CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With new entrees and special discounts, at least 21 restaurants took part in the first-ever "Charlotte Black Restaurant Week."

The week is presented by Black Business Owners of Charlotte as a way to highlight and promote black-owned businesses in the Queen City.

"It's not just for black people, it's for all people," said Cathay Dawkins, founder of Black Business Owners of Charlotte.

Dawkins said this week's festivities is about the restaurants, as it is for their customers.

"And connect them to each other and connect them to consumers," he said. "One thing that we really work on is business development: Knowing how to structure your business."

Inside La'Wans Soul Food off South Tryon Street, a steady stream of customers filled the dining hall for Monday's lunch rush. Part Owner Kenneth Adam says they wanted to take part to help celebrate 16 years of success.

"This is my passion," Adam said. "This is what I love doing. It was an opportunity to get ourselves some exposure. It's all home-style cooking, but we put the love in the food to try to give people what they grew up with we're still doing the same thing we did back then."

Regular customer Shelby Allen supports the week-long promotional event.

"Absolutely, it's a great asset to the community," Allen said. "Great food and of course, the fellowship when you come in here. They treat you like family."

Here is a partial list of participating restaurants as they continue to grow:

  • La’Wans Soul Food
  • Cuzzo’s Cuisine
  • Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill
  • The Belle’ Grille
  • FLO Bar Lounge
  • Mert’s Soul Food
  • The Doghouse Bar & Grill
  • Mr 3’s Crab Pot (take-out only)
  • Rosie’s Kitchen Charlotte
  • Floyd’s Soul Food Restaurant (both locations)
  • At 7th Restaurant
  • Mama’s Caribbean Bar and Grill
  • Red @ 28 (both locations)
  • Pangea Tapas Bar & Grill
  • Sweetest Thing Bakery
  • Soul Central
  • Queen Sheba Restaurant
  • PoKiya’s Breakfast & Lunch Cuisine