When the doors open at the Dixie Drive-In, the intoxicating smell of fried food overtakes the senses. Greenwood’s historic diner reopened those doors Tuesday.
“I need three Dixie Cheese,” George Kerhoulas, co-owner Gigi Kerhoulas Huskey’s brother, yelled to the kitchen. “I need a Dixie Chili Cheese!”
Cars filled the parking lot as the restaurant reopened its dine-in service as well as to-go operation.
“Definitely missed it,” Crystal Holley said.
She ordered a Dixie Cheese Half and Half, a popular order among patrons of the iconic diner.
Caesar Machado was taking his daughter, Lander University student Shelby Machado, back to school when he saw the restaurant open.
“Oh crap, they are open,” Machado said when he decided to pull in.
Machado, who lives in Fountain Inn, said he remembers coming to the restaurant in the past and wanted to grab lunch before taking his daughter back to the dorm.
“It’s been going great,” Huskey said about the reopening. “We have had a lot of turnout.”
Huskey said closing on the property was successful and now the property at 600 Montague Ave., where The Dixie has operated since 1959, belongs to the Kerhoulas.
In July, the restaurant announced it would close at its longtime location and move to another location because negotiations with the existing land owners had broken down. Last month, The Dixie announced on Facebook the owners of the Dixie Drive-In had reached an agreement with the landowners to purchase the property.
The iconic restaurant has seen a number of changes over the last few months. The novel coronavirus caused many restaurants to shut down inside dining and move to curbside and takeout options. The Dixie was forced to adapt to those changes by setting up drive-thru operations.
When the restaurant reopened Tuesday, it welcomed customers to eat inside, place a to-go order, or if you can get through on the busy line, call in to place a curbside order. Dine-in customers were spaced out on the iconic diner seating and employees were wearing masks.
Huskey said while they were closed, they made a few updates to the restaurant, such as painting the walls. She said a few more things need to be done, however, she intends to keep The Dixie the same as it has always been.
“We don’t want to change too much because then it won’t be The Dixie,” Huskey said.
She described changes coming soon as upgrades.
After having dine-in service closed for several months, Huskey said some kinks are being ironed out.
“We have to retrain ourselves,” Huskey said.
George Kerhoulas was calling out orders as they came in Tuesday.
George Kerhoulas, Huskey’s brother, is not to be confused with their cousin George Kerhoulas, who co-owns the restaurant with Huskey.
“We have a lot of Georges in the family,” Huskey said.
She also has “George” in her name — Georgeanna — but goes by Gigi.
The Dixie Drive-In’s new hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.