SUMMIT — Following the devastating fire that destroyed the landmark Dixie Springs Cafe, there are plans for the restaurant to return by the end of the year with a new owner who’s the great-grandson of the original proprietor.
The Enterprise-Journal reports that Edward “Ted” Malta is buying the property from former owners Joe and Kristine Kimmel and plans to open the restaurant by this year’s holiday season.
The new restaurant will be known as The Mallard, and an attached bar will be called Mallardbar.
The Dixie Springs Cafe burned to the ground in a massive December fire.
Malta is the great-grandson of Jim Carruth, who opened the original Dixie Springs Cafe in 1939.
The new restaurant will be built around an old Lincoln County church that Malta bought with the intention of renovating. He wants the church to serve as both the dining area and architectural centerpiece.
“We’re going to try to do as much as we can so it’ll have the same nostalgic feel of the place, but being new construction, that’s going to be kind of tricky,” Malta said. “That’s why I like to incorporate the old chapel building in there. That’s going to give it an old feeling right off the bat.”
Malta said he also will have two cabins for nightly rentals. They will be placed next to the courtyard, and his cabin on the lake also will be available for rent.
Besides the restaurant, Malta said he wants to open the establishment up for special events, such as banquets, parties, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners.
Malta said the restaurant will be built in phases, with the first involving the relocation of the church. A new bar will be built along the back side of the property, near where the old bar was, and the upper-level deck and dining area with a wrap-around porch and rocking chairs overlooking Lake Dixie Springs also will be rebuilt.
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