Haller Magee, the executive chef at Sky Castle, developed a menu that features everything from Korean barbecue wings and brown ale-steamed mussels to bourbon-glazed quail and chicken and waffles. Magee previously served as executive chef at Satterfield's Restaurant in Cahaba Heights.
"For Sky Castle, we crafted a Southern-progressive menu with global
influences, featuring the highest-quality, seasonally-driven ingredients that
we source locally whenever possible, " Magee said.
"Several of our menu items are modern mash-ups of Alabama staples, like chicken and waffles, along with creative bites that rotate monthly to highlight seasonal produce."
Prices range from $6 to $8 for appetizers, $8 to $10 for soups and salads, $9 to $13 for small plates, $10 to $12 for sandwiches, and $14 to $28 for entrees.
The Bajalieh brothers are the sons of the late Saleh "Sol" Bajalieh, who ran the original Sol's Sandwich Shop & Deli for nearly 30 years in the basement of the John A. Hand building downtown. In 2008, the brothers reopened Sol's in the Two North Twentieth building on Morris Avenue, and in 2011, they opened Slice on 29th Street in Lakeview.
Their new restaurant's name is a tribute to Birmingham's rock 'n' roll past, when disc jockeys from radio station WSGN-AM spun Top 40 hits from an elevated, glass-enclosed remote studio known as Sky Castle, which, at one time, was located in Lakeview on the same block as the restaurant.
The interior of the restaurant includes a replica of the deejay booth, as well as a mural with vintage, black-and-white images of the original Sky Castle and the old Ed Salem's Drive-In, which also had a location in Lakeview.
In addition to Magee, the Sky Castle culinary team includes sous chef Richard Trent, formerly the sous chef at 26 and executive chef at Dixie Fish Co. and Primeaux Cheese + Vino; pastry chef Ashley Bolton, formerly the executive pastry chef at Primeaux Cheese + Vino; and chefs James Habshey and Dave Smith.
The management team includes front-of-the-house manager and co-general manager Ellen Rogers, who previously worked at Ocean, 26 and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse; and bar manager and co-general manager Reggie Monypenny, who helped the Bajaliehs open Slice Pizza & Brew before leaving to manage the bar at Iron City.
The Sky Castle bar menu features such signature cocktails as a Smitten Kitten ($8), with Cathead Vodka, cranberry puree, peach bitters and a splash of Sprite; Call Me Old-Fashioned ($10), with Buffalo Trace bourbon, plum preserves and Bittermens Boston Bittahs; and Lakeview Lemonade ($7), with raspberry vodka, house-made sour and a splash of cranberry juice. More than 60 craft and mainstream beers are available in bottles and cans and on tap.
Sky Castle Gastro Lounge will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The kitchen will stay open until midnight Fridays and Saturdays and until 11 p.m. the rest of the week.