Southern Kitchen to close
Southern Kitchen plans on being busy this Mardi Gras. But soon after that, the owners have chosen to give themselves a long rest.
Mark and Robin Drouin, owners at Southern Kitchen, announced they will be closing their restaurant at 131st and State Line Road in March. “We don’t have an exact date but it definitely won’t be beyond March 31st when our lease expires,” reads the statement.
The Cajun restaurant opened in June 2020 in the middle of the Covid pandemic. “Despite the pandemic, with your support we got off to a strong start which continued through early 2022,” reads the letter sent to customers. But inflation, rising gas prices, and labor shortages have taken its toll, according to the owners.
The Drouins grew up in New Orleans. Mark worked at a community center serving the homeless, and Robin owned a dance studio. When Hurricane Katrina struck their beautiful city, they lost everything. Continuing to serve the homeless, the couple set up a stationary food truck in the disaster area to feed those whose lives and livelihoods had been destroyed.
In 2011, the couple moved to Kansas City to start over. They purchased a 26 foot food truck and their adventure began. “Learning to drive that truck around town was quite an experience “, Mark told the Telegraph in a 2020 article. “But we loved it. We named the truck Cajun Cabin and off we went. We traveled to festivals, concerts, weddings, corporate events and developed quite a following. Our niche was authentic Creole, Cajun, and soul favorites.”
The couple have no future plans for their business.
“The greatest joy of doing this work is seeing the satisfaction from our customers who have enjoyed our food and service,” say the Drouins.