Kitchen owners, customers look back on 37 years in the community

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) – The sign at the front door says it all. A gathering place for friends and family. A place where memories are homemade and seasoned with love. For 37 years, for co-owner Terri Kent, the staff at The Kitchen restaurant have been like family. The family theme has been with the restaurant since the very beginning. For proof, just look at the name.

“We just chose ‘The Kitchen’ because we felt like this place would be an extension of our family,” Kent said.

After nearly four decades in Monroe, several issues preceded The Kitchen’s impending closure. COVID pandemic restrictions and supply delays have put the restaurant in trouble. Pat Reed, the head chef, had health issues, prompting their decision to close on January 28, 2022. Many patrons feel this place feels like home.

“It’s like home. It’s sad. It’s just… that’s all I can say. It’s just sad,” said longtime customer Danny Daniel.

Leslie Lawson comes in several times a week and says Kent is like a mother.

“Very close family here because you have the same people coming all the time,” Lawson said.

They have been added to The Kitchen family for years. Owner Mary Traylor opened the restaurant with her husband in 1984. Although he died seven years ago, she says it was his beliefs that kept customers coming back.

“Well, my husband always says he has good food, decent prices, and treats people like family,” Traylor said.

Many souvenirs hang on the wall. For some clients, they started from day one. The table with the reserved sign is known as the John Baker table.

“Good friends, good restaurant,” Baker said. ” We appreciated. I will miss it. He comes every day with his wife to share lunch.

With what the place has become, Kent knows his father would be proud.

“He was like, ‘Girls, you all did a great job,'” Kent said.

There’s still time for a meal before closing to say goodbye to the place that made many feel like family.

Copyright 2022 KNOE. All rights reserved.


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