There’s a new lunch and dessert spot in Pelham, and it’s nestled in a 100-year-old home that many guests have found so quaint that they’ve retuned with décor gifts afterward. The owners, Midwesterners Bob and Judy (pictured) Gross, were more than welcome to receive them too. To learn more about what you’ll find inside the restaurant, we chatted with the Grosses. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and you can follow their updates @shugahs.pelham on Facebook and Instagram.
How did Shugah’s come to be?
Judy: We use to live in St. Louis and had a restaurant and a wholesale pie business there. We moved down here for our kids and decided to do it again.
Bob: We were trying to come up with a good name, and we knew “shugah” was southern slang for “sugar.”
What’s the story on the house where you are located?
Judy: The location picked us. We were looking in Cahaba Heights and realized it wouldn’t work and started looking for properties online. I saw this house online, and I liked it better than Highway 31. It’s in between two sets of railroad tracks, so it has character and is a few houses from Donut Joe’s. The first mayor of Pelham, Paul Yeager Sr., who was mayor 1964-1976, lived in the house, and we have had a couple of people come in for lunch who have previously lived in the house. We took their photos and hope to share their stories. We found an original wall color, a green with a touch of blue, in one bedroom and carried that theme through the house, and we added some coral. All the ceilings and wood are original. The house has four fireplaces, and three are visible in the restaurant.
What’s on your lunch menu?
Judy: We always have our chicken salad and quiche on the menu daily, and then the menu changes every week. We have different sliders with crab cakes or pork tenderloin or meatballs or short ribs, and some soups. Right now we are doing a savory bacon and chive cheesecake on a breadcrumb-Parmesan crust, and that might stay on the menu.
What desserts should we try?
Judy: Our desserts move around but we always have Becky’s Pie. It’s a chocolate pie with caramel and pecans. We do cherry, apple, blueberry and peach pie, and we have done a Best Ever Southern Pie, pecan pie, Dreamsicle pie and lime Dreamsicle pie. At Thanksgiving we made a Pie-Caken with two pies baked inside a cake. It had a pumpkin and spice cake, and the bottom layer was pecan and chocolate cake—then it’s all iced in buttercream. We are always trying to find something new that people haven’t seen before. I get bored if I cook the same thing all the time.
Is there anything else we should know about what y’all offer and where you source your food?
Judy: You can buy chicken salad and pimento cheese to-go in the case, and we just started carrying bacon jam. Our coffee comes from Seeds, and our tea comes from Piper & Leaf. We get a lot of our meat from Cajun Cleaver in Hoover, and our crab is from Bayou La Batre, Alabama. We take orders for cakes and pies, and we can host bridal showers, tea parties, birthday parties and other events.