According to Managing Partner Russell Perkins, The Melting Pot restaurant is currently putting the finishing touches on its Mobile location at the former Chili’s restaurant at 840 Montlimar Drive. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for sometime this summer.

“As you may recall, The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant providing excellent service in a unique atmosphere. There are more than 135 restaurants in 36 states in North America, Canada and Mexico with 20 new locations also currently in development,” Perkins said.

“The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. is one of the premier fondue restaurant franchises in existence. Founded in 1975, we continue to offer a memorable dining experience. Guests enjoy a choice of fondue cooking styles and a variety of unique entrees combined with dipping sauces. The menu also includes cheese fondues, salads, fine wines and chocolate fondue desserts.” 

According to their Facebook page, which shows 6,753 “likes” to date, current hold-ups on a definitive opening date are largely due to a pending fire inspection by the city of Mobile. Once that sign-off is completed, a training team can be organized.

Based on a source familiar with the process, the decision from this department will determine whether or not an additional expense for the owners will be incurred upwards of $100,000. Rumor has it that Mayor Stimpson’s office has also become involved in facilitating the final approval process, which is noteworthy.

For more information about The Melting Pot in Mobile, visit their Facebook page.

New microbrewery for Mobile?

Local businessman John Serda confirmed recently that he is in the process of attempting to establish a local microbrewery with other business partners.

The name of the establishment, if made a reality, will be aptly named Serda Brewing Company. The proposed location will be at 166 S. Royal St. in Fort Conde Village, site of the former Roussos restaurant.

“Two things have to happen for us to even consider building it,” Serda said. “First the Board of Zoning Adjustment has to approve our plans. Second, we still have to lock down financing. If either of these objectives isn’t reached, we’re dead in the water.”

On July 7, the zoning issue was resolved and the brewery cleared the zoning process.

MBCVB announces new President/CEO

Chairperson Karen Outlaw Atchison, on behalf of the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau (MBCVB) Board of Directors, announced the appointment of Al Hutchinson to the position of president/CEO. Hutchinson started in his new position July 1. He replaces David Randel, who announced his retirement earlier last month.

With nearly 25 years of experience in hospitality and destination marketing, Hutchinson most recently served as the vice president of convention sales and services at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). 

For more than 11 years, he led a team of convention sales and service professionals and worked closely with community leaders, industry decision makers, elected officials and hotel, attraction and restaurant partners. Prior to his time in Virginia Beach, Hutchinson also served in various leadership positions with the Greater Pittsburgh CVB, the Charlotte Convention Center, the Park Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., and the Richmond Metropolitan CVB.

“Al’s reputation, experience and success record in the hospitality industry is just what the MBCVB needs to propel us into the future,” Atchison said. “This is a critical time for the tourism industry in Mobile and we are confident that Al will be a successful advocate for tourism development. His role will be to identify opportunities and tackle challenges we face as we all work toward positioning Mobile as a top tier southern destination for both leisure and convention audiences.

Hutchinson’s first responsibilities will be to assess the current organizational vision and strategies of the Mobile Bay CVB. He will also meet with key hospitality and community leaders and become familiar with recent sales and marketing programs, current projects underway and future plans of action. 

Hutchinson is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor of science degree in marketing and is married with two children.

The Grounds names Reddit new Marketing and Business Director

The Grounds, home of the Greater Gulf State Fair, American Cancer Society Chili Cook Off and Junior League of Mobile’s Christmas Jubilee, recently named Brittany Reddit as the new marketing and business director, according to a press release.

Reddit is an Auburn University alum and Mobile native who brings more than six years of experience in marketing and event planning to The Grounds. She has worked with some of the most recognizable regional and national brands such as Coastal Living magazine, The United Way, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Toyota.

“Reddit’s proven strengths in creative branding and effective advertising strategies coupled with her ability to foster key client relationships will prove invaluable to The Grounds as we continue to grow our facility and event calendar,” Executive Director Scott Tindle said.

In the position, Reddit will serve as main media contact and work throughout the year in developing interactive advertising strategies. She will also oversee seasonal volunteers and regular staff members, assist with the creation and management of new and existing events and help manage daily operations of the facility and its full-time staff.

WMH celebrates 5th anniversary

According to Adrienne Golden, marketing coordinator for WMH, July 1 marked the 5th anniversary for Wilkins Miller Hieronymus LLC (WMH). The accounting and consulting firms of Wilkins Miller, P.C. and Hieronymus, Gaillard & Jones, LLC combined in July 2009 to form WMH, the largest accounting and advisory firm in the Mobile Bay region.

Today, WMH has more than 80 employees, 34 of which are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). According to a press release, WMH is ranked 12th in the state of Alabama based on its number of CPAs.