Sopapillas’ owner, Steve Dale, came from Phoenix and Albuquerque to pursue his love and passion for music in the late 90’s. As a Nashville bass player, Dale was nominated for three Grammys and two Dove awards and was constantly touring. He later became the bass player for the Country group “Little Big Town” for five years and had the opportunity to play for John Mellencamp, Lindsay Buckingham, and Kenny Loggins. Even though Music City was kind to Dale, he really missed the traditional foods and flavors that he loved out west. He longed for something that tasted like home, but he couldn’t find it. So he began to cook many of his favorite dishes and often tried them out on his bandmates. While Dale and Little Big Town were on tour with artists such as Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Sugarland, and Martina McBride, they would throw special post-show fiesta nights where Dale would cook his southwestern delights. These fiesta nights became increasingly popular and his yearning to open a New Mexican restaurant was soon becoming a reality. With the encouragement of the band and many friends and family members, Dale opened his first Sopapillas in 2010. After expanding the Franklin restaurant and doubling its space in 2011, Dale opened a second Sopapillas in Hendersonville in 2013. Sopapillas continues to grow and has won multiple awards including “Best Mexican Restaurant” in Nashville for the past three years. Dale and his wife Emily (who work together in their restaurants) are very passionate and meticulous about providing the freshest possible southwestern food to their guests. Dale’s daughters, Shealyn and Sophie, also work in the restaurant and his son Silas enjoys eating it all.
Although this may not have been the most sensible path to take to become a restaurateur, Dale is thankful for the journey and the blessings along the way. When asked if he misses the music, Dale replies “Yes I do, but I love creating what people enjoy to taste, hear, smell, and see when they come to Sopapillas. It’s the ultimate creative process. The guests are everything- and when their faces come alive to a new flavor– it is all worth it.”