Meet the 205: Nick Pihakis

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Pihakis began working in restaurants when he was just 19 years old. A Birmingham  native, Pihakis worked each station in an old-school Italian restaurant doing everything from sweeping up and washing dishes to eventually becoming “the best bartender in the world.” In 1985, Pihakis, along with his father, Jim, reclaimed an old pizza parlor on Clairmont Avenue and opened the first Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Their main focus was traditional recipes, scratch-made everything, and genuine community service.

Now, 31 years and 35 restaurants later, Jim ’N Nick’s has become one of the South’s most respected restaurant groups, recognized by the James Beard Foundation with consecutive nominations for Outstanding Restaurateur. Pihakis also sits on the board of the Jones Valley Teaching Farm and is a strong supporter of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He lives in Birmingham with his wife, Suzanne, and his three children.