Kountry Kitchen owners survey damage, focus on rebuilding

Firefighters on the scene of a fire at the Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place early Saturday. (WTHR photo/Joe Fenton)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The owners of one of Indy’s most beloved restaurants are speaking out about their hope to bounce back after a devastating fire over the weekend.

Right now most of the doors and windows at Kountry Kitchen on North College Avenue are boarded up. The owners came to the location Monday morning to assess the damage and see what it will take to get the family business back open.

Cynthia Wright-Wilson and her husband Isaac had spent years building their dream. Their main concern now is the people they’ve been employing over the years and them having a place to work until they can get the business back up and running again.

“Thank God that the employees weren't there. That was our main concern and that was a blessing," Cynthia said.

Photos from inside the restaurant show damaged dining tables, burned up walls and ceilings, charred seating booths and damage to the kitchen.

Kountry Kitchen fire damage. (Bozzelli & Associates Insurance Solutions)
Kountry Kitchen fire damage. (Bozzelli & Associates Insurance Solutions)
Kountry Kitchen fire damage. (Bozzelli & Associates Insurance Solutions)
Kountry Kitchen fire damage. (Bozzelli & Associates Insurance Solutions)
Kountry Kitchen fire damage. (Bozzelli & Associates Insurance Solutions)
Kountry Kitchen fire damage. (Bozzelli & Associates Insurance Solutions)

“We are just so glad people are supporting us because this is rough,” Cynthia said.

Their support comes after years of giving back to the community through things like offering free holiday meals. Now the people they have touched over the years are responding with calls, social media messages and even stopping by.

“It's hard to say how much we appreciate it because it's so devastating the things that happened like they did,” Isaac said.

It is hard to see how you recapture the history including the famous vistors who have walked through the doors including Jimmy Fallon and Barack Obama.

Right now, the owners are focused on the every day customers.

“We love everybody and the people from the community are important,” Cynthia said.

Several years ago their son Perez Wright took over as Restaurant Manager. Perez put college on hold to help run the family business and has been his father’s righthand man at Kountry Kitchen.

“I hate that it happened this way,” Perez said. “But we will be back better, bigger and stronger."

Despite being shutdown Cynthia and her family hope to at least be able to offer catering to their customers who have supported them year after year.

The restaurant owners shared with Eyewitness News that fire investigators have ruled out any suspicious activity or foul play. They are still working on exactly how the fire started.