31392 S. Qualls Road, Park Hill
5-9 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
The story of Jincy’s Kitchen begins in the 1930s, when Deborah Rucker’s great-grandmother, Jincy Powers Lane, opened a mercantile store in Qualls, an unincorporated town between Tahlequah and Webbers Falls.
“She built Qualls Mercantile Grocery here in 1936, and it ran until 1965,” Rucker said. “It had groceries, children’s clothes, cattle feed, a lot of stuff. She also applied to have a post office here, and she became postmaster.”
Rucker’s father, Jack, took over the store in 1968.
“It still was stocked with a lot of things, and it was used as the grandfather’s grocery in the movie ‘Where the Red Fern Grows,’ ” Rucker said. “After the movie, it became a storage building for family and friends.”
About 30 years ago, Rucker cleaned up the building and started serving meals to visitors during hunting season. In 2001, she put in a full kitchen, open three days a week, serving such comfort food as chicken-fried pork tenderloin, hamburger steak with green peppers and onions cooked in, chicken-fried steak, pan-fried chicken, chicken-fried chicken and house-made pies. Steaks are a Friday night special.
Rucker’s niece, Tonya Ballard, and grand-niece, Brook Ballard, help with the cooking. It used to be cash and check only. It now takes credit cards, too.
It’s located in the countryside off of Oklahoma 82 south of Tahlequah. The address is listed in Park Hill, just up the road from the old Qualls community.