New downtown New Britain restaurant serves up soul food

Published on Monday, 4 March 2019 13:35
Written by Karla Santos


NEW BRITAIN - My Wife Didn’t Cook, a new Southern-style restaurant on West Main Street, opened its doors Saturday.

The new downtown food establishment is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 2 a.m.

Deivone Tanksley Sr. and his wife, Jacquelin Tanksley, are the owners of My Wife Didn’t Cook. Deivone is also the owner of DMTS Radio and New Britain Legacies Youth Development and Basketball Program.

Part of Tanksley’s goal with the new business was to help create more jobs in the city. He has already hired eight employees; seven of them are city residents. Those employees are serving as cooks, preparation cooks, cashiers and a manager.

“I’m trying to break the crust of this unemployment issue that’s going on, and I think the best way to do it is to build businesses and hire people within the community in those businesses,” Tanksley said.

The restaurant, located at 89 West Main St., was supposed to open in the fall of 2018 but the construction process was delayed. Tanksley is leasing the space from Jasko Development.

Tanksley said that while the city does have a variety of food options, none of the restaurants serve soul food, which is why he wanted to focus on the Southern style gastronomy.

The options on the menu include wings, drumsticks, whiting fish, tilapia, shrimp, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, yams, French fries, corn, corn bread, salads and Kool Aid among other items. The restaurant also offers delivery through Uber Eats.

In the efforts to create something different, Tanksley also wanted to continue to create economic development in the city. He said that he didn’t want to give My Wife Didn’t Cook a common name, but he wanted a name that was humorous and unique. In fact, Tanksley said his wife does cook almost every day of the week. However, he wants to invite those who have moms or wives that don’t cook a lot to come out and check out his new spot.

“I think the soul food spot My Wife Didn’t Cook connected a piece of a puzzle that was missing in this diverse city,” Tanksley said. “With this spot and Mofongo, and then the Chinese store around the corner, I think that right there is giving people a reason not to only come see my spot, but just to come to the city.”

The restaurant is a “grab and go,” but there will be tables for those who prefer to eat in.

“My vision is to have everyone not only in the city of New Britain but our surrounding towns to be able to come to this restaurant and enjoy some good soul food,” Tanksley said.

DMTS Radio, which is located a few doors down from the restaurant, often offers events. Tanksley hopes people who attend those events can also stop by My Wife Didn’t Cook.

“After our events, there’s not a lot of places open so a lot of the people that come to our events, they look for a place to eat, and we are going to transfer them from here to there, that’s another vision that we have,” Tanksley said.

Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Business, New Britain on Monday, 4 March 2019 13:35. Updated: Monday, 4 March 2019 13:38.