Shelby’s opening in old McAllister’s

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham residents soon will have a new spot to eat and enjoy the nightlife, as the owner of Birmingham’s Grey Bar and Steel 1st and 23rd is preparing to open a new offering off Shelby County 261.

Kolby Mele, a 1996 graduate of Pelham High School, is planning to open the Shelby’s restaurant and grill at the former McAllister’s Deli and Monette’s Pizza location in northern Pelham.

After opening his other two businesses, Mele said he and his business partners were looking to “come back home” to Pelham and expand on what they offer at Grey Bar and Steel.

“Steel really got into the bar side of things. Grey Bar on 280 does great, but the kitchen there is not as full-service as Shelby’s will be,” Mele said. “(Shelby’s) kitchen will be a step above that.”

Mele called the 4,500-square-foot building a “great spot,” and said it will allow him to offer things he has not been able to at his other businesses.

Clayton Notto will serve as the executive chef at the restaurant, and will craft traditional bar and pub fare such as pizza, salads, soups and burgers, Mele said.

“It’s our tribute to good old American pub and tavern food,” Mele said. “It will all be as fresh as we can make it. We don’t want to be using freezers at all.”

Because many of Mele’s lunch customers usually will be eating on a tight time limit, he said he is looking to work as quickly as possible during the mid-day rush.

“We want to be able to work on a time clock, because we know people only have a certain amount of time for lunch,” Mele said, noting most lunch items will be under $10.

Shelby’s kitchen will be open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During the evening hours, Shelby’s will feature live music and entertainment, and likely will close depending on the customer traffic.

“We expect to operate a little later each night of the week. On nights like Tuesday and Wednesday, we may close at 11 p.m. On Friday and Saturday nights, we will probably operate more on bar hours,” Mele said.

On Dec. 21, Mele and his business partners, including his sister, Angele Mele, Scott Price and Notto, were working on last-minute touches to the restaurant before its soft opening a few days after Christmas. Mele said he would like to hold a large opening celebration on New Year’s Eve.

“Having this kitchen is really exciting to me. It’s an opportunity to expand on what we’ve done before,” Mele said. “I’m really excited about it.”