The Cotton Patch Cafe in Palestine on Saturday celebrated 26 years in the community with a ribbon cutting and grand opening of its new 4,500-square-foot restaurant.

The new restaurant features updated decor and dedicated kitchen space, a separate exterior door for easily accessible to-go and delivery orders, and a dog-friendly patio.

Construction on the new restaurant began in June with a goal of reinvesting in the community, according to Tom McEvoy, Cotton Patch Cafe’s executive vice president of operations.

“When our previous Palestine restaurant was in business, we had a strong presence in the community, whether it was serving delicious meals or supporting local causes,” McEvoy said. “During the construction of our newest restaurant, we as a team agreed that not only would our Palestine location be better for our customers, we also wanted to double down on our commitment to the area at the same time.”

“It was important to us to revitalize our commitment to the community by reinvesting in this new location, which helps us better serve the Home of the Wildcats,” he added.

During the event, the restaurant presented the East Texas Food Bank with a check for $1,500.

“When building our new location in Palestine, we understood the importance of giving back to a community that has been a part of our Cotton Patch Café family for over two decades. To ensure that our efforts were truly going directly back to the community, we identified a charity based out of the East Texas area,” McEvoy said.

East Texas Food Bank Director of Communications and Marketing Rebecca Berkley said the funds will help fight hunger in its 26-county service area.

“Donations help us fund a variety of programs such as the Mobile Food Pantry, summer feeding programs, senior boxes and more that provide nutritional food to hungry East Texans,” she said.

McEvoy said the restaurant looks forward to serving customers inside — and outside — its four walls.

“Whether we’re sponsoring a high school football team, helping a local cause raise funds, or participating in the Palestine Chamber of Commerce’s initiatives — we’re always game for giving back,” he said.

The event also included a bounce house, pictures with Cotton Patch Cafe’s mascot Chicken Fried Freddy and free desserts for customers who bought an entree.

The new restaurant is located at 2036 Crockett Road.

For more information, visit the Cotton Patch Café Palestine Facebook page.


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Multimedia journalist Jessica Payne covers several counties in East Texas. In 2011, she left her hometown Houston for East Texas. In 2016, she left the 9-5 office routine to pursue a passion for sharing inspiring stories and engaging with the community.