By Kendall Murray
Jeff Webster is the name not many Montevallo students know behind a place that every Montevallo student knows: Main Street Tavern.
Jeff Webster, owner of Montevallo’s Main Street Tavern, a chef with more than 29 years of experience in the restaurant industry, lives in Chelsea with his wife and two children.
When Webster was in high school, he always wanted a job in the restaurant industry.
He initially started working as a dishwasher but worked his way up to executive chef at a restaurant called Dock of the Bay in his hometown of Kissimmee, Fla.
Webster attended culinary school in Birmingham at Culinard, and was a member of its first graduating class. While Culinard was new at the time, Webster gained valuable experience in some of the top restaurants in Birmingham.
“I went to culinary school and worked at some of the greatest restaurants in the Southeast. Mostly in Birmingham, because Birmingham has such a great restaurant scene. And then, you know, finally leaped to do it for ourselves,” said Webster.
Webster spent 20 years working in the restaurant industry, where he gained inspiration from some of Birmingham’s top chefs, before he decided he wanted to open his own restaurant.
“I think somewhere in every person that’s been in the restaurant business, they always want to own their restaurant. And so my wife and I always had in the back of our minds that we wanted a place of our own. And so luckily, you know, Montevallo gave us that opportunity and afforded us the effort because Montevallo is welcoming,” said Webster.
With the help of his wife, his dream of owning a restaurant became a reality when he and his wife found the perfect opportunity in Montevallo.
Webster and his wife Misty renovated the space of an old bus station in downtown Montevallo on Main Street and opened Main Street Tavern in 2009. The Tavern quickly became a local favorite in Montevallo and Webster is both proud to call The Tavern home and excited to see what the future holds.
“The Tavern aims to create a welcoming atmosphere where people can enjoy a delicious meal and make lasting memories around the dining table,” said Webster.
Webster also owns and operates Station 31 Kitchen, a restaurant in Chelsea, where he renovated an abandoned fire station and turned it into a restaurant.
As he reflected on the success of their restaurant in Montevallo, Webster said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Montevallo community and to witness the magic that happens when people gather around the dining table. The support and warmth we receive from our customers make every day special, and it’s their presence that truly brings the restaurant to life.”
“The people are fantastic here. The restaurant business is all about memories being made over dinner over a dining room table. And so we get to see that every night of the week. You know what I mean? And that and it’s the people that make the magic. We are so happy to be there. And that’s what makes it so special. It’s the people,” said Webster.