National group highlights Black-owned Pittsburgh businesses as part of Black Restaurant Week | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

National group highlights Black-owned Pittsburgh businesses as part of Black Restaurant Week

The pandemic has hit many small businesses hard, but Black-owned businesses have borne the brunt of those losses. According to a study out of the University of California, Santa Cruz, 41% of Black-owned businesses have shuttered in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses.

As the economy continues to rebound as more and more Americans are vaccinated, one national group is hoping to help some of those Black-owned businesses recover, including those in Pittsburgh.

Starting this week, six Pittsburgh-area Black-owned food businesses are being highlighted as part of Black Restaurant Week, an annual, multi-city event celebrating the flavors of African, African-American, and Caribbean cuisine. It highlights Black-owned restaurants, chefs, caterers, and food trucks in hopes to increase support for Black culinary professionals.

Black Restaurant Week is highlighting six Black-owned food businesses in the Pittsburgh area as part of the No Crumb Left Behind Campaign, which works to provide improved marketing/PR/advertising to promote Black-owned businesses. These Pittsburgh businesses are featured on Black Restaurant Week's website, and from Fri., June 4 to Sun., June 13, customers will be treated to prix fixe brunch, lunch, and dinner menus at participating restaurants within the area.

According to a press release, the currently confirmed list of Pittsburgh-area businesses participating in Black Restaurant Week include:

9 Cafe, southern-food restaurant. 900 Wood St., Wilkinsburg.
Blanket and Board, event planning and catering company.
Uncle Rick’s Smokehouse, barbecue catering company.
CobblerWorld LLC, dessert company. 1059 Penn Ave., Downtown.
Dirty Birds Chicken, southern-food catering company.
Casa Brasil, Brazilian restaurant. 5904 Bryant St., Highland Park.

More Black-owned businesses could be added to the list. Also of note, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last year published an extensive list of Black-owned restaurants in the region.

Black Restaurant Week was started in 2016 by founder Warren Luckett and co-founders Falayn Ferrell and Derek Robinson. This year’s national event includes free entry-level business registration and inclusion in the national culinary directory on Black Restaurant Week’s website. Luckett says he hopes this year will build on their success from past campaigns.

“We had phenomenal success last year with the regional campaigns and wanted to continue that model to help businesses nationwide,” said Luckett in a press release. “There were so many testimonials from restaurant participants of how this campaign helped keep their doors open.”