Black Restaurant Week is back in Buffalo and it's bigger than ever!
The fifth annual Black Restaurant Week has moved from February to June this year. It will run from June 12-19 leading up to the Juneteenth celebrations.
Black Restaurant Week is organized by the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals. Since 2018, BULYPNY has hosted Black Restaurant Week as an annual, week-long celebration of community, diversity, and entrepreneurship. The goals of Black Restaurant Week are to educate and bring awareness to WNY of minority-based cuisine, stimulate economic growth in Black neighborhoods, and create experiences that cater to a diverse group of people.
Siran Neal took the time to celebrate Black Restaurant Week and visited Park Vue Soul Food restaurant on Monday, June 6. Owned by Harrita West and her mother Schenita Williams, the two have been in business since April 2019. For the mother/daughter duo, both feel they need to offer more to the community than just a plate of food.
"What we want to do is help the community, that's our main goal," West said. "We're not here just to feed people food, we want to feed them with information and knowledge. We want to take the people that don't know about even having a checking account. People in this neighborhood are afraid to have bank accounts and they have bad credit.
"We're here to help the community. We're going to educate anyone that wants to be fed spiritually, financially, and educationally. We're going to be here, we have our overhead, and we're going to have classes coming in the near future real soon."
Neal has a love of food and a passion for cooking it. He cooked alongside the Park Vue Soul Food owners and shared the meal with a few of his teammates who came with him.
"For me, this is a very special event," Neal shared. "I chose this place because I come from something like this. … I'm a country boy at heart, I'm gonna die a country boy, and I love my soul food. So, I came to these black women that own this black restaurant cooking great soul food with lots of great taste and lots of food here."