Inspired by the 1989 movie “Heart of Dixie,” Mississippi native Don Newcomb and the University of Mississippi bought a sizable souvenir from the set: the gas station has been converted into a diner themed 1950 for filming (through And talk about which?). If the producer thinks it’s a good idea for a movie, it’s bound to succeed in real life too, right? With this in mind, Newcomb got to work. He used his knowledge from previous restaurant franchise partnerships to convert the gas station set to Ole Miss’s newest sandwich shop.
The process took two years and a lot of help from his sons and the office manager, Debra Bryson, with whom he would go on to open several more restaurants. They named the local restaurant “Ro Vau”. However, community members started to mistake it for a burger chain TIC and toe. To reduce confusion around similar names, Newcomb quickly renamed the store McAllister’s in honor of his wife’s family. The restaurant became a chain in 1995 and has expanded to more than 500 locations across the United States, according to McAllister’s website. Texas, Indiana, and Mississippi are the states with the most locations.
https://www.mashed.com/707283/mcalisters-deli-used-to-be-called-something-totally-different/ McAlister’s Deli used to be called something completely different