A customer at Bala’s Bistro, having made his choice from wings, burgers, fish, seafood, meal prep and African cuisine, conveys his selections during Black Restaurant Week. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

Anchored in five years of momentum, Black Restaurant Week No. 6 unfolded this week amid the ongoing pandemic, delivering strong evidence that an understanding of the concept and need is well rooted.

Black Restaurant Week founder Cynthia Daniels found plenty to be happy about as she made visits to participating restaurants. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

“This year we are supporting 21 restaurants,” Cynthia Daniels, the founder of Black Restaurant Week (BRW), said while dropping in on one of the participating restaurants on Tuesday. “We are making sure that we are safe. “You can delivery app and curbside service. 

“So far the first two days have been amazing. The restaurants have doubled and tripled their sales on Sunday and Monday. A lot of the restaurants ran out of food. It has been nothing but support.”

Raquel Brown, an owner at Meals For You, said the flow of Black Restaurant Week customers was really needed after losses suffered during the pandemic. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

Raquel Brown of Meals For You Catering noted the “great reduction in sales due to the pandemic, especially our catering” and said, “Black Restaurant Week has already helped us out tremendously.”

The restaurant’s menu changes daily and lunch is served “all day, every day,” she said. 

With customers in mind, Menté, owner of Smooth Living Health Food Restaurant, said, “Thank yall for coming out (to) patronize our business. It’s really helpful to us. It helps get our name out there, get my brand out. I appreciate the love, the service and the people.”

Felicia Farr stopped in to Smooth Living to get “my Purple Rain Smoothie … which I come and get often because I love the way it (the restaurant) smells, I love the atmosphere,” she said. “And I’m here celebrating Black Restaurant Week.”

For Felicia Farr, Black Restaurant Week was another reason to visit one of her favorite restaurants – Smooth Living Health Food. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

At Uncle Lou’s Fried chicken, owner Fred Martin heaped praise on Daniels. “We’ve really seen a positive increase in sales. We’ve seen positivity in people in general that have come out to support Black-owned businesses. And not just African Americans. … all races across the spectrum. …

Fred Martin, owner of Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken, said he has been absorbing the positive vibes being generated by Black Restaurant Week. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

“Last year we saw an increase and it had a little lasting effect,” Martin said. “Hopefully we’ll have the same thing. I really, really hope and pray that a lot of our smaller, struggling restaurants … get a lot of kickback from this restaurant week.”

(To participate in Black Restaurant Week, go to: www.blackrestaurantweek.com.)