When you drive down 3rd Avenue on the way to the Market at Pepper Place on a Saturday morning, or head downtown for a show and a bite to eat, you may never have noticed the unassuming building tucked between Frontera and Hop City.
What used to be the Birmingham Blueprint Company headquarters had been vacant for several years, until recently becoming part of Pepper Place. Since then it has served as the base of operations for Design Week Birmingham in 2015 and occasionally as an event space. The bare brick walls, exposed beams, and concrete floors lend themselves to a refined industrial aesthetic that’s distinct to Pepper Place. And now this one-of-a-kind building has a new permanent resident.
Scheduled to open on May 1st, Blueprint on 3rd—or B3 as it’s come to be called—is the latest dining endeavor of Dean Robb. A storied industry veteran, Robb has worked with Pardis and Frank Stitt at the Bottega Restaurant & Cafe, opened DoDiYos Greek Restaurant in Homewood, and has worked as the vice president of company operations at Taziki’s, Inc. in Birmingham, Atlanta and Richmond.
B3 will be something of a departure from his previous efforts, keeping Robb close to home and allowing him to tap into his love of 1920s art-deco architecture and his love of refined Southern food. According to the Birmingham Business Journal, “its spring menu this year will include starters such as Cowboy Oyster shooter ala Dikta’s Chicago, Fried mirlitons with shrimp, sausage hollandaise, and Steamed mussels Ponchartrain with wild mushrooms. Main dishes will include a San Francisco ‘Hangtown fry, Shrimp & chicken Étouffée with grits ala Pepper Place, and Carpet bag steak with oysters, asparagus & hollandaise.”
As Robb steps into this new chapter of his career, he reflects with the BBJ on what has made him successful, and on what’s made him happy:
“You just need to do what’s right and take care of people – understand that what we do for a living is feeding people and enjoying, sharing Southern hospitality with them, and just having fun with it. And so, when it becomes just all about the business of it, it’s much less interesting to me.”
Blueprint on 3rd will be open dinner only Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The bar will be open from 4 p.m. until “the crowd dissipates,” Robb said. The restaurant will be available for private parties or events on Sundays.