Green Acres Cafe
Green Acres Cafe is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in Chicago in 1946 by William Gratton. Gratton expanded the chain to six locations before he moved to Birmingham and brought the business with him.
Gratton opened the first Birmingham location, in North Birmingham, in 1950. His brother, Charles, worked with him and then opened a second location across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1958. After relocating a few times, Charles' operation settled into its current location at 1705 4th Avenue North in 1990. It was Charles who decided to try to get rid of extra wings left over after people bought 1/2 and 1/4 chickens by offering a special plate of a half dozen wings with bread and fries for 25 cents.
Charles' son Greg is now the owner of the concept, which has expanded to 11 locations, all offering the same proven menu of fried chicken wings, hamburgers and fries, fried fish, sandwiches, fried okra and fried green tomatoes.
- Downtown: 1705 4th Avenue North, owned by Charles Gratton (opened 1990)
- Center Point: 2405 Center Point Parkway
- Hueytown: Allison-Bonnett Memorial Drive (opened July 2006)
- Ensley: 913 20th Street Ensley (opened July 31, 2014)
- North Birmingham: 2724 29th Avenue North, opened 1950 by William Gratton
- Avondale: 4350 3rd Court South
- Irondale: 1819 Crestwood Boulevard owned by Greg's wife, Cindy (August 2005–2020)
- West End: 1749 Pearson Avenue
- Tarrant: 3931 Vanderbilt Road (May 2006–)
- Forestdale: (September 2006–)
- East Lake: 8501 1st Avenue North, owned by Greg's daughter, Tomeka Baylor (March 2006–)
- Gratton, Charles Austin (June 22, 1994) Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South. Duke University. Interview with Tywanna Whorley
- Williams, Roy L. (June 4, 2006) "Recipe for success" The Birmingham News
- Brown, Angela (October 2006) "Worth the Wait." Birmingham Magazine. Vol. 46, No. 10. p. 250
- Jordan, Phillip (March 15, 2007) "Winging it: Green Acres makes history with franchises, staying powers." Birmingham Weekly.
- Michaels, Ryan (April 13, 2022) "Meet Greg Gratton, Owner of Birmingham’s Legendary Green Acres Cafe" The Birmingham Times