Step inside the 32,000-square-foot space of The Fennec, and you’ll find something that is a rarity: A venue that mixes superior live music with a superior restaurant, combining to form the one-of-a-kind The Fennec, which opened in August and is located at 1630 Second Avenue South.
Named for the fennec fox – a nocturnal, sociable animal – The Fennec offers live music every night Wednesday through Saturday, said Jameson Cesar, director of operations at The Fennec and an alum of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“That’s the whole premise of why we opened,” he said. “We are honky-tonk inspired like old-school Nashville places. We try to do a lot of local and regional acts, and every now and then a national one will come through.”
Most of the music – about 50 to 60 percent, Cesar said – is country, but the other 40 to 50 percent are a mixture of different types of music.
“We felt there was a need for good, live country music on a regular basis here in Birmingham,” he said. “We tend to stick with mostly country acts.”
The only night live music isn’t offered at The Fennec is Tuesday, when it offers rock and roll trivia followed by karaoke instead.
“It’s still just as fun and exciting,” Cesar said.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the main dinner act plays from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., and then right after a DJ plays straight through until close, always looking to cover music for all genres and all age groups.
“We’re trying to not leave anyone out,” Cesar said.
And, in addition to the music, the food is top-notch, Cesar said – if it tells you anything, legendary Birmingham chef Chris Hastings was part of the consulting team that helped create the first draft of The Fennec’s menu. (The Fennec now has its own executive chef, Cesar said.)
“You can get an amazing burger and wings, and not just a normal burger and wings – everything is done a little over the top here,” he said. “Our wings come from a woodfired grill, and our bandanna burger is, according to my guests, the best burger in Birmingham. Plus, you just get that atmosphere you can’t get anywhere else, and the guest experience is second to none. This is definitely breaking the mold when it comes to a music venue and a restaurant – it’s a mix of the two. We filled a gap in every market – there’s not a lot of places where you have both good music and good food; it’s really hard to find that double bang combination.”
The Fennec also offers handcrafted cocktails and, on Saturdays, 17 television screens around the whole venue that play every SEC game and every major game that’s on the day. The second floor of the space is used for wedding receptions, private events, corporate meetings, and more.
“There’s lots of surprise and delight moments around The Fennec – things we did to enhance the experience of the guests in every corner of the venue,” Cesar said.
Six weeks in, Cesar said The Fennec has exceeded expectations.
“It’s invigorating when you come in,” he said. “It’s an amazing place to be. It’s gotten so much bigger than anyone could have expected and has blown up to be so much bigger than anybody ever thought.”
Click here to learn more and see what live music is being offered on any given day.
Cover Photo Credit: The Fennec