Many local restaurants were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the SMU community’s beloved Digg’s Tacos on Hillcrest Ave. was among those that were forced to close its doors permanently.
Professor Jared Schroeder, of SMU’s Journalism Department, fondly recounted some of his first memories of the restaurant.
“When I was on my job interview at SMU, in spring 2015, I remember sitting at Digg’s between meetings,”Schroeder said. “I could almost see it from my office window. It was just really easy to head over there, either to pick something up or to have lunch with friends.”
Students and faculty alike were devastated to see the “for rent” signs in the windows at their favorite Mexican-style restaurant upon returning to campus for the 2020-2021 school year.
“I was super sad to see Digg’s closed when I came back to campus,” Said third-year SMU student Piper Kopser. “It was honestly a staple of my freshmen and sophomore year experiences and I am bummed it’s not around anymore.”
For the SMU community, Digg’s was more than a dining experience. For many, it was a social hub, accessible to a wide range of SMU students due to its location being right across the street from campus.
“The atmosphere at Digg’s was always very casual and social, and I loved that the employees there were close to my age- they were often super funny,” Kopser remembered.
Although the SMU community will always fondly remember the delicious meals and exciting setting that Digg’s provided, the restaurant opening in its place, Lucky’s Hot Chicken, may be able to live up to the legacy that Digg’s left behind.
According to their vice president of brand management, Lauren Land, Lucky’s Hot Chicken has routes here in Highland Park, as the owner was born and raised in Dallas.
Land emphasized that Lucky’s Hot Chicken is excited to be a part of the neighborhood and to serve the SMU community.
“Our restaurant group is run by locals and SMU grads, so this is our dream,” Land said.
Land stated that Lucky’s Hot Chicken is on track to open in mid- to late-March, and their press release paints a picture of a lively, 1960s inspired atmosphere.
According to Land’s press release, the restaurant’s Highland Park location will be decked-out with “vintage blues posters sourced from Nashville antique shops, hand-painted murals, and old-school neon signage throughout”.
Despite a promising social atmosphere and an addition of “boozy frozen cocktails” to their menu, some SMU community members have expressed concern about Lucky’s Hot Chicken opening in the place of a taco shop.
“I look forward to trying the chicken place, but am worried that the lack of menu variety and healthy options will cause the new restaurant to fall short of Digg’s great reputation,” Kopser said.
The SMU community will always miss the food and social scene at Digg’s, but Lucky’s Hot Chicken certainly has the potential to live up to its legacy.