Paget Pizitz knows good food. She and business partner Harriet Reis found rousing success in Birmingham with their ever-popular food truck Melt, known for making the city’s best grilled cheese. Already the proud owner of a standout brick and mortar in Avondale that goes by the same name, Paget is about to delight Magic City food lovers yet again with her latest culinary endeavor — Fancys on Fifth. Find out what Paget has cooking and why she loves Avondale.
What inspired you to open Melt?
I always wanted to open a restaurant, and I knew that eventually I would find the right space and the right business partner.
How will Fancys on Fifth be different from Melt?
Fancys on Fifth will have more libations, a bigger bar and a larger outside dining area. We will still be family-friendly, but service will run a little later. We will be serving burgers and oysters, both raw and cooked.
Did you name Fancys for Reba McEntire’s “Fancy”? (Please say “yes.”)
Fancys is named for Miss Fancy, the elephant that roamed Avondale Zoo back in the ‘30s. When Miss Fancy was sick, the trainer would give her “elephant medicine” which, of course, was bourbon. Miss Fancy is a famous lady in Avondale, so we wanted to represent her tradition.
How did you decide to open businesses in Avondale?
Avondale is the perfect place for us. As Harriet said when we first toured the area, “The tree-lined streets and the sidewalks appeal to all walks of life!” I really love Avondale. Like I said, it appeals to everyone — families, young, old, folks with kids, people who want to stay out late and party or those who want an afternoon snack on a warm day.
What is your favorite part of being so integral to Avondale?
Avondale is so eclectic. It feels like a city unto itself. I could not imagine being anywhere else. When you own restaurants and bars, and spend all if your time at work, it’s nice to be in a place that looks and feels like home.
Paget plans to open Fancys in March, beginning with dinner service before moving to lunch as well. Both Fancys and Melt will be open five days a week. The restaurants are closed Sunday and Monday so staff can get some much-needed R&R.