Giuseppe’s Cafe, the popular Italian restaurant in Birmingham’s Glen Iris neighborhood, is back after closing in May for extensive renovations.
“Surprise!!! WE ARE OPEN AGAIN!!!” The cozy café posted on Tuesday evening on its Facebook account.
While Giuseppe’s Restaurant for Dinner and Takeout ended reopening on Tuesday at 8 p.m., the café was scheduled to start normal business hours – Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday 11 am to 10 pm and Saturday 4 pm to 10 pm – Wednesday.
In late May, the Italian restaurant was temporarily closed for renovations.
“Don’t panic, but our building needs a little love, and in order to do that we have to temporarily shut down,” Giuseppe’s owners said on social media. “If you rotate our business yet [May] Twenty and things look under construction…don’t panic! Our building needs this and we will reopen stronger than ever once everything is done! …we love you all, and we promise that’s all good news! “
Cafe Giuseppe, which opened in 2002, has developed a loyal clientele on Birmingham’s Southside.
“Joe Williams, a native of Seattle, has established his roots in the South and has created a restaurant and staff that exemplifies the hospitality and community of the South with delicious, large-sized Italian American dishes,” the restaurant’s website says. “Our dining room is small, which helps maintain the feeling of being with family. Most of our staff have been there from the start, and the regulars are their family. If you are looking for a place with good food and family vibes, come sit with us.”
The menu includes baked ziti, chicken pesto linguine, spaghetti, manicotti, seven kinds of vegetables and other delicacies. Daily lunch specials are on the agenda, including a meatball platter and homemade chicken salad. Desserts include cannoli, tiramisu, and New York-style cheesecake. Prices posted on an online listing range from $4 to $19.
Susan Swagler, a freelance writer for the Birmingham News, praised Giuseppe’s cuisine in a 2010 review.
“The Italian sausage was delicious,” Swagler said. Low-fat, juicy and fragrant with fennel, the sausage comes from an award-winning butcher in New Jersey. For this sandwich, the sausage is first simmered in a marinara sauce and then served with some of the same sauce and melted provolone cheese on a homemade roll. This sub. It comes with a side of pasta salad tossed in a light herb vinaigrette.”
Another rave from Swagler: “We also loved the rich – but bright – linguine pesto sauce with shrimp. We got a ton of large, well-cooked shrimp sautéed with red peppers and purple onions. It was a beautiful and delicious dish.”
Swagler noted that decor at Giuseppe’s could use an update, but said “we loved the trompe l’oeil mural of the Canal City on the back wall and folk paintings of Italy and a great vintage travel poster hanging on the other walls.”
People who want to recreate the Giuseppe experience at home can try the restaurant’s recipe for seven vegetarian pasta, shared with AL.com in 2010.