Kountry Kitchen set to build new restaurant at site of 2020 fire

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One of the most popular Indianapolis restaurants isn’t just coming back; it’s coming back bigger and better.

“We’re going to have a bigger, better location. We’re going to have an event center attached. We’ll have rooftop dining, outside dining,” said Cynthia Wright Wilson, co-owner of Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place.

The longtime restaurant burned down in January 2020. Now, they will be breaking ground for a new restaurant at its previous location at 19th Street and College Avenue.

“It’s going to be a total different feel from what we had before, but the love and community support and things we’re used to will still be there. Although it’s a different building, it’s still going to be the same old Kountry Kitchen,” Wright Wilson said.

Despite that tragedy, people from all over continue to come get food at their restaurant’s temporary location at 1417 Commerce Ave. Latesha Swift drove down from Fort Wayne. “I wanted some soul food. I don’t have any, so I came all the way here for it,” Swift said.

Swift says she’s excited to get to sit down at one of her favorite spots again.

“It’s going to be the best. It’s going to be like being back at home,” Swift said.

It’s not just the food that keeps Latesha, celebrities and U.S. presidents coming back. It’s the people who make it happen, and now they’ll do it out of a new building.

“Exciting for us, exciting for the community, exciting for the employees, and, like I said, it’s just great to come back in a bigger and better way, and we are looking forward to it,” Wright Wilson said.

The restaurant began in 1988 as Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place. It’s been a frequent stop for famous sports stars and government officials from near and far. On April 19, 2019, the restaurant boasted of hosting the Rev. Jesse Jackson. On April 27, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama got lunch at the restaurant on a visit to the city during his presidential campaign. Other celebrities to visit the restaurant have included comedian and actor Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show” and actress Taraji P. Henson.