'Over 20 restaurants' spotlighted during Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week

Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week is back for the sixth year in a row starting Monday, April 12. Organizers say ordering from participating restaurants could make all the difference in keeping their doors open after a difficult year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"One day we had the idea of, 'How can we really illustrate the importance of collective economics?'" said Symphony Swan, co-founder of BlankSpace MKE. "That's what sparked the idea for Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week." 

Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week

Monday, April 12 through Sunday, April 18, BlankSpace MKE, an urban artist co-operative, is inviting the public to carry out or dine-in at participating restaurants. 

"What we like to say is, this year, order, pull up, eat good," said Swan. "Over 20 restaurants this year. We have wing spots, pizza spots, lunch and café options."

Swan said the week-long event puts a spotlight on Black-owned businesses like Buffalo Boss in the Sherman Phoenix and Big Daddy's BBQ near Humboldt Boulevard and Center Street. 

"Which kind of boost the economy and help keep these restaurants here in our communities," said Swan.

Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week

"We need their support," said Donald Lee, co-owner of Big Daddy's BBQ.

Lee, on Sunday, April 11 was just warming up for the week ahead -- welcoming his regular foot traffic.

"Always busy, super busy," he said.

Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week

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Specials this week at Big Daddy's BBQ include Wing Wednesday, Gumbo Thursday and Fish Fry Friday. 

"Mac n' cheese, rib tips, catfish, baby back ribs -- we do it all," said Lee.

This, all while focusing on being COVID-safe. The event organizer is asking customers to maintain their distance, wear masks, and use cashless forms of payment where possible. 

"We just ask that in this season, you give the restaurants a lot of grace and patience," said Swan. "This is a pivot for everyone."

Nearly two-dozen businesses are participating in Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week.