After many months of struggle and dedication, Parisian residents and restaurateurs Richard and Regina Lee have finally opened the doors to High Cotton Kitchen this year, and they couldn’t be happier with the results.
“We got the idea for High Cotton when we were out on our weekly date night,” said Richard Lee, adding that date nights are important as they continue to raise five of their nine. children. “Regina and I always made sure to go out one night a week for the two of us where we have dinner somewhere in Paris. Considering we have been here for 26 years now, we finally started to look around and notice that there was one type of restaurant that was lacking in Paris: an old fashioned cuisine restaurant, made from scratch. .
Every dish prepared at High Cotton Kitchen is made from scratch, with the exception of the buns, said Richard Lee. It is an act that naturally follows from cooking for their large family. They’ll even try new recipes, which pays off for the Lees when they see a customer smile with satisfaction.
And the customers love the food. The restaurant has a 4.4-star rating on Google Reviews, where diner Joe Roberson said he enjoyed the “fluffiest chicken” and “the best gravy.” The dining and dining experience even prompted Paris resident Kara Chambliss to write The Paris News, saying, “I can only say it was like someone’s grandmother was working hard to prepare my meal.”
Not only did cooking for a large family prepare the Lees for cooking in a restaurant, they also hosted church groups of 40 to 60 people for Bible studies. By being good hosts, they would feed everyone.
“We just wanted feedback on their favorite recipes, which we used to create our menu,” said Richard Lee.
High Cotton Kitchen, 1260 Clarksville St., is open in an old building the Lees bought from Paris Junior College. The building was constructed in 1911, and although their work was carved out for them, the Lees decided to fix it. Richard Lee thanked the City of Paris for their help and advice while the family prepared the building. Much of what guests will find inside has been repurposed, not only to maintain the vintage aesthetic, but also to preserve the history of Paris. For example, an organ found inside during the purchase of the building has been transformed into the restaurant’s reception stand. The ship’s turn on the walls was from an 1860s house that was in the process of being demolished.
“We really wanted the atmosphere to reflect the food, so we went out of our way to keep everything archaic and unique,” he said.
Decorations include humorous sayings, vintage signs and “It’s a Wonderful Life” items.
“’It’s A Wonderful Life’ is my all time favorite movie,” said Richard Lee. “I think this deeply sums up the beauty of self-sacrifice and bondage, and Regina and I have always had a servant’s heart, so being able to serve the people of this community in a way that spreads joy is what. that we were supposed to do. “
Jessica Waller is a writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965.