A yellowed copy of a September 1993 story from the Mobile Press-Register hangs in a frame on the wall between the main dining room and the kitchen of Bayley’s Seafood Restaurant, a landmark well-known to motorists who regularly travel Dauphin Island Parkway along the western shore of Mobile Bay. In the story, Ethel Bayley shows how to make West Indies salad, a dish her husband, Bill Bayley Sr., created. He was a larger-than-life figure who started a small grocery store at the corner and soon turned it into a restaurant that, at its heyday, could seat as many as 500 people – which it did every year during the Senior Bowl. “Dad was very entrepreneurial,” says Bill Bayley Jr., Bill Sr.’s 73-year-old son who, 23 years ago, reopened a smaller version of the restaurant at Bayley’s Corner in Theodore and has been running it nearly as long as his father ran the original. “His vision was way ahead of everybody else’s.” When he was told his restaurant wouldn’t make it “way down there” in south Mobile County, Bill Sr. insisted that if the food was good, customers would come. And they did. Black-and-white photos show the evolution of Bayley’s, starting… Read full this story
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