Gus Jebeles (Barons owner)

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This article is about the restauranteur and Barons' owner, for the shopkeeper, see Gus Jebeles (shopkeeper).
Gus Jebeles

Konstantinos "Gus" Jebeles (born Konstantinos Ioanni Konstantinou Tsempelis, May 27, 1885 in Geraki, Lakonia, Greece; died November 4, 1960 in Loxley, Baldwin County) was a hotelier and restaurateur, owner of the Reliance Hotel, Jeb's Seafood House and the Linger Longer Lodge on Shades Mountain, and also the owner of the Birmingham Barons from 1944 to 1949.

Jebeles was the son of Ioannis (John) and Aikaterini Tsempelis of the village of Geraki of Lakinia. He and his father emigrated to the United States with other relatives in 1893 aboard the Friesland from Antwerp, Belgium. They arrived at New York on June 20 and set off immediately to join family members in Birmingham. Gus himself traveled to Nashville, Tennessee and El Paso, Texas, as a restaurant worker, and spent some time in Mexico. He had relocated to McCracken, Kentucky and was managing a cafe when he married Alabama native Catherine Chunn on May 24, 1917 and registered for the draft on September 12, 1918.

Jebeles returned to Birmingham after the war and was successful in business. He founded the Dixie Coffee Co. on Morris Avenue, then sold it in 1925 to re-open the Reliance Hotel opposite the Birmingham Terminal Station. The hotel's café became a favorite of railroad workers and the traveling press. He modernized and renamed the restaurant Jeb's Seafood House in the early 1930s. Soon later he relocated that business to 1st Avenue North.

Jebeles' Linger Longer Lodge off Shades Crest Road was considered a discreet place to violate prohibition in the 1920s, and inspired rumors of even shadier activities during the 1930s.

Jebeles, who had attended Birmingham Barons games as a boy, purchased the team and Rickwood Field from the Cincinnati Reds in the winter of 1944. Two years later, after seeking advice at the Minor League Winter Meeting in Los Angeles, he hired Eddie Glennon, a protégé of Connie Mack, as general manager. Under his tenure, the team dropped its affiliation with the Reds and joined the Boston Red Sox system. Jebeles sold a majority stake in the team to Herbert Hahn, Rufus Lackey and Al DeMent on September 9, 1949.


  • Phillips, Bob (1965?) "The Grim Wrecker Has His Eyes on Rickwood" Birmingham Post-Herald - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
  • Barra, Allen (2010) Rickwood Field: A Century in America's Oldest Ballpark. New York: W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 9780393069334
  • "Tsempelis, Konstantinos Ioanni Konstantinou, (Gus Jebeles - US)" (n.d.) Family Trees of Southern Parnon - accessed November 3, 2010
  • Brown, Emily (2015) Birmingham Food: A Magic City Menu. Arcadia Publishing ISBN 1625853467, p. 27