WASHINGTON — If you’re getting tired of the past several months of just cooking at home, here’s your chance to change it up. This week, Black-owned restaurants across the area are celebrating their culinary culture for Black Restaurant Week.
“There’s literally something for everybody and I think that becomes the beauty of the model,” Falayn Ferrell with Black Restaurant Week said.
Ferrell is one of the managing partners. They’re hoping this week creates a chance for you to try some of the best the area has to offer.
“There’s Greek festivals, Italian festivals, really Black restaurant week is no different,” Ferrell said.
HalfSmoke in Shaw is one of the many restaurants participating. At the start of the pandemic, Michelle Andrade said they laid off over 40 people. Now they’re hoping the community can support as they rebuild their staff.
“Making sure that everyone that’s a part of this community is supporting Black restaurants, even more than they have been during this time. We created a new menu,” Andrade added.
Their new menu includes a breakfast option with something for everyone to devour. Filling a need she said they identified in their neighborhood.
“There really is nowhere to go get breakfast from over here and also, we’re supporting local suppliers. The bread is local, the turkey is local, and I think that’s a big deal too,” Andrade said.
Black businesses as a whole, have been hit hard because of the coronavirus pandemic. Stanford Institute conducted a study showing nearly 40% of Black-owned businesses were not working. A number that’s been on the rise and one they’re aiming to decrease during this week.
“We’re able to get cafeteria soul food restaurants, breakfast pop-ups, it really allows for the community to become aware of these small local businesses in their area that they weren’t aware of before,” Ferrell added.
Black restaurant weeks are popping up all over the nation in hopes to curve the impact of the coronavirus. This week runs through the weekend. For a list of participating restaurants, click here.