Westchester soul food restaurant devastated after electrical fire destroys entire building

ByAshley Mackey and ABC7.com staff KABC logo
Friday, February 24, 2023
Westchester soul food restaurant destroyed in electrical fire
A Westchester neighborhood restaurant was destroyed by a devastating fire. The business' two owners are now left picking up the pieces and starting from scratch.

WESTCHESTER, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Westchester soul food restaurant has been left devastated after an electrical fire wiped out the 1-year-old business.

Brittany Bryant and Jakiya Terrell, co-owners of the A Family Affair Southern Cuisine restaurant, were shocked to find out that their business, and all their hard work and savings, had gone up in flames.

"It was like, 'Your restaurant is on fire.' So, I'm like 'yeah OK,'" said Bryant on learning of the news. "Then she called me, 'Like, no, the restaurant is on fire, we have nothing.' I'm like, 'What?'"

Terrell said she remembers a similar experience when receiving the call that her restaurant was completely destroyed.

"We left it. We were locked up. So, it was like April Fools' and she was like 'Get up. They said the restaurant is on fire,'" recalled Terrell.

Terrell and Bryant were not able to see the fire's damage until the morning of Feb. 19, when firefighters were finally able to extinguish the flames. The scene left them both in a state of loss.

"I got to this door and I yelled so loud," said Terrell. "And the firefighter was like, 'Why are you yelling?' and I was like 'Look,' and he was like, 'I am so sorry.'"

In their first year in business, Bryant and Terrell had weathered struggles due to the pandemic and had turned Southern Cuisine into a Westchester community staple. The two co-owners said their restaurant had become a place people in need could come by for food and employment.

"As far as feeding them, the homeless really depends on them," said Nicole Mcleod, an employee of Southern Cuisine.

As for rebuilding their cherished restaurant, the owners said they have looked to prayer, community support and a GoFundMe page to land back on their feet and eventually start the restaurant again in a new location.

"We plan to use the GoFundMe for our ghost kitchen and for rent, for seasonings, for everything that insurance is not going to cover for time down the line," said Terrell.