Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fifth and Main reopens, sticks to roots

Changes have come to a trademark in local cuisine, downtown Northport’s Fifth and Main, which reopened earlier this summer featuring a new home cooked menu and a new owner, Anita Thornhill, at the helm.

Thornhill and her husband moved to Tuscaloosa from Marengo County to be near their two sons. Here, she began a career in the food industry, selling cakes, pies and jellies out of her house to raise money for her grandchildren’s after-school activities. After customers began calling in orders for her home cooked treats, Thornhill decided it was time to move her business out of her kitchen and start looking for a restaurant.

“We talked over several months and did a lot of praying,” Thornhill said. “The door opened, and it just seemed that was the route God wanted me to go.”

The new Fifth and Main stays true to its roots with a similar soup, sandwich and salad menu and some of the old staff staying on board. Thornhill has added her own personal touch to the dishes, adding “Soul Food Thursday” and “Seafood Friday” to the specials. The menu also includes burgers and barbecue items.

“I cook what we have in the kitchen,” Thornhill said. “If I have an abundance of chocolate, I’m going to make fudge. Almost all of the dishes have personal touches that come from my kitchen.”

Thornhill cooks for her customers just like she would cook for her family.

“I incorporate my pepper jelly into a lot of dishes,” Thornhill said. “I use a lot of what I bake at home. When I’m baking, I’m thinking of my family.”

Thornhill tries to cook with “farm-to-table” ingredients and prefers baking in small batches to ensure freshness. Her most popular items include the strawberry turkey brie panini, coconut cake and her famous banana pudding.

“We’re back there chopping those potatoes and making those fries,” Thornhill said. “We make small batches because it just tastes better.”

Marlena McConville, a junior majoring in environmental science, has been to Fifth and Main multiple times during her time at The University of Alabama.

“Fifth and Main is so unique to the city of Tuscaloosa,” McConville said. “I have enjoyed the new home cooked dessert menu, especially the blueberry cobbler. It is to die for.”

In the future, Thornhill hopes to use her restaurant as a tool to reach out into the community.

“I can visualize this place as a French bistro where people can come and relax and eat really fresh food,” Thornhill said. “That’s what I see here. That’s my vision.”

The revamped Fifth and Main will continue to feed the Tuscaloosa and Northport communities from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“If you had asked me a year ago would I have dreamed of being here, I would have told you no,” Thornhill said. “God opens doors. This is totally different than what I’ve ever done. I just plunged into this, and I’ve enjoyed it.”

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