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After having a successful NBA career for 12 years averaging 18 points per game over his career with 9 assists on 46 percent shooting and being the mayor of Sacramento just wasn’t enough for Kevin “KJ” Johnson.

The Black Wall Street Times spoke with Johnson about the inspiration behind opening Fixins Soul Kitchen and what Tulsa can expect from his restaurant.

“I wanted to own a Black business. I don’t sing and dance, and I can’t do hair or facials, but we can do a killer soul food spot,” said Johnson.

Opening in 2019, Fixins Soul Kitchen in Sacramento and then later Los Angeles have been one of the best-reviewed soul food spots in their respective areas.

Photo Courtesy: Marc Cortez

His Grandma’s recipes were the catalyst of a menu that’s been very well received time and again.

With a ribbon-cutting and soft launch scheduled for the same day as the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, May 31, Fixins Soul Kitchen will be one of the largest Black-owned restaurants in the state of Oklahoma.

Why KJ would open a storefront in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he explained, “ I have two reasons, one is because I love the history of Black Wall Street and the travesty, and our spirit, It’s still there. The second reason is because my grandmother and grandfather are from Tulsa as well.”

His grandma’s cooking is all over the menu, from appetizers like fried deviled eggs to catfish nuggets, to entrees like fried chicken and waffles (his personal favorite) to his grandma’s signature and famous peach cobbler, to even kool-aid.

Kevin Johnson has long been a student of the game

Kevin believes Tulsa deserves the best. He learns from Tulsa staples like Wanda J’s and Sweet Lisa’s and believes he can carry the torch like those before him.

Photo Courtesy: Fixins Soul Kitchen

As a man who has touched a lot of journeys in his life as a former basketball player and mayor, to now restaurant owner, he has found a way to connect it all.

Johnson says the biggest thing in the food industry is hospitality. “You have to provide a great environment,” Kevin said. “Down to the ambiance, making sure it’s clean and making sure we give back.” He then continues to state how basketball, politics, and food relates because they all involve a plan. “As a basketball player, you plan to win a championship, as a Mayor you plan to make Sacramento a better city, and on a restaurant tour, you plan to be the best Black soul food spot in the country,” said Johnson.

Tanner Frank is a 2023 summer intern for The Black Wall Street Times and a Tulsa, Oklahoma, native and a graduate of Booker T. Washington High Schoo. Tanner will be attending the University of Arkansas...