Crews battle fire at historic Kountry Kitchen restaurant

Crews battle fire at historic Kountry Kitchen

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Firefighters were battling a blaze just after midnight Friday at an historic Indianapolis restaurant.

Indianapolis Fire Department was sent to the fire a few minutes after midnight Friday at the Kountry Kitchen soul food restaurant, 1831 N. College Ave., near downtown Indianapolis.

No one was inside the restaurant when the fire broke out. No one was hurt.

Despite the early morning hour, dozens of people showed up at the blaze to watch firefighters’ efforts.

The restaurant began in 1988 as Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place. Today, it’s known for its fried chicken wings, pork chops and lemonade. The place has a strong connection to the community. On Christmas Day 2019, for the 11th year, it offered free meals to people in need starting at 6 a.m. The restaurant stayed open until it ran out of food.

The restaurant has also 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 during 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.

Fire crews had no immediate word on the cause of the fire or the extent of damage.