Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Monday, October 15, 2007 - 10:10PM

Southern Kitchen closes after 60 years

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During much of my past 10 years of living in Charleston, I've been a 'night owl' for one reason or another. Whether it was after working late as a webmaster in the Charleston Gazette newsroom (the local newspaper), getting back into town after a long night of storm chasing, or finishing up video coverage of an overnight snowstorm or rain event, I have been no stranger to the 'wee hours' of the morning. When the craving for a midnight snack (or even a full meal) would come calling, there were few good options in town at that hour. The only choices were Dwight's or Tim Horton's in St. Albans, Hardees', and the Southern Kitchen in Kanawha City. The Southern Kitchen was arguably the best option, the only 24-hour home-cooking joint within the Charleston city limits. The food was not five-star, but then again you wouldn't expect that with this type of restaraunt anyway. It was as good as it needed to be - if I was hungry in the middle of the night, I usually made a quick Southern Kitchen run for some veal parmesan, french toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.

After the owner passed away last month, the property was bequeathed to a relative who promptly and inexplicably had it shut down today despite pleas from the mayor and several willing buyers. Not only is it a shame to see a Charleston landmark gone, it is going to mean a longer drive for me to find something decent to eat at 3AM from now on. Although Dwight's in St. Albans (the other decent 24-hour home-cooking establishment) is still available, it is really too far away (about 12 miles) for that quick overnight meal. So until Waffle House or Denny's decides to open up a franchise here, my 'midnight snack' options are going to be pretty limited.

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