The long-vacant Mellow Mushroom building at 2230 University Boulevard is brimming with life again after the all-new 3-in-1 Grocery Brewpub finally celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening.

The massive building boasts a sprawling interior with three distinct concepts. The street-level floor serves as the main dining space, with room to seat 200 patrons. Here, guests can enjoy a smattering of craft beers from more than 40 taps, and a made-from-scratch menu with a Cajun flair that boats wings, burgers, seafood and more.

The next floor up features a high-end bourbon bar, where patrons can sample some of the finest spirits available in Alabama.

Finally, the top floor features a recreation space that includes three brand-new Diamond pool tables, arcade cabinets, darts and a stage for live music in addition to another 40 beer and cocktail taps.

Get our free mobile app

“I’ve wanted to open a restaurant in Tuscaloosa for decades, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally open our doors and show this great community what the Grocery Brewpub has to offer,” said Rayford Cook, owner and operator.

Cook was joined by members of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama to celebrate the opening of downtown Tuscaloosa's hottest new attraction after nearly two years of planning and renovations.

"Rayford, you've decided to do a great investment on one of the most iconic quarters in downtown Tuscaloosa, and we're eternally grateful," said Eric Thompson, the city of Tuscaloosa's Development Ombudsman.

Cook is no stranger to the restaurant business. He got his start operating a Bonefish Grill in Washington D.C. before going on to open the first Grocery Brewpub in Homewood, Alabama.

Just one selection of GBP's menu available to sample at the ribbon-cutting Thursday was what Cook calls the Swamp Monster - a half alligator, half beef patty topped with spicy shrimp and fried onions, all drenched in a homemade remoulade sauce.

"I love this corner, and I love Tuscaloosa," Cook said. "I look forward to being here a long time, and being a part of Tuscaloosa."

6 Tuscaloosa Restaurants We Miss Desperately

Top Stories From The Tuscaloosa Thread (5/10-5/14)