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Black Restaurant Week comes to the Pacific Northwest

Black Restaurant Week was founded to celebrate the tastes and culture of African American, African and Caribbean cuisine.

KENT, Wash. — With cuisines as varied as Southern, Caribbean, Ethiopian and more, restaurants of all flavors across Washington and Oregon are inviting customers to come and celebrate Black Restaurant Week for the first time in the Pacific Northwest.

Black Restaurant Week has supported more than 800 restaurants across the United States since it launched in 2016. Restaurants, catering, food trucks and other businesses are all a part of Black Restaurant Week’s focus to support and champion the Black culinary industry.

"People come in, they ask that same question, 'What do you recommend?' I say, 'Everything,'" said Kyan Minor, whose family shares her great-grandmother's recipes at Nana's Southern Kitchen in Kent.

Credit: Kim Holcomb
Lightly breaded shrimp, fried chicken and catfish top the list of best-sellers at Nana's Southern Kitchen in Kent.

Black Restaurant Week aims to help promote businesses that don’t have the marketing and advertising dollars to compete with bigger chains.

That support has been more important than ever. The pandemic has highlighted the disparities for business owners. According to a University of California, Santa Cruz study, 41% of Black-owned businesses across the United States have closed since last February, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses.

In 2020 Black Restaurant Week supported 670 Black-owned culinary businesses and led to an average 34% sales increase.

Black Restaurant Week offers special deals, prizes and games like Black Restaurant Week Bingo that rewards customers for multiple purchases.

The organizers encourage you to follow your fork and support community favorites and some lesser-known restaurants for the “No Crumb Left Behind Campaign” that runs through Feb. 28.

A list of participating restaurants and charitable causes can be found at BlackRestaurantWeeks.com.

RELATED: 230+ Black-owned restaurants & businesses to support in Western Washington