- Associated Press - Sunday, May 11, 2014

SHEFFIELD, Ala. (AP) - Danny Hardeman is bullish on Sheffield.

As a real estate developer, he took a chance on an old downtown building that now houses four upscale apartments and two retail spaces on the ground floor.

That was five years ago. Today, Hardeman is in the process of completing the renovation of another empty downtown building and is in the beginning stages of renovating a third. He said he has his eyes on a fourth building

“What I’ve got over there is working,” Hardeman said. “I’m doing good with it, so I might as well go forward. People are loyal in downtown Sheffield. If you’ve got what they want, they will come and give you a shot.”

Based on the amount of activity going on, Hardeman is not the only person taking advantage of available property in downtown Sheffield.

Two new restaurants have opened in the past few months and a third is in the works. Hardeman said a restaurant could open in the building he’s renovating next to Lola’s Gifts and Flowers.

Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford said Craig Goode has reopened his popular Craig’s Cafe & Gator Grill at the old Steak & Stuff location in the Muscle Shoals Music Hall Building at 414 N. Montgomery Avenue. Goode operated the Cajun and Creole themed restaurant in Florence several years ago.

Sanford said Steak & Stuff is moving into a suite at the small shopping center on Cox Boulevard in front of Stonebrook Apartments.

In March, Jack Richardson opened his second Homeside Restaurant next door to Nan’s in Hardeman’s building on Montgomery Avenue. Richardson also operates the Homeside Restaurant in Petersville.

“I want to open a total of five,” Richardson said.

The restaurant specializes in fish and home cooking.

He said Sheffield was the logical place for his second restaurant.

Sheffield didn’t have a meat-and-three or a good fish place to eat at,” Richardson said. “We wanted to bring our brand of good food to people here.”

Richardson said he had a lot of customers from Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia who patronized his Petersville restaurant.

“I own a produced business in Sheffield already,” Richardson said. “I was in Sheffield already so I brought the restaurant to Sheffield, too.”

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