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Good Taste Buffet, 9125 Parkway East (Birmingham, Alabama): 2000s   20 comments

Posted at 12:27 am in Uncategorized

I had the opportunity to visit Birmingham Alabama last weekend. The landscape was quite a bit different than I expected. For some reason I had it in my mind that Birmingham was a flat-land area, but actually it is quite hilly with many properties accomodating themselves to very uneven lots. My other impression of the place (which may be just a function of the areas I happened to drive through) is that it has been hit as hard or harder than Columbia by the recession. I could have taken a lot of pictures like these if I had had the time (or the inclination, as after all this isn't "Birmingham Closings").

This particular building caught my eye for some reason. It clearly did not start life as an Asian buffet -- The stone construction has a very 1970s look about it and it appears very Shoney-ish. The realtor's PDF says they are asking $1,100,000 for it. Judging by the immediate surrounding areas, I have to say: "Good luck with that.."

Written by ted on June 11th, 2011

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20 Responses to 'Good Taste Buffet, 9125 Parkway East (Birmingham, Alabama): 2000s'

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  1. It all depends on what part of Birmingham you visit. Roebuck, where this is, has looked rough for a long, long time - since well before the recession. That's a part of the city that used to rely on the steel and railroad industries, but both of those are a much smaller part of the local economy nowadays.

    Once you get into downtown Birmingham proper, things pick up. UAB is slowly eating the city, and what of downtown isn't the university supports the university and its students. Warehouses and office spaces downtown are being converted to condo lofts, and the nightlife is trying to expand to a sort of 24/7 entertainment district.

    If you kept going down 59/20 you'll hit areas like Bessemer that aren't doing so well, but south of the city and east of I-65 is where everything is thriving. Banking and medicine are huge components of the economy, and the money from that lives in Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Cahaba Heights, and other suburbs in the area.


    12 Jun 11 at 11:14 am

  2. I would be willing to guarantee you that this was a former Shoneys.


    12 Jun 11 at 7:50 pm

  3. Speaking of Shoneys. Are there any still open here in Columbia? I remember they always had a great breakfast buffet.


    12 Jun 11 at 11:59 pm

  4. The one on Bush River Road is still open, but just for Breakfast and Lunch. I believe the one on Garners Ferry is still open for a full schedule.


    13 Jun 11 at 12:26 am

  5. Shoney's Garner's Ferry breakfast buffet is okay, not great. I guess if you're starving and want to load up it'd be perfect, but the scene is crying babies loud, elbow-bumping crowded, and unimaginative food. Not the place to read the paper and create your own omelette. Maybe I'm just a snob...


    13 Jun 11 at 9:23 am

  6. According to the Shoney's web site they still have one on Airport Blvd. Overall they have 20 left in SC. I remeber when that number was much, much higher. Off the top of my head I can think of 6 that were once opened in Columbia.


    13 Jun 11 at 12:12 pm

  7. Correction- seven


    13 Jun 11 at 12:13 pm

  8. If you read the Wiki page on Shoney's, you'll see that they went from ≈1,300 restaurants in 1998 to 282 by 2007. Several have been mentioned on this site but I've lost track of the details. There used to be one on Harbison Blvd. that is now an AT&T building. Three others have made this site (check the Alphabetical closings link at the top tab) as well. Shoney's isn't what it used to be. I haven't been to one in a while but it does seem to me that Shoney's isn't what it used to be (but they haven't taken a hit the way Quincy's (and to a lesser extent Ryan's)) has.

    Here are the remaining locations in Columbia:

    7335 Garners Ferry Road
    600 Bush River Road (not open for dinner)
    2208B Airport Blvd (SC 302, West Columbia)


    13 Jun 11 at 2:02 pm

  9. The seven closed locations that I can think of are:

    Beltline (the first one in Cola-also had curb service)
    West Columbia, across from Love Chevy (Curb service too)
    Two Notch
    Forest Drive
    The old truck stop on Piney Grove & I-26 (briefly)
    The Shearton on Assembly St across from the Coliseium (pre-Holiday Inn)


    14 Jun 11 at 8:43 am

  10. While the Beltline location was definitely a closure, it was also a move, as I recall. That one closed, and the one on Garners Ferry opened up.


    14 Jun 11 at 8:54 am

  11. My grandmother worked at the Beltline location when I was little. Loved the Big Boy comics and the big plastic Big Boy out front.


    14 Jun 11 at 11:06 am

  12. Where was the Beltline location??

    Piney Grove Road may have had Shoney's at one point but they also had a Quincy's that is now San Jose Mexican restauarants. The Truck Stop burned ≈1998 and had a Lizard's Thicket. In early 2006 it was razed to make based for Midvale, UT-based Sportman's Warehouse after CEO Stu Utgaard decided to enter the SC market and selected 476 Piney Grove Road for the location (he personally selects the locations for each of his stores from what I read).


    14 Jun 11 at 12:45 pm

  13. The Beltine Location has been a Lizard's Thicket for quite a few years now.


    14 Jun 11 at 12:50 pm

  14. @Andrew, the Beltline Shoneys was between Devine Street and Rosewood, just before you got to Midlands Tech. If you are headed to the fairgrounds, it was on the left side of the road.


    14 Jun 11 at 1:05 pm

  15. I don't ever remember a Shoney's on Piney Grove. Prior to Quincy's it might have been another steak house, but I think it it could have been originally built as a Quincy's.


    14 Jun 11 at 4:12 pm

  16. The Beltline Shoney's (almost South Beltline) has long been a Lizard's Thicket. But when I was a teenager it still had the old fashioned drive in area with waitresses on roller skates. Great time there.


    14 Jun 11 at 6:37 pm

  17. @Johnathan- The Piney Grove rd. Shoneys existed for a short while at the truck stop that was torn down several years ago. The building you are thinking about, next to the hardees was a Quincy and never a Shoneys.


    15 Jun 11 at 4:03 am

  18. @Tom-Thanks. Yea, I thought the Quincy's was built as a Quincy's, but I had no idea Shoney's was at the truck stop. That is my learned fact of the day.


    15 Jun 11 at 8:24 am

  19. Here's an article announcing that Sportsman's Warehouse will open on the site of the old Truck stop in 2006.


    15 Jun 11 at 12:22 pm

  20. Hi there. That building was indeed a Shoney’s Big Boy Restaurant throughout at least the 1960s and 1970s. My family and I ate there many a time, mainly before or after shopping at the Roebuck Plaza Shopping Center across Parkway East.

    That Big Boy had the best ‘All-American’ burgers (always topped with paper US flag toothpick) and hot fudge cake sundaes. Oh, and the Coke served in red opaque plastic glasses was always a treat. We always asked to be seated in a booth next to the front windows. How I miss that special place. Ah, but the warm memories live on.

    John Lemley

    11 May 23 at 10:16 am

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