Landmark local soul food restaurant damaged by fire

The Indianapolis Fire Department is investigating a two-alarm fire early Saturday morning on downtown’s near-north side at Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place, a landmark eatery for the city’s black community.

The restaurant at 1831 N. College Ave. sustained significant damage but no injuries were reported. It was not immediately clear how operation of the restaurant would be affected.

Kountry Kitchen was founded in 1988 by “Ms. Jessie,” according to its website, and has always focused on Southern cuisine. It is currently owned by Isaac and Cynthia Wilson, and it regularly appears on lists of the nation’s best soul food restaurants.

It’s a common destination for visiting celebrities and professional athletes. Its gallery and roster of notable patrons includes President Barack Obama, actress Taraji P. Henson, comedians Mike Epps and Jimmy Fallon, singer CeeLo Green and athletes Chris Carter, Warren Sapp and Rodney Harris.

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