In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we are putting a spotlight on Black-owned restaurants.
Starting with Salam Cafe-where Ethiopian meets Middle Eastern in Germantown.
Chef/owner Hayat Ali makes the injera from scratch and offers it as a wrap or traditional style as a huge ‘plate’ to be covered in the meat and vegetable dishes she prepares using family recipes she learned growing up in Ethiopia.
She also makes baklava and sambusas, known in some cultures as samosas.
She has a coffee machine for those who want to grab and go. But if you want a cultural experience, attend one of her coffee ceremonies, called Buna. She offers them at no cost on Saturdays at noon. The beans are roasted and brewed as you watch, the coffee poured into cups filled with incense. Hayat says it’s a twice-daily tradition in Ethiopia where you drink, relax and have good conversation.
Hayat moved to the United States in 1999 and after more than two decades working in hospitality, she opened her first cafe in West Philadelphia in the fall of 2020. Nine months later, she opened her second spot in Germantown, and at both locations, there’s a cafe on one side and a market on the other.
She named the West Philly spot Alif Brew and Mini Mart. Alif is the first letter in the Arabic alphabet and, she says, it marks her beginning.
Salam is how you say peace in Ethiopia. And both places are a celebration of Hayat’s culture and heritage.
Tanesha Trippett is bringing the brunch at her Brotherly Grub Cafe.
She calls her menu southern with a Philly flair. Her specialties include chicken and waffles, a smoked brisket cheesesteak, and a creme brulée pancake platter with turkey bacon
She makes a New Orleans-style shrimp and grits but adds cheddar cheese to the grits because, she says, “people love cheese in Philadelphia.”
Her grandma’s salmon cakes and grits are named for her grandma who used to make it all the time. Tanesha’s grandmother grew up in Savannah, Georgia, in the Jim Crow South and always dreamed of owning her own food business.
Tanesha says she’s now living her grandma’s dream.
She went to cooking school after working 15 years in finance. She started with a catering company in 2016 followed by a food truck two years later and then Brotherly Grub Cafe opened in the fall of 2019.
Brotherly Grub was named Best Brunch, last year, by the Black Restaurant Week Association.
Meet Trey Brown, a 12-year-old fashion entrepreneur
When Trey Brown was 12, he spent half of his birthday money on video games and the other half on t-shirts that he customized and resold for a profit.
That was just a few years ago, and now the enterprising teen has stores in two malls, plus an online store that carries his clothing brand, Spergo – a combination of the words ‘sports’, ‘heroes’, and ‘go-getters’.
Spergo | Instagram
King of Prussia Mall
160 N Gulph Road #1018, King of Prussia, PA 19406
16-year-old student athlete starts beauty brand Simply B
Springfield High School junior Bianca Brown always enjoyed arts and crafts as a child. So, when her busy schedule was crossed out by the COVID-19 pandemic, she looked to her past to design her future.
“During quarantine, I was really uncomfortable just doing nothing all day,” she said. “So, I started making, like, soaps and, like, new crafts and stuff.”
Bianca ordered ingredients and mixed them together to create uniquely-shaped soaps, colorful body butters, and dainty jewelry.
Bianca created SimplyB LLC, a beauty brand selling personal care products to friends and family at first. Through the use of the social media app, TikTok, Bianca was able to reach thousands and build a nationwide customer base.
“I literally woke up to 50 orders the next day,” she said after her first video went viral. “I don’t even know how I really get all that done, to be honest with you.”
Bianca is among the busiest bees generating a buzz at her high school. She serves as treasurer on student council, plays varsity volleyball, runs track and field, and recently started a Black student union. Bianca is involved with the community service club and is also a part of the National Honor Society and the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society.
Chester-based JrKickz brings unique look, feel to the shoe game
Chester-based company Jrkickz creates unique and eye-catching footwear.
Founder Breon Barrett and Co-founder Ron Alexander have been in operation for about 10 years. The two started out creating athleisure clothes, which they say is anything and everything athletic wear.
“We wanna be that brand where we represent a little bit of everything,” said Barrett.
In the past two years, they have launched their shoe line, which has taken off.
The shoes are very unique and are something the owners say represent their customers.
They are very proud of the work they do and say seeing people wearing their brand is the ultimate reward.
Dinner is served your way at Angie’s, Her Place Supper Club
Lynh Pham spent 16 years in restaurant operations, saying her background helped when she went out on her own recently to open a takeout spot inside a ghost kitchen.
Angie’s Vietnamese Cuisine is named in honor of Pham’s best friend and offers traditional Vietnamese and Asian fusion through delivery services, online ordering, festivals, and pop-ups.
At Her Place Supper Club, chef-owner Amanda Shulman opted for a different spin on dine-in when opening her new spot. The menu is set, guests reserve their tables in advance, and the dining experience is communal – everyone is served at the same time.
Get your Dry January fix at Gem Life and Bar
Dry January is here and nonalcoholic sales are booming according to a recent Forbes magazine report. A trend that started since the unfolding of the pandemic, with some folks turning towards a more holistic vibe.
Gem Life and Bar is a booze-free bottle shop that owner Drew Davis calls a well-being boutique. It carries everything from nonalcoholic beers, wines and spirits.
Pretty much anything that you could probably find in a liquor store – but without the alcohol or the hangover, says Davis.
And since many people go dry in January, it is the perfect time to try her sober curious kits. But Davis says it’s about more than just not drinking. She’s curated locally handmade natural products. To Davis, wellbeing is a ritual that she’s looking to elevate.
Davis will also be hosting pop-up events and mixers; With her next event, a dry January tasting on Jan. 23.
Gem Life + Bar| Instagram | Facebook
5 South Broadway Pitman, New Jersey 08081
Next event: 1/23 Sunday 1-2pm, Dry Jan Tasting
Checking out 5 breweries on Visit Philadelphia’s craft beer trail
The craft beer scene in Philadelphia continues to grow with breweries throughout the region, as neighborhood bars have been usurped by neighborhood breweries.
We rounded up five breweries along Visit Philadelphia’s craft beer trail. Each brewery has its own unique spin on brewing, flavor profile and ambiance.
Attic Brewing is the first brewery to open in Germantown in more than a century. The collection of beers includes a special brew they did in conjunction with former NBA All-Star and Simon Gratz graduate Rasheed Wallace.
Vault Brewing in Yardley has converted a bank that dates back to 1888 into a brewery where they store the precious commodity, beer, in the bank’s original safe. The bank theme continues throughout the space and all the beers have names related to banking terms.
At Rebel Hill Brewing in Phoenixville Greg Kluge is creating staple beers like Bleed green and a variety of small-batch flavors that include sours, stouts, lagers and more.
Second District Brewing is celebrating five years in the Newbold neighborhood of South Philadelphia. The space has an open kitchen and a dozen taps filled with beers brewed onsite and some special concoctions from the team’s barrel-aging program.
Hatboro brewery Artifact is a collaboration between two friends, Ryan McKinney and Matt Brzowski, who met on the sidelines of their kids’ games. McKinney was an avid homebrewer and together they opened the nano brewery featuring small-batch beers named after music lyrics.
Delaware Art Museum restages Black exhibit: Afro American Images 1971
The Delaware Museum of Art is restaging a pivotal 1970’s art exhibition honoring African American artists and educators who were rejected by the museum a half-century ago.
Christie Ileto has the story in this week’s 6abc Loves the Arts.
Afro American Images 1971, The Vision of Percy Ricks takes visitors back in time.
“This is a restaging of a landmark show that was held in 1971,” says Margaret Winslow, the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum.
There are works by 66 African American artists, curated by Percy Ricks.
“He was really thinking beyond his time and also putting in perspective how the mainstream had pretty much marginalized African American artists,” says James E. Newton, ED.D, artist and member of Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc.
The exhibition starts with an introduction of Aesthetic Dynamics, a multiracial artist collective founded by Ricks.
That was his vision to bring artists and musicians under one umbrella,” says Arnold S. Hurtt, Vice President of the Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc.
The group was founded in the wake of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King
“It was needed because that was during the riots,” says Hurtt.
Delaware’s governor had sent the National Guard to Wilmington for an extended military occupation.
“They wanted to present an exhibition that celebrated artistic creativity that provided inspiration,” says Winslow.
The second part of the exhibition explores Ricks’ wide network of connections.
“Ricks had, matriculated at Howard University at the age of 16,” says Hurtt.
He studied under James A Porter.
“Considered the father and dean of African American Art,” Newton says.
Back in 1971, Ricks wanted to stage the exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum
“They received silence,” says Winslow.
“The Delaware Armory became the place for it to be,” Newton says.
But a half-century later, Percy Ricks is getting his wish.
“His real message is that the arts could be used as a mode and form of communication,” says Newton.
The Vision of Percy Ricks is on view at the Delaware Art Museum through January 23rd. You can find the link for tickets at 6abc dot com slash loves the arts.
Afro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks | Facebook | Instagram
2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware 19806
On display through January 23rd, 2022
Sunday free admissions
Germantown boutique owner ‘flawless’ at giving back
The Shop Local series puts a spotlight on minority-owned businesses, featuring local gems that can help you check off the gifts on your Christmas list.
One shop owner in Germantown, though, isn’t just focused on selling. She’s also focused on giving.
“You give love, you receive it,” said Crystal Jackson as she sat in Perfectly Flawless Boutique on Germantown Avenue near East Penn.
The 34-year-old opened the shop eight years ago after a life-long passion for fashion… and a trademark nickname.
Harriet Tubman sculpture unveiled at Philadelphia City Hall
The City of Philadelphia unveiled a nine-foot sculpture of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman at City Hall on Tuesday.
“Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom” by Wofford Sculpture Studio will be on display in Philadelphia through March.
The traveling monument represents Tubman’s efforts to free hundreds of enslaved people.
The city has announced a number of celebration events in honor of the abolitionist.
There will be a schedule of more than 30 programs planned in partnership with local cultural organizations celebrating the legacy of Harriet Tubman.
Featured programs will include exhibits, screenings of the movie “Harriet,” panel discussions, a birthday celebration, and more.
City officials say these virtual and in-person programs will happen throughout Philadelphia.
Want to celebrate Dry January while still hitting the town? FCM Hospitality has introduced a new mocktail menu and launched a Dry January Mocktail Happy Hour at five of its restaurants.
31 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Dry January Mocktail Happy Hour: Monday- Friday, 3-5 p.m.
51 St Georges Rd, Ardmore, PA 19003
Dry January Mocktail Happy Hour: Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9-11 p.m.
Craft Hall Philly
901 N Delaware Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Dry January Mocktail Happy Hour: Wednesday-Friday, 4-6 p.m.
1033 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Dry January Mocktail Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday, 4-6 p.m.
Rosy’s Taco Bar
2220 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Dry January Mocktail Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday, 3-5 p.m.
And Old City’s Royal Boucherie has a line-up of non-alcoholic sippers dubbed “Temperance Cocktails” available all year long. The no-proof libations include the Lavender Bow Tie (made with pea flower, grapefruit, and club soda) and the apple cider and honey syrup-based Pomme Pom.
52 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
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