The founders, Bryan and Lee Finison put a high priority on family first with four active children. The Finison’s find themselves regularly at a dance competition, football field, soccer field, baseball field or basketball arena. Regardless of the location whether locally at Sokol Park, Kentuck, high school facilities, or traveling to an AAU basketball tournament, families just like The Finison’s need great local food that kids of all ages can enjoy and agree upon. Families need short wait times, activities before, during and after a meal, and places where group size does not matter. Not only does group size not matter but the duration of the stay must be variable. If a sports team is between games or just hanging around until the next day, the team and parents need a place to hang out. When multiple families hang out, they want to move the tables to put kids together and adults together without asking a server or making a reservation.
Families rarely agree where to eat. Come to the Venue with at least five unique options to choose from with menu items for all ages. Eat from any of the restaurants all at the same table. Then when the kids finish early, send them to Liza’s for a little after meal ice cream or just out into the grassy area to play some corn hole or life size connect 4.
Local is the key word around The Venue, whether it’s the area high schools’ sports teams, jam band, or art show. The Venue wants locals to see local talent. The greater Tuscaloosa region is proud of its diverse talent base from athletes to musicians to artists. Check out our schedule to find the Coca-Cola Tent featuring art shows from local schools or the stage showcasing local dancers or choirs.
The Venue sits on a five-acre piece of land shared by Tree House Farm & Nursery, a botanical garden styled Garden Center that features a gift shop, garden shop, house plants, landscaping plants, pottery, fountains, yard art and everything in between. Enjoy an ice cream treat from Liza’s Sweet Shoppe while you peruse the grounds at Tree House!
The Venue setting features three buildings, a stage and a permanent tent enclosing a grass courtyard. Entering the breezeway of The Venue from the parking lot, you will find to your right Liza’s Sweet Shoppe and to your left Finny’s Pub. As you continue into the grass courtyard, the stage sits to your left while to the far right is a large 200-person permanent tent. Finally, the back building houses five restaurants. The intent of the setup is to enjoy the outside with food, family and drinks with entertaining items in the middle of the property.
There are some unique stories with the building materials as they bring some real Tuscaloosa history. In 1959 Leland Lanes Bowling Alley was built. 62 years later the relics from the bowling alley will show up in The Venue as tables and benches. Leland Lanes was a staple in the community for many years until 2020. A new chapter in Tuscaloosa’s history book has started at The Venue and it’s only fitting to include a past chapter in the book.
Other building materials include reclaimed doors and flooring from a home appearing in Southern Living. The home built in the 50’s was featured in a 2004 Edition of Southern Living for its one of a kind outdoor living area and other features. The article was reprinted 5 times making it one of the most reprinted articles in Southern Living history. You can find reclaimed flooring as the walls in Finny’s Pub and walls in the various restaurants. The doors from the home are now windows in Liza’s Sweet Shoppe and Finny’s Pub.