The upper decks at Smith Commons provide an intimate space to dine and drink on H Street NE. (Photo by Forrest Givens)
The upper decks at Smith Commons provide an intimate space to dine and drink on H Street NE. (Photo by Forrest Givens)

DMV Black Restaurant Week celebrates and supports Black hospitality, food and beverage entrepreneurs, and employees year-round through awareness, professional development, external resources, and events. It will culminate as the 2nd Annual DMV Black Restaurant Week will be held from Sunday, November 3, 2019 through Sunday, November 10, 2019. Curated by co-founders, Dr. Erinn Tucker, Chef Furard “Tate” Tate, and Andra “AJ” Johnson, this annual, week-long event promotes the knowledge and awareness of Black-owned hospitality businesses in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your restaurant or your waiter, ‘is this a Black establishment?’ It is okay to be identified as a Black-owned business. It is OK to be proud. We are proud to eat here,” advocates Chef Tate.

Dr. Tucker delves into the origins of DMV Black Restaurant week. “In 2018 there were a lot of incidents throughout the country where the African American consumer was mistreated in many establishments. There were many articles asking, ‘where are the Black chefs, managers, and restaurant owners?’ After reading so many articles I got fed up because in the DMV we have so much talent. So, we decided to make a platform for Black-owned businesses to support and sustain themselves while giving the customer an experience they’re looking for.”

Enjoy the enticing cocktails at the bar at Po Boy Jim at both the H Street NE and 9th Street NW locations. (Photo by Forrest Givens)

Residents and visitors are encouraged to patronize any of the participating restaurants listed on the website ( Diners will experience either a three-course (“Prix-Fixe”) menu at a special price or receive a discount on catering orders and food purchases during the week. In addition, DMV Black Restaurant Week will bring together Black restaurant owners, managers, chefs, caterers, brewers, thought leaders and financiers through various signature events throughout the week.

Because DC is a global city, DMV Black Restaurant Week will be inclusive with allied powerhouse partners including PepsiCo Foodservice, Thompson Hospitality, Washington Informer Charities, Yelp DC, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, Events DC, Destination DC, Mayor’s Office of Cable TV, Film, Music and Entertainment, and 202Creates along with media Washington Informer for this week of important events.

“DMV Black Restaurant is more than a week, it’s a lifestyle,” says Chef Furard Tate. “The week not only promotes restaurants, it goes further by closing the knowledge gap that exists through hosting a conference and panel discussion featuring Black-owned food trucks and an awards brunch on Sunday spotlighting owners, managers, politicians, tastemakers and non-profit organizations that are blazing the trail and supports the community 365 days a year.”

DMV Black Restaurant Week 2019 – 2020 Signature Events include:

R.R. Bowie Cocktail Competition – November 4, 2019 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM I Ben’s Upstairs (1001 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002) Sponsored in part by Founding Spirits, Blue Henry, SantaTeresa.
The Business of Food and Beverage Education Conference – November 6, 2019 8:30 AM – 2 PM I Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies (640 Massachusetts Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20001)

Cocktails and Conversation – Women Leaders in the Food and Beverage Space – November 7, 2019 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Sobe Restaurant and Lounge (10621 Greenbelt Rd #201, Glenn Dale, MD 20769)

“We want to show restaurants and caterers that when we come together, we can raise the money we need to support our Black establishments and our Black community empowerment organizations. We want to be able to teach other restaurants and caterers strategies to raise funds and awareness to sustain businesses,” expresses Chef Tate co-founder of Black Restaurant Week.

“The food continues the legacy of our people through every bite. The history of our ancestors lives through our actions and our food, it is what connects us, which is why through our tables we have economic power. We have always had this power with our food. We want to sustain that legacy through cooperative economics. When we come together we don’t just promote Black restaurants, we sustain them,” he implied.

If you plan to participate in Black Restaurant Week, don’t forget to do three things. Take a selfie, use the hashtags #TasteTheCulture and #DMVBRW, and take a picture of the bottom of your receipt showing what you’re paying and the name of the establishment to show the money going into the community through restaurants.

To register for the DMV Black Restaurant Week signature events, visit:

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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