5 Bessemer businesses + 1 blues festival you need to check out now

Seafood King Bessemer businesses
Who doesn’t want to eat at a restaurant with a giant stuffed animal hanging from the ceiling. Photo via The Seafood King – Bessemer’s Facebook page

When’s the last time you checked in on any Bessemer businesses? Last month we featured 8 new businesses in Bessemer. This time we thought we’d mix things up a bit with some longtime favorites, a new restaurant and a favorite music festival. Keep reading for all the details.

1. Look for The Seafood King in March 2020.

If you missed The Seafood King – Bessemer’s soft opening Monday, February 17, no worries. Once this 17-year old restaurant opens its newest location in Bessmer this March, you can stop by for some tasty seafood.

Location: 5060 Academy Ln., Bessemer, AL 35022
Contact: Instagram | Facebook | 205.434.3766

2. The Bright Star’s been serving deliciousness since 1907.

Birmingham Alabama
Photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

Since 1907, The Bright Star has been serving delicious food in a warm and home-away-from-home atmosphere. My family is one of the many where generations have eaten there, and it’s still as good as I remember it from when I was a kid. Some places claim it’s “Alabama’s oldest restaurant,” while the restaurant itself claims to be “Alabama’s oldest family-run restaurant.”

Either way, the place is an institution, and if you haven’t ever been, you’ve been missing out.

Here are a couple of pieces we’ve written about The Bright Star:

Location: 304 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020
Contact: Instagram | Facebook | 205.426.1861

3. Bob Sykes BBQ ‘s been serving “Southern BBQ from the pit to the plate since 1957.”

As I started looking into businesses in Bessemer, it struck me how many family-owned businesses are in operation. Bob Skyes BBQ is no exception. Run by 2nd generation Van Skyes, the restaurant continues the tradition his parents Bob and Maxine started.

Location: 1724 9th Ave N, Bessemer, AL 35020
Contact: Instagram | Facebook | 205.426-1400

Go to the 11th Annual Bob Sykes BBQ & BLUES Festival Apr. 25 in Debardeleben Park.

What’s not to love about blues and barbecue? If it sounds like a winning combo to you, pack your chair or blanket and head out to Debardeleben Park for a day of family-friendly music and good food. This festival has long been ranked one of Alabama’s top food festivals.

Here’s the music line-up:

  • Bobby Rush—2017 Grammy winning blues legend, Blues Hall of Famer, 12x Blues Music Award winner and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
  • Robert Kimbrough, Sr.—Blues Connection, the 2019 AMG Award winner for Album of the year.
  • Tullie Brae
  • “Hurricane” Elaine Hudson.
  • NJ Speights.
  • Showcase band featuring Regi Yarbrough, Tara Sabree and Robert Harris.

The festival is a tribute to the memory of Henry “Gip” Gipson, owner of Bessemer Juke Joint “Gip’s Place.”

When: April 25, 12PM-8PM, gates open at 11AM
Location: Debardeleben Park, 1623 2nd Avenue North, Bessemer, AL 35020
Admission: View the full lineup and get tickets now. Free for

4. Loyle Seymour Jewelry Co., Inc. is one Bessemer business that can take care of all your jewelry needs.

This is another family-run business in Bessemer that supplied generations with class rings, engagement rings and more. Whether you’re in the market for a ring for that special someone, or you need your watch battery changed (remember watches?), Seymour Jewelry can help. This one’s been in downtown Bessemer for 61 years.

Location: 222 N. 19th Street, Bessemer, AL 35020
Contact: Facebook | 205.425.3482

5. The Lincoln Theatre’s renovation will bring an old treasure back to life.

Although the 2019 Sidewalk Film Festival filmmaker’s retreat was in Bessemer, and fillmakers got to tour The Lincoln, the rest of us will need to wait until the renovations are further along.

That said, it will be exciting once The Holland Project restores this historic African American movie theater and re-opens it as a cinema and performing arts center. You can read more about the project here:

Lincoln Theatre undergoes restoration in Bessemer. Learn about the revitalization of this “arts desert” and the women behind it. (PHOTOS)

Location: 1926 First Avenue North, Bessemer, AL 35050
Follow the story: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Now tell us, Birmingham. What Bessemer businesses do you love? Tag us on social @bhamnow and let us know.

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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