A familiar face opens Birmingham's hottest new restaurant


Just think, if he hadn't played drums in the Jacksonville State University marching band, life might have taken a different path for Dean Robb.

Maybe he would be back home in Illinois, where, for the first 14 years of his life, he grew up in a small town of about 1,400 people.

Perhaps he wouldn't have gotten that job tending bar at Anniston Country Club, a part-time gig that led to a lifelong career in the hospitality industry.

Likely, he never would've met Frank Stitt, the James Beard Award-winning chef who hired Robb to help run his Bottega restaurant back in the early 1990s and has been a friend and inspiration ever since.

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