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Today's Recommendations: Something Old and Something New

There are times when I've discovered a place (or places) for the first time and want to tell you about it. Today is one of those times.

Bright Star Restaurant

Bright Star Restaurant at 304 19th Street N in Bessemer, AL is said to be "Alabama's oldest restaurant." It's probably more accurate to say it's the oldest family-owned restaurant in the state. I'll let others argue the details. Suffice it to say that Bright Star has been serving satisfied customers since 1907 and is still going strong. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me until May of 2022 to find it and enjoy a meal there. Steve and I loved it.

The vibe is definitely vintage with its walls of original Alabama marble, painted murals, distinctive penny tile floors, lovely woodwork, and brass chandeliers. Numerous framed photos at the entrance prove that scores of famous people have dined there. I can understand why. The original owners were Greek emigrants, and the Greek influence is still strong on the menu alongside Southern style dishes, steaks, and seafood. I wish I had saved room for dessert, but the wonderful bread basket served with our meal made that impossible. Bright Star is closed on Mondays, but is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Mavens & Makers

When I learned A Touch of German had decided to close its brick and mortar store in Cullman, I was disappointed. But then I learned that owner Judi Caples had transferred her vast supply of herbs and spices to Ashlea Chance, owner of a new store in Cullman called Mavens & Makers. That led me to check out Ashlea's store, and I loved it. Ashlea and her husband own a farm not far from the store and have found numerous ways to involve their children in farm life. You will very likely see one or more of Ashlea's children greeting customers and helping out in the store.

Mavens & Makers, located at 609 U.S.Hwy 278 E in Cullman, is stocked with farm-raised meats and vegetables, high-end cookware, gift items, kitchen decor, artisan foods, and much, much more. It is closed on Sunday and Monday but is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I believe you'll enjoy browsing and buying something at Mavens & Makers.

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