Check out what’s on the menu at Mikey’s at Fox Valley now open in Maylene

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

MAYLENE – The former location of the iconic Fox Valley Restaurant in Maylene has a new tenant, as the recently opened Mikey’s at Fox Valley brings a number of seafood and pasta dishes, Po-boys, crab cakes, burgers and bourbon and more to the spot located off Shelby County 17 just outside of Helena.

Owner Michael Lee, who ironically got his start in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at the Fox Valley Restaurant in September of 1991, now runs his own restaurant in the same location a few decades later.

“I started working at Fox Valley and worked here for 19 years and I left in July of 2009 and bought Mikey’s Grill in Hoover off Valleydale Road in 2010,” Lee said. “Fast forward to September of last year and me, my wife and my kids came here to eat and I saw the owner outside. I pulled up and talked to him and as I left I said ‘Hey if this restaurant doesn’t make it give me a call.’ A few days later, I saw him at my Hoover restaurant and he asked me if I wanted it so it just kind of came full circle.”

Lee is also the owner of Mikey’s Grill in Hoover, which just celebrated nine years of being in business in June. The restaurant in Maylene, which opened on May 28, is Lee’s second restaurant venture.

Originally from Louisiana, Lee said his family had a lot to do with why he found an interest in cooking.

“I was born in Baton Rouge and moved here in 1987 and my mom has pictures of me helping her in the kitchen as a kid and on Sunday’s we would always go over to mom and dad’s house to eat and I would always end up helping,” Lee said. “I guess I found my love from that. You come from an Italian family, it’s kind of bred into you. My aunt is also a culinary teacher in Baton Rouge.”

A lot of the featured menu items at Mikey’s at Fox Valley include several Louisiana based dishes including gumbo, Cajun style shrimp, catfish and crawfish Po-boys, Cajun style seafood pasta, Cajun style tilefish, an andouille sausage corndog and more. Other main menu items include the chef’s favorite filet mignon and famous crab cake, savory grilled pork chop, wings and the chargrilled ribeye.

“I’m describing ourselves as an upper run sports bar,” Lee said. “Our thing is we’re trying to keep things $25 and under except for a few things like the steak and cake. That’s just something that’s always kind of been here from Fox Valley and I felt like it deserves to be here. We have seafood and pasta dishes and a chicken alfredo and the seafood we do serve comes from Panama City fresh every day. You really can’t get any fresher seafood.”

In addition to those dishes, Lee said he is excited to offer a “Burgers and Bourbon” pairing. The burgers include either an American burger, bison burger, chorizo burger or lamb burger followed by a suggested pairing of bourbon selected by the restaurant.

“Our burgers we pair with bourbon with whatever we think pairs best with it,” Lee said. “I went to the Louisiana Bourbon Kitchen in New Orleans and kind of fell in love with the place. I’m a bourbon guy and I’m most excited about the burgers and bourbon because I think it stands out and nobody really offers it.”

When it comes to beverages, Mikey’s at Fox Valley offers a full bar that includes beer, a large collection of bourbons, other spirits, wine and a one-of-a-kind Red Bull slushie machine that features watermelon flavored vodka and tropical Red Bull.

Those wishing to partake in dessert after their meal can choose between “Donna’s famous bread pudding,” white chocolate raspberry cheesecake or double chocolate Godiva cheesecake all prepared my Lee’s mother.

Decorating the walls inside the restaurant includes another local flair as each piece of artwork is featured work from University of Montevallo students. Lee said he wanted to give the students a space to show off their work as all of the artwork inside the restaurant is available for purchase.

The hours of operation for Mikey’s at Fox Valley is Tuesday through Thursday from 5-9 p.m., Friday from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The restaurant is located at 6745 Shelby County 17 and can be reached at 624-3641.