Jonathan Sealy has spent two decades crafting cocktails and more at Highlands Bar & Grill, but when he and his wife Lyndsey started dreaming up a place of their own it was the neighborhood that mattered most. Lyndsey grew up in Edgewood, and now the couple and their son live there. They knew the kind of food and drinks they wanted next door, and that’s what they’ve brought to life in Local 39 in the former Saw’s on the Side spot next to Saw’s BBQ on Oxmoor Road. Here’s what they had to say about the new spot.
How did Local 39 come to be?
Lyndsey: We live right down the street and would come into Saw’s on the Side when it was open before and noticed what the space could be and how delicious the wings are.
Jonathan: I knew the landlords in Edgewood, and I mentioned I had a couple of ideas. And they gave us a call that day.
Lyndsey: We landed on a partnership with them Hunter Lake and Mike Wilson from Saw’s where we are owner operators and they still have a portion of the business as well that allows us access to the Saw’s menu items.
Where’d you get the name and how’d you come up with the concept and interior look?
Lyndsey: We wanted a local neighborhood bar, so we were doing research on the neighborhood. We realized the tracks they uncovered on Broadway were Route 39 on Birmingham Electric Rail Company. It’s a good neighborhood bar that we wanted to have—we created where we want to hang out.
Jonathan: We want a little escape, where you could just get a quality drink or snack, something easy to stop in for an escape when you have a full schedule.
Lyndsey: I grew up within three blocks of where we are now, and there’s a lot of kid-focused food. We wanted something more geared toward adults but that still had kid options. It’s a tiny little shotgun place. We spent about a month cleaning and detailing the place. Some friends help us reupholster the booths with an olive color that gives it a warm feeling and build out the tables for us. We refinished the floor and painted a wall and brought in live plants and hung a few things on the wall.
What should we order to eat?
Lyndsey: The menu is really simple. We kept the Saw’s burger, sweet tea fried chicken and the wings , and we added a great kale Caesar and a mixed greens salad. We have a crawfish boil at our house every year, and I’d always make pimento chees and Jonathan would make boiled peanuts. We offer both of those now as snacks. We don’t have desserts since there are so many dessert options around us.
What’s on tap?
Jonathan: We are sticking with local beers like Trim Tab Good People, Fairhope IPAs, Trim Tab 205, Goat Island Pilsner and Blood Orange Berliner-Weisse. We have a full bar that’s still expanding and a wine list. It looks like Tito’s is the leader but we have a bourbon list going.
Lyndsey: We don’t have a cocktail list, but we do the classics like Old Fashioneds and Fresh 75s. If you order a mimosa or screwdriver, you will have fresh squeezed juice.
What’s your reception in Homewood been like?
Lyndsey: People have been so cool and welcoming. People love the food. We have folks who come back every weekend. We have one couple we see every Saturday afternoon at 3:00 for wings. We are so grateful to our friends who helped us build this place out. Our son is working as a dishwasher, and his aunt and my girlfriends help out.