Many customers and community members offered congratulations when Ruby’s made the announcement on their Facebook page Tuesday, saying things like a downtown Ruby’s location was “meant to be,” with some sharing that they’d “always pictured you (Ruby’s) in that building. ”
It’s been an event-filled two years getting to that point.
Ruby’s Recipes opened its doors at 462 Memory Lane Ste. 170 in June 2020. Allen named the restaurant in honor of his late mother, Ruby.
While Ruby’s is perhaps most well known for its Italian and deli-style cuisine, Allen hasn’t limited
himself to only that style of food, and they’ve expanded to offer take-and-heat and “Xpress” meals as well as desserts like their popular New York-style cheesecake or hummingbird cake.
Allen added that even before they’d found the place on Memory Lane, he’d called the landlord about the new location. Recognizing that the spot’s been through a few iterations over the years, Allen clarified that it’s not so much that he wished the previous restaurants would fail.
It was “just the feeling of it,” he said of the location and his desire to locate there.
Multiple times, the building became available, and for various reasons, it wasn’t able to work out-until this time.
“It’s definitely God’s hand because I think I had an opportunity to hone my skills in the current place,” Allen said.
He shared that immediately coming into a bigger place like the downtown location “at first might’ve been overwhelming.”
“To me, it was God’s hand saying ‘This isn’t the place for you’… [and] now, I’m ready to go,” Allen said.
His wife, Julia, pointed out that they’d already been looking at other locations along Ga. 400 or closer to Dahlonega, but they really wanted to stay in the downtown Dawsonville area.
“It was God saying, ‘I’ve got something up my sleeve. Just bid your time. I’m giving you the inspiration that you’re going to be moving soon, [so] just trust me,’” she said. “’Lean not on your own understanding, and I will direct your paths.’”
And then, just like that, the place that they’d “originally hoped for,” the building they drove past daily and “pretty much our hearts’ desire,” became available.
Allen said his response was to praise God and remember his blessings, especially the two years of community support.
This past fall, dozens of people showed up to buy spaghetti plate meals as part of a fundraiser during Allen’s recovery from health issues. Since that time, Ruby’s has also helped with local efforts like a collection drive for The Place and helping fundraise for Mason Palmour, a Dawson County teen battling brain cancer.
“We’ve been so supported by this community, it’s humbling,” Allen said. “It really is.”
Julia added that they “would like to be another anchor for downtown,” similar to the iconic Pool Room further down the road.
Much of Ruby’s food will stay the same. However, now customers will be able to purchase dishes another way, as Ruby’s Recipes is now signed up with Uber Eats.
Also, Julia shared that they’ve got something special in mind for Friday and Saturday nights.
While Ruby’s will still be an Italian deli and cafe during the daytime, they will stay open until about 10 pm on those nights for pizza parlor hours.
Likewise, Julia will put her horse business on hold and resume baking for the restaurant, as their former baker has moved away.
Smiling, Julia shared that she’s been baking ever since about the second grade, and because of the slight age gap between her and Allen, she started cooking around the same year.
She added that the restaurant location came pretty much “turn key” to them, but they’ll still have to bring in equipment like a pizza oven before their September opening. They’ll have to close for about two weeks mid-August to complete the move to the new location.
Ruby’s will also be hiring, as they’ll have about 45 more seats, they said in a Wednesday Facebook post.
The restaurant is hiring wait staff, a dishwasher, sandwich maker and prep cook. People interested in one of those positions can visit Allen at the current location, 462 Memory Lane Ste. 170, or send the restaurant a message through their Facebook page.
Ruby’s will also be participating in “A Taste of Italy” event at Buckley Vineyards in Ellijay the evening of Sept. 24.