Feed Your Soul at Teen's Place10/06/2023 12:27PM ● By Haleigh Abbott
When Catina (Teen) Milbourne was looking for the perfect place to open her barbecue and soul food restaurant, Oxford was not on the original list of towns. In fact, Pennsylvania as a whole was not even on the original list; North Carolina, Florida and Maryland were all contenders, but Teen scrapped those plans. The Coatesville resident considered her own town and the main line, but on a surprise drive-through of Oxford, something felt…right. After a quick call to her real estate agent who is also her niece, Teen had 3 buildings to tour and the second building, located at 37 S. 3rd Street, was the perfect fit.
Since the grand opening in March of ‘23, Teens Place has been serving up the area’s best in homemade barbecue and soul food. “Everybody is so welcoming and so nice,” says Teen, who is always ready to greet you with a hug and knows all of her patrons by name. “Sometimes people don’t like what they do, and I LOVE what I do.”
Teen has been cooking her signature recipes from scratch since the age of 18, but she found her restaurateur niche at 16 years old. As the youngest of 10 children, Teen’s mother Christine Milbourne, was always cooking lots of food for her family and friends. “Sunday dinners were always big at our house. My mom would cook 4 meats on Sunday and feed the whole block,” explains Teen. Leftovers were the prize for Teen, who would call out on the street to boys playing basketball and sell them plates of hot sausage sandwiches and greens and pocket the profit. “Once my mom found out, she started locking the fridge!” said Teen, laughing out loud at the memory.
At 18, Teen began using her mom’s recipes to cook her own meals and began posting them on social media. Her friends and followers thought the pictures looked so good, they started asking if she would cater or cook for them. Teen was in medical assistant school at the time and while she loved taking care of her mother before her passing in 2015, she wasn’t sure if that career path was right for her. One night during her classes, she decided it was time to pursue her dream to start catering. Teen catered for years using her mom’s recipes, and creating her own spin on some.
Before her mom passed away, Teen whispered to her that she would open a restaurant with her recipes and make her proud. In 2023, she accomplished that dream by making Oxford its home. “The first few days it was packed in here - there were lines out the door and around the corner, each dining room was full,” said Teen. And it’s clear to see why. Her menus are made from scratch each morning - from the collard greens and green beans, to the smoked meats, and the famous mac & cheese. It's all good and it’s all fresh. The southern-style food is bringing in fans from all over. “I get people from all areas coming in - North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana. When people have friends and family come into town from down south they’re bringing them here and they make me cry sometimes with the stories! They say ‘Oh, you brought me back home’ with this food!
As Teen’s Place sets its roots into Oxford, she plans to add live entertainment to the dining experience. A small stage in the back dining room is ready for future open mics, karaoke nights and live bands. The restaurant is also working on a BYOB license, to help give diners some courage for that karaoke. Teen is also working on a line of dry rubs and seasonings, so you can take a little of her signature flavor home. “Come to teens place to get that comfortable feeling, good vibes, great staff and feed your soul,” says Teen, and make sure you get yourself a hug from her too!
37 South Third Street
Photos by Jim Coarse, Moonloop Photography