Detroit Black Restaurant Week does pandemic pivot, featuring carryout, dining outdoors

Detroit Black Restaurant Week started in 2017 and now has 30 restaurants participating with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's announcement, they had to pivot. 

"We want to align ourselves with the governor and her messaging whether it's a request or a demand," said Kwaku Osei-Bonsu. "We want to make sure that we're keeping our guests and patrons safe."

Friday is the start of  Detroit Black Restaurant Week - the same day Whitmer requested a pause on in-door dining and other measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, so the dozens of restaurants participating are making changes.
"We're getting people to take part in carry-out, dining at home, and make sure you document that experience too," said Osei-Bonsu.

The owner of East Eats, Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, founded Detroit Black Restaurant Week to fill a need.

"The restaurant scene it's the epicenter of culture, food is the epicenter of culture," said Osei-Bonsu. "And there's no way in a city that's 80 percent Black, that you can't have representation in a restaurant week that is at least equivalent to the population."

"We're very proud to be a part of this event this week," said Kristy Cook, GM Central Kitchen + Bar. "The pandemic has had an effect harder on Black-owned businesses than it has other businesses."

The general manager of Central Kitchen and Bar, a Black-owned restaurant in downtown Detroit - one of the restaurants being featured this week - says they've had to adjust through the pandemic.

Once again they have read to do what's necessary to keep folks safe and see success 

"I am vaccinated, I've had it, I'm okay," Cook said. "But you don't know who is coming into your restaurant. So you need to do your job as well."

"We're also promoting outdoor dining," said Osei-Bonsu. "We already have gotten guidelines from the city for what outdoor dining is, and how it is defined. So we are looking to get people engaged in that more than ever."

And if you're interested in any of these restaurants, the complete list of participating locations is below and for more on the event click this link:

  • Baobab Fare
  • Burger Grille Detroit
  • Central Kitchen
  • City Wings
  • COOP
  • Delphine's Jamaican
  • Detroit Pepper Company
  • Detroit Taco Bar
  • DUO
  • Durden's Catering
  • Floods
  • Golden Wingz
  • Good Times on the Ave
  • Griot Music Lounge
  • Jamaican Pot - 8 Mile
  • Jamaican Pot - New Center
  • Jed's
  • Kai's Loaded Bakery
  • Kola Restaurant and Lounge
  • Le Crepe
  • Soul of Detroit Restaurant
  • Spud Headz
  • Sweet Potato Sensations
  • The Block
  • The Kitchen by Que
  • The Pasta Bowl
  • What's Crackin
  • Yoshi Hibachi Grill
  • Yum Village
  • IVY Kitchen and Cocktail