Black Restaurant Week Returns with Super Houston Ambitions: Brunch, Events, Delivery and a Historic Mission
Houston Black Restaurant Week, which benefits Blue Triangle Community Center, features more than 20 participating restaurants this year including Holley's Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar. (Photo by Julie Soefer)
Butternut squash at Lucille's (Photo courtesy Lucille's Facebook page)
Experience Etta's Kitchen's brunch pop-up at Bar 5015 during Black Restaurant Week. (Photo by Emile C. Brown)
Grab a pizza during Black Restaurant Week at D'Marcos Pizzeria. (Photo courtesy D'Marcos Facebook page)
Kitchen 713 also serves as a participating restaurant.
Nearly a century has passed since the inception of Blue Triangle Community Center. Stationed in Houston’s historic Third Ward neighborhood, the storied institution was originally established as a central meeting place for girls and women of color during World War I.
A transcendent community pillar, Blue Triangle continues to advance its original mission, functioning as a vital neighborhood hub while also providing public daycare, diverse recreational classes, and activities for both children and adults.
So why is it that such a historic landmark is widely unheard of? After all, the grounds were named a Texas Registered Historical Site in May 2002, and the building also houses a now famous mural painted by acclaimed African-American artist Dr. John Biggers, the former head of Texas Southern University’s art department.
Accolades aside, you’ll find that awareness of the community center and funding are still lacking. Just look at the building’s failing roof, a complication that continues to threaten the lifespan of Biggers’ on-site mural.
Now, just shy of Blue Triangle’s 100th birthday, a brazen group of millennials is stepping in to jolt the community center’s progress. With the lead of founder Warren Luckett, Houston Black Restaurant Week — a now annual culinary series — is aiming to raise funds for the ailing grounds by channeling the power of food and Houstonians love of restaurants.
This year’s programming — which started Monday and now spans two weeks — marks the second iteration of Black Restaurant Week following its inaugural debut last spring. Similar to Houston Restaurant Weeks, BRW showcases a bevy of African-American owned restaurants with special prix-fixe menus. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Blue Triangle Community Center, aiding in the renovation of its commercial kitchen. (Interested in donating to the cause? Click here.)
“We look forward to partnering with Blue Triangle Community Center to revitalize their commercial kitchen,” Luckett says. “Our hope is that this space will enrich the culinary community throughout Houston and provide an economic stimulus to the center and other local businesses.”
Not only will the BRW programming help make a difference for Blue Triangle, but it also puts both well-known and obscure Black owned restaurants at the culinary forefront of Houston’s diverse culinary scene.
“Last year, over $50,000 was generated back into the Houston economy [during Black Restaurant Week],” Luckett explains. “We want to continue to keep our Black businesses thriving. Extending Black Restaurant Week to two weeks, economically, will help bring in more revenue and support to the community and the participating restaurants that need it.”
So how does one partake in the two-week restaurant bonanza? Just head to any of the more than 20 participating restaurants for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and ask for the special Black Restaurant Week menu. Prix-fixe menu options range in price from $15 to $25 for casual dining and $35 to $45 for for fine dining.
Participating restaurants include a diverse range of eateries such as Holley’s Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Lucille’s, Kitchen 713, Live Oak Bar and Grill, Reggae Hut, Etta’s Kitchen, Phil & Derek’s Jazz Lounge, Ogun Art + Wine, D’Marcos Pizzeria, and more. Also special this year is the addition of four breakfast restaurants — Cafeeza, Kaffine Coffee, Toasters, and The Shack.
Can’t make it to one of your favorite restaurants? UberEats is helping the organization execute a virtual restaurant week of sorts, delivering dishes from participating restaurants straight to your door.
In addition to the featured restaurant menus, Black Restaurant Week will also feature five additional events throughout its two-week rub. Aroma, a restaurant consultant series and three-course meal presented by Greater Houston Black Chamber, concluded yesterday at Live Oak Grill.
Nosh, a culinary showcase sponsored by Verizon takes place on Thursday, April 20 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Ensemble Theater. Lookout for succulent bites from some of Houston’s top caterers and chefs.
The Soundbites Food Truck Festival is on Saturday, April 22 from 2 to 8 pm at Peggy Park, making for a great Earth Day activity. The Art of Flavor pop-up dinner presented by Smith Center and luxury spirits brand DeLeón Tequila pops up at a private location on Monday, April 24, showcasing a preview of chef Jonny Rhodes’ upcoming new restaurant Indigo.