Jonathan Demoga’s food truck might be brand new, but the relationships that built it certainly are not. The custom trailer, Mama Roux, will take up residency in The Dive Bar’s beer garden this summer, serving southern cuisine. Demoga gained expertise in New Orleans cuisine while working for the Brennan Family (of James Beard notoriety) and envisioned coupling that experience with his time spent working on food trucks in Austin.

Mama Roux was built by Cart Concepts International, a manufacturer Demoga’s father came across years ago as his vision began to take root. When his father, John P. Demoga, passed in 2015 after a courageous battle with ALS, he felt compelled to make his dream a reality.

Demoga, a graduate of Johnson & Wales, returned to Worcester during his father’s illness and began working at Armsby Abbey for local restaurateurs, Sherri Sadowski and Alec Lopez. Upon hearing Demoga’s aspirations, Lopez saw an opportunity for synergy. He had long imagined offering food at his Green Street establishment, The Dive Bar, but with new projects in the works, he knew that he would have to put his trust in someone else. Demoga immediately rose to the challenge.

“He makes great comfort food. His heart and soul are in New Orleans and I know that will be reflected,” Lopez says.

Demoga is making a point to curate his favorite staples from different corners of the South for Mama Roux. Case in point, two aged Benton’s Country Hams are currently en route from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. “The ham is intense and salty with a real campfire taste. True terroir,” Demoga explains. He plans to serve it with pickles from Regal Crown on Mason Street in Worcester and creole mustard from New Orleans. Other opening menu items will include a gimmick free smash style cheeseburger, a Sichuan take on Nashville Hot Chicken, Gumbo Ya-Ya Poutine, Shrimp & Andouille Jambalaya croquettes, a variation of Pimento Cheese with smoked gouda, aged cheddar, roasted jalapeno, green onions, and pecans.

If all goes according to plan, the truck will open for business Thursday-Saturday starting at 6p.m. and eventually expand its hours. For the time being, Mama Roux will live exclusively at The Dive Bar.

Spavia Natick, MA