Friend’s of Kirkwood: Irondale Cafe

By Lauren Sanderlin | Publish Date October 21, 2020

This summer and fall we set off on an endeavor to bring some light into the lives of seniors all over Birmingham through delivering a free hot meal right to their doorstep. We know how hard this season has been for so many, especially the older population, when it comes to nourishing yourself properly. It has been difficult and, in cases, unsafe to go to the grocery store or to venture out to a restaurant and when you are unable to cook or just fatigued from having to make every meal in your kitchen, meals can be a real source of sadness and anxiety rather than joy and nourishment. Our hope is that by taking care of one meal, folks can reflect on the things in this life that bring joy and thankfulness rather than the hardships being faced!

Irondale Cafe has been our partner restaurant for these weekly meal deliveries and we could not do it without them! The doors of The Irondale Cafe – Original Whistlestop were first opened in 1928 as a hot dog stand and their history is absolutely fascinating. You can read about it on their website here. Jim Dolan is the current owner and has been for 20 years! He and the folks at the cafe are fantastic at what they do and committed to their cafe. They have been dependable and delicious with every meal we order. They are as dedicated to serving the community as we are and we are just so thankful for their dedication and hard work in this season! Be sure to stop by their adorable cafe for lunch sometime!


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

My only regret is that I didn’t move here sooner with my late husband. We would have loved living here together. It would have been perfect for us to travel without the responsibilities of a home.

Nell Mehaffey Current Resident

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

We love that Kirkwood isn’t only church affiliated, but faith is a very prominent, important part of the community. To us, there just couldn’t be a better place.

Bob Tate Current Resident

If you asked me, I would say it gets better every year!

Robbie Sevier Former Resident of 37 Years

We’re a family. We really are a family.

Bet Kesmodel Current Resident