Twelve06: Southern food from a big heart

Compassionate California woman temporarily comes to Vinings to put her stamp on the area's newest restaurant.

A new southern cuisine-inspired restaurant has opened this month in the same Streetside at Vinings shopping center that is home to and the Vermont Mustard Co..

Twelve06 is named such because the proprietor’s son was born on Dec. 6, 2006. The sleek restaurant opened its doors for the first time on, you guessed it - Dec. 6. Currently open daily from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., Twelve06 will begin opening at 11 a.m. come January.

Marilyn Lawson is the vision behind the menu as she draws inspiration from her New Orleans upbringing. She touts her Cajun Jambalaya as her signature dish and the menu also includes the likes of smothered fried chicken, smothered steak, blackened catfish, blackened salmon, friend jumbo shrimp, and po’boy fried catfish or shrimp.

“The food is very tasty,’’ she says in an honest yet non-boastful fashion.

As Lawson tells it, her nephew grew up saying that if ever opened a restaurant, he’d want his aunt to craft the menu. So when Javance Mitchell decided on Twelve06, he made the call to Oakland, Calif., to see if Lawson would help.

Across country she came, but Lawson won’t stay long and soon she’ll venture back home to the bay, where the longtime Oakland resident operated a small restaurant/catering business for more than 17 years.

Illness has slowed her some in recent years, but it’s the illness suffered by those most dear to her that help form her daily drive. She lost one granddaughter to sickle cell anemia at age 20, while another granddaughter, who is now seven years old, was born with HIV.

“That’s my passion,’’ she said. “To help change things for young people to make them aware and make them ambassadors of change, especially health issues and things like that.’’

She elaborated even more at the Tahara Lawson Foundation's website:

"It is my mission to bring together faith based organizations and grassroots organizations to help our families rise above the hopelessness and adversities that they face everyday. Together we can bring forth the potential and talents of our youth. Bringing positive role models to our community will help push our youth toward their dreams. It is also my mission to bring more activities for our youth, as well as college Scholarships for youth in my community. It is this inspiration and passion that leads me toward this movement of change in my community.''

Before heading back west, she would like to help host a blood drive in the Streetside at Vinings parking lot. But first things first as right now there's good southern-style cooking going on at Twelve06.

“I was amazed when my nephew called for me to come,’’ she said. “Everyone here has been very nice and we’re coming along. We invite everyone to come see us.’’


2355 Cumberland Parkway



Nikki December 30, 2011 at 04:28 AM
I tried the restaurant while in town visiting from New Orleans and I had a great experience. The food was great, came out hot and the server was friendly and attentive. What more could I ask for?


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