Sherri’s Kitchen owner Scherisce Lewis-Clinton dies. She leaves a restaurant legacy of welcoming anyone in ne – SILive.com

Scherisce Lewis Clinton's soul food restaurant Sherri's Kitchen in St. George continues with her children and family who now run the kitchen. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Restaurant owner and civic advocate Scherisce Lewis-Clinton died in late February after a long illness. She was 51. Her children and family continue to run Sherri’s Place, a soul food eatery at 90 Bay St. in St. George. It reopened this week after a brief closure due to the bereavement and burial.
Scherisce loved to share her food. She gave free meals to Staten Islanders in need over her lifetime. As a St. George business owner, she offered tables to the neighborhood’s transients for a hot dish. Everyone was welcome, even if a patron was short on change.
Scherisce Clinton-Lewis (Courtesy of Michael Arvanites)
Friend and patron Michael Arvanites called her the “mother of the neighborhood.” He said, “She was a phenomenal person. She cared about everyone like they were her neighbors or her family. When she heard people needed help she took care of them, even people she didn’t know — even though she had her own struggles with her kidneys.”
Scherisce was an organ transplant survivor who worked in the restaurant for over 12 hours a day despite kidney dialysis three times a week. A tenacious Staten Islander who loved her borough, her civic leadership brought her front and center with Hurricane Sandy relief and feeding efforts through the pandemic.
Scherisce Clinton-Lewis of South Beach, 2004 (Courtesy of Michael Arvanites)
She served as president of the New York City Housing Authority’s South Beach Houses Tenants’ Association. It was a proud position she held since 2002 after serving on the board since 1994. Her mission was to ensure residents had quality housing and rich programming.
New York State Sen. Diane Savino knew her voice well. She said, “Scherisce Lewis is a tremendous loss to the community of South Beach Houses and Staten Island. She was a fierce advocate for tenants and neighbors and an amazing cook. Every year she would take over the kitchens at SBH Community Center and turn out one delectable dish after another for everyone. She took that passion into her dream when she opened on Bay Street. She will be missed by many. A true leader, a wonderful wife and mother and friend.”
Flashback to Sept. 12, 2001: Scherisce Lewis, a member of the South Beach Tenants' Association, holds two candles during a vigil. (Staten Island Advance File Photo)Staten Island Advance
A LIFETIME CARING FOR OTHERS
A Brooklyn native, Scherisce came to Staten in 1977 following the death of her mother. At 7 years old, and in the role as eldest daughter, she served as caretaker for siblings and cousins. With kitchen instruction from her grandmothers, she learned the art of cooking and took it up passionately.
She took online college courses to enrich her education. According to her family, “She always dreamed big.”
From 2008: From the left are Brenda Jones of Arden Heights; Fannie Jeevahan of New Brighton; Elizabeth Stanton of New Brighton, Representing NYCHA ; Scherisce Lewis, pres. South Beach Houses NYCHA at "Music Under the Sky" held at Alice Austin house. (Staten Island Advance File Photo)
Scherisce married Ernest Clinton on July 15, 2011. They recently became entrepreneurs with Ernest opening an apparel store and Scherisce’s restaurant endeavor, started in 2021. Sherri’s Kitchen was featured in the Advance/SILive.com, “5 new noshes to try this month in Staten Island. Wow, they’re good!”
Sherri’s Place can be found at 90 Bay St., St. George; 718-576-4433 and 347-938-5786, Sherris-kitchen.business.site. Hours are 12:30 p.m. to about 10 p.m. with a menu that changes daily. Generally, the steam table and stove brim with fried, barbecue and jerk chicken, beef ribs, pork ribs, slow-cooked turkey wings, collards, mac ‘n’ cheese and vegetables.
Scherisce taught recipes to her daughters, Shanee and Ivyuanah, who will present their mother’s signature dishes going forward.
Fried chicken from Sherri's Place in St. George (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)
According to Stradford Home For Funerals & Crmtns Inc., Scherisce was preceded in death by her brother, Milton Jerome Lewis (Mel). She is survived by Ernest Clinton; daughters Shanee Monique Mary Lewis and Ivyuanah Keshe Marcus; stepchildren Kevin Clinton, I’sha Clinton, Shameek Clinton and Eternity Clinton; sisters Amel Delores Lewis and Latonya Brownly; brothers Gregory Allen Lewis (Atlanta, GA) and Christopher Lamb, grandmother Celia Cromwell; aunts Elizabeth Brisbane (Charleston, SC) and Alieah Ismail (Philadelphia, PA); uncles Jerome Cromwell, Zaid Ismail, and Ahmed Ismail (Philadelphia, PA); Justice Marcus (Ivyuanah’s father); fur babies Mocha and Damu; plus many nieces and nephews.
Scherisce Lewis-Clinton, president and resident leader South Beach Houses as she talks with with Santa Claus before he hands out the gifts to the children on December 22, 2015 (Staten Island Advance File Photo)Staff-Shot
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