Hendon and Huckstein, the architectural firm,
understood what the timeless feel of O’Henry’s means. Lead architect Brandon Smith was extremely creative and flexible. Maxus
construction looked at our pile of “reclaimed” materials and said “no
problem”. Ryan Walker, a true artisan, built the patio
trellis. These people, and many others,
actually made the process fun.
Kudos to Southern Accents, and Garlan Gudger Jr., in particular. This family business in Cullman finds and
salvages unique architectural pieces from old homes, schools, churches and
commercial properties. We made numerous
trips to Cullman to find the pieces in this O’Henry’s. Here are some of the items.
- The maple
wainscoting (vertical and horizontal) is the original gym floor from West Point High School in Cullman. You can see some red paint from the foul
- The hanging
doors and booth tables are reclaimed from old Brownstone homes in Chicago. The door in the loft is 2.5” thick and
solid wood. It took 4 hinges.
- The bathroom doors are from the Troy (AL) Masonic Lodge built in the 1890’s.
- The mantle,
from the late 1800’s, is from a Victorian era home.
- The brick wall
behind the mantle has large terra cotta tiles in it that are not made
anymore. The large brick wall in
the original O’Henry’s has some of these.
Randy & Mary helped the mason build this wall, if one brick
each counts as help.
- The 5” pine
boards under the booths and the stage floor have the original nail holes
in them. They were taken from an
1887 grain elevator in Superior, Wisconsin.
When built, it was the largest grain elevator in the world.
- The railing on
the loft area once went up a staircase in an old house. It was re-cut to fit our horizontal
- The newel post
at the bottom of the stairs came from a home in Louisville, KY.
- The wrought
iron rails on the stage were found in Columbia, TN. They were re-cut, sand blasted
and re-finished to fit our space.
- The timbers in
the patio trellis are hand-hewn from circular cut cedar logs. They were originally cut in the
1860’s. Ryan put them together
entirely with wood pegs!
Dr. Bright wanted the original O’Henry’s to
be a place where people would meet and relax.
Where socio-economic status meant little and coffee meant a lot. We think he accomplished that, and much
Henry, thanks for opening the door.
and Randy Adamy
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