Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

West Alabama Food and Wine Festival Returns to Hotel Capstone on Thursday

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

West Alabama Food and Wine Festival Returns to Hotel Capstone on Thursday

Article excerpt

For its third incarnation Thursday, the West Alabama Food and Wine Festival moves back to the Hotel Capstone, even though the second saw great numbers in 2014 at the Cypress Inn.

"We didn't want this to be known simply as the hotel's event, so we moved it for year two," said Bev Leigh II, a festival committee member and former executive director of the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross, which serves eight counties and will benefit from the event's proceeds.

Future festivals might find other homes.

"But the hotel's just completed a major remodeling of its ballroom and entrance, carpet, paint and lighting, and frankly, Peter (Schmidt, the event founder and food and beverage manager for Hotel Capstone) wanted to show it off," Leigh said.

It's also more economical to use the hotel, which isn't charging for ballroom rental, setups or labor, which means more benefit for the Red Cross. The 2013 inaugural festival made about $8,450, and the 2014 version raised that donation total by 20 percent, Leigh said.

"Cypress is a pretty venue, but they were a little expensive for us," Leigh said. "We've got to be good stewards of the dollar."

Tickets will be capped at 400, so the various food, wine and beer suppliers can plan ahead.

"We don't want to abuse them, because they're providing their food, their servers and setups, as a gift," Leigh said.

There'll be stations for local and other craft brews from Druid City Brewing Co. and Loosa Brews, five tables for wine tasting and samples off menus of some of the city's finest and most popular dining venues, featuring, alphabetically, Another Broken Egg Cafe, Avenue Pub, Cypress Inn, DePalma's Italian Cafe, Epiphany, Evangeline's, Hotel Capstone, Jim 'N Nick's, Kozy's Restaurant, Mary's Cakes and Pastries, Southern Ale House, Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe and the Levee Bar and Grill.

Thursday's festival also includes live music, a cash bar and a silent auction.

Tres Jackson is bringing his Epiphany back for the second year. …

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