Eat well and support a good cause during DMV Black Restaurant Week

If you’re looking for places in the D.C. area to dine out or grab drinks while supporting Black-owned businesses, DMV Black Restaurant Week is offering some sweet deals.

Now in its third year, DMV Black Restaurant Week runs from Nov. 8-15. More than 70 restaurants are taking part across the region, most of them in D.C.

HalfSmoke on Florida Avenue in the Shaw neighborhood has a $35 three-course menu with pizzas and brownie sundaes.

Founder Andre McCain said one thing he has learned during the pandemic is that we’re all in this together.

“We have to support each other, certainly for minority entrepreneurs, whether they’re Black or other minority races,” McCain told WTOP. “Things can sometimes be a little bit more challenging with respect to getting in the business and operating the business sustainably.”

McCain said his establishment, which opened four years ago, puts a major emphasis on being a part of the community.

“So these types of weeks are great ways to showcase how important that community is around the neighborhood, and we’re really excited about it,” McCain said.

The D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development is also providing $15,000 in funding to support the week’s Food and Beverage Education Conference, a free virtual event that runs until Friday and offers advice on how to run a food business during the pandemic.

The funding also offers resources for Black-owned restaurants and food-service providers, which Shawn Townsend, director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture, said have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“DMW Black Restaurant Week is a great opportunity for DC residents and visitors to support these businesses safely by ordering ‘to-go’ and dine-in,” Townsend said in a news release.

Rev. Thomas Bowen, director of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs, added that “Black-owned restaurants and food service providers continue to be critical to the vibrancy of our local economy and culinary landscape.”

DMV Black Restaurant Week was founded in 2018 by Andra “AJ” Johnson, a bar consultant and author of forthcoming book “White Plates, Black Faces,” chef Furard Tate and Erinn Tucker of Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.

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