LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The family has deep roots in West Louisville and their food is at the heart of it all. Irma Dee's celebrated a grand opening in the Parkland neighborhood Monday morning.
But the cafe is much more than just another place to eat, it’s a business built on a foundation of faith.
"My mother prayed all the time for her food, she prayed for her customers, she prayed over her money, she prayed over her business, she prayed over everything,” Sheila Turner said of her mother, Irma Turner.
Irma Turner opened Irma's Cafe on Broadway more than 50 years ago.
It was a place for families to gather over food prepared and served straight from the heart, and straight from a family who worked together to make their dream work.
"I remember when Andra was a little girl and momma put an apron on her when Andra was 5-years-old,” Sheila Turner said.
The west Louisville staple closed its doors not long after the family matriarch passed. But 10 years later, the Turners are again serving their community- this time from a new neighborhood.
"This is a wonderful day for Parkland, and a wonderful day for the entire city of Louisville," Councilwoman Jessica Green said.
Irma Dee's, named for Irma Turner, opened for business for the first time Monday morning. Ran by Irma Turner's children and grandchildren, it’s the same food customers enjoyed on Broadway years ago.
It’s also the only sit-down restaurant in the Parkland neighborhood, making it an investment city leaders call crucial to the area. But perhaps the most significant part of the cafe's placement is a historical one, as remembered by Reverend Charles Elliott.
"After the death of Dr. King we started marching- talking about jobs and talking about business,” Elliott said.
Irma Dee's sits on the very spot where people organized for that march nearly 50 years ago. Elliott said the march turned into a riot and the aftermath left the neighborhood deserted.
"I wanted to see this come back alive. This used to be a thriving area," he said.
A thriving area that relied on businesses like Irma Dee's to plant roots. For the Turner family, planting roots in west Louisville was an easy choice.
The café is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. www.facebook.com/pg/westdineincafe.