Christina Cottell and Shoel Davidson of Gringo in Gastown picked up the 2,300 sqft space at 337 East Hastings back in mid-January. They’ve since been hosting a series of pop-up restaurants at the address, among them Karl Gregg’s Chicken Shack and a night of reportedly excellent cheeseburgers from The Local Omnivore. As noted in this week’s Scout List, a new (and self-explanatory) pop-up called Meatball & Co. is set to take over the spot this weekend.
This “337 Series” of pop-ups will continue throughout the Summer because the address won’t see a permanent restaurant until Autumn. When that good day does arrive, it’ll witness the dawn of Dixies, an authentic 75 seat Austin-style, Central Texas BBQ joint with a late night license. Cottell lived in Texas when she was a kid, so she wants to do it right. That means live flame, a lot of pork, plenty of sausage, rubs and glazes (as opposed to sauces or vinegars), and a deep range of sides (serrano-spinach, collared greens, beans, slaw, potato salad, et cetera). We can also expect special catfish suppers, fried chicken dinners, and gospel brunches. Aside from the four taps (3 beers, 1 cider), the bar will be bourbon-heavy. I’m told we’ll also see BBQ pairing standards like Bloody Mary’s and spiked iced teas, plus boozy lemonades and punches.
After The Flower Cafe shuttered in this space a couple of years ago (after a lengthy run), the cinder block address became the short-lived Perch. Most recently, it housed Buick 6, which also withered within a shockingly short period.
Whether the two most recent iterations were both conceptual failures is hard to say, as the heart of the Downtown Eastside hasn’t been especially supportive of restaurants for a very long time. Regardless, there’s a lot of time between now and the opening, and if the (to date) largely successful pop-ups are any indication, it might not be as prohibitive a spot as its most recent failures might suggest. Speaking personally as a woefully under-served fan of regionally specific BBQ (Dixie’s is only a few blocks from the Scout office), I’m super stoked at the prospect.