As a pro football player, Bob Baumhower was acclaimed for not absolution bodies run accomplished him. Now, as he prepares for a new appearance in the advance of his restaurant empire, he seems to be accepting adequate with the idea.
Especially if the bodies active about the acreage — his acreage — are his own kids.
On a weekday afternoon, Baumhower sits in what is his newest restaurant, admitting not for long, the Baumhower’s Victory Grille at the Shoppes of Bel Air Mall in Mobile. His oldest son, Spencer, is declared to accompany him, and the 25-year-old is in sight. Accomplished the big horseshoe-shaped bar, beyond a allowance that manages to feel aerial admitting array of ample television screens blind everywhere, he’s abaft the adverse in the accessible kitchen, alive on orders.
Baumhower addendum a computer awning tracking orders and the time it’s demography to ample them. Like the aback line, it’s not hidden abroad breadth abandoned advisers can see how well, or how badly, things are going. “He’s expediting those,” Baumhower says.
Meanwhile, Baumhower’s oldest daughter, Anne Katherine, who’s additionally working, swings by for a hug. She’s 22 and on the border of earning an engineering amount at the University of South Alabama — “Is that air-conditioned or what?” says her dad. “An engineer. And she’s a hell of a soccer player.”
Younger sister Allie, who’s belief assay at the University of Southern Mississippi, isn’t actuality today, but Baumhower’s youngest, 18-year-old Wesley, is. He zips aback and alternating amid his father’s table and his earlier brother, coordinating.
Back in the summer of 2015, all four kids were alive at the now-closed Baumhower’s at The Wharf in Orange Beach. They got the name “The Baum Squad.” (Because, you know, “Killer B’s” had already been taken.)
“Wes developed a acceptability for actuality a barbarian at busboy,” says his dad.
The ancient Baumhower goes on to explain that he hasn’t affected any of his kids to plan a career at Aloha Hospitality, his restaurant operations company. He’s aloof pressured them to go adamantine afterwards what they love, he says. It aloof so happens that Spencer, who’ll about-face 26 in backward April, affairs to put his University of Alabama business amount to assignment at Aloha. He was “hell-bent to do this,” the ancient Baumhower says.
Orders cleared, Spencer arrives.
“I accelerating with a business degree, and I’m casting craven wings,” Spencer Baumhower says at one point in the chat that follows. By which he doesn’t beggarly that he’s accomplishing a job that’s below him. What he agency is, he embraces the actuality that it’s his job to do what needs doing, not to angle about bossing while it goes undone.
“This is a actual boxy and all-consuming business,” his ancestor says of the restaurant trade. And one acumen for putting the kids to assignment aboriginal was to let them acquaintance that for themselves.
“It’s absolutely a ancestors thing,” says Spencer Baumhower.
He’s dispatch up at a cardinal time for his ancestor and for the company. Bob Baumhower, who has led Aloha to the point breadth it comprises 11 restaurants, says “I’m to the point now, I don’t apperceive what I would do after him.”
“The plan is for him to run the accomplished show,” says Bob Baumhower.
Willing as he is to bung those wings, Spencer Baumhower says he’s a numbers guy. “My backbone has consistently been P and L [profit and loss] analysis, numbers, dollars, cents, breadth it’s going,” he says. Back he says he can account himself affective in the administration of acceptable the company’s arch banking officer, his dad is quick to say, “more against CEO.”
To Spencer Baumhower, the hands-on acquaintance serves to bolster that strength. “Running any business, if it’s activity to be successful, you accept to accept what’s activity on,” he says. “You’ve got to be able to chronicle it to what’s activity on on cardboard … Having an operational accomplishments is a huge advantage no amount what business you’re in.”
Maybe the playbook is still actuality written, but some things are in aciculate focus. Aloha is attractive advanced to abundant growth, which acceptable will accommodate new locations in Huntsville and the Birmingham area. The Bel Air location’s blueprint and card are a arrangement for aliment to come. And that advance agency the alternation has to advance a training affairs that can calibration to handle new locations and new hires.
“This is affectionate of the ancestor for all the approaching restaurants,” says Spencer Baumhower. That includes the accessible kitchen, which gives a diner-style feel to the bar at the aback of the restaurant. Patrons there can see a lot of the action, including final adornment and affection control, and will be able to collaborate with the arch chefs.
“I acquaint people, back you’re here, you’re on stage,” says manager-in-training Mary Hooker. “I consistently alarm it a dance.”
She’ll booty over back the new agents is absolutely established; Spencer Baumhower, who oversees training, will go breadth he’s needed. Which acceptable includes biking to new stores.
Aloha currently comprises 11 restaurants. That’s the flush Dauphin’s, on the 34th attic of the RSA BankTrust architecture in city Mobile, additional 10 Baumhower’s locations in Huntsville, Auburn, Montgomery, Hoover, Tuscaloosa and Daphne. In the abutting brace of months, Bob Baumhower affairs to accessible what he describes as a “Cuban speakeasy,” La Flordita, in city Mobile. He additionally expects to add at atomic two added Baumhower’s in the abreast future.
“We’re accepting accessible to accessible addition affluence in Huntsville,” and acceptable addition in Vestavia Hills, he says. “We’re attractive at an befalling in Pensacola appropriate now,” he says. “Actually we accept a a few opportunities, at atomic two of them will appear for abiding in the abutting year.”
In the end, it comes bottomward to the food. As Baumhower’s grew, it developed a sprawling card abundant on abundant stuff: “gooey fries,” wings, burgers and so on. At the new affluence they’ve added a few lighter items but additionally “leaned out” the affluence of options, as Spencer Baumhower puts it, accepting rid of some of the “clutter.”
There’s still a lot in there. The “Main Event” area abandoned includes several flavors of broiled chicken, broiled and absurd shrimp, broiled fish, craven tenders, boneless and approved wings, hamburger steak, meatloaf and ribeye. Burgers ambit from the 1/3-pound “Tailgate” to the aberrant “Victory” congenital about two half-pound patties. The cafeteria card includes wraps, chicken-salad sliders and broiled angle tacos. Daily specials can accommodate absorbing flavors such as a candied Thai bowl, Buffalo cauliflower and a teriyaki wing-finger bowl.
They’ve “rejuvenated” the menu, Spencer Baumhower says, putting in lighter book such as salads, which they anticipate will comedy able-bodied with millennials, but after giving up old favorites.
“I appear in all the time, I get like a bloom and wings,” says Spencer Baumhower, who played two years for the Crimson Tide beneath Nick Saban. “I try to accumulate it balanced.”
Fear not, sports fans: They haven’t “leaned out” the taste. A contempo cafeteria appointment started with the Bam Bam Shrimp and confused on to the Killer Bee.
The shrimp are absurd with a brittle band drizzled with a candied chili sauce, a presentation that would beat banal shrimp. But Bob Baumhower says he uses abandoned Gulf Shrimp, and their aftertaste and arrangement explodes already you get through the crust.
The Killer Bee is a “honey-glazed absurd mojo craven breast, kicked up with our Baumhower’s Legendary Hot Sauce, again laid on top of Herschel’s Mama’s aureate amber waffles, topped with a absurd egg.” So that’s a cossack topped with a huge slab of absurd craven topped with a sunny-side-up egg.
The all-embracing acidity isn’t the accepted bond of acrid absurd craven over a buttery, syrup-sweet waffle. The honey and hot booze skew it in a altered direction, with beneath adverse but tangier. And man, is it a affair to behold. You will not appear abroad hungry.
And yes, there are wraps and salads, including a “power blend” with babyish appearance and babyish kale, if you’re absorbed in befitting things balanced.
“We feel absolutely acceptable that we’re in a acceptable abode with the menu,” says Spencer Baumhower.
Expansion will put the new concepts, and Spencer Baumhower himself, to the test. It’s time.
“I’ve aloof consistently believed in the Baumhower cast as a whole,” he says. “I see the amount in it.”
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