FloBama wins praise for musical variety

by Associate Life Editor Hannah Zimmer

Music lovers can get their groove on at FloBama, which readers voted the best music venue in the Shoals, coming ahead of 116 E. Mobile (21.3 percent) and The Mane Room (16.4 percent).

The restaurant opened in the community six years ago and has been entertaining music lovers for just as long.

Robin Blackwood, general manager, said owners Bart and Drew Davis decided to make FloBama a venue where community members could come and listen to music.

“Even though the Shoals has such a huge music history, there wasn’t a family-friendly place for people to come to eat and hear music,” Blackwood said.

FloBama has showcased musicians such as Billy Bob Thornton, Gary Nichols and David Allen Coe. FloBama’s Facebook page updates regularly with a list of all future performances.

“Our owner, Drew Davis, tries to cover a large demographic when he chooses which performers come to the restaurant,” Blackwood said.

The restaurant also has opportunities for less experienced performers, including karaoke every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and open mic nights Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

FloBama is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., so there is a large window of opportunity for people to check out the food and music.

Junior Sumeet Kapoor said he thinks despite the ranking of best music venue, FloBama is primarily for the older crowd.

“It’s a bar where old people hang most of the time, but sometimes on the weekends, it’s a pretty fun venue,” Kapoor said.

Blackwood said one of the goals of the restaurant is to be a venue for all people. She said lunchtime is a blend of people, old and young. At dinner, Blackwood said the crowd tends to be family-oriented or older people, but young adults, including students, stay at FloBama during the late hours.

“We carry on to a full stage (after dinner) for late-night hours,” Blackwood said. “We transition to a 25-to-40-year-old crowd for late-night performances.”

As for the food, readers can buy wings, barbecue, chicken and ribs while listening to music.

“I would suggest the smoked wings because nobody else in Florence has them,” Blackwood said.

Readers can go to FloBama’s Facebook page to pick an artist to go listen to at this year’s best music venue.