HARDY, AR (KAIT) - A 2016 fire in Hardy left a void for country cooking in the community.
"We had it for 10 years," former Downhome Country Kitchen owner Barbara Homod said. "A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it and when I saw it burning, I was just thinking about all of the nights we were there making chicken and dressing until 1 or 2 in the morning."
A fire last December seriously damaged the restaurant and closed Homod's business for good.
"It had its own legacy there, you know," Homod said. "It really did."
When she decided that she couldn't reopen Downhome, her friend Cathy Anderson decided she could do the next best thing to bring southern cuisine and jobs back to Sharp County.
"Everybody in town was really missing down-home cooking," Anderson said. "So we just decided to get together and make Downhome come back to life."
She also made sure those who lost their jobs after the fire were welcomed back.
"The hardest thing, I guess, when the restaurant burned is I worried so much about all the people that worked there," Homod said. "I mean, there were families that worked there and in this area, there is not a whole lot of work for people."
"About all my cooks are from Downhome and a lot of the waitresses," Anderson said.
Homod said during the new restaurant's first day open on Friday that she is happy to see the legacy she began with her husband be continued in Hardy.
"It's not Downhome but we want everybody to be welcome and feel like there is a part, that this is a break off of Downhome," she said.
The Creekside Country Kitchen is located on Woodland Hills Road in Hardy.
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