Bevelle's Family Café
During its 15 year run, Bevelle's was known for hearty dishes such as beef tips and rice, turkey and dressing, fried chicken, fried okra, candied yams, cornbread and greens. Many of his customers were County employees working in the nearby Courthouse. In 2005 Jefferson County moved forward with plans to construct their new Family Courts building on the block containing the restaurant. For a while the county had plans to build around Bevelle's, but rejected those plans as impractical.
Bevelle refused offers of $103,000, $210,000 and $280,000 for his property, demanding $1.2 million that he said it would take to rebuild. The county subsequently initiated eminent domain proceedings. Bevelle's request for a Federal court order to stall demolition around him until negotiations were completed was denied, and the restaurant operated in the midst of large-scale demolition for a while until a power outage caused all his food to spoil and Bevelle's closed for good a week before a scheduled condemnation hearing.
A three-member commission appointed by Probate Judge Mark Gaines considered the case and ruled on October 12, 2006 that the County should pay Bevelle $425,000. The county approved the payment and ordered demolition to proceed. Bevelle did not appeal the ruling.
Bevelle initially made plans to reopen in Alabaster, where he is a resident. By February 2007 customers had convinced him to look into returning to Bessemer and he made plans to purchase a city-owned lot at the corner of 1st Avenue and 19th Street, a block from where the old restaurant was located. That location would have allowed the size of the restaurant to be doubled and included a 40- to 50-space parking lot.
Those plans fell through and Bevelle took a job with the U. S. Postal Service. After six months he was ready to return to the restaurant business and re-opened Bevelle's Cafeteria inside the CC Food Mart on Industrial Road, just off U.S. Highway 31 near Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster. The new location seats only 20, but Bevelle expects to do a lot of take-out business.
- Foreman, Paul (February 9, 2005) "Two sides must come together for city's sake." The Birmingham News
- Gordon, Robert K. (August 24, 2006) "Bessemer eatery owner asks court to save business." The Birmingham News
- Gordon, Robert K. (September 4, 2006) "Bevelle's eatery closes as county closes in." The Birmingham News
- Gordon, Robert K. (October 20, 2006) "Jeffco ordered to pay restaurant owner." The Birmingham News
- Gordon, Robert K. (February 21, 2007) "Restaurateur says residents push him to re-open eatery." The Birmingham News
- Gordon, Robert K. (July 26, 2006) "Jeffco wants alley closed at restaurant it seeks to buy." The Birmingham News
- Daniels, Malcomb (April 28, 2008) "Bevelle's restaurant opens in Alabaster, Alabama." The Birmingham News
- Dean, Charles J. (January 15, 2014) "'I like my food to be fresh and hot and good.' Eddie Bevelle keeping dream alive." The Birmingham News