Alabaster OKs demolition of former ‘Blue House’

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A local company will handle tearing down a popular former restaurant on Alabama 119, after the city awarded the demolition bid during a Dec. 11 meeting.

City Council members voted unanimously during the meeting to accept a $12,250 bid from the Birmingham-based Gray’s Roofing and Tree Service company, which was the lowest of the four bids received for the project.

The meeting came about a month after the council voted to accept a recommendation from the city’s Housing Abatement Board to demolish the former Blue House building near Thompson Sixth Grade Center.

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.