A Centennial Celebration of the Bright Star Restaurant

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9780817315986: A Centennial Celebration of the Bright Star Restaurant

Like the celestial body after which it was named, the Bright Star Restaurant has served as a beacon that has attracted people to downtown Bessemer, Alabama, for 100 years. During that time, the restaurant has become a landmark in the city to which its history has been inextricably linked. This book is the story of the Greek immigrant who left his tiny village in the rugged mountains of Greece’s Peloponnesos region for the uncertainty of a new life in a new country. The story traces the founding of the restaurant in 1907 and the family that continues the tradition of fine food and genuine hospitality that began there a century ago. More than a history of a brick-and-mortar business, the book is the story of people—the excitement of the immigrants seeking a better life for their families, a family known for commitment to their community, and the evolution of a restaurant from a small café with a horseshoe-shaped bar to one of the true landmarks on the culinary landscape of Alabama. Steelworkers to senators, all have enjoyed the Bright Star’s fine food and have experienced the genuine southern hospitality of the restaurant’s owners. In addition to being a great place to eat, the Bright Star has developed a reputation for being part of the city’s “family.” Legions of loyal patrons have made the Bright Star their restaurant of choice for everything from a casual lunch to the setting for a festive holiday gathering.

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Review:

“Everyone who knows the Bright Star Restaurant in Bessemer, Alabama—and that’s a lot of folks in our state—think two things about it: that it’s got some of the best, most consistent food in the South, and that the friendly atmosphere is as much of a draw as the delicious Greek-style seafood and steaks. Both have kept my family and me going back over and over again to the Bright Star. My duties as U.S. senator have taken me around the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to have eaten many special meals in wonderful and exotic locations, but I feel just as fortunate to have the Bright Star Restaurant waiting for me when I return home to Alabama. Here’s to the next one hundred years!”—from the Tribute by Richard ShelbyU.S. Senator

Every once in a while—possibly only once in a lifetime—if we are really lucky we will run across a restaurant that is truly special. I’ve had the privilege of eating at five-star restaurants in Europe as well as here in the United States, and without question my favorite restaurant in the world is the Bright Star in Bessemer, Alabama. The restaurant stands on its own, but the story of a young man from Greece who had very little money and could not speak English making his way to Alabama and starting a restaurant that has thrived for more than one hundred years is a heartwarming one. His struggles, his love for his restaurant, and his love for the people of Alabama and his family is one you’ll not soon forget.—from the Tribute by Gene StallingsUniversity of Alabama football coach, 1990–1996

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The Bright Star Restaurant Inc., Gene Stallings (Contributor), Richard Shelby (Contributor)
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