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A culinary veteran and a former professional golfer will both expand their businesses after receiving approval for Inner City Economic Development (ICED) loans. Restaurant Kora will call Whitehaven home, while footwear restoration business Snkrr Bar is currently open in Midtown.

Bala Tounkara doing business as Restaurant Kora was approved for a $15,000 ICED loan to help complete $130,000 of improvements. The ICED loan will help Tounkara make improvements to Restaurant Kora’s future location at 4573 Elvis Presley Boulevard. Restaurant Kora will be a traditional African restaurant offering cuisine from West, Central and South Africa. The restaurant will operate seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner. Building improvements will include the addition of a patio, exterior painting, and restroom renovations.

A native of West Africa, Tounkara has been a part of the culinary industry for more than 16 years and trained under Chef Kelly English. Tounkara also owns Bala’s Bistro in Memphis. He will maintain operations at both locations.

Dominique Worthen doing business as Snkrr Bar was also approved for a $15,000 Inner City Economic Development Loan. The Snkrr Bar is a premier footwear service provider specializing in athletic and leisure footwear care and maintenance. Target customers are sneaker enthusiasts looking to restore or rejuvenate their prized footwear. The business provides drop-off and mail-in concierge services for customers seven days a week. Snkrr Bar began as a home-based business that now services more than 200 customers per month.

The ICED loan will assist Worthen in making $57,000 of improvements to the 1,129 square foot space at 1869 Madison Avenue. Upgrades include installing new signage and awning, plus the addition of a service counter.