Last call for southern fried chicken livers.
Employees of Dixie House, the iconic restaurant that has been serving American comfort food in the heart of Lakewood Shopping Center for more than 35 years, were outraged to learn that Lincoln Property Company is giving the restaurant the boot at the end of the month.
The last couple months have been a roller coaster ride for Dixie House. At the beginning of December its parent company, Restaurants Acquisition I, Llc., filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, but at the time the restaurant’s manager Scott Pendleton was hopeful Dixie House would stay open despite the bankruptcy woes.
Then a couple weeks ago we heard Lincoln, the landlord of the property, had other plans.
Black-eyed Pea spokesperson Wes Oliver told us earlier this month that Dixie House was fighting to stay at the location in Lakewood Shopping Center. “There’s pretty much nothing that we wouldn’t do to stay in that location,” he said at the time, but we learned Lincoln had Dixie House on a month-by-month lease and was scoping out the space for new renters.
Today Pendleton confirmed Lincoln is in fact cutting off Dixie House’s lease. He learned yesterday and alerted the staff. Today he posted a sign outside and started telling customers: Dixie House is closing its doors on Jan. 29.
“Lincoln Property won’t even tell us that directly,” Pendleton says. “We learned that from corporate. I don’t know what [Lincoln] has planned. We have until the end of the month, and it’s going to take us at least a couple days to clean everything out.”
This might not be the very end of Dixie House in East Dallas, he says. Black-eyed Pea, Dixie House’s parent company, is scouting out other locations in the area, possibly in Casa Linda Plaza. This wasn’t a case of a rent hike, Pendleton say; Dixie House could have afforded to stay.
“Our sell records are huge here, and our profit margins are great,” Pendleton says. “We make tons of money. The cook has been here a long times, so our food cost is low and everything is stable. Lincoln just didn’t give us the the option [to stay in Lakewood Shopping Center].”
Pendleton says he is going to re-open the Black-eyed Pea location in Mesquite, which closed a couple months ago, and he says he hopes to take as many staff members as he can with him. Some can’t tag along, however, because they take public transit to work, he says — including some kitchen staff members who have been working at Dixie House for decades.
“I’ve got a guy who’s been back there for 30 years,” Pendleton says. “He rides the bus. If we don’t relocate this location anytime soon, they’re out of a job.”
Robert Dozier with Lincoln Property Co. was not immediately available when we called, but we’ll update the story if he returns our call.
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