by Brittney Gathen
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
St. Louis soul food restaurant owner Robbie “Ms. Robbie” Montgomery is seeking Memphians’ support for her latest business venture – a Beale Street location for her St. Louis-based Sweetie Pie’s restaurant.
Montgomery brought her palpable energy to Beale Street recently (Sept. 25th) as she checked on the progress of the Sweetie Pie’s set to open soon at 349 Beale St. It was clear that she is excited about joining the Memphis community via her their restaurant.
“It’s an honor to be in Memphis on Beale Street,” Montgomery said. “I’m meeting a lot of challenges. I’ve got a lot of restaurants here I’ve got to compete with, but I’m hoping my food is just as good.”
For Montgomery, opening and operating the new restaurant is going to be a true family affair that will require the support of the Memphis community.
“This is a family operation, and we can’t do it without each other. It takes all of us to make this work, and (it’s going to take) the city of Memphis,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery decided to open up a Memphis location after being offered the opportunity to move to Beale Street.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to bring my food down here. When I come to Memphis, I always enjoy it, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said.
Montgomery said her son, Tim Norman, would be very active in overseeing the restaurant’s new location.
“Tim will be 200 percent involved because he’s going to move down here,” said Montgomery. “I’m just going to come and make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to do.”
Montgomery said her sisters would also come down to check on the establishment.
The former “Ikette”(a backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner) and star of the Oprah Winfrey Network reality series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” learned how to cook her mother’s classic soul food dishes by working alongside her in their St. Louis kitchen. After a lung condition ended her singing career in 1979, she returned to St. Louis from California and worked as a dialysis technician. She would soon trade a health care career for a career in the culinary field. In 1996, with help from her son, Sweetie Pie’s was born.
Montgomery is pleased with the reaction she’s already getting from the Memphis community.
“I want to thank Memphis for opening their arms to me,” she told The New Tri-State Defender during an impromptu interview on Beale Street.
“It seems like everybody’s waiting on me, and I can hardly wait to get here. So, stay hungry and wait on me!”
- Written by Brittney Gathen-Special to The New Tri-State Defender
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