Since it hit the road last fall Old Dixie's Southern Kitchen, the food truck of killer Southern eats courtesy of Michael Babcock and Jenn Robinson, has been leading the Valley in the Southern food trend already happening in other parts of the country.
But thanks to a deal made with Welcome Diner owner Sloane McFarland, Babcock and Robinson have decided to park the truck and create their stellar Southern food brick-and-mortar style at the 200-square-foot Depression-era diner in Central Phoenix.
Babcock tells me the Welcome Diner location of Old Dixie's will open on Friday, February 1.
To start, the menu will be limited, but Babcock says they'll eventually serve the entire Old Dixie's menu (think boudin balls, buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, and shrimp Creole) in addition to brunch and diner favorites like burgers. And thanks to a liquor license, diners can have a craft beer or a rum hurricane along with the Southern- and diner-style eats.
In addition to the Welcome Diner's tiny interior of nine seats, Babcock says there will also be patio seating and a take out window.
"We're going to leave the Old Dixie's truck parked out back to help facilitate the cooking process," he tells me. "Kind of a secondary prep space."
To start, Old Dixie's will be open for dinner Thursday and Friday, brunch and dinner Saturday, and brunch only on Sunday, with expanded hours to come.
Although he helped open The Duce in downtown Phoenix, Babcock says opening his first restaurant is a scary thing.
"Jen and I wanted our own business, and we thought if it doesn't work out, we'll just sell it and move to a foreign country," Babcock says. "But if it works, we're going to go for it."
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Babcock says, for now, the Old Dixie food truck will stay parked at Welcome Diner until they can ramp up enough staff for both a brick-and-mortar location and a food truck.
For more information on Old Dixie's, follow them on their Facebook page.