Meet the husband & wife duo in charge of two new Birmingham restaurants


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Will and Erin Middleton, the husband & wife duo running both Half Shell Oyster House locations in the Birmingham area. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

A little over a year ago, we learned that the famed Mississippi restaurant Half Shell Oyster House would be opening two new restaurants in the area—one in Birmingham’s Lakeview district and one in Trussville. Now, I got the chance to sit down with Will and Erin Middleton, the husband & wife duo in charge of both restaurants to learn how they are settling into their new home!

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New Restaurants and Businesses Drive Homeowners to Build their Life in Trussville

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Will and Erin Middleton inside Trussville’s Half Shell Oyster House, which Erin manages. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Now I’m no expert, but I imagine that it’s rare for a husband & wife to both independantly manage locations of the same restaurant—but that’s just what Will and Erin Middleton have been doing for the past year. The duo first met while working at the same diner in Flowood, Mississippi in 2011. Shortly thereafter, the two started dating and when Erin found a new job with Half Shell Oyster House, she convinced Will to come along. When Half Shell Oyster House decided to open two locations in the Birmingham area, Will and Erin were selected to manage both new restaurants.

What were your thoughts about Birmingham before moving here?

Erin: “We had no idea what to expect when coming to Birmingham/Trussville—we took the job before even visiting! Since moving to the area, I’ve fallen in love with Trussville.”

Will: “She really has fallen in love with the area, so we decided to live in Trussille rather than another town. Plus, it’s so close to her work.”

How long has Half Shell Oyster House been in Birmingham, and how has business been?

Will: “We opened the Lakeview location on June 3rd, so we’re closing in on a year of business. Since we opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a bit of a rocky start, but business has been booming lately.”

Erin: “The Trussville location opened in August, and it’s been the exact opposite. We’ve been staying very busy!”

Half Shell Oyster House isn’t the only new business in Trussville—in fact, the Business View Magazine listed Trussville as one of the fastest-growing communities in Alabama. Several businesses have opened new locations in Trussville, including:

And that’s not all—Trussville will soon be getting a massive mixed-use Entertainment District, with ammenities like a green space & stage, walkable areas with tons of shopping options and much more.

The Search for their Dream Home

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Will and Erin’s beautiful new house in Trussville. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

When they first moved to Birmingham, Will and Erin lived in an apartment while they searched for a home. They quickly fell in love with Stockton, a new community in Trussville. However, there was one problem—since homes in Stockton were selling left and right, the couple had trouble finding a house that stayed on the market long enough to make a bid! So, they decided to try something new.

How did you land in Stockton?

Erin: “We knew that we wanted to live in Trussville, so we started our search by driving through some of the neighborhoods here. That’s how we found Stockton. We connected with a local realtor and started looking at homes in the neighborhood—but they sold faster than we could look! Then, the realtor talked to us about designing our dream home with Signature Homes.”

What was it like to design your own home?

Erin: “Signature Homes makes the home-designing process sooo easy. We met with their design consultants who walked us through the entire process room by room. They provided us with all the tools and tips we needed to select features and finishes to create our dream home!”

What are your favorite parts of your new home?

Will: “I really enjoy all the extra space we have. We’ve gone from a 1,200 square-foot apartment to a 2,800 square-foot home. There are parts of the home that I don’t even know if I’ve explored yet!”

Erin: “For me, it’s got to be the kitchen! I love to make spaghetti and mac & cheese. However, at least once a week, I’ll get Will to make his famous red beans & rice with deer sausage. He loves being able to grill outside, now!”

What’s next for the Middletons?

Erin: “We’ve been living in Stockton for about a month now, so our main goal for the next year is going to be furnishing our new home. The increase in square footage has been amazing! We are currently working on filling our new space with furniture, which is a ton of fun.”

Will: “All of our neighbors have been so welcoming, so we’re looking forward to getting to know them better!”

Want to learn more about Signature Homes?

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The Middletons designed their own home with Signature Homes—will you? Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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