There are plans in the works for a new restaurant to come to downtown Tuscaloosa later this year. At the weekly city council meeting, officials approved a restaurant, retail and liquor license for the new venture, Druid City Social.

The restaurant will move into the building that housed 301 Bistro, Bar & Beer Garden, which did not reopen after all restaurants closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I've had a lot of people come up to me and say, 'You've just closed this restaurant and now you are going to open another one?'" said Bill Lloyd, who owned and operated 301 and will be a co-owner of the new eatery. "We are the fools in the middle of a pandemic opening a restaurant."

Lloyd, who also used to own Wilhagan's Grille and Taproom and Casual Class Catering, is going into business on the new restaurant with Brandon Hanks, who owns and operates The Booth on University Boulevard.

Lloyd assured the council that prior to its closure, 301 was well-suited to social distancing because of the layout of the restaurant, and so shall be Druid City Social.

"We have a large beer garden area with a huge green space that is enclosed and is a part of our licensed area," Lloyd said. "We are going to take advantage of that as far as being able to dine outside. We'll have tables, chairs, oscillating fans and we are going to have a nice place where so you can feel safe, be outdoors and eat."

Lloyd also said the menu at Druid City Social will be notably different from 301's as "fine dining is too much touch service for what is going on." Customers can expect high-end pub food rather than the high-end cuisine that 301 Bar, Bistro & Beer Garden used to offer.

"We believe in Tuscaloosa, we believe we are going to come out on the other end of this and that's why we are doing this now," Lloyd said.

Stay tuned to this site as more updates come available.

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