The smell of grilled meat and the hope of downtown revitalization will fill the air along Ridgeley Street on Thursday, October 12, when Pride of Atmore hosts Ribs on Ridgeley, which last made an appearance in 2015.
A series of tables will become one long dining space in the middle of the city street, from Main to Trammell streets, as ribs lovers gather to satisfy their own taste buds and to help bring new life to downtown.
“It’s a unique dining situation, where you have one long, white tablecloth covering 15 or 20 tables,” said Bub Gideons, who chairs the Pride of Atmore Committee. “You sit down to a big rib dinner, and we will serve you. We’ll have (Atmore Area) Chamber (of Commerce) Ambassadors and high school students helping us.”
Tickets are $40 each and include a plate of ribs, side dishes and a selection of desserts prepared by Myrna Monroe, winner of the Best Dessert award at the recent Taste of the South. Gideons said South Alabama Vending will be helping with the ribs, and that he hoped to convince other restaurants to furnish the sides, which will probably be Cole slaw and baked beans.
There will also be a wine station, where those who wish to may purchase an empty glass for $10, then fill it with free wine. The dining experience will also feature live music.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at PHD Realty on South Main Street, Sandy Helton Home / Vin-tiques on Ridgeley Street, or Atmore News, also on South Main Street.
Gideons admitted that the price was relatively steep, but noted that the cost of returning downtown Atmore to its past glory was also steep.
“I know that sounds expensive,” he said. “But it’s just a drop in the bucket if we can band together to revitalize downtown.”
Pride of Atmore has applied for a grant from the Delta Regional Authority which would bring in a “principal community planner” to help with the revitalization of downtown focusing primarily on the Strand and maybe an adjacent building. He will help with establishing permanent revenue stream among other things.
The grant comes with a price tag, though. Pride of Atmore, which was originally formed to restore the historic Strand Theatre, must put up matching funds of 50 percent, or $20,000.
“We are hopeful to receive this matching grant and Ribs on Ridgely is our effort to raise the matching funds,” Gideons said. “It’s a pilot program that accents redevelopment, revitalization and re-stimulation through the arts and culture. Pride of Atmore is not just for The Strand anymore; it’s for community development.”
He added that Ribs on Ridgeley would also serve as a nice social gathering.
“It will be a nice evening of food, neighbors, friends and music,” he said. “Plus, we’ll be on the way to bringing our downtown back to the level it once was.”