Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge Vestavia Hills
Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge Vestavia Hills was a 160-room, 5-story hotel occupying two buildings on a 3.57-acre lot at 1485 Montgomery Highway (Vestavia Hills), also described as Lot 1 of the Fletcher Jones Subdivision in Vestavia Hills.
The hotel opened in 1974 as a Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and originally featured a heated polygonal swimming pool between the two buildings, along with a lighted tennis court, and banquet facilities for 400. The property also hosted a Howard Johnson's Coffee Shop and Ebenezer's restaurant and bar.
The hotel was rebranded as a Comfort Inn in the 1990s.
In January 2006 the property was acquired by RAM Hospitality of Columbus, Georgia and began operating as the Vestavia Hills Hotel. It was later brought into the Quality Inn brand before becoming a Days Inn by Wyndham in the 2010s. By the end of that decade, the motel had developed a reputation for drugs and prostitution. In at least one instance in 2018 shots were fired during an attempted robbery. Vestavia Hills Police Department responded to numerous calls and actively patrolled the motel's parking lot.
In May 2022 John Lauriello of Southpace Properties acquired the motel property for $3.6 million and subsequently offered to transfer ownership to the City of Vestavia Hills in exchange for a $120,000 commission. On August 1 the Vestavia Hills City Council approved a proposal by Vestavia Hills City Manager Jeff Downes to purchase and demolish the motel for redevelopment using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The council found that doing so would serve to, "promote the health, safety and general welfare of the City and its citizens."
In 2023 the motel site was the focus for a "preliminary vision" for a redevelopment of the southern section of Montgomery Highway by the City of Vestavia Hills.
- Ebenezer's restaurant and bar, 1974–
- H. L. Franklin's Place, 1983
- Millenium Buffet (Hansen Weng), 2002–2003
- Carnaggio's (Zia Ahsan), 2006–2008
- Drummond's Hickory Grill BBQ (Tim Drummond), 2009
- Bar 31, 2013–
- Embry, Neal (May 20, 2022) "Police, hotel speak out about criminal activity" Vestavia Voice
- Koplowitz, Howard (July 29, 2022) "Vestavia Hills City Council set to vote on city purchase of Days Inn with plan to demolish and redevelop." The Birmingham News
- Parker, Illyshia (March 17, 2023) "Preliminary plan created for new Vestavia development, Highway 31." Birmingham Business Journal
- Birmingham at "America's Landmark: Under the Orange Roof (highwayhost.org)