By Reginald Allen
For The Birmingham Times
Alchemy 213 held the grand opening of its store in Five Points South earlier this month with a number of city and business leaders on hand.
The official ribbon cutting featured remarks from Five Points Board Chairman Steve Alexander, Birmingham City Council President Valerie Abbott and REV Birmingham President and CEO David Fleming.
The boutique is located at 1923 11 Ave S. and is part of the resurgence of retail in the Southside hub.
Rooted in high-end street wear, Alchemy launched its flagship location in the heart of Downtown Birmingham on 20th North in 2015. Inspired by owner Ace Graham’s residency as a fashion brand consultant in Bologna, Italy, the boutique specializes in European fashion, offering an assortment of high-end brands Nike, New Balance, Kappa, PUMA and Champion.
Despite securing a building downtown, Graham always had his eye on the coveted retail space on the Southside.
“For me, even when we were on 20th St., this is the place that I wanted to work,” Graham said during the grand opening. “There just was no space available . . . I hawked this place for weeks trying to get in here because I knew this was the best place for us. With us being a boutique business, we can’t work in a mall. We can’t work in a traditional strip mall because our accounts won’t allow us to do that, so we had to be here and we felt like there was no other place in Birmingham that we would want to be other than here. It’s just a dream come true.”
Alexander said 10 vacant spaces have already been leased in November and hopes that Alchemy’s relocation will serve as a catalyst for more retail businesses to flock to Five Points. The clothing store now resides in the 16,000 sq. ft. space once occupied by Magnolia’s Card shop.
“We are so excited and thrilled that you’ve [Graham] taken this space and this beautiful reincarnation of it for us here at Five Points South,” Alexander said. “It’s really key to bring more retail back into Five Points.”
Abbott added the boutique will add a dash of flair to the district, which is mostly comprised of eateries and bar establishments.
“You know, I like bars and restaurants as much as anybody but there’s nothing like retail,” Abbott said. “I’m hanging at the hardware store a lot, so you can see that I need some new place to visit in Five Points and I’m getting ready to retire, so I’ll need more upscale casual clothing.”
The grand opening festivities continued with an evening mixer of fashion, music and art sponsored by Birmingham Mountain Radio. With the new location, Graham said he hopes to have more events like this, including popular mainstay “Summertime Sundays”, an exhibition for local artists and musicians.
In 2017, Alchemy was one of 14 stores to receive a collective capsule of merchandise, commemorating the 20th anniversary of Jay Z’s “Reasonable Doubt.”
For additional information on Alchemy 213, visit Alchemy213.com.