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Kuntry Kitchen goes smoke-free

Three generations of family: Gaylene and Addison Jones with Rita Lindsey

Kuntry Kitchen prides itself on being a restaurant that you can bring your whole family to, so the owners have made a decision they believe will make their restaurant more family friendly. Out of respect for their customers, beginning Thursday, March 1, Kuntry Kitchen will be a smoke-free environment.

"This is a family restaurant and we need to be smoke-free. We have a lot of younger kids and elderly people who either come in and struggle to breathe or just don't come in at all anymore," said owner Gaylene Jones, "We know that this is going to be a change and we're hoping for the best."

Jones said that she and her mother, owner Rita Lindsey, have been thinking about going smoke-free for about a year and felt like this was a good time to do so.

"Our good friend, Jack Knight, made our decision for us," said Jones. "He has been having a lot of health issues and he was told not to smoke anymore."

Lindsey added that their decision to go smoke-free was made out of respect of their customers. She also indicated that she felt it was only a matter of time before a city ordinance banned smoking.

Jones and Lindsey said that they will be scrubbing down the walls and tables as well as changing all of the curtains Wednesday night. They also plan to leave the doors open to help air the restaurant out and hopefully eliminate some of the smoke odor. They also plan to fix up the front porch so that smokers can sit out there to smoke.

Jones spoke about the measures they have taken to try to eliminate the smoke odor, but none were really successful. "We have done everything to keep the smoke down from burning candles to purchasing air purifiers and nothing seemed to help," said Jones, "It was almost as if you had to part the smoke to walk through the restaurant."

Addison Jones, greeter at Kuntry Kitchen and granddaughter of Lindsey, said, "I'm glad the smoke will be gone."

"Nobody can smoke more than I do and I know that if I can go outside to smoke, anybody can," said Lindsey. She added, "We just wanted to make this change out of respect for the families that come in here."

Kuntry Kitchen, located on U.S. 231 on the levee, is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

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