Fans of Maudell Grayson’s vegan cuisine stand up — Dell’z is back, but with a new name, menu, owner and limited seating at 1617 Ashley River Road in West Ashley. After initially opening for takeout in 2020, DellzVille has added limited indoor and outdoor seating and a menu focused on more healthy options, owner Michael Bonds, Grayson’s son, told the City Paper.
“Her name’s on the door — we all know who the real boss is,” said Bonds, who said his mother is still helping out in the kitchen.
The restaurant is offering 15 or so items, including Dell’z vegan nachos, jazzy pizza and sassy chicken wrap, along with some new creations like vegan deviled eggs and “Mount Dell’z” salad. Hours are limited to 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday to allow for more prep time, which has led to shorter waits, Bonds said.
“It seems like it’s the same menu, but [it’s] more of the details we’re really invested in right now,” said Bonds, who came back to run the restaurant after spending the last year on the West Coast in California and Arizona. “I was looking for a spot in Arizona, and then I realized that everything I was looking for was already here in West Ashley.”
Those details Bonds pointed to include making nearly every dish from scratch, sourcing from local farms and hosting Sunday pop-ups aimed at engaging the community, changes that fit in with the vision Grayson had for the West Ashley space when she closed Dell’z Uptown in February 2020.
“The cafe will have food, yes, but also communal spaces for gathering, unloading, and breaking down everything from daily gripes to ‘generational curses,’” former City Paper cuisine editor Mary Scott Hardaway wrote about the forthcoming restaurant in March 2020.
So far, DellzVille community pop-ups have included specialty menus for Juneteenth and the Fourth of July, and moving forward, there will be cooking classes aimed at teaching folks about the food they’re eating and how to craft their own healthy meals at home, Bonds and Grayson said.
You’ll still see the name “Dell’z” on the front of the building “so people know it’s us,” Grayson said, but the name has been changed to DellzVille — social media confirms the swap. The name shift shouldn’t come as a surprise for those familiar with Grayson; her family had a hand in at least three downtown eateries with three different names (Dell’z Deli, Dell’z Vibes and Dell’z Uptown) from 2009-2020, and the West Ashley location was initially dubbed Maudellz Lifestyle Cafe.
Grayson said Bonds is in charge of the restaurant, but she’s enjoying helping out in the kitchen. Right now, she’s working on fine tuning her butternut squash-based vegan queso, but stay tuned — moving forward, Grayson is looking into opening a downtown “coffee and consignment shop,” she said.
“I want to be around to help them just do their best,” Grayson said. “I love cooking; I can never retire from cooking.”
DellzVille is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and community pop-ups take place on most Sundays. For more information and to place an order, visit dellzville.com.