If you’re craving Southern cuisine, you can now find it in downtown Lowell at the corner of Main and Riverside.
Magnolia opened a few days ago in the former Springrove Variety building and is serving up a selection of Southern favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya and po-boy sandwiches.
“We’re going to have a rotating daily menu,” explains owner Cameron Hessing. While visitors can expect to find beans and rice and greens available every day, the entrée selection will likely change.
In addition to dishing up meals, Hessing has plans to convert a portion of the building space into a convenience store with staples such as bread and milk. The hope there is to help people avoid having to run into Meijer when they only need a couple items.
Also planned are a liquor license, live music, a free jukebox and old, kitschy movies on the TV. “We’re not a sports bar,” Hessing notes. Instead, she hopes to create a relaxed atmosphere that evokes a retro feel.
From New Orleans to Lowell
Hessing shares ownership of Magnolia with her son, Jake Mikkelsen. They are no strangers to business, and Hessing ran a deli and grocery similar to Magnolia when she lived in New Orleans.
She describes her arrival in Lowell as “a kinda fluke.” She came to Michigan to help a friend and then found a wonderful place to live in Ionia. Along the way, she discovered the charms of Lowell.
When the former Springrove building at 123 W. Main Street became available, it seemed like the right place to open a restaurant that would serve food not found elsewhere in the community. That means you won’t find burgers or steaks at Magnolia, but you will find Southern dishes such as sticky chicken, dirty rice and beignets.
For drinks, there are root beer floats, Italian sodas and café au laits, among other things. When the restaurant gets a liquor license, a selection of domestic beers will also be added.
As for the name of the restaurant, Hessing says it made sense for the type of cuisine she’s serving. “It’s just a great flower,” she notes. “It evokes the South.”
Hours and Menu for Magnolia in Lowell
Right now, Magnolia is open from 10am-8pm on Thursdays through Mondays. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The restaurant has counter service, which means you won’t be waited on. Instead, you place your order at the counter and then can either eat it at the restaurant or take it to go.
“We’ll be having live music as often as we can get it,” Hessing says. She also notes that the restaurant’s jukebox is free for those times when there isn’t live music playing.
Since the menu is rotating, you’ll want to follow the Magnolia Facebook page to see what is being served up before you visit. That’s also the place to find the latest news on hours, entertainment and more.