‘The Nest’ Celebrates First Anniversary

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Photo: One-year anniversary cake

By Hazel Scott/ASU

It’s been a year since The Nest at Alabama State University opened its doors and burst onto the scene in Montgomery, Alabama. Today, the venue has become a popular entertainment and fine dining spot in the capitol city.

To mark the one-year anniversary, the University and its food service provider, Aramark, held a celebration to recognize those who made the venue a success.

On Friday, August 18, the popular venue was the site of an Anniversary Celebration through delicious food, good music and  specialty drinks (one called “The Nest” and another “Perannum”).

The Nest, located at the ASU Stadium, provided guests an evening of music by local DJ Tony, with light hors d’oeuvres and drink specials. For those who wanted to sit down and experience great casual cuisine, the kitchen was in full swing.

“We are certainly proud to have reached this incredible one-year anniversary milestone,” said President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. “Our goal for The Nest is to bring the true essence of casual and fine dining, mixed with a Southern flair, to Alabama State University and the community. The overwhelming support and positive feedback we’ve received from our customers and community have exceeded our expectations. It’s been an incredible journey, and we’re excited to continue serving our community for many more years to come.”

Col (ret) Gregory Clark, vice president of Institutional Advancement  and  the executive director of the ASU Foundation,  said tonight's celebration is a momentous occasion. 

"We are the only HBCU to have a sports bar in its stadium and probably the only one in the country. It provides a venue for the Hornet Nation to gather to discuss the great things that are going on at the University and affords us an opportunity on Game Day to come together to root the Hornets on. I wish The Nest a Happy Birthday and look forward to many more years of supporting The Nest as one of the 'happening' spots of Montgomery," Clark said.  

The 5,000-square-foot facility is managed by Aramark, which offers a “taste of Bama State Spirit.”

“I’m completely ecstatic about The Nest. I think it was a great idea to bring this type of venue to Alabama State University. I think…ASU is probably one of the first HBCU institutions to have this type of venue to involve the community and alums…I’m proud of being an alum and proud of being the first to have something like this on our campus,” said Xavier Hicks, Aramark General Manager.  

Hicks noted that The Nest is not just for the ASU family.  “The Nest is a space for everyone. I think that a lot of people think because it’s on campus, that it’s just for Alabama State, it's alums or anyone affiliated with the University. But it is not. It’s for anyone who just wants to come in and enjoy themselves in a nice, grown-up atmosphere.”  

Described as “not the typical eatery or entertainment spot,” The Nest, which caters to patrons aged 25 and up, has a more sophisticated ambiance that is designed to be a “nest” for adults who want to enjoy good food and great entertainment. The venue has a state-of-the-art entertainment system, 19 television screens, a full bar, a stage for live performances and DJs on specialty nights, and a dance floor.

“The Nest is a sophisticated gathering place that’s the perfect after-work spot to wind down, socialize or dance the night away,” Hicks added.

Ross and Hicks said ASU and Aramark partnered to make The Nest happen.

“Now we have a wonderful venue that’s open every week. And on game-day, it’s a great spot for our Hornets fans, tailgaters and the public as well,” Hicks said.

The dining and entertainment venue also boasts amenities such as The Patio at The Nest, which features television screens, comfortable seating and the perfect outside setting to watch the big game.

Hicks said when patrons walk through The Nest’s doors, he hopes that people can forget about the outside world.

"We want to make sure that we're that outlet for everybody to be able to continue to have fun, throughout the different changing times that we're experiencing," Hicks said.

During its first year, The Nest has become an in-demand spot for community gatherings such as birthday and anniversary parties, corporate events, Greek nights, graduation celebrations and receptions. 

"It's been really terrific. We've been very well received," Ross added.