Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q
Jim 'N Nick's Community Bar-B-Q is a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1985 by insurance executive Jim Pihakis and his son Nick. Jim died in 2000, leaving the business to his son. Between 2010 and 2014, Nick Pihakis has been nominated annually for the James Beard Foundation's "Outstanding Restaurateur" award.
The chain currently includes 30 locations, eight of which are in the Birmingham area. Other locations can be found in Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The chain is expanding not by typical franchising, but by adding partners to the overall ownership. Rights to the Atlanta area are split between partners Bob McGurk (western metro) and Bryan Lyman (eastern metro).
A typical new Jim 'N Nick's location seats 215 diners in 5,500 square feet and costs around $3 million to construct. Yearly revenues average over $4 million. Up to 40 percent of revenues come from take out and catering orders.
In 2012 Jim 'N Nick's parent company, the Fresh Hospitality Group, opened a Little Donkey burrito restaurant and Octane coffee house in Homewood. Later that year the chain opened its own pork processing plant in the Eva community.
In 2013 the company hired Big Communications to update their advertising and menus, adding "Community" to their name to emphasize their support of local communities and Southern culinary traditions, through sponsorship of the Southern Foodways Alliance. The campaign was recognized in seven categories at the 2014 Birmingham Advertising Awards.
In 2014 Jim 'N Nick's joined with New York's Dinosaur Barbecue under a single "Good Smoke" holding company in order to negotiate jointly with suppliers, insurers and other contract partners. The collective's centralized purchasing and accounting operations were located in Dallas, Texas.
In July 2017 Jim 'N Nick's was acquired by the Roark Capital Group of Atlanta, Georgia. COO Brian Lyman was named president of the company. The "Good Smoke" partnership was ended, and some of the back-office positions returned to Birmingham.
As of 2018 the chain has 40 locations in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Pihakis expects to concentrate future growth within those existing markets. Each location is company-owned with local management partners taking a 20 percent stake.
Birmingham area locations
- 295 Alabaster Boulevard, Alabaster (November 11, 2008-present)
- 1908 11th Avenue South, Birmingham (Five Points South, formerly 11th Avenue Grill)
- 915 Odum Road, Gardendale
- 220 Oxmoor Road, Homewood
- 2831 Greystone Commercial Boulevard, Hoover (Greystone)
- 1810 Montgomery Highway, Hoover (Riverchase)
- 1804 U.S. Highway 78 East, Jasper
- Colonial Promenade at Tutwiler Farm, 1660 Gadsden Highway, Trussville
- 305 21st Avenue, Tuscaloosa
- Bishop, Lauren (June 15, 2003) "Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q has all the right ingredients." Birmingham Business Journal
- Tobin Ramos, Rachel (June 23, 2006) "Birmingham-based Jim 'N Nick's is smokin' in metro Atlanta area". Birmingham Business Journal
- "Jim ‘N Nick’s celebrates a year". (November 9, 2009) Shelby County Reporter - accessed November 10, 2009
- Black, Jane (March 6, 2012) "It takes a village to build a sustainable following." Washington Post
- Williams, Roy L. (May 29, 2012) "Birmingham-based Jim 'N Nick's begins pork pipeline with processing plant." The Birmingham News
- Carlton, Bob (November 21, 2014) "Alabama's Jim 'N Nick's, New York's Dinosaur form barbecue partnership." The Birmingham News
- Carlton, Bob (July 13, 2017) "Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q acquired by Atlanta private equity group." The Birmingham News
- Jim 'N Nick's web site