Queen Zuri Reigns On College Street

With the sounds of New Orleans-style brass bands heralding her arrival, Queen Zuri began her reign on College Street.

Truth be told, Queen Zuri isn’t a queen. She’s a 17-year-old future queen, and she was at school. Her mother, Kim Soto, is the actual queen of the newest restaurant to come to downtown New Haven, which had its official grand opening Monday.

Soto, a native New Orleanian — her husband is the Nutmegger — unofficially opened the restaurant’s doors on Nov. 30. The New Haven location is the latest iteration of a restaurant she started in Shelton and then moved to Milford. She originally opened Queen Zuri in 2013, but got such a good receptions that she moved to Milford just last year.

When some folks from Yale Properties came through her doors last August and suggested she consider opening a second location in New Haven, she was intrigued. But she didn’t say yes right away.

“They felt that we would make a great mix to the area here,” she said. “I kept thinking about it and praying about to make sure that it was something that I really wanted to do because I had just opened my other restaurant. Did I really want to undertake it?”

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