By Amy Lukau
Memphis Black Restaurant Week will be held this year, from March 6-12.
Cynthia Daniels, creator of the idea said she wants to get more people acquainted with black-owned restaurants in Memphis and create a platform where they can be showcased.
“Many Memphians aren’t aware of new black-owned restaurants, Daniels said. You haven’t heard of most of these restaurants. Certain restaurants are on the radar. You know a year in advance something is about to open. We don’t have that in our community, unfortunately.”
In 2015, the first year, Daniels was able to eight restaurants to participate. What happened next was something that she did not anticipate: $85,000 was spent in one week and 38 jobs were created.
Because of job creation a lot the staff was able to stay on board full time.
“This will be the second year. Really, what happened is I’m a big fan of Downtown Dining Week. I have a company that does a lot of social media for different companies in the city — Cynthia Daniels & Co. So, I was working with HM Dessert Lounge. She opened up November 2015. That’s during the same time as Downtown Dining Week.”
This year, participating restaurants will feature a two-course lunch for $15 and a three-course dinner for $25.
Daniels who seeks to provide a holistic experience for those in attendance, for example this year during Black Restaurant Week Two Vegan Sistas will be on the roster. Two Vegan Sistas is a vegan restaurant in the Summer-Bartlett area which serves only gluten free foods and is about holistic eating.
HM Dessert Lounge, who does chicken and waffles will be participating again this year. Fran Mosely the owner says Black Restaurant Week brought exposure to his restaurant and other restaurants.
“It brought folks from around the tri-state. So, we had folks from Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas. We also had folks from Louisiana, Texas, Chicago that came in to support the effort to bring awareness and drive revenue to some small restaurants that are owned by African-Americans” Mosley said.
If you’re in the area or are interested in participating you can find out more information on their website here: https://www.blackrestaurantweek.com/memphis