It’s Official: Bama Bino’s is Coming Back, Sales May Start in April
30 years after one of the area's most iconic restaurants closed its doors, it is being reborn – we can exclusively confirm that Bama-Bino pizzeria is coming back to the Northside community and could be serving pies as soon as April.
Fran Viselli, who took his grandmother's recipe and founded Bama-Bino in August 1980, joined Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa's own Captain Ray for his morning show Thursday on Catfish 100.1.
During their interview, Viselli confirmed rumors that began earlier this year when Northport's much beloved Pastor's Kitchen shared a picture of a classic Bama-Bino cup with a tantalizing caption about big developments in the works.
“Kind of like I’m resurrecting this radio station, you are resurrecting a brand," Ray said Thursday morning.
“We can say it, because we’re friends – it’s the old Bama Bino’s," Viselli replied.
Viselli said Pastor Garcia, who owns and operates the Mexican restaurant, approached him about adding Bama-Bino pizza to the menu at the new Pastor's Kitchen coming soon to Northside at the site of the old Dollar General off Highway 43.
"They’re building it right now and we’re probably five weeks behind, meaning maybe April, it’ll be open," Viselli said. "There is the restaurant for wonderful, wonderful Pastor’s Kitchen food, plus they’re going to add hamburgers with meat from Tuscaloosa County, steak with meat from Tuscaloosa County, and they have a part that’s going to have pizza."
Viselli said he is working with Garcia to create a pie that is as close as possible to the pizzas with which Tuscaloosa County fell in love back in the 80s.
"I had to go back 30 years, that’s how long it’s been since we closed, and resurrect the recipes, which I have, and all the materials we’re going to need, and [Pastor's] is investing in bringing this back," Viselli said.
He said he is working with Garcia on the layout of the pizzeria and has researched where to find the high-quality ingredients that made the original Bama-Bino a Tuscaloosa area icon.
Viselli added that his day-to-day involvement with this new incarnation would be limited as he spends most of his days with his wife Kathy and their children, but said he can't wait for the Tuscaloosa community to have another slice of Bama-Bino's. Check out the full conversation below, and stay tuned to this site and station for more news on the pizzeria as it's available.