State of Downtown Lake Charles: Mama Reta’s Kitchen

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:19 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -The end of 2020 marks a new chapter for many local businesses who were forced to either shut their doors because of the pandemic or completely relocated due to the storms.

We caught up with Reta Durgan, owner of Downtown Lake Charles staple Mama Reta’s Kitchen about the future of her business.

“You know me having my whole livelihood in there all those years and seeing the place the way it was...How can I fix this will I fix this, I don’t know.”

For nearly 7 years, Mama Reta’s served the Downtown Lake Charles area providing southern comfort food to those near and far.

Hurricane Laura left her restaurant in the downtown area pretty much in ruins but she knew that couldn’t be the end of her business.

“I lost a lot and I just couldn’t see at the time going back or trying to re-establish what I had in there. So, the best thing for me to do was just move on out and start over,” Durgan said.

For now, she’s set up shop just one hour away in Lafayette doing what she loves - serving guests.

“Here I am sharing my blessing, my food through a drive-thru and I have a few dine-in spots even between the COVID pandemic that’s going on right now. So, I’m just thankful today.”

A drive that her most loyal customers don’t mind making.

“I have a couple that would always be my first customers every Sunday and they were here for my first day of opening here in Lafayette. It was a joy to know the love they have for my business and family and to patronize me. I appreciate that.”

As for what the future holds...

Honestly, I haven’t thought that far yet. Even though the downtown place I’ve served a lot of people in that area...If they decide to fix it up I’ll go there, If not I’ll build my own. Either way, it goes, I have a year here.

The new location of Mama Reta’s Kitchen is located at 6699 Johnston Street in Lafayette, next door to the Carson Animal Hospital. Hours are 11 to 5 Monday-Friday and 11 to 4 on Saturday.

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