Cheryl Hurt has only been the manager at The Mecca for three years, but she talks like she's been with the restaurant for all 74 of them. I called her when a reader emailed to tell me the restaurant was making a move form its spot on Harry Hines to Live Oak Street. Hurt told me they just signed a lease on the old Molly Maguire's space that closed last fall.
The new Mecca will be a lot like the old Mecca. They're taking all the pictures from the walls and the furniture from the dining room. They're taking that old, retro, neon sign as long as the city lets them install it at the new location. They're keeping the breakfast-all-day format but also adding dinner service. There will be short stacks for supper in East Dallas, hopefully by the end of summer.
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Hurt told me the move was long overdue. Since DART came in and bought many of the surrounding businesses, the demographics of the area have been shifting. When she said that I was reminded of the image of Club Schmitz standing with its swayback roof as the tracks were built right over the dive bar. She told me the old building that has housed The Mecca for the last 44 years was getting pretty tired, too.
I asked if they were doing anything special before they shut down the old location and move to the new, but Hurt said they hadn't talked about it too much yet. She's too excited thinking ahead. Next year the restaurant will celebrate its 75th anniversary, and the new space and zoning offers exciting opportunities. "We're going to have a street party," Hurt told me, and her enthusiasm poured through the phone.