Upscale American Cuisine
A restaurant unique to our Community
In the spring of 2019, in less than one minute, a dream came to life. Sylvia Smith and Ephraim Kadish, spotted the 86 yr old Armory in Foley, Alabama, occupied then as the Old Antique Mall. After nearly 2 years of searching for the perfect location and property, this was the right one, with no doubt. Local and Company Food+Drink would become a reality! The first challenge was to figure out how to covert this old concrete block structure into being a property the community could be proud of, and become a part of a great restaurant and gathering place for the locals.
She was built in 1934 by The Civil Works Administration, a short-lived job creation program established during the Great Depression to rapidly create mostly manual-labor jobs for millions of unemployed workers. The jobs were temporary, for the duration of the hard winter of 1933–34. President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the CWA on November 8, 1933. In only 2 years, CWA workers laid 12 million feet of sewer pipe and built or improved 255,000 miles of roads, 40,000 schools, 3,700 playgrounds, and nearly 1,000 airports, and the old Armory in Foley, Alabama. You guessed it, not a single wall is square, nor is the floor level or flat, but she's still a beauty!
The design and decor, by Sylvia Smith and Ephraim Kadish, is industrial chic, and was given its personality and interest by embracing the existing steel and concrete elements, then combining those with reclaimed woods, and adding mid-century, soft velvet, semi-circle sofas and cozy banquette seating with comfortable cushions. Tables and chairs are a mixture of elegance and handcrafted barn-wood. Carefully selected lighting sets the mood, as does the arch windows of the dimly lit wine cellar. The beautifully restored concrete floors, in ivory and light gray, reflect light, and shadows of movement. The large restrooms, originally the weaponry and ammunitions bunkers for the infantry, were preserved as much as possible, revealing the security bars in the interior windows. However, the ladies restroom was redesigned with a much more feminine flair; and ladies, you just have to see it!
The beautiful bar in the lounge area was designed and built by a local artist, Nick Bottjer, who works with Marksman Precision in Foley, Alabama. It began by tossing around ideas of a steel mezzanine above the bar to house the heating and air conditioning, and then the question was how to soften the mood. Sylvia and Ephraim, met with Nick and the team at Marksman; Jason Savage and Daniel Eastburn. We decided on natural woods and softly lit resin, and then Nick went to work on the months-long project. Perfectly located near the private dining room and the back entrance, the bar is a beautiful example of the talents and creativity that is abundant in this small Alabama town. The “community” designed bar is a gathering place, and the heart of the social experience, where handcrafted cocktails, and freshly squeezed fruit juices are included in the full set-up of alcohol, beer and wine. It’s the bar where everyone feels welcome, introducing the guests to other guests and creating a gathering place and warm hospitality for our local friends.
With the advantage of unusually high ceilings and great bones, we feel very privileged to have reclaimed a well-known, history-filled building in a growing city, and changed its use, elevated its stature, and created a community servicing restaurant with great food, in a fun, casual atmosphere. Local and Company was created from the desire to have a great restaurant in a local community where the attention to upscale dining had primarily been placed in the tourist areas of Baldwin county. A seasonal restaurant was not something the partners wanted, because beautifully presented, delicious food comes from a highly skilled staff who are not eliminated from the team when tourist season ends, but instead they become part of the family.
After an extensive renovation, and preserving every detail of her architectural character possible, Local and Company Food+Drink, has become a shining star in the community. A full service, upscale American cuisine restaurant with a comfortable, welcoming dining experience. This is a restaurant creatively designed for the locals, their family and friends; all, who are our guests.
Chef Ira Gallon, who worked under chefs such as Ephraim Kadish, and also well known, Charlie Palmer & Bradley Ogden, directs the delicious scratch kitchen, where the bread, mozzarella cheese and even the sesame crackers are handcrafted. Our menu will delight those seeking a light lunch, or those who want to venture out and try something new. A thoughtfully curated wine list selected to share a few tried and true favorites, but more-so to give the local community an opportunity to explore something new from the smaller, handcrafted wineries.
We are here for community. Join us and enjoy.