Martha Lou's Kitchen expanding with a second location in North Charleston

"It's all in her honor"

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Martha Lou Gadsden has been running her restaurant for 32 years - JOSHUA CURRY FILE
  • Joshua Curry file
  • Martha Lou Gadsden has been running her restaurant for 32 years
In her 32 years in business at 1068 Morrison Dr., it's always been a family affair for Martha Lou Gadsden. At any given time, upwards of a half a dozen of her eight children and grandchildren have been involved in running Martha Lou's Kitchen. Now 87, Gadsden's family is making sure her legacy will carry on for years to come with a second location opening this spring.

Gadsden's granddaughter Melanie Alston plans to open Martha Lou’s Kitchen No. 2 Love and Happiness Catering at 2000-Q McMillan Ave. in North Charleston. The new restaurant will be in a strip mall currently housing a Subway and a Money Man Pawn shop.

"We're gonna mirror the original a whole lot," says Alston. The family has been considering an expansion for the past three years as business grew and grew. "We've just been trying to get the right location," she says. Alston thinks McMillan Avenue is a great spot because it's up and coming and new businesses are moving into the area.

Alston promises that even though she's in her eighth decade, Martha Lou's fingerprints will be all over the new space. Alston says that Gadsden will be heavily involved in the development of her second restaurant.

"We’re gonna dedicate a wall to Martha Lou with all of her accolades. It's all in her honor to keep it alive and the legacy going. It’s a big deal," says Alston.

That homage to Gadsden will continue in the menu that will have all the chef's hallmarks including fried chicken, chitterlings, lima beans and cornbread. The only differences will be that Alston plans to add some healthier items that "cater to a vegetarian person."

If all goes to plan, Alston expects to open Martha Lou’s Kitchen No. 2 Love and Happiness Catering on April 1.

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