Destination Alabama: Main Street Cafe

Destination Alabama
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MADISON, Ala. -In historic downtown Madison, a cafe sits in an old municipal building.

Main Street Cafe is housed in a historic building that was once Madison City Hall in the 1950’s. There, you can experience a meal in an unusual setting, an old jail cell.

“We call it the best jail food you’ll ever have,” said Tammy Hall, Owner of Main Street Cafe. Except, they serve traditional southern food.

“I walk in and I say do you mind if I seat you in jail, and they say: excuse me jail? I say okay let me just show you, and obviously they’re like wow this is so cool,” Hall said. “Especially if there’s children, I say you have checked off the box, this is the only jail cell you will ever need to be in so we’re good – wash your hands of that.”

The charm of the building and the downtown area is evident. The original structure stills stands, but improvements and changes have been made over the years.

“Obviously you came here for court you came here to pay your taxes you also came to be held in jail overnight possibly,” said Hall. “The reason why it’s southern is because its worked, and people come here and they’re like oh my grandmother used to make pea salad and I don’t know anyone who makes pea salad anymore.”

The train runs behind the cafe so close and so often that it shakes the building. Hall said it adds to the ambiance and environment of the cafe.

“The train alone is great but the food needs to meet up with that experience as well,” said Hall.

Hall said some of her customers even spent time in the cell back in the day …. And still came back for a meal.