A taste of the Gulf is coming to the new Campus 124 development in the former Valley Elementary School building in Pelham this winter. The first Half Shell Oyster House opened in 2009 in Gulfport, Mississippi, and now 14 locations across Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana serve up its selection of Southern cuisine with a New Orleans flair. The concept was born in the mind of company president Bob Taylor and polished off later with his partners Rob Heffner, Kevin Fish and Brian Raspberry. To learn more about what to expect on the menu and more, we chatted with the restaurant’s marketing director.

What are some of the most popular items on the menu?

The Redfish Orleans is blackened redfish topped with Gulf shrimp that is sautéed in our original New Orleans-style smoky Cajun sauce, and topped with lump crabmeat and Parmesan cheese.

The Big Easy Surf and Turf is a crowd pleaser as well. USDA Choice filet is served over a fried hand-crafted crab cake garnished with balsamic glaze and topped with Bearnaise sauce, lump crabmeat and Parmesan cheese. It’s a culmination of land and sea with the perfect amount of Southern flair!

What are some of your personal favorite items on the menu?

The Bacon and Pecan Crusted Redfish has redfish seasoned and coated in a bacon and pecan breading, and it is topped with chopped bacon and homemade citrus beurre blanc. The Seafood Stuffed Portabellas are an excellent choice for those who may be pescatarian and/or trying to eat on the lighter side. Grilled portabella mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat, Gulf shrimp, minced chipotle peppers, roasted red peppers and spinach. It’s garnished with a homemade lemon aioli and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

What do you recommend on the drink menu?

One of our most popular martinis is our Pink Pearl Martini. It is a pomegranate martini that is perfectly balanced on the sweet and sour spectrum. Our Southern Pecan Old Fashioned is a go-to for new and seasoned bourbon lovers.

Why did you choose the Birmingham area market, and Pelham and this location in Campus 124 specifically for a new restaurant location?

It is exciting to be building in Pelham’s only entertainment district and newest trail system. We really fell in love with the area after opening some of our newest locations in Birmingham and Trussville last year. Campus 124 brings a variety to the community that we are looking forward to being a part of.

What will the look and feel be like inside?

The look and feel will be consistent with our Half Shell Oyster House brand. The atmosphere offers a relaxed yet classic vibe reminiscent of the French Quarter. The interior subtly showcases exposed brick, wrought iron railing, stained glass and antique doors. The design is complimented by the sound of jazz that weaves through the air.