Remembering Kountry Kitchen after Saturday's damaging fire

A fire damaged the entire building occupying Kountry Kitchen Soul Place on Saturday, but many say the memories remain. (WTHR/Josh Blankenship)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place is a staple in Indianapolis.​

A fire damaged the entire building Saturday, but many say the memories remain.​​

"There are untold stories in here of sacrifice," said Dr. and Pastor Lionel Rush.​​

Rush says it was a place that nourished souls. It opened in 1988 as a six-seat countertop diner that grew into a nationally-recognized restaurant.​​

"If you come here, you don't know who you will see," said Rush.​​

Actor and comedian Mike Epps is among known visitors. In 2007, then-senator Barack Obama stopped by for a bite to eat, and many others followed.​​

"Pastor Shirley Caesar: Never thought I would meet her. I happen to just stop in, thinking I'm getting a regular lunch and low and behold, I meet one of the icons of gospel music," said Antonio Lipscomb, who frequented Kountry Kitchen.​​

On Sunday, owners Isaac and Cynthia Wilson posted a "thank you" message on Kountry Kitchen's Facebook page.​​

"Thank you for the overwhelming support and words of comfort for Kountry Kitchen and our valued employees that have been impacted by recent events. The calls, messages, stories, tweets and posts have truly made us proud to be a small piece of the fabric of Indianapolis. We love our community and value the love from you in return. We promise to keep you, our Family updated as we move forward."​​

"It's so much that cannot be told as it relates to how much this place has helped us in the sense of feeling like we are part of something bigger than ourselves," said Lipscomb.​​

Firefighters believe the fire started near the downstairs office and do not suspect foul play.​​