Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jim 'N Nick's Celebrates 30 Years!

After 30 years in the barbecue business, Jim ‘N Nick’s has gone through all of the growing pains and celebrations of victories that any successful business goes through. We’ve explored different ways to work, design and marketing strategies, menu changes and gone through complete branding overhauls but two things have remained the same; our passion for the craft of barbecue and our dedication to community. The word “community” means so much to us because everything about Jim ‘N Nick’s revolves around engaging in our community. 

In 1985, 70-year old Phillip Adrey, the Pitmaster at Birmingham’s beloved Ollie’s Bar-B-Q, first showed Nick Pihakis how to properly smoke meats over slow wood coals. Nick and his late father Jim took that knowledge and passion and began to cook bar-b-q in their own Birmingham restaurant, Jim ‘N Nick’s. Today there are 30 plus restaurants in 7 states, and Jim ‘N Nick’s still strives to give you our best.

To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we will be sharing lots of fun memories and stories by way of this on-line journal by highlighting some of the members of our restaurant community that have contributed to our image and impact. Our customers are also a part of our family and in an effort to say “thank you” to our guests in a meaningful way, we are staging a Day of Giving.

We like to refer to our classic pulled pork sandwich as “pig on a bun”. Back in March of 1985 the pork sandwich was $2.99. On March 23, 2015—our Day of Giving—we will charge $30.00, or whatever you can donate, for a pulled pork sandwich, one trimming and a drink. Every dollar donated beyond our special 1985 price will go to No Kid Hungry™, an organization that battles the crisis of childhood hunger in America.

Check back over the next several months as we post fun stories and photos of years past at Jim ‘N Nick’s and please feel free to share your stories and photos with us.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Birmingham 5 Points Jim N Nick's Installs New Art

In 2004, when Jim ‘N Nick’s joined the diverse group of restaurants in the downtown, 5 Points South neighborhood of Birmingham, it made a statement.  The statement that a barbeque restaurant, started by a father and son who are natives of Birmingham, should be there—in the middle of their city—right along with a hot dog joint or a white tablecloth restaurant.

Recently, the interior of the 5 Points restaurant has changed a bit.  The original exposed brick walls remain the same but the main dining room boasts an installation of photos and artifacts that speak to the business of our community—of the bar-b-q culture.  Three large black and white photographs have been installed along with two antique box springs.  The installation tells the story of our history and our friends. 

Landon Nordman, a talented photographer living in New York City, was commissioned by Savuer magazine to take photos to go along with a story that Southern Foodways Alliance director, John T. Edge wrote called, “Barbecue Nation”.  Jim ‘N Nick’s is proud have obtained and display his portraits of our friend Rodney Scott, of Scott’s BBQ in Hemingway, SC, Helen Turner of Helen’s Bar-B-Q in Brownsville, TN and a beautiful shot of the stovetop in Helen’s restaurant where she cooks all of the side dishes that get served with her smoked pork.  The rusty box springs that hang between the photos reminds us of the innovation of the folks who came before us who would fashion bar-b-q tools out of just about anything to get the hog over the coals.  Many people used box springs as the wire grates that the hogs would lay on and the springs also made flipping the hogs easier. The springs represent brilliant ideas that were born out of necessity and available resources.

 The private dining room* in the 5 points store also enjoyed some freshening with a bright coat of paint and the hanging of a collection of photographs taken during some of the journeys of the Fatback Collective—a group of chefs, farmers, pitmasters, and writers including Jim ‘N Nick’s family members, Drew Robinson, Nick Pihakis and Nicholas Pihakis.

Jim ‘N Nick’s stores are a venue for telling stories.  We tell the story of great bar-b-q and good food, made with care everyday.  We share our hospitality by how we treat our guests and we can use our stores to tell the tale of our history and inspiration. 

Come visit our downtown Birmingham, AL restaurant to share a meal and see some really beautiful photography that speaks to our community and culture.
Jim N Nick's Bar-B-Q
1908 11th Avenue, South
Birmingham, AL 35205

*To speak to someone about reserving the private room for an event, call 205/320-1060

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Lunch Specials at Jim N Nick's!

Inspiration for menu items comes from so many places.  It could be a classic menu item like the perennial wedge salad, or a trip to our local bodega for a Cuban sandwich. Perhaps the motive comes from a desire to see a hyper-local recipe like Alabama White Sauce thrive.  Could be that one of the chefs or pitmasters threw together a combination of ingredients in the kitchen for their own lunch break and it turned out to be brilliant.  Whatever the source, we were inspired to offer some new and fun lunch features that are now available at all of our stores from 11:00 to 4:00 pm each day.

Here are our Wedge Salad with Smoked Chicken, Bar-B-Q Meatloaf plate and Open-Faced Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwich.  These are just three of the items from our new lunch features menu (see below).

Take a mid-day break, come in and enjoy!

Lunch Features Served Daily Until 4:00 PM

The Wedge Salad
Topped with either pulled pork, smoked chicken, beef brisket or turkey breast

Southern Salad Plate
Deviled ham, pimento cheese, smoked chicken salad served on a bed of greens with a deviled egg.

Carolina Chopped Pork Sandwich
Our smoked, chopped pork tossed with a slightly spicy vinegar based sauce, served with fries.

Morgan County Turkey Breast Sandwich
Sliced, smoked turkey breast served with Alabama white sauce--a classic sauce recipe from Morgan County, AL.

Open-Faced Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwich
Smoked beef brisket, chopped then topped with brown gravy and a pile of our fries (with extra gravy for dipping!)

Cuban Sandwich
Sliced, smoked pork loin, dijon mustard, grilled onions, pickles, Swiss cheese and mayo on sourdough bread.

Smoked Ham and Macaroni
Chunks of smoked ham baked in our creamy mac and cheese.  Served with a mixed lettuce salad.

Bar-B-Q Meatloaf
Our homemade smoked sausage mixed with ground chuck served with mashed potatoes and brown gravy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shindig 2012

The Fatback Collective and Friends gathered on the shores of the Tennessee River in The Shoals area of Northwest Alabama this past weekend to help Billy Reid throw his annual party, The Shindig.

Fatback Collective Members with Billy Reid
L-R: Drew Robinson, Ashley Christensen, Sean Brock, Rodney Scott, Billy Reid, and John Currence
Fashion designer, Billy Reid throws a great party and combines his loves of music, fashion, food and friends together each summer.  The Fatback Collective happily gathered to cook for guests who made the trek to Florence, Alabama from all over the country as well as those who live there and work with Billy.  Thanks to everyone who made it a great weekend including Jim 'N Nick's team members, Sam, Katie, Larome and Alecia. What a great community of people!  The collective is proud to call Billy and all of his crew friends.

Thanks for a great time Billy!

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Billy Reid, Rob McDaniel, Exec. Chef at Springhouse Restaurant on Lake Martin, AL and Rodney Scott, Pitmaster, Scott's BBQ, Hemingway, SC

Ashley Christensen, Executive Chef/Owner, Poole's Diner, Raleigh, NC

Billy Reid, Alabama Chanin designer, Natalie Chanin and Rodney Scott

Chris and Idie Hastings, Executive Chef and owners of Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL

Drew Robinson, Executive Chef, Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q, Sean Brock (center) Executive Chef McCrady's and Husk, Charleston, SC, Rob McDaniel

Musician Greg Spradlin of Little Rock, AR with his little son--sleeping through some loud music like a true little rocker.

Melany Mullins of Polished Pig Media provided essential noodles for floating.

Chef Rob McDaniel with fresh foraged chantrelles.

Wild Cub, one of the many talented bands that entertained through the weekend getting some of the Fatback's chicken.

Spicy boiled peanuts from Rob McDaniel

Grilled vegetables from Chef Chris Harrigan of Stone's Throw Restaurant, Birmingham, AL

Pimento cheese slathered slider buns awaiting their White Oak Pastures beef patty and Ashley's green tomato pickle.

Folks cooled off with gourmet ice pops from Steel City Pops, Birmingham, AL
Rodney Scott's fried pork skins

Crispy potato chips and dip from Rob McDaniel

Back of the house at the party.

White Oak Pastures beef sliders, Jim 'N Nick's pimento cheese and Ashley's green tomato pickle.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Big Denver BBQ Block Party a Success!

This past weekend, Jim 'N Nick's folks from all around the country followed the BBQ rig to Denver, Colorado to participate in the very first Big Denver BBQ Block Party.  A western version of the annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party, hosted by the Union Square Hospitality Group, seemed to make a lot of sense and provided an opportunity for some new pitmasters to participate in the family of events.
Taking place in beautiful and lively Downtown Denver, bands, beer and barbecue was abundant and the Jim 'N Nick's team was able to fraternize with old friends like Ed Mitchell from North Carolina, 17th Street BBQ from Illinois, Martin's Bar-B-Q from Tennessee and Blue Smoke from New York.  But they were also happy to make new friends like the good folks from The Hitching Post in Buellton, California.

All of the event proceeds went to local charities in that community and Jim 'N Nick's provided additional support by staging a raffle to win a signed Peyton Manning Broncos jersey.  Proceeds from the raffle went to Judi's House, an organization based in Denver that provides trauma counseling to those (mostly children) who are working through traumatic experiences like the recent tragedies that took place in Aurora, CO, a neighborhood in Denver.
Jim 'N Nick's stores around the country also collected "Thoughts and Prayers" as well as donations for the victims and families that were directly impacted by the shootings in Aurora.

The weekend started off with a pitmaster's and press event at the Northfield location of Jim 'N Nick's.  Paul Bestofka is the Jim 'N Nick's partner in Denver and has two locations in the area--Northfield, located at 8264 E. 49th Avenue and Southlands in Aurora at 24153 E. Prospect Avenue.

Check out the photos from our great time in Denver!

Blake!  Superstar server at the Jim 'N Nick's Northfield location.

L-R, Paul Bestofka of Jim N Nick's Denver, Roy B. Ray, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Nick Pihakis, of Jim 'N Nick's

Pitmasters gathered to kick off the weekend at Jim 'N Nick's bar.

Drew Robinson, Executive Chef of Jim 'n Nick's demonstrates the art of smoked beef brisket.

Jim 'N Nick's famous cheese biscuits were baked fresh at the festival.

The rig and servers, ready for folks to line up.

The crew from Jim 'N Nick's and the Hitching Post in Buellton, CA became good friends.

The pigs grow antlers in Colorado!

Football great Peyton Manning generously donated a signed Bronco's jersey to raffle off for Judi's House in Denver.  www.judishouse.org
Thoughts and Prayers were collected at the event and at Jim 'N Nick's restaurants to distribute to the victims and families associated with the tragic Aurora shootings last month.

The BBQ team!

Mike Mills (4th from the left) of 17th Street BBQ gathers his crew.  It is great to be able to catch up with dear friends like Mike and his daughter Amy Mills (2nd from right) at events like this.

The boys from Martin's Bar-B-Q Joint in Nolensville, TN

The Jim 'N Nick's crew closing out the day with some cold Colorado beer.

Looking forward to next year Denver!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chef's Potluck Benefits Wholesome Wave Georgia

Jim 'N Nick's is very proud to sponsor this event each year on behalf of the Southern Foodways Alliance Skillet Brigade and Wholesome Wave Georgia.

Join us on the gorgeous Serenbe property located just 40 minutes south of Atlanta where we will fire up our bar-b-q rig to cook delicious, humanely raised, organic meat from Fatback Collective member Will Harris' South Georgia farm, White Oak Pastures.

Join some of Atlanta's finest chefs for a great, casual day of amazing food, music and a live auction and raffle to benefit Wholesome Wave Georgia.

Learn more at 

Purchase tickets on line here:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Celebrate America!

Happy Fourth of July from Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q!

Here are some menu suggestions for your day...