Huntsville Restaurant Week Has Arrived—Time To Eat!

Welcome to Huntsville, Alabama—a city bursting at the seams with unique, diverse, and delicious restaurants. On any given day, it’s possible to experience cuisine from all over the world without ever leaving the Rocket City. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to head out and explore the local food scene, you’re in luck. The 6th annual Huntsville Restaurant Week is happening August 11th through the 20th!

A part of the statewide Alabama Restaurant Week, this culinary event puts a spotlight on Huntsville/Madison eateries by encouraging patrons to enjoy discounts, tastings, and special events all throughout the week at participating restaurants. An impressive 60 restaurants will offer deals this year, making it the largest (and most diverse) Restaurant Week in the city’s history.

And as an added bonus this year, local breweries will be offering specialty brews designed specifically for the event. It’s clear that in Huntsville, food is a big deal.

So get ready for a marathon week of enjoying some of the best cuisine the city has to offer!

What kind of deals can you get?

Great question. Participating restaurants have been asked to offer at least one of the specially priced menu options:

  • Lunch Specials – $10 or $15 featuring two courses
  • Dinner Specials – $10, $20, $30, and $40 with three courses
  • Bonus Bites – This category features establishments that do not offer lunch or dinner but will participate by giving discounts on desserts, appetizers, or smaller bites.

Click here to view the entire list of participants in the 2017 Huntsville Restaurant Week.

We had to try out a few for ourselves!

With all of this much-deserved hype, a few of us at Crunkleton set out to try some specials. (And we will be trying more as the week goes on.) What we discovered were some of the most mouth-watering dishes we’ve ever tasted.

Church Street Wine Shoppe

The deal – $15 Food and Wine pairing. Options include Guacamole & Belle Chevre Dip, Basil Pesto Flatbread, Barbecue Chicken Flatbread or Summer Salad. One of those items will be paired with a wine choice of Leap of Faith Corbieres or Mode de Vie.

We couldn’t help it—we ordered it all! It’s impossible to decide between Barbecue Chicken and Basil Pesto, after all. And the guacamole almost stole the show! With a generous helping of Belle Chevre atop, every bite was extra creamy and flavorful.

But the Summer Salad was nothing to be ignored. The fresh slices of watermelon and heirloom tomatoes were perfectly paired with the Mode de Vie. Speaking of wine, the selections were outstanding, as well.

The Mode de Vie White Blend is from the Languedoc region of France and is making its world debut at Church Street Wine Shop. At the moment, it’s an exclusive offering of the restaurant made by local Huntsvillian Bjoern Lanwer.

And let’s not forget the red wine, Leap of Faith. Another creation of Bjoern, this wine comes from the Corbieres region of France and is also making its world debut. Be sure to check out the artwork on the bottle. It was designed by Kevin LePrince who broke fundraising records at the Huntsville Museum of Art as their featured artist, selling over 20 paintings in one night.

Church Street Wine Shoppe is the perfect place to get something fresh and filling this week. And be sure to ask for the guacamole.

Mason Dixon Bakery and Bistro

The deal – $15 “Steve Martin” jerked chicken sandwich with grilled pineapple, lime aioli, and smoked jicama slaw. (For a vegan option, substitute jerked portabella in place of chicken) with a choice of side salad (house, Caesar or cucumber) and a choice of fresh baked cupcake.

Have you ever seen the Steve Martin movie “The Jerk”? Mason Dixon loved the 1979 classic so much that they named a sandwich after it. It IS jerked chicken, after all. Along with its clever name comes a bold, sweet, and savory taste.

It wasn’t difficult to devour the entire thing, and the pineapple and jicama slaw balanced out the flavors perfectly.

If you’re in need of a gluten free option this week, look no further. The team at Mason Dixon will make your wishes come true.

Honest Coffee Roasters

The deal – $10 ANY Acai Bowl paired with ANY Specialty drink

Honest Coffee Roasters has become a popular spot for hanging out, having business meetings, and catching up with friends. And it’s located in the heart of Downtown Huntsville. Yes, you can get some wonderful specialty coffee there, but locals are falling in love with their acai bowls too.

This week only, Honest Coffee will offer two items that are not normally found on the menu. Introducing the Sunset Spritzer and Midnight Maqui Bowl!

This sweet, salty, and very filling bowl is just what we needed on a busy Monday morning. The Midnight Maqui Bowl features dried cherries, pretzels, bananas, cherries, honey, salt, and maqui powder. Maqui is a super fruit that is growing in popularity and packed full of antioxidants.

And the Sunset Spritzer is the coffee shop’s version of a cherry soda—delightful!

There are also other specialty drinks to choose from including the Twickenham Tea Latte, Ninth Green, and Peach Please. Why not try them all?

Of course, this is only a VERY small sampling of what is available this week. (If we had time we’d definitely try them all!) We hope everyone has a chance this week to investigate the unbelievable culinary scene in Huntsville.

Oh, remember to take plenty of food pictures and tag them with #DineHSV. You just might win a prize!

 Is there a special you are excited to try or a restaurant we should go check out this week? We love suggestions. Let us know in the comments below!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Inquiring Minds Behavioral And Developmental Services Opens Its Doors

“When one of my relatives was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, he began early intervention therapy,” said Vasuda Bangalore, Owner and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Inquiring Minds Behavioral and Developmental Services.

“After seeing the positive difference it made in his life, I knew I wanted to dedicate my time and energy to offering the same type of support through Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy.”

Being a part of the growth and success of children on the spectrum is something that has always been near to Vasuda’s heart. When she saw a need for these types of services in Huntsville, it motivated her to open a clinic and become a resource for children who could benefit from ABA.

What Is Inquiring Minds?

Inquiring Minds is a new outpatient clinic that serves the needs of children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related developmental disabilities. With a goal of helping their clients thrive independently, the clinic offers a wide array of services for both children and their families/caregivers.

“Improving the life of someone on the spectrum can involve many things,” said Vasuda. “Social skills, learning how to dress, communication skills, and potty training—all these fall into our scope of therapy. We want to give our clients the tools to succeed on their own and live a confident, self-sufficient life.”

The needs of individual clients between the ages of 6 months to 21 years can vary. This requires Vasuda and her team to always be on top of their game and maintain continuing education and training.

“All therapists at Inquiring Minds are required to complete a rigorous 40-hour training program, pass an in-house competency test, and complete a competency test that’s credentialed by the Behavior Analysts Certification Board (BACB),” said Vasuda. “This applies to incoming therapists with prior certifications and experience in the field to help maintain accuracy and consistency.”

“We do monthly checks with therapists to make sure therapy is running efficiently,” she said. “I provide ongoing supervision and training weekly, as well.”

Because the team at Inquiring Minds believes therapy should be available to everyone, they offer services not only at the clinic but also in-home and in the community.

“Sometimes we travel up to 30 miles from the clinic to provide our services,” she said. “That includes Arab, Athens, Brownsboro, Decatur, Florence, Gurley, Hampton Cove, Hartselle, Harvest, Hazel Green, Madison, Meridianville, and New Market. If we believe we can make an impact, we will make it happen.”

Opening A Clinic

As a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vasuda was eager to pursue her dream of working in the medical field. She found her calling when she discovered ABA therapy and began working toward her bachelor’s in psychology. This led to her earning a master’s in psychometrics at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and obtaining her board certification as a behavior analyst (BCBA).

After discovering the need for additional ABA therapy in the Huntsville area, Vasuda began the process of opening her own clinic. In June, the doors at Inquiring Minds officially opened at the Crestwood Women’s Center located at 185 Chateau Drive.

“We have grown a lot faster than anyone anticipated,” said Vasuda. “Already, I have hired six additional Registered Behavior Technicians—RBTs for short—and an office manager. Our speedy growth solidified that there is a need for our services in the area, and we are more than thrilled to offer it to the best of our ability.”

As the clinic grows, Vasuda plans to add more staff to ensure additional one-on-one therapy time and attention to individual clients.

“We hire based on enrollment,” said Vasuda. “The typical case load for a consultant is anywhere from 8-15 children max. We are already growing past that. The staff I work with is incredible and everyone is a team player. The passion for what we are trying to accomplish is astounding.”

The business also attracted the attention of a local college, and a unique opportunity was presented to Inquiring Minds upon its opening.

“A partnership with the University of Alabama in Huntsville just kind of fell into my lap,” said Vasuda. “It has allowed us to be yet another option for children looking for therapy and training.”

The team currently offers after-school therapy and consulting for the PALS (Preschool Autism Language & Social Skills) program at the RISE School in addition to their day-to-day operations.

The Inquiring Minds Mission:

 “We aim to deliver exceptional, comprehensive, and culturally-sensitive, one-on-one care through education, acceptance, and evidence-based interventions to enhance the well-being and lifestyle of individuals and families living with autism and related developmental disorders.”

Becoming A Resource

More than anything else, Vasuda said that Inquiring Minds wants to be a resource for anyone looking for ABA services.

“Never be afraid to reach out and see how you can help improve the life of your child or loved one,” said Vasuda. “If we can’t provide the appropriate service, we will point you to someone in the area who can. There are many options out there, and we are here to help you find them.”

For more information on Inquiring Minds, click here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

 Contact Vasuda and the team directly by email at admin@inquiringmindsbds.com.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Construction Update: The Avenue

Recently, we announced the addition of three new tenants that will join Church Street Purveyor at The Avenue in Downtown Huntsville—Scout & Molly’s Boutique, Soda Jerk, and Zoom Indoor Cycling. We wanted to give you a quick update on the progress of these exciting businesses coming to the Rocket City.

Scout & Molly’s construction is mostly finished and owner Lori Mullins announced via Facebook on July 27th that the shop would be opening within 30 days! We can’t wait to see the beautiful inventory that will soon be on the shelves.

Be sure to follow Scout & Molly’s Downtown Huntsville location on Facebook and Instagram to get additional updates on the opening!

Church Street Purveyor has a gorgeous space with intricate architecture and stunning details already coming together. The restaurant will offer a unique dining experience where you can take your food and wine pairings to the next level. Church Street Purveyor is scheduled to open mid to late September.

Construction at Zoom Indoor Cycling is moving along fast. It’s going to be a wonderfully built fitness space with spa-grade amenities and plenty of room for high-energy, exhilarating classes. Owners Justin and Cara Goodman said they plan to have a soft-opening in September. Be sure to join Zoom’s mailing list to lock in pre-opening rates, which will be their lowest ever! Check out Zoom Huntsville’s official website where you can subscribe to opening updates and more.

One more update:

  • Soda Jerk is a new eatery created by restaurateur Tom Sheffer that will offer quintessential American fare and a selection of craft beer, cocktails, and wines. As construction moves forward, we will continue to give updates on when you can get your hands on this delectable food made with uptown ingredients and a downtown vibe.

Remember, we still have a few spaces left! If you’re a retail business that’s interested in joining the shops at The Avenue, contact Wesley Crunkleton or Anusha Alapati to take the first steps in bringing your concept to Downtown Huntsville.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Elitaire Boutique Nominated For 2017 Emerging Small Business Of The Year

On August 15th, the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber will honor the success of small businesses and individuals that have made an impact on the community with an Awards Celebration. One of the contenders, Elitaire Boutique, was nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The women’s boutique opened in October 2016 at The Garage at Clinton Row and has quickly grown into a Downtown Huntsville favorite. The shop’s success is evident as it reached another milestone—a nomination for one of the Chamber’s prestigious awards.

We recently sat down with Kayla Adams, owner of the elegant boutique, to discuss the nomination, coming events at the shop, and what she thinks makes for a winning business.

How does it feel to be nominated for this award?

We are very humbled, excited, nervous—all of these feelings! But ultimately, we are grateful and honored to be nominated alongside all the other fabulous small businesses. Being a finalist is already a win for us.

Tell me a bit about the 2017 Small Business Awards.

Like I said, just being nominated is a big deal to us. Every year, the Chamber honors businesses in several categories; we were nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The 32nd Annual Small Business Awards Celebration will happen at the Von Braun Center on August 15th. I am really looking forward to honoring the amazing businesses that have thrived in the Huntsville area. Everyone is a winner in my book.

What do you believe makes for a successful business?

First and foremost, I believe that you have to offer excellent customer service. Without our customers’ support, we wouldn’t have made it past the first day. Providing them with our absolute best is something we continually strive for.

Secondly, you need an amazing, unique product offering. All of our brands are new to the Huntsville area. We want customers to be able to find something exquisite and exclusive without sacrificing style or quality.

And last, but not least, I truly believe in community over competition. This is the mindset in which my husband and I have built Elitaire. It’s also the second reason why our brands are new to the area. As a small business owner, I don’t want to carry a brand that is already being represented in Huntsville by another small business.

I focus on providing something different and giving our customers more shopping options in our city. By doing this, we are also able to refer our customers out to other stellar, local boutiques in Huntsville. This encourages them to keep shopping local.

What do you think customers love about your shop?

I think our customers love our store because it offers women the chance to find their own sophisticated style and feel beautiful—but with unique, high-quality clothing you can’t find anywhere else in town.

We will always be a store that is classic and sophisticated, but we love adding an unexpected, eclectic edge that makes our customers feel avant-garde. We want our customers to leave with a certain “je ne sais quoi” they can’t find anywhere else.

Speaking of customers, do you have any events lined up for them in the near future?

Yes! We are having a free pop-up yoga event coming up on the last Saturday in July. It’s a great way to unwind in a beautiful space with friends. We offered the same event earlier this year and it was a huge success.

In the Fall, we will also have jewelry trunk shows. And stay tuned for a fashion show (or two)! We have a few other surprises up our sleeves that I can’t announce quite yet, but just know it will be an experience you won’t normally find in a retail store.

You said you have several unique brands available. Are there any you’d like to highlight?

I come from a nonprofit background, so it’s very important to me that we give back in any way we can—we do that through our “Purpose Brands” that we carry in the store and online.

The Shine Project

The first is called The Shine Project. This nonprofit helps America’s inner-city youth become first-generation college graduates. These students not only make the jewelry, bags, and screen-printed tees we carry, but they also help in the design and selling process. They even answer the phone when I call customer service! These kids are learning excellent communication skills and work ethic that will help with employment in the future.

FashionABLE

Another “Purpose Brand” we carry is called FashionABLE. Their motto is, “It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women.”

This is the gap that FashionABLE has been helping—women who have been victims of extreme poverty, abuse, and human trafficking in Nashville, Ethiopia, and Peru. These women hand-make beautiful pieces of jewelry, leather goods, and clothing—and they are all original.

E.S.CO

E.S.CO is owned by Emma Steelman who is a local, self-taught silversmith and artist. She hand-makes each piece of jewelry out of silver or gold and also uses hand-selected real stones in her design. You will never find two pieces that are alike.

We feel it’s important to support local artists and businesses, and we are always looking to showcase that talent in our store.

What do you love about your job?

Honestly, I love everything about it. But I love my customers the most. The people I am able to meet through this career and the relationships that have grown from it are priceless to me.

We love to provide customers with the best shopping experience possible, so we will always be listening and adapting to what they want while providing our best customer service.

You will always be greeted with a smile when you walk into Elitaire Boutique.

Check out the FULL LIST of award contenders here.

 And stay tuned to Elitaire’s Facebook page for more updates from the shop. Or follow them on Instagram @elitaireboutique.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM