Photos by Madoline Markham.
0412 Black Market BarThe Greek Egg Rolls are a popular menu item at Black Market Bar at the Colonnade.
Black Market Bar is, in a word, eclectic.
The covered patio begs passersby to stop in for happy hour drink specials and an order of Baked Feta to share.
Inside the Colonnade storefront, things are darker. The walls—just like the bar name—are throwbacks to film noir. Painted skateboards, posters from 1950s B movies, pinup girls, and art by Birmingham’s Megan Kimber and tattoo artist Kele Sparrowhawk fill the vertical space. Often visitors want to buy art off the walls, but the owners say it’s not for sale.
“This is us,” said co-owner Elise Youngblood, who is also an artist, of the walls at Black Market. “Our houses look like this, too.”
All the employees except Youngblood have tattoos.
Unlike the owners’ first bar, Speakeasy, located downtown, Black Market has a full kitchen. It’s worth a visit for the bar or brunch menu alone.
“Everyone is surprised by our food,” Youngblood said. “They expect bar food, but it’s really not. It’s better.”
Greek Egg Rolls are filled with chicken, spinach and feta cheese and served with a creamy dipping sauce. An Asian Pork Wrap is stuffed with pork tenderloin and Asian slaw. The Black Angus Burger is topped with grilled mushrooms, onions, applewood-smoked bacon, spinach and Muenster cheese.
“I don’t know what they do to [the burger], but it gets rave reviews,” said co-owner George Cowgill.
You’ll also find typical-yet-not bar food like queso, potato skins and the extra-good Phil’s (chicken) Fingers next to a Walnut Apple Salad with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. All menu items cost $6-13, achieving the original and upscale yet affordable selection the owners envisioned when they opened three years ago.
Black Market’s Sunday brunch menu is decadent. The Breakfast Pizza tops a flattened biscuit with cheddar, white gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage and caramelized onions. You’ll also find Vanilla Cinnamon Pancakes, Shrimp and Grits, a Crab Cake Benedict, Croissant Melts made with raspberry preserves and Muenster cheese, and more. Mimosas are available in $10 pitchers.
Whether you stop in for brunch or Friday lunch or happy hour or late night, Cowgill said the crowd at Black Market is always a diverse mix of people.
With the spring weather, the happy hour will draw people out of work early for their 3-7 p.m. specials: $3 well drinks and $1 off bottled beers.
All day they serve in-house specialty drinks and around 70 different beers, 16 of which are on tap. Black Market is especially proud of selling local brews from Good People and Avondale breweries.
“We like to support local stuff because we are local,” Cowgill said.