Tag Archives: Village Living

New Village Living website

Village Living has a new website. Visit us at www.villagelivingonline.com.


Lake Lovers photo contest winners

Here are our winners and runners-up. Thanks to everyone who submitted photos!

Tied for BEST ACTION PHOTO by Lelie Wright.

Continue reading

July issue now available

Village Living July 2011 IssueThe July issue of Village Living is hot off the presses. Check your mailbox this week to read about high school senior Catherine Smith’s music, the potential Walmart grocery store on Montclair, Market Day’s history, S.T.O.R.M. relief, the Mountain Brook Presbyterian Community Garden and more

Then come back here and tell us what you think about out stories. We want your input to make this your paper!

You can also view the full issue online.

Otey’s Tavern: Restaurant Spotlight

By Christiana Roussel

Rodney Davis with a wrap and cheeseburger. Photo by Keith McCoy.

You’ve all seen the bumper stickers that say something like, “I wasn’t born in the South, but I got here as quick as I could.”  I feel that way about Mountain Brook.  I grew up just down the road, in a little place called Atlanta, Ga.  As an adult, I’ve lived in Madrid and Nashville, Richmond and Houston.  But when it came time to finally CHOOSE where I wanted to put down roots and raise a family, my husband and I picked Mountain Brook.  It’s a decision we have never once regretted.

So, what does all this have to do with a restaurant profile of Otey’s Tavern in Crestline Village?  I am getting there. Continue reading

Michelle’s: Business Spotlight

By Gates Porter


Michelle’s in Crestline is ready for Easter.

Forced to flee the Gulf in the wake of the recent BP oil spill, Michelle Lee certainly knows what it is like to abruptly leave a place she loves. “Following the oil spill, the beach was desolate,” she said,  “and after years of bracing myself for flight in the face of the periodic threat of hurricanes, this was basically the last straw.”

But she likewise understands the joy of homecoming, as the departure from her retail location in Florida brought her back to her original home and place of business, Mountain Brook, and along with it the citizenry whose patronage she had cherished for many years. Anyone who has lived in Mountain Brook throughout the last few decades will now familiarly glimpse the establishment back from its 13-year absence, situated in its former location in the small shopping center on the corner of Euclid and Church Street.

Michelle has always been heavily involved in the business of retail in Birmingham, working at Village Sportswear in Mountain Brook Village before establishing Michelle’s. However after years of working for someone in retail, she wished to pursue her dream of owning her own store. “I really enjoyed the idea of owning my own store, ordering the particular products with which to stock my shop, and personally creating a unique atmosphere that people would associate with my establishment,” Lee said. Continue reading

Watkins Brook flood work underway

By Jennifer Gray

Since 1995, when Hurricane Opal swept through our state — including Mountain Brook — flooding has been a severe and reoccurring problem along Watkins Brook.  The brook is a tributary of Shades Creek and the portion that runs through Mountain Brook Village is of greatest concern.

Flooding in this area creates the potential of large amounts of property damage in the historic Village and the areas surrounding it.  This area is home to many of Mountain Brook’s local businesses and is a source of the City’s tax base and revenue.  Large amounts of property damages in this area could result in a financial blow to those businesses and the City along with the potential threats to individual safety to those in that area.  Finding a solution to this problem has been a top priority of the City for some time.

After Hurricane Opal, the City of Mountain Brook was able to secure a FEMA grant to study the problem.  Walter Schoel Engineering and Lehe Planning completed the initial study and identified ways to reduce the flooding in the Village, but the city had no way to fund the work.

Following Hurricane Ivan in 2004, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program set aside designated money for the state of Alabama due to the significant damage the state had from the storm.  Mountain Brook put together a phased plan and applied for the funds.  In April of 2006, the city was notified that it had been awarded the grant.  The total cost of the project is projected to be $6.54 million.  The FEMA grant will pay for $4.3 million to $4.9 million of the project.  The project will reduce the estimated depth of the 100-year flood at the shopping center by three and a half feet.  It is estimated that for every dollar spent, two dollars will be saved in property damage.

Three parts to the Project

There are three parts to this project, two of which are currently underway.  The timing of these projects has been coordinated as  to interfere with business and shopping in the Village as little as possible.

Regions Bank Culvert–  replacing this culvert, which is grossly undersized is underway now, and is supposed to be finished by November 1.  This should insure that the work does not interfere with the heavy holiday shopping season in the Village.  The Morris Group will do this work.

Cahaba Road Diversion near MBE

Cahaba Road Diversion–  underway already, this work will tear up portions of Cahaba Road and put a culvert down which will pick up water and divert it downstream.  Most of the work is to be done before school begins so it will not interfere with Mountain Brook Elementary School traffic.  Rast Construction will do this work.

Mountain Brook Elementary

Montevallo Road Bridge– The portion of the project will begin January 3, 2011.  It involves replacing the bridge on Montevallo Road near Regions Bank.  Traffic will be rerouted through the shopping center during construction.  The work must be completed by March 23, 2011 so as not to interfere with spring shopping in the village.  The Alabama Historical Commission also approved this portion of the project.  The Morris Group will do this work.