Mediterranean restaurant takes over former Dixie Kitchen space

Mariana Alfaro, Web Editor

The locale on 825 Church St. formerly known as Dixie Kitchen has reopened as YaHala Inn, a Middle Eastern restaurant, instead of the previously announced Old Dixie Cafe.

The decision to serve Mediterranean cuisine instead of Cajun-Southern inspired food was made by the locale’s new owner, Ron Khalaf, who said his management team has more experience serving Lebanese, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food.

Dixie Kitchen, one of three in a chain started out of Hyde Park, closed last fall. In May, The Daily reported the restaurant would reopen under new management and with the name “Old Dixie Cafe.” However, Old Dixie Cafe never opened and the space had been empty until now.

Khalaf said his team has been working to reopen the space for the last five months. The locale has been remodeled to host YaHala Inn.

“We know there’s a couple of spots in Evanston now that carry this type of food but we’re really going to bring a more of an authentic brand in the community,” he said. “This is what we know best, that’s what we want to open and we feel confident it is going to work for us.”

Khalaf said he has managed restaurants for the last 25 years across the nation. He added YaHala Inn has received positive feedback so far and that people had been stopping by to ask questions. The restaurant, he said, will have a liquor license, though it will only serve beer and wine.

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