Welcome to “My Perfect Birmingham Saturday,” a column where About Town asks Birmingham residents from different walks of life how they would spend a Saturday in the Magic City if they had it their way (and COVID notwithstanding).
Today’s Saturday was planned by Birmingham’s native son Drew Honeycutt, who serves as CEO of Innovation Depot. “Innovation Depot is the center of our tech ecosystem,” he said. The facility itself is 140,000 square feet, and over 120 companies call the Depot home – numbering around 1,500 employees in total, 700 of which work inside the building. In his role, Honeycutt’s schedule is packed working with many entrepreneurs to grow and scale their respective companies and get their business off the ground, and he helps them make it happen by mentoring them and working alongside them. He also interfaces constantly with the Depot’s stakeholders around town, leading the organization’s community efforts. “We help new entrepreneurs get off the ground and have a place to land,” Honeycutt said. Here is how he’d spend his Saturday.
I’d definitely say the first thing I’d do is get up and hit the trails of Oak Mountain mountain biking by the time the sun’s coming up. Oak Mountain – and Birmingham – has incredible mountain biking trails. Oak Mountain, as far as mountain biking trails go, are some of the best in the Southeast, and it’s right in our backyard. I grew up riding trails as a kid. There’s nothing better than waking up on a fall Saturday and being the first ones on the trail – waking up to an adrenaline-packed morning. It’s a good workout and so exhilarating.
I’d do that and come back home in time to make it down to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market and catch the tail end of that. I’d pick up my wife and three girls and take them with me; I go mountain biking with friends, typically.
Ovenbird is right next to Pepper Place, so we’d walk over and eat brunch there. It’s been 18 months or more since I’ve been to their brunch, but I love how they do small plates there. Everything they make for brunch is on point; everything is so good. From the biscuits and gravy to the fresh-squeezed orange juice to the really good coffees and unique dishes like hashes and stuff like that. I always enjoy it. My wife and I go there and share plates. It’s a good environment.
After that I’d definitely take the girls to Railroad Park or Vulcan Park, one of the two, to burn off some energy. Then I’d go to dinner at East West. I love East West. Then we’d go for drinks at Queen’s Park. We love Queen’s Park – it’s just a fun environment, and you can walk to it from East West. That’s kind of our thing – we park at East West and go to a couple of bars in that area. Queen’s Park is definitely our favorite.
Then it’s back home – that’s a pretty busy day for us.
- As told to Rachel Burchfield