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All-year-round resolve resonates during Memphis Black Restaurant Week

The 7th Annual Memphis Black Restaurant Week is off to a great start and preliminary reports indicate that participating eateries are winning big in 2022.

Cynthia Daniels (Courtesy photo)

“I love to go out to the restaurants and check things out for myself,” said Cynthia Daniels, the event’s creator. “People have missed dining out with loved ones and friends over the past two years.

“Couples and families with children are coming out to enjoy a meal together. Restrictions of the pandemic have lifted, and there seems to be a sense of celebration. What better way to celebrate than to dine out with those you love?”

The event has become part of the Memphis fabric. This year’s Memphis Black Restaurant Week began Sunday (March 6) and ends Saturday (March 12). 

“Memphis is a wonderful city, full of promise and potential,” Daniels said. “Sure, we have our problems. Every big city does. But seven years ago when I started, I envisioned what the week could become.

“It is thrilling to see it grow so quickly. That first year, I had eight participating restaurants. This year, I have 28, despite the very real struggle of establishments struggling to keep their doors open.”

Daniels is thrilled that Memphians have come to embrace Black Restaurant Week, not just African Americans. She also hopes people of all communities make an “intentional effort” to support “black restaurants” all year round.

“If we only go and eat at Black restaurants during Black Restaurant Week, then we’re all kind of missing the point,” Daniels said. 

“Sharing a meal together brings people together. It always has. When dollars are spent in the Black business community, everyone wins. Supporting Black restaurants is something we can all get behind.”

Sherry Lewis said her family started the week off eating at one of their favorite restaurants after church.

“During the week, we’re all working and going in so many different directions,” said Lewis. “My two daughters and their children always eat with my husband and I on Sunday.

“We went to Evelyn and Olive in Midtown this past Sunday. We usually go to Piccadilly’s because it’s convenient, but I realize the importance of spending our money at Black restaurants, too …”

Lewis said she’s taking a couple of days off from cooking and ordering in from restaurants the family has not tried yet. She printed off a list of the 28 restaurants being featured this week.

“I don’t want to forget to spend money at these restaurants when the week is over,” said Lewis. “We’re going to eat out and order pick up for dinner anyway, and we want our children and grandchildren to see us supporting Black businesses. That’s important.”

Daniels said the last six years have yielded the event more than $2 million in restaurant receipts and added revenue.

“Restaurant owners are paying attention to who is coming in and who is calling for a pickup order,” said Daniels. “They all pretty much say the same thing: Every year, they try to convert new customers to regular customers. 

“Meanwhile, they are making revenue to get them through the lean times over the rest of the year. We are looking for a big year in receipts when the accounting is all done for 2022.”

For a complete list of the 28 participating restaurants in Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2022, go to: www.blackrestaurantweek.com.

TSDTv Presents: Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2022


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