K’Lynn’s to open a new dining room

K’Lynn’s Southern & Cajun Fusion owner Karen Johnson-Bey is expanding her restaurant’s dining room to accommodate 30 additional customers. She said the new space will open on January 22. Photo by Matt Hollinshead.

Karen Johnson-Bey has faced setbacks after setbacks in her restaurant’s dining room expansion due to COVID-19, but now the owner of K’Lynn’s Southern & Cajun Fusion is finally preparing to launch that extra space.

The plan to add additional food court began in December 2019. Johnson-Bey has said everything needs to happen at least two weeks before COVID-19 enters New Mexico in March 2020. And now it will come to fruition soon, officially opening in January. 22 – National South Food Day.

“We’re very excited. It’s been a long time coming,” Johnson-Bey said.

K’Lynn’s opened in 2015. Johnson-Bey said his restaurant was growing steadily and more space was needed to accommodate additional customers and equipment.

“That side just wasn’t enough, almost immediately,” she said.

Johnson-Bey said K’Lynn’s at 4300 Ridgecrest Drive, Unit O will be able to accommodate an additional 30 customers in the new dining room, more than double the indoor dining capacity.

“It adapts to whatever we need to grow,” she said.

Johnson-Bey said the new space will provide him with approximately 1,200 square feet of dining space.

K’Lynn’s has been hit hard by COVID-19’s financial toll, like other local restaurants. Johnson-Bey said she had to settle for delivery only at the start of the pandemic, then faced staff shortages after food services were restored inside.

She also said she could not initially use the brand new silverware she purchased because the use of the dishwasher was limited as no one was willing to work when the pandemic started.

“It’s been a lot, really,” she said.

K’Lynn’s serves southern specialties like okra, jambalaya, fried catfish, sweet potato pie and donuts.

Johnson-Bey has lived in the Rio Rancho area since 1977, and she said it was better that she could expand her operations here rather than elsewhere.

“This (space) had been here for quite a while, vacant,” she said. “According to the contract, it made more sense to go that route, and that’s what I did. “

For more information, visit klynnsfusion.com.

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