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Milwaukee

Discover amazing restaurants during Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week 2023

todayApril 21, 2023

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Photo via Belli’s Bistro & Spirits

BlankSpaceMKE, an urban art cooperative, is spreading the message about cooperative economics by establishing Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week. The event returns for its 8th year and is scheduled from Tuesday, April 25th to Sunday, April 30th, 2023. It aims to increase social entrepreneurship and support the sustainability of local businesses, specifically black-owned businesses.

Founded by Bridget Whitaker and Symphony Zawadi, BlankSpaceMKE has been celebrating the entrepreneurship of locally owned black restaurants for the past eight years. This year, over a dozen black-owned restaurants in Milwaukee have signed up to participate in this cooperative economics project, highlighting their creative food art and welcoming new customers across the city to celebrate the culture.

Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week is not a new project. Cities across the country often host an annual restaurant or dining week, offering deals or menu specials to bring in new customers. BlankSpaceMKE has decided to bring the same movement to Milwaukee, directing attention to thriving restaurants that could benefit from exposure and marketing.

To kick off the week of good eats, families and stakeholders are invited to The Sherman Phoenix located at 3536 West Fond du Lac Avenue on Tuesday, April 25th, between 3 pm – 7 pm to patronize the black-owned restaurants within this marketplace as a way to celebrate the 8th year of Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week and to learn more about how to support the project further.

Over the past eight years, participating restaurants have realized a significant increase in sales, with some almost doubling in daily sales amidst a very uncertain and challenging time for small business owners. The surge in media attention and the boost of new customers who placed orders for dine-in, curbside, and delivery helped tremendously in keeping the doors open of many restaurants listed in the lineup today.

So, how does the week work? BlankSpaceMKE researched local black-owned restaurants and asked them to allow inclusion in the project. With their permission, data collection from the week is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of cooperative economics and the significance of the local dollar in sustaining businesses.

Residents of Milwaukee and surrounding communities are asked to visit one or more restaurants on the list, patronize, spend money, eat good food, and document their attendance by “checking in” on social media using the hashtag #MkeBRW23 and taking a photo of their receipt. BlankSpaceMKE also asks that customers share their experiences using the power of social media to help raise awareness about these businesses. All of this data is tracked for their final community report.

It is important to note that this year’s lineup reflects those business owners who signed up to participate as a featured black-owned restaurant for the week. BlankSpaceMKE acknowledges that dozens of other black-owned restaurants were unable to participate at this time.

Here are the restaurants taking part this year:

1700 Pull Up
1848 W Fond Du Lac Ave., (414) 899-0005
1700pullup.com

Belli’s Bistro
2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

bellisbistro.com

Big Daddy’s BBQ and Soul Food
9201 W. Capitol Dr., (414) 455-8059
facebook.com/profile

Brooks’ Balanced Kitchen
731 N. Jackson St., 
facebook.com/BrooksBalance

Brownstone Social Lounge
524 N. Water St., (414) 210-4824

facebook.com/brownstonesociallounge

Confectionately Yours
Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., (414) 617-7575
1920 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., (414) 617-7575

cy3gbakery.com

Crave BBQ
4923 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., (414) 509-6278

Delicious Bites
6538 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 909-3372
thedeliciousbites.com

Funky Fresh Spring Rolls
Sherman Phoenix
3536 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., (414) 732-1531

funkyfreshspringrolls.com

Grandma’s Hands
2721 N Blaine Pl., (414) 455-3685

grandmahands64.wixsite.com

Happy Days Day Bar
Sherman Phoenix
3536 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., (414) 301-1027
facebook.com/happydaysdaybar

Junior’s Smoked BBQ
Sherman Phoenix
3536 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., (414) 215-0052
facebook.com/juniorsmokedLLC

Rise & Grind Cafe
2737 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., (414) 249-3846 (temp. closed)
Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W Fond Du Lac Ave.

Eatrisengrind.com

Turning Tables Tavern & Eatery
1040 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., (414) 210-3451
turningtablesmke.com

Twisted Plants
1233 E Brady St Milwaukee, WI 53202

twistedplants.com

Written by: Tarik Moody

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