Starting at noon on Saturday, Aug. 25, Ruby Mae’s Restaurant, one of the only eateries between Albany and Newburgh exclusively serving soul food standards, will commemorate its first year in business with an open-to-the-public block party.
The event, which will feature live music, craft and other vendors, raffles, face painting for kids and a back-to-school book bag/school supply give-away, will take place on Hasbrouck Avenue between East Chester and Foxhall avenues. The restaurant is located at 331 Hasbrouck Ave.
Ruby Mae’s is owned by Kingston resident La Toya B. Flood, a Bronx native who named the restaurant after her grandmothers, Ruby Thompson and Julia Mae Green. They were both born in the South and not only taught Flood how to cook but how important it is to prepare meals from the heart.
“As a child I loved visiting my grandmother’s. I could smell their cooking before I entered the house. There was always a meal on their stoves,” Flood said. “We would laugh and talk over a good home-cooked meal. Both grandmothers shared stories that were passed down to them by their grandparents.”
Her grandmothers told her that soul food dishes originated when slaves took the scraps they were given to eat — like pig’s feet, neck-bones and ox-tails — mixed them with love and turned those scraps into meals that physically sustained their families.
“Mealtime was the most important time of the day for slaves. This was the only time during the day they had an opportunity to share time together, laugh, and most of all discuss their plans to freedom,” Flood said.
Call (845) 331-0910 for more details as well as for vendor and volunteer information.