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Cotton Boll owner opens up about closure of historical diner

Published: Feb. 23, 2016 at 10:59 PM CST|Updated: Aug. 5, 2016 at 9:33 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Cotton Boll has been serving two-egg omelets and short stacks of pancakes for around eight decades. The historical diner abruptly closed its doors on Monday, but the tradition of dishing out food for the soul lives on.

For many, it's much more than a diner, walking through the doors makes you family, and pulling up a chair at the counter kind of brings you home.

"It's not just a business, it's a place you want to go to work, because you have so many people you want to see and you want to please," said owner Leslie Henry-Mellor.

She has welcomed customers into the Cotton Boll for Blue Plate Special breakfasts with a fresh peach cobbler on the counter since buying the restaurant a little over a year ago

"I can't tell you how blessed I have been to run this business over the year, and life does throw you curves," added Mellor.

Mellor says a family member is sick and she has to close the restaurant to care for her loved one.

For Mellor, passing out steaming hot biscuits, for regulars to sop in home-cooked gravy makes saying goodbye a little harder.

"It's knowing your customer, and knowing this one wants cheese on their grits, without having to ask."

With a history as rich as the famous chicken and dumplings served upon request and wooden seats that are ingrained with memories.

"It's been around since the 30's. It moved to this location in 1976," recalls Mellor.

Even though Mellor is closing the door on her dream for now, she knows the down-home aroma of southern fried smothered pork chops will soon sweep the room filled with the chatter of those who consider the diner their home away from home.

Mellor hopes whoever purchases the restaurant will continue with the same menu and recipes that have been passed down through the years. She says a few people have already stopped by interested in buying the restaurant.

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