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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Kathy Payne


Niki's West

Kathy Payne, born in 1958, grew up in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. She began her career as a server at Leo’s Seafood and Steakhouse in downtown Birmingham. There she learned the standards of white tablecloth dining.

Payne decided to trade fine dining for a more casual atmosphere. She followed her colleagues at Leo’s to Niki’s West in 1991. Payne serves diners in the spacious dining rooms quickly and efficiently. She chalks the restaurant’s success up to its consistency throughout the years.

Date of interview:
2020-01-14

Interviewer:
Annemarie Anderson

Photographer:

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