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Legendary owner of Bessemer’s Bright Star restaurant, Jimmy Koikos, passes away

I have sad news to share with you: Our friends at The Bright Star restaurant have confirmed that longtime owner Jimmy Koikos has passed away at the age of 81.

Bob Carlton was one of the first to report Jimmy’s passing.

Jimmy, who has been fighting a cancer diagnosis for months, was born in Bessemer. For over six decades, Jimmy, together with his brother, Nicky, brought thousands of satisfied diners great food and hospitality.

A University of Alabama grad, Jimmy could count the likes of Coach Bryant, Gene Stallings, Joe Namath, Nick Saban, Sandra Bullock and hundreds of others as his good friends.

Still, Jimmy treated every one of his customers with respect and kindness, as for years he reminded us how to treat one another.

On behalf of my extended family and patrons throughout America, I bring the Koikos family my heartfelt condolences.

RELATED: The Bright Star, Alabama’s oldest restaurant, still shines

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.