Downtown soul food restaurant looks for its next location.

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Ms. Arlene’s Kountry Kitchen, Corsicana’s downtown soul food staple, is in desperate need of a new location.

In an April 26 post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the eatery announced its last day of operation as Sunday, May 9 at the 122 W. Third Avenue location. The building where the Kountry Kitchen resides has recently fallen under new management, the previous owner having sold the building. Crawford is already on the lookout, as staying in her current spot is not an option.

“Miss Arlene” Crawford is looking for a new location to host her Kountry Kitchen. – Photo by Guy Chapman

The Kountry Kitchen, which opened in 2017, serves comfort style food consisting of large chicken fried steaks, catfish, briskets, and meatloaf. The restaurant’s owner, Arlene Crawford (also known as “Miss Arlene” to her regulars), has worked with 40 years of cooking experience, having previously lent her culinary skills to places such as Vera and Sons and Mama’s Cafe. Now she hopes to find a new building to rent before her current location’s doors close to make way for a new Mexican restaurant.

“I really want to stay downtown,” Crawford said. “I like the area, with all the downtown and city and courthouse people.”

With a regular and loyal clientele, Crawford needs to find a comparably sized place to her present location. While the Kitchen keeps set hours and a set menu every day, the restaurant usually runs out of its homemade food early from its crowded lunch rush.

Lunchtime crowds line up to place orders at Ms. Arlene’s Kountry Kitchen. – Photo by Guy Chapman

“There is nobody here like me,” Crawford said of her food. “People are saying ‘Oh no,’ we have got to find you somewhere.”

So far, Crawford has been unable to find a replacement location, and after May 9, the restaurant owner’s only option is to wait for a new place to become available.

“I can’t be out long,” Crawford said. “I haven’t given up yet. I get worried, but I know I shouldn’t get worried because I know God has got me.”

No matter what the future holds, Crawford plans to make the last day at the Third Avenue location memorable.

“We’re going to go out with a bang,” Crawford said with a smile.

Crawford has requested if anyone knows of an available building to please contact her at (903) 851-1171.

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