Bennie Smith, owner of Daddy’s Soul Food, 754 N. 27th St., says that his father was the inspiration for opening his popular North Side restaurant. “We wanted to commemorate my father who passed away to cancer, and so my oldest daughter came up with the name “Daddy’s,” which would honor my dad, and me as well,” he said.
Each meal category on the menu is named after one of Smith’s children. Customers can choose from Benjamin’s Buffet (soul food entrees and sides), Ashley’s Meatless Menu (vegetarian options), Andrew’s All American Burgers (burgers and sandwiches), Jay’s Java House (coffee and beverages), Amber’s Delights (desserts) and Bria’s Specialty Menu (alternative dishes).
Besides cooking acclaimed soul food, Smith also exhibits and sells the work of local artists. The current featured artist is Darron Reed, who constructs wall clocks and paints canvases.
Customers are free to purchase the artwork. “[Reed] sold quite a few pieces while they’ve been displayed on our walls. Because he allows us to showcase him on our walls, all the proceeds go directly to him,” said Smith.
Smith emphasized his dedication to the patrons. There is always a chance for a customer to win a gift card or free meal. And the first Tuesday of every month, Daddy’s hosts a memory café for customers who are living with Alzheimer’s disease.