For the 3rd year in a row Blank Space Milwaukee (founded by black women Symphony Swan & Bridget Robinson) have launched a week dedicated to celebrating the entrepreneurship of our locally owned eateries and want to direct patrons to restaurants that they can support.
We do this at no cost to the restaurant owner or to the sponsors!! This is a grass roots effort to engage Milwaukee in building wealth in our community. We do not profit from this event.
Last year many of our participating restaurants realized significant sales increase (some almost doubling in daily sales), a surge in media attention and a boost of new customers from the week.
Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week 2018 is taking place April 15-21.
How does the week work?
We have researched local black owned restaurants and asked them to allow us to include them in the project. With their permission, we use data collection from the week to demonstrate the effectiveness of cooperative economics and the significance of the local dollar to sustain businesses. Business approval is a requirement.
We then ask residents of Milwaukee to visit one or more restaurants on the list. Spend money! Eat good food. And document your attendance by “checking in” on social media using the hashtag #MBRW18 and taking a photo of your receipt. We also ask that you survey your experience at the end of the week. We track all of this data for our final community report.
How do the meet ups work?
Different organizations and groups (sponsors) have agreed to dine in together at a local restaurant in support of the week. They also agree to help us spread the word and mission about the project. This is a great way to fellowship and build community and learn more about the work they do. You are not required to go to the meet up – this is only a suggestion. You are encouraged to go to any of the restaurants during a time that best meets your schedule.
Why isn’t my favorite black owned restaurant listed?
There is no way that we could capture every restaurant. In most cases, the business owner did not respond to our invite to participate for a variety of reasons. We acknowledge that there are many food trucks, catering services, pop up shops and other sorts of eateries. We begin our solicitation of businesses in January of each year. Our deadlines limit our ability to add on restaurants after we have begun our marketing for the week. However, please continue to support your favorites and encourage the owners to get involved next year.
Who are we?
BlankSpaceMKE is an urban art cooperative with a very basic principle of spreading the message about cooperative economics – build people to build unity to build wealth to build power! We operate as a virtual collective marrying the concept of art and activism. We were established in 2014.
Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week becomes an opportunity for us to demonstrate the power of cash mobs when strategically aimed at supporting minority owned businesses – specifically in this week – restaurants. We believe that by supporting Black Restaurants (and other local businesses) we can make a significant impact on strengthening communities and creating new opportunities for future entrepreneurs.
Though the title suggests a mere week of great eating, the platform will allow black owned restaurants the opportunity to bring in new customers and raise awareness about social entrepreneurship. Milwaukee and surrounding area communities will be encouraged to support businesses and get to know the owners who manage the establishments.
This year our Restaurant Meet Up list includes:
* Coffee Makes You Black
* Mi Casa Su Cafe
* The Cultured Vegan at Mi Casa Su Cafe
* Uppa Yard Jamaican Resturant
* In the Nick of time
* Rise & Grind Cafe
* Irie Zulu
* Scene 1 Restaurant & Lounge
* Mr. Perkins
* Mister Barbeque Jervel MrBarbeque Williams
* Dee’s Elegance
* Tony’s BBQ Unlimited
* Pass Da Peas
* Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille
* Chic Underground
*On the Bayou
*Big Country’s BBQ
Shouts out to our Sponsors this year hosting meet ups during the week:
* Keghaznavi Illustration
* Melanated Mama
* QB Solutions, LLC
* Public Allies
* Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)
* Black Lens MKE
* UBLAC Milwaukee
* Progressive Baptist Church (PBC)
* MATC African American Network
* Marquette “Here’s Where We Gonna Be”