M&M Soul Food Cafe to reopen January 24 after renovations

Las Vegas’ most venerable soul food restaurant is about to be reborn, more than a year after it closed.

Jannet Kay, owner of M&M Soul Food for over three years, said she decided to renovate the location at 3923 W. Charleston Blvd. to increase its appeal.

“I wanted it to be a place where customers can come in and feel right at home,” she said. “I didn’t have that kind of atmosphere when I first got there. It was not welcoming. And it’s an older building, so he needed a lot of help. I thought, “Why don’t we just do a whole renovation process? “”

And – something that will resonate with anyone who remodeled a business into an older building – once the work began, the underground pipes were found to have deteriorated; the work that followed delayed the reopening by several months. Which actually had a good side.

“The basement being out of our hands gave me more time to think about what to do inside,” Kay said.

But it’s pretty much settled now, and the party starts Friday. The grand reopening celebration from noon to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday will include special offers on selected food items, shows and giveaways.

M&M has been in its current location, Kay said, since about 2005. She said her roots in Las Vegas stretched until 2002, when Tim Gee established a restaurant outpost at Jones Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. Los Angeles founded by her uncle’s sister, who was known as Mississippi Mary. Kay said Mary first had a restaurant in Mississippi and moved to California.

Kay got involved in the restaurant through her friendship with Gee.

“He basically took me under his wing as a restaurateur,” she said. “It was something I wanted to get into for many years. He showed me how he ran his business. I’m a foodie, so that’s one of the reasons I preferred soul food. Why not get involved in something that fascinates me?

Why indeed, and she channeled that passion into the new look of M&M Soul Food.

“We painted it in brighter colors,” Kay said – turquoise, sunshine yellow, and chrome silver. The floor has new dark brown tiling. The oak tables were handmade and each is topped with a vase of flowers.

“We created a more country atmosphere,” she said. “Lots of random backgrounds, positive phrases.” And old-fashioned accents in the spirit of a Cracker Barrel. But a little bling too.

“The decor has a lot of rhinestone accessories,” Kay said.

She said the menu stays pretty much the same, although she’s added chicken fried chicken, more assorted cakes, and weekly specials like entree salads and the Soul Bowl.

After the weekend celebration, restaurant opening hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The new phone number is 725-780-4191. Kay said the location at 2211 Las Vegas Blvd. The south is temporarily closed due to construction.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella @ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. To follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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