Black Restaurant Week gives black entrepreneurs much-needed exposure

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ST. LOUIS - Several local restaurants are featuring special deals during the second annual St. Louis Black Restaurant Week. A few businesses participating encourage people to come out for a taste of what they have to offer.

“Soul, flair, and flavor” is on the menu at eight black-owned restaurants in St.Louis.

Exposure is the goal of the weeklong celebration of services from entrepreneurs.

“It gives us the opportunity and the platform to be noticed,” said Tee Cozmo, owner of TKO Grill.

Cozmo said she’s been in business for more than 20 years but her restaurant just fell into place unexpectedly.

Prime 55, fairly new, opened months ago. Davis said he wanted to go into partnership with one of his close friends.

“We are located in Delmar Loop, which is close to where we both grew up so that means a lot for me and him,” said Tony Davis, a co-owner of Prime 55.

Smooth R&B played over the upscale ambiance. The lower level of the establishment was full of customers. Each business owner had different backstories and recipes for success but they are letting people know they are here to offer quality tastes and experiences.

“Once you get your voice heard and you offer the quality and professionalism of the customer service that we have to give, people want him to listen,” Cozmo said.

“There is a difference being a black restaurant owner, to be honest with you, especially if you’re not just a franchise type of restaurant,” said Antwann Binion, owner of Just Chicken.

“Being self-employed is hard. If you have a good product, good customer service, and your place is good, you get all kind of people!”

“It’s about that’s working together,” Davis said. “We are a minority of the city, there are not a lot of black-owned restaurants, so why not highlight them and get the people to come out, get the people familiar with it, and keep the customers coming?”

St. Louis Black Restaurant Week runs through 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Guest can register by clicking here.

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