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Mason Dixie opening a Drive-Thru (and Eat In) on Bladensburg!!

by Prince Of Petworth April 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm 27 Comments

mason dixie
2301 Bladensburg Road, NE

A reader reports:

“Driving home this weekend, I noticed that Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. appears to be setting up a brick and mortar spot on Bladensburg, just north of NY Ave NE. It’s taking over the building that used to be Dolphin Fish and Chicken. Super exciting to see something that isn’t a new night club going in on this stretch, and hoping it means more to come for Bladensburg!!”

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co tells me they should be opening soon – stay tuned for an exact opening date later next week.  In the meantime they describe the new spot:

CUISINE: A nostalgic throw-back to a 1950’s roadside kitchenette, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.’s Drive Thru is a fresh-fast restaurant focusing on crave-worthy biscuit sandwiches, juicy fried chicken, and creamy frozen “Cultshakes” by DC’s premier ice creamery, Milk Cult. Mason Dixie serves versions of these delicious Southern roadside classics made-to-order, using fresh, preservative-free, hormone-free, and high quality local ingredients with heart-warming Southern hospitality.

ICE CREAM PROGRAM: Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. partners with DC ice creamery, Milk Cult, on an ice cream program specially made for the Drive Thru. The menu is complete with ice-creams by the scoop, inventive ice cream sandwiches, and introducing the exclusive “Cultshake” by Mason Dixie – signature hand-spun milkshakes only available at the Drive Thru. The duo met as members of Union Kitchen in Ivy City and are collaborating for this break-out concept.

SPACE: Located in Washington, DC’s thriving Ivy City/Gateway community, Mason Dixie’s Drive-Thru reinvigorates the former fast food locale into a nostalgic 1950’s roadside kitchenette. The restaurant preserves the existing drive-thru and features updated vintage fixtures and a fresh new face to the exterior façade. The 32-seat restaurant interior gives a playful nod to a throw-back Howard Johnson meets old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Hand-picked vintage furniture and a retro color scheme provide a fun and relaxed aesthetic which will reintroduce the social aspect of the classic teen hangout spot. The youthful ambiance and family-friendly atmosphere is sure to evoke a trip down memory lane.”

  • LMatt_in_NE

    Yessss. I’ve loved them since they were at Union Market. Glad to see them moving into a brick and mortar spot.

  • DF

    “Ice cream program”? Why does everything need to be a “program”? Can that concept die this year?

    • neighbor

      Came here to say this.
      They could have just said Ice Cream. Or even simply Desserts.

    • stacksp

      Does the ice cream program require a mixologist to curate these hand crafted desserts?

      • Rich

        Do you actually mean mean “curated hand crafted concepts”?

  • SF

    This place looks great, and I live around here so it’s not just hating, but “Located in Washington, DC’s thriving Ivy City/Gateway community” is nothing but PR. This place is bound by a Budweiser distribution hub to the south, another distribution complex to the east, a used car lot to the North, and and some sort of metrobus complex across the street. I predict it will do great based on commuter traffic past this lot but no need to pretend there’s some sort of thriving “communty” along this particular strip of no-man’s land.

    • Rich

      It’s not far from Costco–that should be their tagline.

    • anon

      1600 feet from the future NewCityDC development. Many investors have been buying up production spaces around that area in anticipation that they’ll be development opportunities in 10-15 years. They’ll be an auto-oriented production space near-term, but they might be playing the long game.

  • OP

    Thanks for getting all the scoop- looking forward to adding a local option nearby… but hoping it garners some sit down and healthy options up this stretch too! And absolutely on board with the ice cream program!

  • Lynn

    Can’t wait! They will be asset to the community. Not too mention their food is awesome!

  • Squire of the Squangle

    Referring to something as “crave-worthy” does not inspire me to crave it. Quite the opposite.

  • MarkQ

    “A nostalgic throw-back to a 1950’s roadside kitchenette”…. yikes, from a place with the name “Dixie” in it? Seem like some good folks behind this, but the combination of 50s Southern nostalgia and the name Dixie doesn’t exactly scream welcoming to the folks in this particular neighborhood. I fear how that will play out in the decor.

    • On Capital Heels

      I hate the name and the description. Won’t be eating here out of principle and respect for my ancestors and all they endured in 1950s Dixie and the like.

    • Blithe

      Agree! A “trip down memory lane” to the 1950’s south is not something that I want to revisit or support. I’m not sure if this is deliberate or tone deaf or a lack of realization that not everyone’s experience of the 1950’s was pleasant — or even remotely safe — but the type of “heart-warming Southern hospitality” that I associate with a name like “Dixie” makes me wonder if I’d be expected to pick up my order in a sack at the “Drive Thru” because all of the seats in this “playful… throw-back” are reserved for folks that don’t look like me.

      — Yeah, it’s interesting what people are choosing to openly celebrate these days. And if it’s not conscious and deliberate, that makes it even more insidiously , um, interesting.

    • ForReel

      In your rush to pompously feel guilty for someone else to raise your own ego, have you considered that this place has been in the DC area for quite a while?

      Not whitewash the horror that was the South in the days of Jim Crow, but the sheer amount of over done liberal censorship “for a good cause” can’t seem to see past that this is just a restaurant.

      • textdoc

        “have you considered that this place has been in the DC area for quite a while?” Wait… which place — Mason Dixie? I thought they started up at EatsPlace just a couple of years ago.

    • DC225

      Oh please, every era in history had it’s good, bad, and ugly. This place is paying homage to the good: to the little roadside shacks that used to exist all over the south…places where a waitress named Betha would serve up ham sandwiches and malts. Ever seen the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes?” A place just like that. And with regards to the name, I hate to break it to y’all, but DC is technically in the south. What’s next? Boycotting a 50-style diner because it evokes painful memories of misogyny and racism, not poodle skirts and Elvis? Please, find something legitimately offensive to get all worked up about. I can’t wait to come here.

      • skj84

        I love Mason Dixie Biscuits, but I understand why people are majorly uncomfortable with the name and concept. Even though DC is technically the south, the times they are trying to invoke were not good to people of color. At all. I wouldn’t blame people if they find the concept distasteful. Its nice you cans see the sunshine and rainbows that some people got to enjoy during the “good old days”. However maybe try to look at things from the perspective of those who don’t and understand why they feel upset. It’s not that hard to show compassion.

      • Blithe

        Third generation Washingtonian here. I’m sure the food is good, and that the intentions — possibly — are as well. I’m well aware that DC is technically in the south. And, although I doubt that you’re interested, I could give you long lists of places where my parents, my grandparents and I couldn’t work, couldn’t live, couldn’t sit down, and couldn’t go at all. My parents were actively involved in efforts to desegregate places like drugstores and department stores in the city. Fun little places like Glen Echo and lunch counters downtown. Their generation was the first to sit down and eat at fun little 50’s style dinners without fear. Of course in the actual 50’s, they had to choose their diners quite carefully, cause, you know, segregation. No one has mentioned boycotting or censorship. Several people — including I — have made comments about how we want to spend our money and our time. And, for me, celebrating an environment that actively venerates “Dixie”– symbolism associated with slavery, lynching, genocide, and segregation isn’t in my budget. Yes, I read “Fried Green Tomatoes” and I saw the movie. And I get what at least some of the nostalgia and symbolism celebrates. I wonder if you do. I also wonder if you would be equally dismissive about eating places and descriptors that celebrated other markers associated with genocide? A deli with a name associated with the Holocaust? A restaurant with a Trail of Tears theme?
        — Enjoy your biscuits. I’ve heard they’re good.

        • DC225

          You are making a ridiculous comparison to the Holocaust. Dixie is slang for a region: the south. Nothing more than that. Whatever symbolism you are identifying is a creation in your head. It is possible to be nostalgic for components of the past (like the food) and not want to revert back at a society to the entire way that life once was. There is a distinction that reasonable heads can and do make. The same way we can still go to Medieval Times and celebrate the fun of the past and still not want to live in a medieval society.

          • Blithe
          • Blithe

            1. Even the mainstream Wikipedia notes that “Dixie” references the geographic region, cultural assumptions and traditions of the Confederate Era and antebellum south.
            2. Slavery as it was practiced in the US and the lynchings that followed it during and after the Jim Crow era — also linked strongly, but not solely, with the Confederate South are, indeed, genocide. If you disagree with my comparisons to other acts of genocide, you would be more convincing if you supported your assertion with something more than just your “ridiculous” assertion.
            3. Yes, it’s possible to celebrate the culture of the American South without also celebrating the “Dixie” aspect of it. Mason Dixie’s decision to hearken back to the 1950’s roadside dinner — a place where I would not have been legally able to eat in the actual South, in the actual 1950’s — is not a neutral theme. (Research Green Books — the African American museum has an excellent exhibit on this. )
            4. Again, Enjoy your biscuits.

          • DC225

            I lost relatives in the Holocaust. I can still be okay to see the word Germany, even knowing that Germany was the country and geographical location of the world’s worst genocide, one that killed people in my grandmother’s family, and still be able to know that the word Germany can be separated from that horrible atrocity that killed my relatives. Heck, I can even peacefully eat at a German restaurant. Yes, I will be enjoying my biscuits.

          • textdoc

            “I can still be okay to see the word Germany.” The word “Dixie” isn’t like the word “Germany,” though — it’s loaded, the way the term “Vaterland” is loaded.

  • Me

    White Washingtonian here, I lived in the deep south for a short time. My understanding of the term “Dixie” is that it’s used by many to refer to the south – yes, but more the Confederate South. Now – being white, I can’t tell someone what pain they feel hearing that term – but most people I encountered in my time in the south who used the term Dixie, also carried the rebel flag and such.

    I do think it’s an odd choice of name for this area. And, have to say I didn’t even think about it until it was brought up here. Probably have to say, I’d like to hear a bit more from the company about what their thought process was.

    • Blithe

      Thank you for your comments — and your perspective. I appreciate MarkQ’s comments, bringing up the issues associated with not just the name, but the description of the “throw-back” 1950’s environment that the owners describe. I, too, would love to hear from the owners about their thought process.

  • Me

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the CEO a POC?


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