In 1907, Tom Bonduris, a Greek immigrant, established a restaurant in Bessemer, Alabama, and named it The Bright Star. Through four moves in its first ten years, along with the help of other immigrants and natives, it became more and more well-established until it has become a Birmingham area landmark and institution. The story of the restaurant is told here in the context of the city’s history providing a fascinating well-written story that has the academic credibility expected from a university press book.. “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 . . . you’ll not soon forget.” – Gene Stallings. The author is a world traveler and tour guide as well as a freelance writer. His home is in Birmingham, but he can often be found working as a guide on cruise ships or guiding other kinds of tours all over the world.
Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2018. 188 pages with color and black-and-white photos. Oversized trade paperback