I love Homewood, especially the Soho area. But whenever I saw Michael’s Restaurant on the corner of Aloft, I yearned for the day when the legendary restaurant would return back to Birmingham.
Well, my wish has been granted.
If you are new to town, Michael’s Restaurant was one of those storied Birmingham’s restaurants that got their start in the 1950s. Founded by Greek restaurateur Michael Matsos, several versions of Michael’s restaurants popped up around over the years with locations on Bessemer Highway and at the old Eastwood Mall. Still, the place I will always remember was Michael’s anchor restaurant on 20th Street near the Parliament House Hotel.
Visit with Owner Bernadine Birdsong
In anticipation of their grand opening, Earlier this week, Bham Now was given an exclusive tour of the new Michael’s Restaurant on Parkside.
We met with Bernadine Birdsong, the owner of Michael’s.
“It is a great opportunity to be the restaurant connected with the Southern Negro League Museum,” said Birdsong. “It has been a long journey, but we are finally here, and I’m very excited about it. We are continuing all (Michael’s) traditions. We still have the steer butt steak which Michael’s is famous for, the award winning bread pudding and Birmingham’s best wings. What has changed is the location. We now have this amazing view on Parkside.”
Looks like an Art Gallery
Inside the new Michael’s, on the first floor, you could mistaken it for an art gallery. There are works of art brought in from the previous Homewood location by Nan Braswell. The featured wall is done by a good friend of Birdsong’s artist Mimi Armstrong. In the stairwell, the restaurant has Gees Bends Collective quilts
Once you’ve explored the first floor, the next highlight is the rooftop. There is additional artwork by Armstrong – classy and striking. Then there is the view.
Think the rooftop bars/seating at Wrigley Field. You can watch a Birmingham Barons game from the location, but even better than the Cubs, you get a nice view of the Birmingham skyline, if you walk around.
Connected with Bo Jackson and Baseball
Of course, Michael’s is known for its cuisine, especially it’s steaks. Where are they getting their high quality steaks from? Birmingham’s most famous athlete Bo Jackson.
“We have made an arrangement with Bo Jackson featuring his 34 signature steaks- his steak line. Michael’s will be the first place in Birmingham to carry it exclusively,” Birdsong added.
Other new traditions? Michael’s is also the home run sponsor for the Birmingham Barons. After every Baron homerun, Bo will do a special announcement.
Dates and Hours
Obviously, in the midst of the national reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael’s is doing a mixture of curbside and dining. Here are the details
Curbside: Monday through Friday for lunch 11:00am to 2:00pm
Dinner: Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 on the rooftop only.
Brunch: Sunday – 10:00 to 3:00pm
Welcome to Michael’s
In a final comment to us, Birdsong summed up her excitement about bringing back Michael’s to the Magic City.
“I welcome people to come. I’m most excited to have Michael’s back in the city. It belongs here in Birmingham. It feels right.”
Our thoughts exactly.