Damaged eatery could reopen in weeks

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Polly’s Soul Food could reopen in as few as three weeksfollowing a fire Saturday that destroyed the kitchen and storageareas at the rear of the building.

“We’ll be open in time for the Thanksgiving celebrity dinner wedo each year,” said Polly Byrd, the restaurant’s namesake. Polly’sSoul Food is owned by her daughter, Theresa Lenoir.

The Brookhaven Thanksgiving Celebrity Host Dinner is a freeholiday dinner offered by the restaurant on the holiday. Areapastors and business and community leaders serve the feast preparedby the restaurant’s cooks.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Byrd said the time line will be tight but she’s confident therestaurant will be serving people before the holiday.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, she said.

The state fire marshal said it was an “accidental electricalfire” but could not determine the source, Byrd said.

Churches and community leaders have stepped forward to help thefamily recover from its loss and in the attempt to reopen thebusiness, Byrd said. The family has received several donations.

The restaurant was not insured, she said, “because we couldn’tget it until we got our roof fixed. It was damaged when we boughtit.”

A trust fund has been established at Bank of Brookhaven foranyone wishing to donate to reopen the restaurant, she said.Donations of construction materials are also being accepted at therestaurant.

A Polly’s Soul Food benefit dinner featuring fish plates will beheld Friday and Saturday outside the restaurant from 11 a.m. to 8p.m., she said.