Each year brings a flood of restaurant weeks to the DC area, hosted by various groups and neighborhoods. But there’s only one that has Mayor Muriel Bowser’s official stamp: DMV Black Restaurant Week. The promotion to support Black-owned businesses, which launched in 2018, is now officially set the week of November 7 -14 in the District.
I'm excited to officially proclaim this week DMV Black Restaurant Week and encourage all residents to make sure you support the many black-owned restaurants throughout the District!
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) November 8, 2021
In addition to the proclamation, Bowser provided $10,000 in funding to support DMV Black Restaurant Week efforts, which include networking events, educational programs, and promotional materials for Black business owners and food and beverage professionals. The mayor also launched the next round of the Food Access Fund on Monday, which will provide nearly $9 million in grants to food businesses who open new locations in Wards 7 and 8. Recipients include Black-owned barbecue restaurant DCity Smokehouse, which will open in Anacostia; restaurateur Andre McCain’s HalfSmoke, which will have two new locations in Ward 7; Fresh Food Factory, a grocery store coming to Kenilworth that sells affordably priced, healthy food; and more. You can see a full list here.
More than just a set of deals on food and drink, DMV Black Restaurant Week was started by bar talent Andra “AJ” Johnson, Georgetown University professor Erinn Tucker, and restauranteur Furard Tate to highlight DC’s many Black-owned businesses and fuel future endeavors in the Black hospitality community.
“I’ve read all these articles asking, ‘Where are the black chefs? Where are the black managers?’ ” Tucker told Washingtonian at the launch. “After a while I was wondering: what do you mean, where are they? They’re everywhere! The DMV has such great talent that there must be a disconnect.”
This year’s DMV Black Restaurant Week includes dine-in, carry-out, and delivery promotions at dozens of local businesses, including Creole on 14th, new chocolate shop Petite Soeur, Queen Mother’s fried chicken, and many more. There are also ticketed events like a cocktail competition on Monday, November 8, and an evening of food, music, and discussion about Black representation in the beverage industry on Wednesday, November 10.
DMV Black Restaurant Week isn’t the only promotion for Black-owned businesses in DC. Greater Washington Black Restaurant Week, part of a national promo in various cities, is now an annual event in September.