Since 1907, The Bright Star in Bessemer has been serving generations of customers its specialty Greek- style snapper and steak, signature seafood gumbo, luncheon specials, and famous pies. Its exceptional longevity results from one family’s continued commitment to excellent food and service. Family patriarchs Bill and Pete Koikos immigrated from Greece in 1923 and two years later purchased an ownership interest in the restaurant from founder Tom Bonduris. Since 1966, Bill’s two sons, Jim and Nick Koikos (pictured) have owned and operated the business. We recently featured The Bright Star on Alabama Retail Association’s Facebook page as part of our #MemberMonday feature, and hundreds of patrons responded with support. Many shared fond memories of times spent at the restaurant as well as praise for The Bright Star’s food and customer service.
“Oh my! How can I even begin to recount the many memories and great dishes since I’ve been a loyal visitor for 40 years? My advice – just go and shut your eyes and place a finger on a menu page. Wherever that finger is located, order it,” wrote one customer.
Another commented, “Best restaurant ever! Been a customer for over 30 years. Never had a bad meal. Favorite is the Greek tenderloin. Service is exceptional even when they’re swamped.”
The Bright Star has received numerous local and statewide awards; the restaurant’s broiled seafood platter is featured on the Alabama Department of Tourism’s list of “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.”
Additionally, Alabama Retail honored The Bright Star as a Centennial Retailer in 2007. Now in it’s 110th year, The Bright Star continues to be a shining Alabama institution.