View Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q Restaurant Profile
A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, Drew’s culinary education and exploration began on the East coast, took him across the country to Northern California, all to return him home again to his roots in the South.
He was the Chef de Cuisine at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama and is now Executive Chef for Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. While his travels and talents are diverse, his true passion is focused squarely on the food and cultural traditions of the South.
And the hickory fired pits of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q has provided him a home for that heart, a venue to stoke the flames of his passion while spreading the graciousness of authentic Southern cooking across the country.
Restaurateur Nick Pihakis
Nick Pihakis began working in restaurants when he was just 19 years old. A native of Birmingham, Alabama and the son of an insurance salesman, Nick worked every station in an old-school Italian restaurant doing everything from sweeping up and washing dishes to eventually becoming “the best bartender in the world." To Nick, providing folks with good food and drinks at his bar was like being host of a great party every night. Hospitality comes naturally to Nick Pihakis. And when his father, Jim recognized just how good he was at the work he asked the important question, “Why are you working for someone else?”
In 1985, Nick, along with his dad, reclaimed an old dry cleaners on Clairmont Avenue in Birmingham, AL and opened the first Jim 'N Nick‟s Bar-B-Q. 25 years and 28 restaurants later, Jim 'N Nick‟s Bar-B-Q, has become one of the South's most respected restaurant groups. Nick's commitment to traditional recipes, scratch-made integrity with no-short cuts, genuine community service, and a deep respect and appreciation for the people who play host to this great gathering now shines through across the country.
Nick's vision and the hard-work of thousands of others at Jim 'N Nick's has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation with consecutive nominations for Best Restaurateur sits. Nick has a passion for supporting local farmers and traditional Foodways whenever and wherever possible and sits on the board of Jones Valley Urban Farm and, through Jim 'N Nick's is a strong supporter of The Southern Foodways Alliance. From Nick's commitment to supporting local communities, Jim 'N Nick‟s Bar- B-Q partners with numerous local non-profits such as Junior Achievement, Magic Moments, The Bell Center and many others with an emphasis on improving the lives of local children.
Nick lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Suzanne and his three children.