Sababa, Birmingham’s kosher restaurant, may reopen soon

By Lee J. Green

Marie Pittler hopes to re-open the kosher Israeli-style Sababa restaurant soon, and plans to enhance the dining experience with traditional Jewish/deli fare, cakes and desserts, beer and wine and live acoustic entertainment.

Sababa, the community’s only full-scale sit-down kosher restaurant, has been “temporarily” closed since late Spring.

Marie and her husband Steve, long-time members of the Birmingham-area Jewish community, are seeking investors to support the new ownership team at the Overton Road restaurant. “We have a very strong business plan and prospectus,” she said, and asks anyone interested to e-mail her for more information —

The Pittlers have hired a successful independent restaurant consultant to evaluate the potential of the restaurant along with profit projections. “With the consultant we have worked out a five year opportunity that is projected to yield a yearly ROI of over 30 percent at the highest investment amount,” Marie said.

Marie currently runs The Shabbos Shoppe and Marie’s Sweet Cakes out of Chabad, just down the road from Sababa. She would bring the shop to Sababa.

They likely will keep the Sababa name but will add to it to reflect the new offerings. Another point of continuity will be the return of Lupe, the grillmaster and manager. The earliest date for opening would be early October.

“In addition to keeping the Israeli cuisine, we plan to introduce an Israeli breakfast (with good strong coffee), a hot bar, pick-and-go items and deli sandwiches. Part of the plan will be to have lunch specials for $10 or less. Customers will be able to purchase cakes whole or by the slice. We’ll also have both Israeli and traditional Jewish desserts,” said Pittler.

The new Sababa will combine the familiar fare with traditional foods commonly found at Israeli hotels … all served up with a slice of Southern hospitality. “We want to have a fun, ethnic place to eat, drink and just hang out with a nice combination of the best things Israelis have brought to our community. It will be a place where someone can choose stuffed cabbage and Israeli-style hummus if they so desire,” she said.

The menu will also include numerous vegetarian items and some gluten-free selections. A meat restaurant, all items will be dairy-free. “Just about everything will be made fresh and in-house,” said Pittler. “Our goal, with some help from the community, is to make this a wonderful dining experience and a fun place to go.”