SEE THE EXCLUSIVE COURIER VIDEO WITH BREE WHITE AND CARMI CO-OWNER CARLEEN KING BELOW….

Michael and Carleen King, the owners of Carmi Soul Food Restaurant, coming to 1825 E. Carson St. (Photo by Briana L. White)

Soon.

That’s the one word, the best answer that Carleen King has, the best answer that the Carmi Family Restaurant co-owner can commit to at this time.

It’s nearing a month since African Americans in Pittsburgh have been able to devour the soul food of which Carmi garners its reputation. The restaurant, which had been located at 917 Western Ave. on the North Side since 2011, closed its doors on Christmas Eve.

“We love the North Side, born and raised on the North Side, my commitment’s to the North Side,” King told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview, Jan. 11. “However, the building (was) sold. So, we didn’t have an opportunity to stay, and we looked at alternate locations on the North Side, but we were unable to find anything.”

King said her husband and restaurant co-owner, Michael King, were able to find the 1825 E. Carson St. location, “which we were able to purchase, thankfully,” she said.

The official date of the Carson Street opening cannot be finalized because, according to Carleen King, “We have a couple of parts that are a part of our HVAC system that we’re waiting to come in. As soon as they come in and they’re inspected and installed, we’ll be ready to go.”

In addition to the HVAC system, workers are still putting the finishing touches on the first floor, during a tour granted to the New Pittsburgh Courier, Jan. 11.

East Carson Street is known to get rowdy at times, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s been the center of negative attention for those such as Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter, NFL player and Aliquippa native Darrelle Revis, and police encounters with White and Black partygoers. That’s not stopping Carleen King from welcoming any and all into the family-friendly restaurant. “We are so excited to be a part of the South Side, we’re excited for the traffic, and what opportunities the South Side brings,” she said. “I think that we are going to be an excellent asset to our community, adding a soul food flare and flavor that we currently don’t have on this side of town, and the cultural aspects of all types of people, walking up and down these streets. It’s very exciting to us, and we welcome it.”

Carleen King told the Courier that Carmi’s will not be a bar. “We will definitely be a restaurant that has alcohol, and we’ll still have breakfast on the weekends.”

Carmi, which got its name from the combination of Carleen and Michael, plans to initially stay open until 11 p.m.

SEE THE EXCLUSIVE COURIER VIDEO WITH BREE WHITE AND CARMI CO-OWNER CARLEEN KING BELOW….

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