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Dixie Kitchen to re-open at new location Tuesday

by Carrie Steinweg
General Manager Karyn Crowley is eager to welcome Lansing customers who have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Dixie Kitchen’s new location. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

LANSING, Ill. (August 12, 2018) – Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop will be opening at its new location on Tuesday, August 14, offering up all of their well-loved cajun and creole dishes in an updated setting in the building that housed the former Bohemian Joe’s restaurant at 17940 Torrence Avenue.

Endorsed by Obama

The original Dixie Kitchen location opened in Chicago’s South Side Hyde Park neighborhood in 1994, and it became known as a favorite of President Barack Obama. Then a state senator, Obama appeared on an episode of the PBS show “Check, Please!” in August 2001, where he said, “One of the things I like about this place is the prices are right and the portions are good.” He also mentioned his favorites—the Southern Sampler and the peach cobbler.

General Manager Karyn Crowley says Dixie Kitchen is a “destination location.” (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
In 2002, Dixie Kitchen opened an additional location in Lansing and they’ve created quite a following. “We’re a destination location,” said General Manager Karyn Crowley. “Customers travel from afar after passing numerous other restaurants to seek out the famous food of Dixie Kitchen.”

New location

The former location, which was located just off Torrence Avenue on the northern edge of Lansing, closed June 28, and Crowley said they gained access to the new location about a week later. Ever since then the phone has been ringing continuously and people have been driving up to try to place orders. “People just keep calling and showing up—and that says so much for our business,” she said. “We’re very excited and grateful for our regular guests who have supported us.”

Same menu

Customers can expect to find the same menu items that they enjoyed in the old location, but the look will be a little different. Because it had been recently renovated, select pieces of decor were moved to the new restaurant. “We’ve hand-selected particular, authentic pieces, and continued the ambiance with a new flair,” said Crowley.

Among those popular menu items are southern favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, fried green tomatoes, oysters, okra, catfish, smothered pork chops, jerk chicken, po’ boys, fried jumbo shrimp, macaroni and cheese and barbecued ribs. For those who may be looking for something other than southern cuisine, the menu includes broiled salmon, pastas, and fresh, hand-formed burgers.

Crowley noted that there is a lot of variety and depth to the menu with interesting combinations of flavors. Everything is made in-house from scratch, including sauces, like the creole sauce for the oysters and the Montego sauce for the plantains.

Meals can be finished off with such scrumptious treats as peach cobbler, key lime pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and a bread pudding with a homemade whiskey sauce. But to have room for dessert, Obama warned, you have to go easy on the Johnny Cakes, which Crowley described as “an old-fashioned hot water cornbread.” After customers are seated they are greeted with a complimentary basket of Johnny Cakes along with homemade honey butter.

The new location features a full service bar and you’ll find a number of specialty drinks on the menu. Also, keep in mind that a fried chicken special is available on Mondays for $9.95, which includes a half fried chicken and two homemade side dishes.

Where and when

  • Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop
    17940 Torrence Avenue
    Lansing IL 60438
  • Hours:
    Sunday–Thursday: 11:00am–9:00pm
    Friday–Saturday: 11:00am–10:00pm

To see a young Barack Obama offer his review of Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop on “Check, Please!,” visit

One day, that big yellow circle near the entrance will say, “Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop.” (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)


Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who has lived in Lansing for 27 years. She most enjoys writing about food, people, history, and baseball. Her favorite Lansing Journal articles that she has written are: "Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew," "Why Millennials are choosing Lansing," "Curtis Granderson returns home to give back," "The Cubs, the World Series, fandom, and family," and "Lansing's One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis."


  1. Too bad about the separate check issue. We eat out with different groups and separate checks is so much easier. There are many places that do separate checks so we will stick with them unless it is just the two of us.
    We wish you well, Lansing is a great village. Popalanos was one of our favorites at that site even after we moved from Lansing.

  2. Looking forward to the opening at the new location. Never been there before. Too bad there is no way to have separate checks as that makes things simpler for the customer. Do you have any senior items?

  3. is it true that there are no Separate Checks? I also come there with a group of people and it is very irritating for us to have to sit there after having a wonderful meal to try to figure out how much each person owes. Is it that much of a hassle to allow people to have Separate Checks, after all you are there to please the customers.. may God bless you at your new location.

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