By Emily Williams
While numerous restaurants and businesses have closed doors during the coronavirus pandemic, Terrill and Ashley Brazelton have been working hard to open theirs.
When the Vestavia Hills couple opens Troup’s Pizza this week in Cahaba Heights, they will be sticking to curbside service and a limited menu.
Troup’s has taken over the space formerly occupied by Wintzell’s Oyster house in the Heights Village, and will serve pizza, salads, wings and sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients.
When looking for a location for Terrill to share his love of making pizzas, the Brazeltons said Cahaba Heights was a natural choice for a great family pizza joint.
Once the community transitions beyond social distancing, the restaurant will offer counter service only with an emphasis on to-go and grab-and-go options.
“We feel like counter service is the next direction in food service,” Terrill said. “We knew that fast casual is a hot trend and, by embracing technology, we could give our customers the options to grab it and go or stay a while and hang out somewhere fun.”
The Brazeltons will also offer “make-it-at-home” pizza kits, which will include fresh dough, sauce and toppings. Troup’s also offers instructional videos for these kits on its website, troupspizza.com.
Though the Brazeltons aren’t new to restaurants, Troup’s will be the first establishment that is all their own.
In 2002, the couple took over the Open Door Cafe, which was located in Crestline Park, after the death of owner Robert Hawkins, one of Terrill’s close friends.
Years later, Terrill was invited to help create “chef inspired pizzas” for Slice Pizza & Brewhouse, which earned him much acclaim locally and nationally.
“Despite everything going on, this was the fastest opening of a restaurant I have ever seen,” Terrill said. “It took less than 120 days to get our doors open, albeit, not in the way we had originally envisioned it. The whole experience is a whirlwind of activity and emotions. That part is the same no matter who or where you are.”
From start to finish, building Troup’s has been all about family, starting with the name. Troup has been included in the names of Terrill’s great-grandfather, grandfather and father.
“The name ‘Troup’ just struck a chord with me as a way to honor the men who got us to this point,” Terrill said. “Dad would either love it or be embarrassed, either way this one’s for him and my family.”
Family ties can be found throughout the menu, he said. Nana’s Meatballs are inspired by Ashley’s mother, the simple grilled cheese is for his son and the Betty was his mother’s favorite salad.
The Troup is based on his father’s favorite sandwich, originally served, “at a little Italian deli right down the street from his office in Pasadena,” where Terrill spent his childhood.
The restaurant is also an opportunity for the Brazeltons to share something with their children.
Terrill said his children will be working at the restaurant, and he plans to continue to staff a “good group of kids” from the surrounding neighborhoods who are looking for their first job.
For more information and updates, visit troupspizza.com.