Mass shooting in Buffalo, black affairs

Last year, 14 restaurants signed up. This year, organizers say 58 restaurants are participating.

BUFFALO, NY – Monday marks the second day of Buffalo’s Black Restaurant Week. It’s a time to discover, celebrate and support all aspects of Queen City’s Black culinary industry – from restaurants to food trucks to food services.

2022 marks the fifth year the Buffalo Urban League (BULYP) Young Professionals have hosted Black Restaurant Week – and this year it’s bigger than ever. Compared to last year, this year the number of participating restaurants more than doubled – with 58 restaurants registered.

Mark Overall is the President of BULYP and says: “This week is very important because historically we are always trying to catch up. There were hundreds of years when black people couldn’t own businesses, where black people couldn’t could not access their own revenue streams or capital streams.”

It is common knowledge that the restaurant industry is one of the most competitive industries. Not to mention the number of restaurants that have tried to stay afloat while overcoming recent hurdles presented by COVID-19, inflation and a national labor shortage. But for black-owned restaurants, there are often even more challenges due to racial and systemic inequalities.

“Imagine not being able to start a business with a $400,000 life insurance policy that you benefited from from your grandmother, imagine not being the beneficiary of generational wealth, imagine not to be the beneficiary of years and years of people running successful businesses is often the case for us as black people,” Overall said. “So it’s important that we keep our foot on the accelerator and increase awareness and exposure for our black restaurants.”

Brothers Restaurant and Bar recently moved to Ellicott Street in September and is co-owned by brothers Ramone Anderson and Ronnie DuBose. The brothers took their successful family restaurant business and turned it into a full-service restaurant and bar.

“We’ve actually been going to Black Restaurant Week for 2 years, so this will be our 3rd year,” Anderson said. “My goal is just to keep making great food so people come back every day, not just this week. I think we’re always under that microscope because sometimes they want us to fail…but when we let’s not fail, when we succeed they’re like oh my god they really do what they’re supposed to do.”

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