SOS - Save Our Soulfood: Iconic Sylvia Mae’s restaurant looking for new digs
Sylvia Mae, sole owner and head chef of Jacksonville’s Sylvia Mae’s Soul Food Restaurant gets ready to start prepping for meal service at HOPE’s Community Kitchen recently.
One Jacksonville resident is asking her community to look out for a Jacksonville icon.
Ellann Lewis-Johnson has established a GoFundMe account in an effort to raise $30,000 to benefit Sylvia Jones, owner, proprietor and head chef of Sylvia Mae’s Soul Food Restaurant in Jacksonville, in her search for a new location for her soul food eatery. Jones had to vacate the location at 564 Main St., in Jacksonville, on June 20 and is now looking for new digs.
“We are looking to raise money for the ONE AND ONLY Mrs. Sylvia Mae,” Lewis-Johnson stated in her GoFundMe page. “Our wonderful JEDCO (Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation) is helping her find a new location, however, she will need a lump sum to rent and/or buy any of the locations. In addition, they all need work to the bathrooms and/or kitchen area. Here’s our chance to show Mrs. Sylvia how much we love her!”
Jones is a Jacksonville Chamber member as well as a member of the Board. Jones and her restaurant have been featured on The Daytripper and Texas Country Reporter.
She is a sweet lady and tries to help everyone,” Jacksonville resident Tonya Harris stated on social media. “She is the type of person that will take the shirt off her back and give it to someone. She can cook, too!”
According to the restaurant’s website, “Sylvia is dedicated to making savory soul food and home cooked meals from scratch! Down home country cookin’ just like your grandma made, right here in the heart of East Texas.”
Fried catfish, smothered pork chops, chicken fried steak, her specialty fried ribs, greens, purple hull peas, taters, pies and cakes are just a taste of what Jones dishes up.
“ Eat there one a week -- burp!!!!!!! GREAT FOOD,” area customer Tommy G. Nolley shared on Sylvia Mae’s Facebook page.
Jacksonville resident Mary Ann Setliff also posted, “Sylvia Mae’s Soul Food needs our help everyone. Please help support local businesses. Small restaurants are struggling. Please consider doing business with them so they can keep serving their delicious food.
“Please share and order some food if you’re able. I know times are tough. But the time to help our neighbors is here.”
As of Monday, $3,945 had been raised on the GoFundMe campaign. To donate, go to Sylvia Mae’s Go Fund Me link, gf.me/u/x9m634.
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