Alabaster tearing down former ‘Blue House’

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A longtime popular restaurant building off Alabama 119 in Alabaster soon will come down, after the City Council voted during a recent meeting to move forward with demolishing it.

Council members voted unanimously during their Nov. 13 meeting to accept a recommendation from the city’s Housing Abatement Board to demolish the former Blue House building near Thompson Sixth Grade Center.

The vote came after a public hearing on the matter, during which nobody spoke for or against the demolition.

As a result of the council voting to tear down the property, the city will cover the price of the demolition, and will attach the cost as a lien against the property. The lien will have to be paid off if the property is sold in the future.

For many years, the building housed the Blue House Café, which was a popular restaurant drawing customers from throughout the region, once even including a visit from John F. Kennedy Jr.

The restaurant has been closed for several years, and the building is currently vacant and has fallen into disrepair.

The Alabaster Commercial Development Authority in 2014 and 2015 expressed interest in purchasing and spurring development on the property, but has not moved forward with purchasing the land.

In 2015, the Shelby County Museum and Archives launched a campaign to help save the former Blue House by encouraging locals to nominate it for the “Alabama Places in Peril” program.

Earlier this year, the CDA sold several acres on Alabama 119 across from the former Blue House to a developer, which currently is working to construct a Hardee’s restaurant there.