When you walk in Ollie Vaughn’s you are immediately greeted with their pastry case full of homemade granola bars, pre-fixed salads, freshly made apple pies, and delicious Mexican tea cookies. To the right is a photo and college degree belonging to on the owner’s Great Grandmother, Ollie Vaughn, and as you make your way towards the back of the restaurant there is a small collection of unique cook books. With these touches, their seasonal menu, and friendly staff you feel at home right away.
Who are the owners?
Lindsey Magee is a Phoenix native. Her love for the kitchen started when she would cook and bake for her little brother at the young age of 7. Her passion continued to blossom from there. She tells me how she’s wanted to have her own restaurant since she was 13. Only the business she dreamed of having then would be a nightclub that during the day would function as a deli. Needless to say since then her ideas for her dream business have progressed. After years of working in a variety of locally owned restaurants Lindsey strengthened her craft both in the kitchen and with hospitality and service. She worked as a baker at Lux Central, and gained front of house experience at St. Francis Restaurant. But surprisingly, what Lindsey feels has prepped her for owning her own restaurant the most is her experience in the film industry. She worked as a location manager in New York City and explains to me how this has been a tremendous help with the stresses involved in opening and running her own business. Lindsey also tells me when the dust settled after all the planning, building and expanding was finished she got to experiment in her own kitchen in her own restaurant. This was one of her happiest moments.
How did it start?
Lindsey has known for years that she wanted to either open a diner or café. When she originally purchased the space where Ollie Vaughn’s resides she was really pushing for a diner. After working out details and thinking it over for quite some time she decided against the diner and went ahead with the café. She tells me that once she decided on the café everything fell in to place so easily. To top it off operating a café allows her to run her business in addition to having time in the kitchen. It feels as though she has found the perfect way to do everything she wants.
Lindsey has always wanted a place where she could pick up a light and fresh lunch. Since it was an area she felt was lacking in Phoenix she decided to base her menu around that. The menu at Ollie Vaughn’s consists of seasonal salads, sandwiches, snacks and treats. Their menu will grow and change with the seasons. Lindsey has grown citrus trees behind Ollie Vaughn’s as well as her own herb and vegetable garden. In addition to the produce she is growing herself she works directly with McClendon’s Farm, Crooked Sky Farms and the Farm at Agritopia to get the best ingredients possible. Some of Lindsey’s personal favorites on the fall menu are The Watercress Salad consisting of watermelon radish, apple, goat cheese and black sesame seeds on watercress, The Steak Sandwich consisting of steak, avocado, watermelon radish, caramelized onion and goat cheese, The Butternut Squash Soup and their Pumpkin and Apple Pies. In addition to these delicious, homemade items Lindsey has plans to begin baking their own bread in house in the near future.
Ollie Vaughn’s is located on McDowell Road near 16th Street, just two blocks from Lindsey’s home. She loves the Coronado historic neighborhood and wanted to work to improve the area she calls home. There was no water, electric or plumbing when Lindsey bought the space nearly two years ago. She kept the original 1940’s wood roofing, the nearly floor to ceiling windows that face the street, as well as the concrete flooring intact, and she designed the space herself. With the help of her contractor, architect and fiancé she was able to execute her perfect place.
Why we love it!
We love seeing young entrepreneurs pour their hearts in to doing something they love while building their community. Lindsey is doing this by growing her own citrus, herbs and vegetables, working with local vendors, and by contributing to revitalizing her neighborhood. We highly recommend stopping by Ollie Vaughn’s for a light lunch or an afternoon snack!
Hours and Location
Ollie Vaughn’s is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 3pm. They are located at 1526 E. McDowell Rd. in Phoenix.
What else is in the neighborhood?
A few of Lindsey’s local favorite restaurants are Tortas El Guero right around the corner from Ollie Vaughn’s, Cibo Pizzeria on 5th Avenue and Fillmore, Lola Coffee on 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt and La Santisima on 16th Street.
What’s coming up for Ollie Vaughn’s?
Ollie Vaughn’s has plans to start making their own bread in house and may be opening up earlier for breakfast. Stay tuned!
Photos by author.
Tags: 16th Street, Cafe, Cibo Pizzeria, Coronado Historic District, Crooked Sky Farms, Desserts, Farm at Agritopia, La Santisima, Lindsey Magee, Lola Coffee, lunch, Lux Central, McClendons, McDowell Road, Ollie Vaughn's, Pastries, Phoenix, Seasonal Menu, St. Francis, Tortas El Guero