Alabaster eatery features food variety, live music

Sterling Gros, left, and Whitney Henson, right, own and operate Champy's restaurant in Alabaster. They are pictured with their son, Avery. (Contributed)

Sterling Gros, left, and Whitney Henson, right, own and operate Champy’s restaurant in Alabaster. They are pictured with their son, Avery. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Champy’s, a unique restaurant located on Highway 119 South in Alabaster, is owned and operated by Sterling Gros and Whitney Henson, a husband and wife team.

For 15 years Gros was with Outback, from salad line at age 18 to managing partner of the Rome, Ga. location in 2008.

In 2012 he left the corporate restaurant environment to open Champy’s in Alabaster.

Originally, Gros and Henson were looking to open in Nashville, Tenn., but eventually decided to return to the Birmingham area (Gros’ hometown).

“Seeing the growth in Shelby County helped us choose Alabaster. Blues music is part of Champy’s atmosphere, and this area has a great number of blues musicians and fans,” Gros said.

Champy’s is not a traditional franchise. There are five locations with the original being in Chattanooga, Tenn. Other locations are in Muscles Shoals and Daphne and Athens, Ga.

All are run by husband and wife teams.

By no means is the menu all fresh, fried-to-order chicken.

Tamales, po-boys, hot wings, salads, catfish and lots of veggies complete the varied menu.

The most unique menu item is the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales.

The subjects met while attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where they were introduced by mutual friends.

The couple has a young son Avery, age 6, who attends Evangel Classical Christian Academy.

Whitney enjoys photography, graphic design and music while Sterling is an avid sports enthusiast.

However, the vast majority of their time is spent at work. The family attends Birmingham 1st Seventh Day Adventist Church.

“Each year we have been a sponsor of Alabaster City Fest and have been included as a food vendor in the Celebrate America 4th of July celebration at Veterans Park. We have enjoyed being involved in these community-wide events,” says Henson.

The restaurant has live music every weekend and features local musicians, providing a family friendly environment right here in Alabaster; no need to drive elsewhere.  Whitney Henson and Sterling Gros are hard at work every day serving customers and building lasting friendships here in our community.