Michael's

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Michael's Sirloin Room was a steakhouse chain founded in 1953 by Michael Matsos. It originally opened at the Holiday Inn on Bessemer Super Highway as a second location for Matsos' La Paree, It's best-known location, at 431 20th Street South in Birmingham's Southside opened in 1958 as one of the anchors of The Strip, a small entertainment district opposite the Parliament House hotel. Connie Kanakis joined Matsos as a partner in the flagship restaurant.

The menu, developed by executive chef William Orr, featured charcoal-seared steer butt steaks along with shish kabobs and other staples. The restaurant was the first in Birmingham to be awarded three stars from the Mobil Travel Guide. Michael's hosted numerous luminaries in its heyday including Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer and Yogi Berra. The walls were decorated with sports memorabilia and photographs. It was a favorite of Bear Bryant who would sometimes bring the whole football team to the restaurant.

1981 Michael's logo

Matsos partnered with Birmingham real estate developer C. R. Dudley to place Michael's steak houses in newly-opened Holiday Inn locations in Huntsville and Madison. In 1961 Matsos invested with Dudley as co-owner of a Holiday Inn and Michael's restaurant in St Petersburg, Florida.

A fifth location, called Michael's-in-the-Mall opened in October 1960 at Eastwood Mall. A special "Hawaiian Kabob" was created in honor of the new location. That restaurant was converted to the Holland House before July 1961. Another restaurant, Michael's Ship Ahoy was located at 401 Valley Avenue.

The Holiday Inn locations closed in time, and Matsos and Kanakis sold the remaining downtown restaurant in 1984. It continued under new owners before finally closing in 1992.

In 2004 Michael's was revived in a joint-venture between Golden Rule Bar-B-Q (which Matsos purchased in 1970), and investor Rusty Creel. The new first restaurant to bear the Michael's name was the $2.5 million, 6,400 square-foot Michael's Golden Rule Bar-B-Q at The Village at Lee Branch near Greystone on U.S. Highway 280. In August 2006 a new Michael's Steaks and Seafood opened at the former R. J. Gator's location at the Riverchase Galleria. On December 31, 2006, the 280 location was closed so the company could concentrate on the Galleria location. In September 2009 Matsos sold 15 of his 19 Golden Rule locations to Jeff Miller.

In 2009 Michael's opened a restaurant at the Aloft Birmingham SoHo Square hotel in Homewood. That location features live jazz on weekend evenings and during a Sunday brunch buffet. The Michael's & More catering company operates from that location and serves Aloft's banquet rooms. Future Michael's locations are in development for Huntsville, Nashville and Atlanta. The company is also in talks with Starwood Hotels, Carlson Hotels and a Destin, Florida development.

In August 2012 the Galleria location closed to make way for a new La Paz location.

In 2018 owner Bernadette Birdsong agreed to a 10-year lease to operate the restaurant at [Birmingham]]'s Negro Southern League Museum as a Michael's.

References

  • "For M. C. Matsos, Loan on Old Car Lead to Success." [sic] (February 19, 1961) St Petersburg Evening Independent
  • Wilkinson, Kaija (July 14, 2006) "Michael's Steaks and Seafood comes to Galleria." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Williams, Roy L. (December 3, 2004) "Michael's bringing back steaks, adding barbecue." The Birmingham News
  • Angell, Glory Clark (1983) Birmingham Inside Out. Birmingham: self published.
  • Williams, Roy L. (January 23, 2007) "Business brief." The Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (November 17, 2009) "Michael's checks into Homewood's new Aloft." The Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (September 1, 2012) "Michael's steakhouse in Hoover closes to make way for Mexican restaurant." The Birmingham News
  • Edgemon, Erin (June 22, 2018) "Restaurant gets $1.5 million in incentives to open in Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum." The Birmingham News

External link