Food truck Che Butter Jonez finds permanent home in southwest Atlanta

The Aarogant sandwich from the menu of Che Butter Jonez. / Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

For years, Detric Fox-Quinlan told her husband, Malik Rhassan, that he needed to get his food in front of people.

“I said, ‘I want people to taste your food. Please open a restaurant,’" Fox-Quinlan said.

After too many days of the couple coming home stressed from their corporate day jobs, they decided to pursue their culinary dream and buy a food truck, while continuing to look for a brick-and-mortar restaurant space.

Not long after, Che Butter Jonez, a nod to Rhassan’s online alias, was born.

With the tagline, “I cook better than your muva!” and a sketch of Rhassan’s snarling face on the side, the truck soon attracted long lines to its regular space in the parking lot at the Met development in southwest Atlanta.

The Che Butter Jonez food truck / Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

In his two years in the food business, Rhassan, a native of Queens, New York, has developed a following for his rotating menu, which often features dishes including the That Sh** Slambing, a lamb burger with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions and jalapenos with an herb sauce and fries; and the Bobby and Whitney combo that comes with a beef burger and shrimp fries.

While the couple worked on building their customer base, including amassing more than 10,000 followers on Instagram, Rhassan and Fox-Quinlan (she is known as Bae Butter Jonez) kept an eye out for a brick-and-mortar location .

They finally found it in their beloved southwest Atlanta, and hope to open just before Christmas at 757 Cleveland Ave. SW. Located in a strip anchored by a Chevron gas station, the space will have very limited seating and will cater almost exclusively to takeout.

Detric Fox-Quinlan and Malik Rhasaan / Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

Rhassan said that while part of the appeal of the location is its manageable rent, more important is that it will allow Che Butter Jonez to fully embed itself into the community.

“We want to show that good food can come from anywhere, and this community is deserving,” he said. “Something’s going to be here — why not me?”

Helping them to achieve their restaurant dreams are their customers, who stepped up during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to buy extra food to allow the truck to provide free meals to first responders. Many customers “have embedded us into their lives,” Fox-Quinlan said, noting that some patrons visit the truck two or three times a week.

Another boost came in the form of a $10,000 grant in June from Nav, an organization that helps small businesses manage their credit and get access to financing.

Deconstructed Shrimp and Grits from Che Butter Jonez. / Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

A permanent space will enable Rhassan to expand his made-to-order offerings and plan tasting menus and chef events for small groups. He’ll continue to offer breakfast items including the Circle and the Bodega sandwiches, as well as weekend brunch options featuring the likes of crab omelets and a cod-based dish that pays homage to Rhassan’s Bermudian roots.

While Rhassan and Fox-Quinlan are excited to plant roots in their neighborhood, ultimately they’re just happy to have a chance to serve a wider swath of the public.

“We spent so much time looking for the perfect location before I realized that we create the perfect location,” Rhassan said. “When people come to my truck, I want them to have good food and a good experience, and I want the same for the restaurant.”

The Che Butter Jonez food truck currently operates Wednesday-Saturday. Follow Che Butter Jonez on Instagram for daily hours and location updates.

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