Saffron Restaurants reservation Coke, Red Lobster and Alabama Singers: Down in Alabama

Coke, Red Lobster and Alabama Singers: Down in Alabama


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Coca-Cola’s future footprint

Coca-Cola has big plans for its future headquarters in Birmingham,’s Greg Garrison reports.

The city approved a development agreement Tuesday that will include incentives such as up to $400,000 in water infrastructure improvements and construction of an access road, as well as tax abatements that will extend over 15 years.

That’s according to the city’s director of innovation and economic opportunity, Cornell Wesley, who spoke about the visual impact it will make from the old Stockham Valve property along I-59/20 and as people fly into Shuttlesworth.

After the meeting, Mike Suco, CEO of Coca-Cola United, said it “welcomes everyone to Birmingham. You’ll like it.”

If you’ve never seen the Coca-Cola branding, we won’t spoil it for you. But it often contains a lot of red. However, I don’t mean financially for the city: the planned investment in the future headquarters is a whopping $338 million for warehouses, offices and a call center.

Jefferson County’s incentives are expected to follow next week. According to Suco, the project will last three years.

They’re bringing their Cheddar Bay Biscuits

While Coca-Cola is on the rise in Alabama, another iconic brand has quietly scaled back.’s Leada Gore reports that Red Lobster has closed about 50 stores nationwide, with some reportedly closing here in our state. There are reports that Red Lobster is considering filing for bankruptcy, and equipment for some closing locations is being auctioned online.

There have been no major announcements from the company, but the website has locations in Auburn, Decatur, Huntsville and Mobile marked as “Restaurant Temporarily Closed” in lieu of hours.

Alabama votes

An Alabama singer has reached the finals of NBC’s “The Voice,” reports Mary Colurso of

Asher HaVon is from Selma. He is a 31-year-old soul singer and is on Reba McEntire’s team on the show.

HaVon eliminated the celebrity panel on Monday evening with Beyoncé’s ‘Irreplaceable’ and will go to the finals next week with four other singers.

On ABC’s American Idol, another singer from Alabama also reached the Top 5 before his run came to an end,’s Lawrence Specker reports.

Country singer Triston Harper of McIntosh fell short in the vote earlier this week. But Top 5 is certainly notable on that show, and Harper is only 15 years old. Of the Alabama competitors on American Idol, only Ruben Studdard, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks have advanced.

By the numbers

That’s the number of people who could be deployed in Birmingham’s Citizens Observer Patrol, a new effort established by ordinance. Under the program, residents would volunteer and be trained to patrol and report criminal activity (but they would not have the authority to make arrests).

More Alabama news

At this date

In 1972, Arthur Bremer shot Governor George Wallace while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president in Maryland. The shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Today is also Peace Officers Memorial Day. You may see some flags at half-staff to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

On the podcast

We are visited by environmental reporter Dennis Pillion. We will talk about some of the area in the river delta that is being preserved and why it is so important.

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