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2022 Black Restaurant Week is bigger than ever, with double the number of participants

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. β€” Monday marks day 2 of Buffalo's Black Restaurant Week. It's a time to discover, celebrate and support all aspects of the Queen City's Black culinary industry -  from restaurants to food trucks, to catering services.  

2022 marks the fifth year that Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals (BULYP)  presented 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 signing up.  

Mark Overall is the president of the BULYP and says, "This week is very important because historically we are still trying to catch up. There were hundreds of years where black people couldn't own businesses, where black people could not have access to their own revenue streams or capital streams." 

Credit: Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals

It's common knowledge that the restaurant industry is among one of the most competitive industries. Not to mention how many restaurants have been trying to stay afloat while navigating recent obstacles presented by COVID-19, inflation, and a national labor shortage. But for black-owned restaurants, there is often even more challenge due to racial and systemic inequities. 

"Imagine not having not being able to start a business with a $400,000 life insurance policy that you were the beneficiary of from your grandmother, imagine not being the recipient of generational wealth, imagine not being the recipient of years and years of people running successful businesses that is often the case for us as Black people," Overall said. "So, it's important that we keep our foot on the gas pedal and that we increase the awareness and the 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 catering business and turned it into a full-service dine-in restaurant and bar.

"We've actually been in Black Restaurant Week for the past 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 don't fail, when we succeed they're like oh my god they're actually doing what they're supposed to do."

   

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