ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Southern Kitchen is an up-and-coming restaurant in Randolph County where the focus is soul food as well as community.
An idea that started in a small school kitchen will become a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Elkins in the coming months.
Sharell Harmon and Sinquiss Anderson, have been best friends for more than 20 years and started the business earlier this year. After returning from a life-changing trip to Italy, they made a decision to apply for a business license in January.
It’s important to have a more intimate home-cooked meal besides [fast food] because connections are important. Especially in a time like this it’s nice to bring people back together.Sharell Harmon, Co-Owner The Southern Kitchen, WV
Over the course of the month of February, they planned what kind of food they wanted to serve—soul food. However, they were still in need of a place to serve their food. They got an answer when they were allowed to use the Homestead Schools Kitchen in Dailey.
Sharell has a connection to the school where she previously worked for AmeriCorps for four years, two of those years with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. She was part of a group that helped repair the Homestead School when it had its roof blown off in 2016.
After keeping in contact with the Tygart Valley Homestead Association, Sharell and Sinquiss were able to use the kitchen to rent out when the association recognized their passion for their restaurant.
The Southern Kitchen West Virginia’s menu consists of soul food or comfort food. Green beans, collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese, you name it.
Candied yams, baked macaroni and cheese, sweet and sour meat balls, pot roast, fried chicken, fried fish, fried, fried, fried.Sharell Harmon Co-Owner The Southern Kitchen WV.
Collard greens, the macaroni and cheese, banana pudding and banana pudding cupcakes are all really top hitters.Sinquiss Anderson Co-Owner The Southern Kitchen WV.
By using the Homestead as their kitchen and limited-service restaurant, the Southern Kitchen has gotten noticed by those in Randolph County. Those connections made with the community have resulted in future opportunities.
With the publicity and the support that we got from Randolph County from running out of the Homestead School, investors started knocking on our door. ‘Hey are you looking for a space?’ One of those investors was Zach Elbin. And now we’re on Beverly Pike!… It was a pretty crazy ride to get there but very grateful we got to meet the community here in Dailey.Sharell Harmon, Co-Owner The Southern Kitchen WV.
The restaurant now has a future home in Elkins. Currently, they plan to open their new space in early September and hope to hold other events such as “little bakers” classes and paint & sip nights for adults.
Once we actually open, certain nights of the week we’ll have different events. On a Wednesday night, we’ll have do a little bakers event, we’ll invite children to learn how to handle things in the kitchen and bake cupcakes or during the holidays, pies or cookies, and they’ll be able to take that home with them. On Thursdays, there will be events like paint & sips to get the community together.Sinquiss Anderson Co-Owner The Southern Kitchen WV.
In the future, they hope to expand northward with locations in Clarksburg or Bridgeport and Morgantown.