Inaugural Black Restaurant Week brings good food and cultural conversations to Tampa Bay

For The Culture

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The inaugural Black Restaurant Week is underway in Tampa Bay.

This week the Tampa Bay area is celebrating the flavors of African-American, African and Caribbean cuisine. It’s all a part of the first Black Restaurant Week that’s all about uplifting and support local, Black-owned restaurants while also providing education and awareness about the Black culinary industry.

Black Restaurant Week runs Nov. 27 through Dec. 6. While the community can score some great deals at many restaurants this week, people can also learn about entrepreneurship and the restaurant industry as a whole.

Thursday at 6 p.m., the owners of 7th + Grove, a restaurant and lounge in Ybor City, will host “The Dish.” It’s an inspirational conversation on Black entrepreneurship and diversity in the hospitality industry.

“What I really want to achieve with this is visibility,” said Dr. Jamaris Glenn, 7th + Grove owner. “I want other people to come, not just Black people, everybody of all different walks of life to come and understand that this is more than just establishing a business. We are a hub for Black culture and what Black culture looks like.”

Glenn is partnering with Ava’s Lowcountry Cuisine and Mr. B’s Restaurant for the cultural conversation. The group will discuss the overall restaurant industry, how Black entrepreneurs fit into that, how to start a business, what to expect and more.

Calvin Jefferson, an owner of Mr. B’s restaurant says they will also discuss the misconceptions that come with being a Black entrepreneur and how people can overcome those obstacles.

“We had to learn that, not just because you’re Black and your constituents coming in may be Black that you will get the support,” Jefferson said. “I think focusing on building your brand, the quality of your product is a start to where the success of your business will be the platform where you sustain.”

Jefferson and Glenn say the event will also highlight the importance of African-American cuisine and the history behind the dishes.

The open event is taking place at 7th + Grove on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Masks are required. To RSVP, click here. Those who purchase two cocktails will get a free appetizer.

Several restaurants are running really good deals during Black Restaurant Week. That includes Mr. B’s. The restaurant is offering certain meals that include a appetizer, main dish and dessert for $20. Some meals run as low as $10 this week. Here’s a look at the local restaurants participating:

For more information on Black Restaurant Week is available at blackrestaurantweeks.com/florida-directory.

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