Hurricane Refugees Open Restaurant in BHM

Eighteen months ago, we learned the story of Greg and Kathy Stein.

This couple, friends of Emily Johnson, had moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands to realize their dream of opening a restaurant. Before long, The Thirsty Donkey was up and running. But then, like so much of the island in 2017, the restaurant was destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

SAM employees showed their support for Emily’s friends who had lost everything, purchasing chocolate bars that benefited the couple and donating shout-outs to Emily on the Steins’ behalf. While the couple had suffered an incredible loss, it was clear they had a community back in Birmingham that was eager to help.

Fast forward a year and a half, and the Steins are back on their feet. With this new announcement, they’ve proven they’re not letting tragedy keep them from their passion.

This spring, The Thirsty Donkey is set to open in Birmingham’s Avondale district. The restaurant and bar will serve island-themed drinks alongside an eclectic menu that will cater to a wide array of diets, including vegan and vegetarian. The Steins plan to offer burgers and wings along with island seafood and small plates at affordable prices.

“Their building in St. John is still in reconstruction limbo, so they decided to re-open in Birmingham instead,” Emily said. “They’ll be in the old Rowe’s Service Station space with a tentative opening date of May 1. I’m super excited about it!”

Make sure to keep an eye out for Avondale’s newest eatery this spring. Sample island cuisine, and see for yourself what happens when you persevere even in the face of disaster.