Sol's Sandwich Shop
The original Sol's was a small restaurant located in the basement of the John Hand Building known for its 90 cent cheeseburgers and 80 cent hamburgers. Opened in 1968 by Saleh Bajalieh, the restaurant took its name from Saleh's nickname "Sol", and served grilled burgers alongside "camel rider" sandwiches and other specialties.
When AmSouth Bank vacated the John Hand Building and sold it to investors, the sandwich shop lost its lease and was forced to close. June 24, 1994 was its last day of business. Bajalieh and his family briefly operated a Garden Cafe in Columbiana and later took over operation of the "Break Room" cafeteria at U.S. Pipe & Foundry's pipe plant in North Birmingham.
In 2008 real estate broker Bill Arant recruited Bajalieh's sons Jeff, Chris and Jason to revive the Sol's Sandwich Shop name. Before making the offer, Arant consulted Gus Koutroulakis at Pete's Famous Hot Dogs. Gus assured him that "Those are three hard-working boys. You won't go wrong," and the three, with lots of help from their mother, Nadia, jumped at the chance to pay homage to their father's business. Sol's re-opened in July a block away from the John Hand Building, in a space at the Two North Twentieth building next to Blevins Barber Shop.
The restaurant closed during forced shutdowns due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.
- Walton, Val (May 6, 1994) "Sol's 'quiet place to eat' to close". The Birmingham News
- Swagler, Susan (November 7, 2008) "Dining review: Sol's Sandwich Shop & Deli." The Birmingham News
- Poor, Jon (October 7, 2010) "Sol's" Birmingham Weekly
- Carlton, Bob (September 30, 2016) "Meet the restaurant family that has fed Birmingham for a half-century." The Birmingham News
- Sol's Sandwich Shop website