Features Issue 5 Magazine

Black Owned Businesses

By Ella Neve

In the Bay Area, there are 100+ restaurants owned by Black men and women. Closest to us in Lafayette, Rêve Bistro (http://revebistro.com/) serves French food and is currently open for takeout. Paul Magu-Lecugy, the current owner and executive chef, opened Rêve after working in France under a famous chef and dreaming of opening his own bistro here. In January of 2016, Paul and his wife Laura left their nine to five jobs and opened Rêve.

Not too far away in Concord, Jamel Major and Derrel Blackburn own Pure Juice and Smoothie Lounge (https://www.purejuiceandsmoothie.com/). Through travel and immersing himself in many cultures, Major realized that peace and wellness come from within. Major teamed up with Blackburn who shared Major’s ideas and together they opened a juice and smoothie lounge to provide quick and healthy nutrients to help their customers reach their fitness goals. 

Also located in Concord, Big Country Kitchen (https://www.restaurantji.com/ca/concord/big-country-kitchen-/) is open for takeout. Owned by Banji DeLancy, Big Country Kitchen serves a wide array of  southern food including burgers, wings, breakfast, and chicken sandwiches. DeLancy is passionate about food and loves to cook. Big Country Kitchen strives to satisfy every customer’s hunger needs while simultaneously having the most efficient service. 

Oakland is home to over 100 Black-owned restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. If you’re looking for a fresh cup of coffee: Red Bay Coffee (https://www.redbaycoffee.com/), owned by Keba Konte and founded in 2014, has 4.5 stars with 198 reviews, and Alem’s Coffee (https://alemscoffee.wixsite.com/site), owned by Alem Negash and his wife Nigisity Eyasu, is rated 4.5 stars with 97 reviews. Despite their amazing coffee, the highest-rated food business was Lois the Pie Queen (https://www.visitoakland.com/listing/lois-the-pie-queen/299/) with 1058 reviews and four stars. Lois Davis opened up Lois the Pie Queen 50 years ago, and now her son, Chris, continues on her legacy. Lois the Pie Queen is currently being considered as a candidate to be declared a historical landmark. The second highest-rated in Oakland is The Veg Hub (http://www.theveghub.com/), famous for its large variety of vegan food, it has 331 reviews and 4.5 stars. GW Chew began The Veg Hub as a way to provide healthy and fueling meals to combat disease and illness. The Veg Hub is currently open for delivery and takeout.

Located in San Francisco, Flavas Jamaican Grill (https://flavasjamaicangrillsf.com/) received 806 reviews on yelp and a four-star average. Leroy Douglas began his chef career at the age of 10 in Jamaica, cooking for his family. Douglas has now grown his own company to three different locations, two in San Francisco and one in Oakland. Flavas Jamaican Grill is well known for its Caribbean atmosphere and authentic Jamaican cuisine. Coming in a close second is Keith’s Chicken and Waffles (https://www.keithschickennwaffles.com/), one of the highest-rated Black-owned businesses in SF. Described as serving “Southern, soulfood, and waffles,” Keith’s has attained over 700 reviews and 4.5 stars. After being inspired by the chicken and waffles combo originating in the early 1900s in Harlem, he has spent years perfecting his chicken seasoning and researching the best chicken and waffle spots to create his own perfect combination of the two. 

Additionally, a recently developed company, Bay Area Black Market (https://bayareablackmarket.com/), is a database full of every kind of business from salons to bookstores. Bay Area Black Market makes it especially easy to research Black-owned businesses near you and specific to what you need to purchase. Although supporting Black-owned businesses is ideally a year-round habit, The Page hopes that you will visit a few Black-owned restaurants, pop-ups, and caterers in support of Black History Month.