Gainesville is saying goodbye to a neighborhood treasure following the demolition of the historic restaurant that served as a soul food and entertainment center for decades.
Mom’s Kitchen, which was owned and operated by George Young and his family for over 40 years, was sold to the City of Gainesville for $165,000 in 2009 with plans for redevelopment. The city eventually shut it down due to code violations.
“Mom’s Kitchen was a family owned business.” said Young. “We called it the number one soul food place in Gainesville.”
Although the neighborhood’s legendary eatery is gone, residents are at peace with the memories the kitchen gave them. Young says people have been walking by and picking up pieces of debris just to keep a memento.
Personally, he hangs on to a brick adorned with the original blue paint and shells embedded across the surface because it “holds a memory.”
“This rock stands out, so I figure I would go through the debris and maybe gather a few more rocks,” said Young.
Throughout his time as breakfast chef, Young has seen the likes of Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel enjoying his southern cuisine. Local bands have also made their debut at Mom’s, going on to larger gigs.
Young believes the spirit of Mom’s Kitchen will always stay with him.
“Breakfast will still go on. You can still find a taste of Mom’s kitchen at STM Seafood and Breakfast,” where Young will soon be starting new job.