Having just celebrated its one-year anniversary, Angie’s Home Cooking has become a staple in the Russell neighborhood, a place locals can find home-cooked soul food including meat loaf, fried chicken, and vegetables.
“I have people who say ‘Thank you for being here,’ ” says Angie Bishop, whose lifelong dream to open her own restaurant became reality in June 2017. “That’s humbling. Some people are so excited, especially older people who live by themselves. They can come in their neighborhood and get vegetables, and not just eat at McDonald’s.”
Bishop and her husband, Anthony, have gone through a crash course in restaurant management in the former Burger King building near 26th and West Broadway. The building had been empty for years when Angie signed a lease in February 2017.
Like any neglected building, bringing it back to life was no simple task. Anthony, who has worked as a licensed contractor, was able to do most of the remodeling himself. For three months, he worked a day job at a car dealership, then spent his evenings at the restaurant where almost everything had to be updated and/or replaced.
Anthony said he knew his wife had her heart set on the old Burger King building. Prior to signing the lease, she said she spent many nights sitting in the parking lot, praying about it and hoping it would be available.
In addition to all the hours Anthony spent getting the building ready, the Bishops opened their own test kitchen at home, inviting family and friends over to sample everything on the menu.
“I always knew I wanted soul food, southern style, home-cooked. I was just good at cooking. I started cooking when I was 9,” Angie says.
She thinks she may have found her destiny with the restaurant. In the past, she worked in health care, was a cosmetologist, operated a day care center, and worked for state government. She said she was motivated to pursue her dream after hearing motivational speaker T.D. Jakes.
“He said if there’s something you want to do, and you go to bed and can’t sleep because you’re excited about something, that’s what you need to do,” she says.
Of course, that wasn’t necessarily in Anthony’s plan, and Angie was counting on him to devote time and effort into the restaurant.
“She walked in one day and told me, and I knew then the plan was already in effect before I was told about it,” says Anthony, who eventually quit his job at the car dealership and now works full-time at the restaurant.
Angie showed him the business plan she’d been working on, and the wheels were turning. The business got a small loan, and Angie cashed in her retirement savings to open the restaurant.
Angie’s Home Cooking has eight employees, some of whom are family members, and is open every day except Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.