MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Black Restaurant Week (MBRW) is returning for the second straight year, and it's offering more options to a diverse community.
"This is our second year participating in Black Restaurant Week, and we're very excited," Valerie Peavy said.
Peavy owns 'The Office at Uptown.' While her business is participating in Black Restaurant Week again this year, there are many new businesses also taking part.
The year's event has six more restaurants participating, making 14 in total.
- HM Dessert Lounge
- Scoops Parlor
- The Choo
- Cafe 24/7
- Sweet Potato Baby
- The Office at Uptown
- Two Vegan Sistas
- Underground Cafe
- Best Friends Grille
- Guilt Free Pastries
- Cupcake Cuties
- Phillips Ashley Chocolates
Peavy said the event provides great exposure to her business.
Last year, patrons spent more than $85,000 in seven days at the eight participating restaurants.
"I think we probably got a 20-25 percent increase," Peavy said of last year's event.
Cynthia Daniels, one of the driving forces behind MBRW, said MBRW is an opportunity for black-owned restaurants to offer dining deals to bring in new customers and raise awareness.
Not only are restaurants options expanding but other cities are participating.
"We've expanded to Richmond, Virginia, D.C., St. Louis, and Birmingham," Daniels said.
She said the culture of supporting black restaurants has taken off nationwide.
"I think that it is really important to understand the impact of our dollar in the African-American community," Daniels said. "We believe supporting black restaurants plays a crucial role in achieving socioeconomic upliftment, and the sustainable implementation of these beliefs will strengthen our communities for future generations."
'Eat. Empower. Engage.' is the motto.
The event runs until March 12. For more details about Memphis Black Restaurant Week, click here.
"This is a really big deal for everyone to come together, because we obviously highlight the Italian Festival, Jewish Festival, and we just want to celebrate the African-American restaurants for a week and get everybody excited," Daniels said.