If you enjoy delicious home-cooked food, you still have time to get out to Madison’s first-ever “Black Restaurant Week” which has been going on this week and will continue through Sunday, Aug. 21. Organized by the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce, Black Restaurant Week features 15 restaurants, food carts, and catering companies owned by African-Americans throughout the city.
Black Restaurant Week patrons can enjoy dining at delicious restaurants, caterers and food carts like BP Smokehouse, Buraka, JD’s Soul Food, David’s Jamaican Cuisine, HML Catering, Jamerica, Kipp’s Cuisine Catering, McGee’s Chicken, Melly Mell’s, Ribmasters, Papa’s BBQ, South Madison Farmer’s Market, That BBQ Joint, The Wing King, and Valice’s Sweet Potato Pies and Cakes. Many of the partners also offer discounts and specials throughout the week.
That BBQ Joint is one of the businesses featured in the Black Restaurant Week lineup. Clement Henriques, pitmaster and co-owner of That BBQ Joint, sees Black Restaurant Week as a chance to change the narrative about people of color in the mainstream media. “It’s important to highlight that our people are doing great things,” he tells Madison365. “Oftentimes, when we see minorities in the news, it’s a negative story behind it. Those are not the only contributions we make to this town.”
Henriques opened That BBQ Joint in October 2013 with his mother, Maureen White. Family has remained a strong part of their business model. Joe Henriques, Clement’s brother, enthusiastically greets and serves That BBQ Joint’s hungry customers. He hopes Black Restaurant Week continues to expose Madisonians to locally sourced culinary options. “There are a lot of small businesses striving to survive. It takes the support of the community to make that happen,” he says. “The price break [for Black Restaurant Week] is a great way to expose people to something that they haven’t tried yet.”
Diners at That BBQ Joint can enjoy a 10 percent discount for their meal for mentioning Black Restaurant Week.
That BBQ Joint marks diner Britney Sinclair’s second stop on her Black Restaurant Week tour. Sinclair was an integral part in planning another Black Chamber of Commerce event earlier this year, The Black Business Resource Workshop. That BBQ Joint supported the Black Chamber of Commerce then, and Sinclair is happy she gets to return the favor.
“That BBQ Joint donated some food for the Black Business Resource Workshop,” she said. “It was good, so I convinced my co-workers to support them today for lunch.”
Sinclair plans to support as many businesses as she can between now and the end of the week.
“So far this week I’ve been to Jamerica. I plan on hopping down Willy St. to Buraka,” she says. “I want to try as many of the restaurants as possible. Our black restaurants need a lot more attention and exposure to bring in customers. I think it’s a good look for Madison. It’s been a wave in Madison lately of promoting black businesses and people are excited about it.”
For more information about Black Restaurant Week, visit their Facebook page.