One on One: Haller Magee and Sean Berry

The variety of dining experiences and the inside scoop on life inside a restaurant were key points in our One on One conversation this month. We brought together Chef Haller Magee, who’s working to open a new restaurant downtown after nearly a decade at Satterfield’s, and Sean Berry, owner of the new BAM Sports Grill in Cahaba Heights.

One on One DecPhotos by Beau Gustafson.

Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Magee found his way to Birmingham and a job at Satterfield’s restaurant, where he worked his way up to executive chef before leaving this year to pursue his own restaurant.

Currently working catering and personal chef gigs, Magee is planning a 2015 opening for his new restaurant. He has settled on the name Grace Revival to honor both his grandmother, Grace Haller, and the sense that both his professional life and the downtown dining scene continue to be revitalized.

He is locating the restaurant at the epicenter of a downtown dining scene that keeps blossoming along Second Avenue North. The restaurant is destined for renovated office space with exposed brick and wood beams more or less across the street from the popular El Barrio. Magee describes the menu he’s planning as “progressive Southern.”

Sean Berry moved here from Texas this year to open a family-oriented sports grill that focuses on beyond-the-norm fare and top-notch entertainment; indeed, the grill has some 18 televisions broadcasting the best sports of the day. Berry opened BAM in the old Yankee Pizzeria location and has worked hard to create a family-centered space that combines great food, fun, and sports action.

Beyond the chicken wing fare of the typical sports bar, Berry offers wood-fired burgers, Tex-Mex specialties, salads, and chicken fried steak. Fresh-squeezed juices, cocktails, and a huge selection of draft and bottle beer round out the menu. Berry describes it as Southern comfort food.

When you throw sports into the mix as well, you end up with a pretty clear picture of what BAM is all about, Berry says. Being in the heart of a neighborhood like Cahaba Heights, Berry wanted to create a family-centered “Cheers” kind of place for his new culinary home in Birmingham.

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