It's hard to miss the Soul House Bistro as you drive down University Avenue in Star City. The restaurant celebrated its opening just last week.
Once you go inside you're in for a treat both for you eyes and your stomach. Owner Gerard Jones said he decided to start the restaurant after realizing the area was missing something.
"I was hungry one day, there was nothing to eat, and we had no place like a soul food, southern cooking restaurant and it just seemed like a good idea at the time," said owner Gerard Jones.
After months of planning and preparation, the Bistro is ready for its first customers. It takes the "soul" in its name seriously, too. The walls are covered with pictures of soul icons from Lena Horne to Pam Greer. There are also some modern sports stars, one of whom Gerard Jones calls family. Gerard's brother, former Mountaineer basketball star Kevin Jones said the restaurant is a perfect place for people like new WVU students to get that taste of home.
"As a student, you're trying to get back because maybe as a freshman you're leaving your parents or getting homesick, so if you come here and you eat this food, it kind of reminds you of back home, so that's the feeling we're going for," said Kevin Jones.
It may well be the only place to get that feeling around here. Gerard Jones said he looked around the area before opening and felt that the Bistro filled a need.
"There was nothing like this within a fifty mile radius, so I'm sure there's other people that'd enjoy the food as well as the people in the Morgantown, Star City, even Westover area," said Gerard Jones.
The restaurant staff agreed, as they said that down home feeling is what puts them a step above the rest.
"It's really, really important. If you've ever said in your mind, man I'd love to have a home cooked meal, then come here and I believe that's exactly what you're thinking in your brain," said employee Tammy Hamilton.