Tide & Tiger

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The Tide & Tiger Lounge (originally The Ramona BBQ) is a bar located at 409 Graymont Avenue outside the south end zone of Legion Field.

The business was founded in the late 1930s by A. D. Likis as a barbecue restaurant which served beer. In 1946 Alec Gulas bought the restaurant and remodeled it with football-shaped windows. It re-opened on April 6 of that year as the Quarterback Drive-Inn Diner. The name remained when Likis purchased the restaurant back from Gulas in 1951. Howard Thomas was the operator of the business when its beer permit was suspended for 30 days by the Birmingham City Commission on December 2, 1952. Dolly and E. W. Green operated the business as the Stadium Drive-Inn until 1959 when they again ran afoul of the City Commission. The property remains in the family, and is currently owned by Jim Likis.

Lucian Simonetti and Fred Russo purchased the business in 1959 and gave it its current name. It continued to serve meals through the 1970s and 80s. Later owners added liquor to the bar's offerings. Ruby Harris enlarged the building in the 1990s. It later closed until Eli and Gwen Braxton reopened it in September 2012 after performing renovations to the interior. They mainly cater to an "old-school" crowd, with in-house deejays spinning Motown and R&B hits.

The hey-day of the Tide & Tiger was undoubtedly before the 1990s when the Alabama Crimson TIde and Auburn Tigers played many home games at Legion Field and met for the annual Iron Bowl. Birmingham Trust National Bank threw employee parties on a vacant lot next door.

In addition to regular operating hours six nights a week, the Braxtons keep special hours for UAB Blazers games, the BBVA Compass Bowl, the Magic City Classic and other events at the stadium.

References

  • Chambers, Jesse (October 9, 2013) "Tide & Tiger Lounge near Legion Field still serving football fans and others after more than 5 decades." The Birmingham News