Food for thought: Chelsea sports fans come to Papas

Everyday sports fans in Chelsea satisfy their appetites for good food and good games at Papa Saia&8217;s Pizzeria and Sports Grille.

While there, customers not only get to enjoy the sports on T.V., but they may even interact with a former Crimson Tide football champion. Prince Wimbley, manager of Papa Saia&8217;s, was a captain of the 1992 national championship football team. &8220;[Customers] always talk sports…they want to know what&8217;s going on with Alabama football or what I think of Coach Saban, so it keeps things really nice.&8221;

Wimbley learned about the restaurant business from Papa Saia&8217;s owner and fellow teammate Norman Saia. He said, &8220;We&8217;ve known each other since 1990 and our relationship just grew from there. From the days when I went to Canada to play pro ball to me coming back…one thing just led to another and we&8217;ve become great friends.&8221;

Wimbley has been managing Saia&8217;s other restaurants now for many years.


Despite having a typically full bar area, Papa Saia&8217;s is in fact very family friendly.

Wimbley said, &8220;I like dealing with kids and Chelsea has a lot of kids all in the area so they all come in, and I&8217;ve become good friends with them so they know me by my first name.&8221;

The restaurant has an open feel to it, yet the bar area is separated from the tables where youth sports teams will congregate after games. &8220;It&8217;s a pretty diverse crowd,&8221; Wimbley explained. &8220;Sometimes you might get a whole soccer team or a softball team in here or you might have somebody who wants to have a nightcap or a nice glass of wine.&8221;

Live music, usually acoustic, is played on Thursday and Saturday nights, and a variety of music is played on the jukebox every other night of the week.


The menu at Papa Saia&8217;s mainly features Italian fare such as pizzas, subs and calzones. The marinara sauce really sets apart Papa Saia&8217;s Italian cuisine from others, so much so, that soon it will be bottled and sold at the restaurant. The recipe is a Norman Saia family original, as are all the recipes at Papa Saia&8217;s.

However the restaurant also prides itself on its wings, which it claims are &8220;the biggest and best wings in the south.&8221; They are indeed very juicy and offered in a plethora of flavors ranging from traditional buffalo to lemon pepper to teriyaki.

Papa Saia&8217;s offers two all-you-can-eat lunch buffets, one on Wednesdays with pizza and wings and the other on Fridays, featuring just their wings.

Both are $8.50 and last from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meat-and-three meals are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


According to patrons, bartender Rhea Sadler is the best around. She keeps customers happy in and around the bar, though drinks are available with table service as well.

The wings are cooked to order, so allow for additional time when ordering them. Servers are courteous and attentive.


150 Chelsea Corners Way

Chelsea, AL 35043

Phone: 678-3705

Hours: Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. till closin