New business, old sign

Staff photo by Albert Villegas

Texas Department of Transportation personnel gather a few days before a new business opened.

The Wok D’Lite Chinese Café sign will continue to be erect for the foreseeable future, but it will soon be covered up with the name of a new business – Kings and Queens Homestyle Cooking.

The restaurant owner Carmen Scarlett is no stranger to Wharton. In fact, she said “we’re glad to be back home.”

Scarlett, who is the sole owner, operated another restaurant on Richmond Road before she closed and the owners of Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant moved in.

She said she moved to Bay City for several years, but now is back.

Scarlett said the pole that holds the sign will continue to be erect. She weighed her options of constructing a new Kings and Queens sign or waiting.

Why the wait for the business sign located at 1105 North Richmond Road?

She said the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has plans to take down the sign and expand portions of the intersection of FM 102 and Richmond Road. At the present time, those who drive large tractor trucks need to utilize multiple lanes to maneuver around corners.

“I didn’t want to put up a sign and then have it taken down later,” Scarlett said.

Kings and Queens Homestyle Cooking opened on Saturday, July 25. Scarlett said the reception has been positive for the variety of authentic homestyle cooking they serve, which includes meatloaf, fried chicken, pork chops, chicken wing baskets and various choices of vegetables.

Scarlett was asked why she would open a business during a pandemic, and have her opening with an impending tropical storm moving toward the Texas Gulf Coast.

“I’m stepping out on faith,” said Scarlett, who prayed on the decision for some time. She said the power of prayer and direction from God are what give her purpose.

Those looking for work may have their prayers answered, too, as Scarlett is hiring experienced restaurant help.

Scarlett said she has decided not to operate a buffet just yet until the pandemic is done.

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