BY ANDY MACDONALD

I believe in second chances. Lord knows, I’ve needed them, but under previous ownership the Mobile barbecue fixture known as The Brick Pit was rumored to be closing so many times we quit paying attention. After its nine lives ran out, local insurance man and Brick Pit regular James West DID pay attention.

Along with A.J. Niland, Ryan Chavez and a silent partner, West invested in new ownership of the business in hopes of returning it to its former glory. That first meant turning his attention to the building. Those familiar with The Brick Pit remember the facility had seen its share of, well, use, so it was time to tidy things up a bit. By that I mean new plumbing, new roof and wiring, and replacing rotten wood. Even the smoker is getting a good cleaning. Long gone is the carpet in favor of hardwood floors, but other than that it’s the same old Brick Pit. I was privy to a few pictures of the renovation, and things are looking good.

West said they will be applying for a license to serve alcohol, something previously unfamiliar to that location, and possibly adding a deck, making live music another option. Opening date is set for this year. There’s a lot of work to be done. We’ll keep you posted as this story unfolds.

Cuisine for Kids raising money for CAC

Renasant Bank and the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Mobile are asking you to dine out and donate for their annual Cuisine for Kids fundraiser to help fight child abuse. Participating restaurants have agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds from Tuesday, Jan. 29, to help local victims of abuse through the CAC.

All you have to do is step up to the table and let these fine area restaurants do the rest: Atlanta Bread Co., Briquettes Steakhouse on Schillinger, Butch Cassidy’s, Bone and Barrel, Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Parlor, Callaghan’s, Chaleur Method Brew and Espresso, Chicken Salad Chick on Old Shell Road, Firehouse Subs (Grelot, McGowin Park, Airport Boulevard and Rangeline Road locations), Hickory Pit Too, Jimmy John’s (Royal Street, Du Rhu and Airport Boulevard locations), Little Whiskey Christmas Club, Lucky’s Irish Pub (Airport Boulevard and Saraland), Maghee’s Grill on the Hill, Regina’s Kitchen, Roly Poly, Saucy Q Bar-B-Que, Serda’s Coffee Co. and Via Emilia.

You’ve got plenty of chances in Mobile and Fairhope, so get to eating!

ACS Chili Cook-Off, Downtown Cajun Cook-Off dates

Mardi Gras is running late this year and so are some of our cook-offs. The 5th annual Downtown Cajun Cook-Off is set for Saturday, March 23, in Cathedral Square. The American Cancer Society’s 30th annual Chili Cook-Off is slated for the following week, March 30, at Mardi Gras Park. Get your team together and start practicing!

Recycle!