Urban Cookhouse, Joe Hudson Collision Center, new Taco Bell location coming to Cullman

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Concept drawing of what Urban Cookhouse will look like when completed (Courtesy of Riley Stewart)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman will soon have a couple of new businesses and a new location for an old favorite. Urban Cookhouse, Joe Hudson Collision Center and a new Taco Bell location all hope to be open by the end of 2020.

Urban Cookhouse is giving a modern facelift to an existing building along U.S. Highway 31, just north of Captain D’s, in what was once Cullman’s first fast food restaurant in the 1960s, an original Jack’s Hamburgers.

Cullman County native Riley Stewart is the franchise partner for the Cullman location of Urban Cookhouse and is excited to bring its “farm-to-fire-to-table” concept to Cullman.

“It’s fast casual dining. We serve anything from shrimp and grits to steak and rice plates, to soups, salads and sandwiches; we’ve got a bunch of good desserts,” said Stewart. “We focus on local crops from local farmers. We try to pull from everything here.”

In Alabama, Urban Cookhouse has locations at Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville and in Birmingham, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. Opening of the Cullman location was planned for May, but was set back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new plan is to be open in September.

Stewart said of his decision to open a location in Cullman: “I bought the territory to put one in Florence, but I decided I wanted to build one here first and see how it goes. Plus, it’s my hometown and I always wanted to do something here.”

He added, “The food is great, and honestly, that’s the only reason I’ve done it- plus, I grew up in, and my family was all farmers from, Holly Pond. It supports local, and I like to eat healthy; we cook everything on the Green Egg, other than the flattop for the chicken, but it’s just a neat environment. It’s a neat setup.”

According to Urban Cookhouse online, “We use the freshest ingredients available with an emphasis on supporting the local farmer. We not only buy local produce for use in our kitchen, but we also sponsor and manage an annual local farmer’s market at each Urban Cookhouse location. Our meats are prepared on the Big Green Egg using local hickory wood and lump charcoal allowing our pork, steak, shrimp and turkey to be packed with flavor without the added fat.”

Urban Cookhouse will also have beer and wine on its menu. There will be a large patio with outdoor lighting, cornhole and televisions for a fun casual night out.

An existing building along U.S. Highway 31 North is being renovated to house Urban Cookhouse, a “farm-to-fire-to-table” restaurant. (Courtesy of Riley Stewart)

A new Taco Bell is currently under construction in King Edward Plaza in south Cullman near Buffalo Wild Wings. The Taco Bell at the intersection of Cherokee Avenue and Graham Street will move into the new building when construction is complete.

Jason Grimmett, vice president of administration and development for Drinkard Development, said in a statement, “On behalf of the entire Drinkard team, we are pleased to have executed a deal with Tacala, LLC., to construct a new prototype Taco Bell as a part of the continued redevelopment of the King Edward Plaza Shopping Center. This would be replacing the current Taco Bell located on Cherokee Ave. The new Taco Bell is expected to be open and operating within the next four-five months.”

On the north end of town near the Alabama Highway 157 and U.S. Highway 31 intersection, Joe Hudson Collision Center is also under construction. Joe Hudson Collision Center is based out of Montgomery and has been in business since 1989.

Traywick Dickson, vice president of real estate and acquisitions for Joe Hudson, said, “We are particularly excited about Cullman because we have had a strong presence in Huntsville, Decatur and south Tennessee and we’ve been noticing over the years just all the growth going on in Cullman. It’s just a good fit for us.”

Dickson added, “While we’ve got several shops, we pride ourselves on being a community-based body shop.”

Early fall is the hoped-for completion date for the new Joe Hudson Collision Center. It will be located along Hwy. 157 next door to Peoples Bank, across from Marvin’s.

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