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New diner offers Southern classics in Tuxedo

Trevon Dunn offers a creative menu at Tuxedo Diner in the former Good Times diner location. [NATASHA TOWNSEND/Hendersonville Lightning] Trevon Dunn offers a creative menu at Tuxedo Diner in the former Good Times diner location. [NATASHA TOWNSEND/Hendersonville Lightning]

TUXEDO — Classic diner staples and country favorites with a twist make up the menu at Tuxedo Diner, the newest taste of the south serving Tuxedo.

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The restaurant had a grand opening July 4 and has been making an impact in the small community ever since. Crowds are growing, and the words “Yummy, as usual” could be heard as customers finished their breakfast one morning last week.
They can thank owner and chef Trevon Dunn, who has brought grits (and lots of other menu choices) to the area sometimes known as GRTZ (for Green River, Tuxedo and Zirconia).
A Wyoming native who moved to Asheville over a decade ago, Dunn has restaurant experience at many Asheville kitchens including the Gypsy Queen Cuisine. His first hand at being chef came in 2012 when he converted a bus into a food truck called the Bon Bus, serving Portuguese food, Dunn said. The Bon Bus was Dunn’s last stop before opening Tuxedo Diner.
He met Beau Martin at a restaurant gig, and it was Martin who suggested Dunn open a restaurant in Tuxedo. Martin was familiar with the area himself, having started Green River Picklers just up the road.
“He convinced me to open this place,” Dunn said.
The restaurant has a deep history. It used to be called The Good Times Café and was a car service station even before. A car lift is visible underneath one of the countertops.
“We’re picking up,” Dunn said. “Each week is getting busier. We’re happy to see more and more people coming back. They’ll try something safe at first like the chicken fingers and then venture out to something like the pork sandwich, and then they’ll tell their friends to come. I want it to be a place where everyone knows everyone. When I think about diners it’s a ritual. You come in, sit down and get the same thing. It’s a place to meet and create community. … It’s the same people, and they know you by name. It’s hard to come into a space especially when you’re not from this small town, and I think Tuxedo’s been real kind to me.”
The menu features breakfast, lunch and dinner choices like the Tuxedo Club, double stacked with ham, turkey and the usual add-ons, the Tuxedo Skillet for breakfast lovers and the Tuxedo Burger. Some classics come with a twist like the pork chop sandwich, which includes green apple.
“I started with an approachable menu,” Dunn said. “You make your way in, and you don’t want to try a ton of new stuff. I wanted to give them something they can trust so they can try something more adventurous next time.”
The diner’s produce, meat and coffee comes from local farms and farmers markets and many items are made from scratch, even the potato chips. Low prices, with an average of $7 add to the value.
Dunn will be expanding his menu, which will now include meat lover’s dishes like meatloaf and chicken fried steak, pastas and handmade gelato.
“I really like the feel of being a part of something like this where you create a space in a community for people to come in and drink coffee all morning and talk with their neighbors,” Dunn said.

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The Tuxedo Diner is open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. It’s at 2185 Old Greenville Highway. (828) 513-1910.