The former Downtown Hooligans restaurant will likely be demolished to make room for a new-to-Tuscaloosa restaurant concept after the city council approved rezoning the property on which it sits Tuesday.

As previously reported by the Tuscaloosa Thread, Hooligans closed its downtown location in February 2021 after 22 years of business to relocate to the former Pizza Hut building on 15th Street.

Evans Fitts of Tuscaloosa's Fitts Architects spoke on behalf of a restaurant group based in Atlanta at Tuesday night's city council meeting and detailed plans to bring their Kid Cashew concept to the site.

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Fitts described Kid Cashew as a "family-type, casual, but nice" restaurant. He said the restaurant will serve alcohol but will not turn into a bar during nighttime hours.

"This is the type of place that you would feel comfortable bringing your family. It is not going to be a façade to sell alcohol," Fitts said.

There were no talks of when the demolition would begin, but Fitts said even planning to bring the building down was problematic.

The building was originally a diner called 'The Little Cookee" built in 1955 and it sits in the designated Druid City historic district.

"The historic commission does not want to hear about tearing an existing building down," Fitts said.

Fitts said they plan to bring the memory of "The Little Cookie" to the new site by incorporating the former diner's logo onto the building and giving the building a retro-futuristic look.

"The architectural style was very space-aged. It was aluminum, glass and some of the shaped aluminum fascia is still there. That iconic sign was there. Our concept is to recreate the memory of "The Little Cookee" but we're expanding it, putting it on -- giving it steroids and bringing it into the new century," Fitts said.

"I think it's going to be an exciting building. It's really going to fit in so nicely with the streetscape as you go up and down University Boulevard," Fitts said.

The council voted unanimously to rezone the Hooligans property after Fitts' presentation.

Kid Cashew is already open in three southern cities including Atlanta, Charlotte and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. The eatery aims to offer healthy but delicious dishes, including a variety of vegan and gluten-free options.

Stay connected with the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on restaurant and retail development happening in and around the Druid City.

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