Indigo Cafe has soft opening

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Indigo Cafe and Bar officially had its soft opening on Tuesday, Dec. 12, when it hosted members of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce.

“We had the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce members come down and over 50 people showed up,” Owner Indigo Aulbach said.“It went very well, and then quite a few of them stayed for breakfast and then quite a few of them actually stayed for lunch and then we had a few walk-ins, which is really nice.”

Aulbach has spent the previous 10 years working as a nurse, but he is no stranger to the restaurant scene having attended culinary school in San Francisco and then worked in a series of restaurants and catering companies all over the country.

“I’ve been working in restaurants since I was a teenager and then in my early 20s, I did culinary school in San Francisco,” Aulbach said. “I graduated from culinary school in ‘95, and I did all sorts of catering up in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Cruz. Then in 2004, I moved to Minneapolis and I worked at a couple of restaurants and I ran a couple of big restaurants out there.”

After having taken a break from the restaurant scene for the past few years, Aulbach decided to reenter the culinary world after following his daughter to live in Montevallo, and seeing the limited number of affordable restaurants college students could enjoy in the area.

“My daughter goes to the University of Montevallo. She and her fiance deserve to go have a nice meal, a nice home-cooked meal and not break the bank and be able to do that on a regular basis,” Aulbach said. “These kinds of dining experiences make up our lives and our memories.”

With this idea in mind, Aulbach found a location on Montevallo’s Main Street and began the process of reshaping it into a space that could best capture his vision.

“I just came across this space, and it had been defunct for years,” Aulbach said. “It was the original Tavern on Main Street, and it’s this beautiful historic building that’s over 100 years old.” 

Aulbach’s plan for the Indigo Cafe and Bar was to create a space inspired by the “creative misfits” of America’s 20th century, such as Billie Holiday, Anthony Bourdain and the Ramones.   

“We are inspired by the great American artists, adventurers and misfits of the 20th century,” Aulbach said. “That whole late ‘70s and early ‘80s New York scene of art, fashion and music is the epitome that to me in the 20th century was the highlight when all of that was brought together.”  

With its soft opening, Indigo Cafe and Bar officially entered into the culinary scene of Shelby County, and by all accounts, the food was incredibly well received by members of Montevallo’s Chamber of Commerce for both its deliciousness and affordability. County residents will have the chance to enjoy Aulbach’s cuisine themselves starting Monday, Dec. 18.

“It’s moving fast and furious,” Aulbach said. “We’ve taken the last week to really work on food and training service so that everyone’s confident. Confidence is key in this business.”