Explore & Celebrate Black-Owned Businesses During Black History Month
By Shayne Benowitz
This year during Black History Month we’re celebrating Black-owned businesses and restaurants as a way into the cities where Virgin Hotels are found. Read on for some must visits spots this February and all year long.
The Silver Room
An incubator for art, culture and community, Eric Williams founded The Silver Room in Hyde Park 25 years ago. His shop sells unique goods from around the world, from apparel to accessories, jewelry, music, home goods and art for a one-of-a-kind space where you’ll always discover something new. He’s also the mastermind behind the annual summertime Sound System Block Party bringing the community together over music, food, art and artisans.
Q’s Tips & Wings
We turned to food historian Adrian Miller, who has visited more than 350 soul food restaurants and BBQ joints in 37 cities, which he recently shared on TripAdvisor, to get his advice on the best barbecue in Chicago. He sent us to Q’s Tips & Wings on the Southside where he says the smoked turkey tips are “a revelation.” The family-owned joint is run by husband-and-wife duo Quincy and LaShawn Jones and widely considered the best BBQ in town for their smoked tips, links and wings smothered in barbecue sauce.
Roots Southern Table
Another Miller foodie pick is found in Dallas at Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry’s Roots Southern Table. The bright and airy dining room is a celebration of Southern cuisine with contemporary classics, like the famous duck fat–fried chicken, which Miller swears by. Other must-tries include the sumptuous My Mother’s Gumbo, made with chicken, sausage, shrimp, blue crab and file fish and the black eyed pea hummus served with a crispy pea fritter and bean salad.
The Dock Bookshop
Just outside of Dallas in Fort Worth, The Dock Bookshop is the largest Black-owned bookstore in the Southwest. Founded in 2008, their mission is to inspire, inform, and entertain through books and book-related events. Throughout Black History Month, they’re hosting a variety of events and discussions, from Black Cowboys of Rodeo with Kevin Ryan Cartwright and Jim Austin to Sankofa Reading Circle: The 1619 Project and Voices from the Past: Marcus Garvey.
Prince’s Hot Chicken
While the Nashville hot chicken craze has swept the nation it all started at one humble storefront off Nolensville Pike nearly a century ago. With a second location now open in the heart of downtown Nashville just off Broadway, the great niece of founder Thorton Prince now runs the show and dishes up the same devilishly spicy fried chicken seasoned with hot peppers and spices. From a whole chicken to the popular chicken sandwich, pick your heat level from plain to XXX Hot and sink your teeth into a tender morsel of Nashville history at Prince’s Hot Chicken.
United Street Tours
Founded by Memphis native Chakita Patterson, United Street Tours offers a variety of Nashville walking tours that delve beyond the surface and into Music City’s often overlooked Black history. From tours focused on the Civil Rights movement to exploring historically Black neighborhoods, you’ll learn about everything from Nashville’s history of slavery to iconic musicians and the stories behind favorite local soul food restaurants.
French for brother rabbit, Compère Lapin is a Caribbean and Creole folktale centered around a mischievous rabbit. It’s also a James Beard Award winning New Orleans restaurant helmed by St. Lucia born Chef Nina Compton in the Warehouse District. She creates a symphony of flavors with creative dishes from jerk pork banh mi to curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi and mango crème brulee.
Terrance Osborne Gallery
With a gallery on Magazine Street, Terrance Osborne’s vibrant art captures the essence of New Orleans with colorful paintings depicting the city’s distinct Victorian architecture, brass bands, Mardi Gras parades and iconic streetcars. Stop by the gallery where his original art, as well as prints and giclees, are on view and available for purchase.