Every year during February, the nation comes together to celebrate Black History Month with art, music, and lots of great food.
This is a time to honor the contributions of African-Americans who have helped shape and change our country and its businesses. And what better way to explore and celebrate culture than through food? Whether it’s the West African cuisine or soul food from the Southern states, this is a chance to get deliciously inspired.
The year 2020 was calamitous for many and communities of color and immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks have propagated anti-racist education and support for individuals as well as for Black-owned restaurants and other businesses.
There are many practical ways to support the Black community. One that we particularly enjoy is dining at some of our favorite Black-owned eateries around the Bay Area. Here’s one that we simply can’t get enough of.
Everett and Jones BBQ: More Than Food
Everett and Jones BBQ is more than a restaurant. Walking into one of its locations, one immediately experiences the warmth of the family that created it and the joy of the Black culture they celebrate through live music and food.
Regardless of where you’re from, whenever you feel homesick – that’s the place to go. Because nothing feels more like home than sharing a sliced beef brisket, smoked pork ribs and sweet potato pie with your loved ones while listening to authentic Blues music.
Founded in 1973 in Oakland, California, Everett & Jones Barbeque is the classic family business. It was started by Dorothy Everett and her eight daughters, one son and one son-in-law (Jones).
In 1952, Dorothy and her husband Cleveland left their home in Alabama in search of opportunity in California. The marriage didn’t hold and eight years after she first arrived in California Dorothy found herself taking care of nine children while working a part time job tending a smoke pit.
Knowing that she can create a better future for herself and for her children, she borrowed $700 from a friend and fearlessly went into business.
She opened her own barbeque restaurant in an old building on the corner of 92nd Avenue in Oakland, California, and got the whole family involved in the renovation. They named the new restaurant Everett & Jones Barbeque and swore to maintain its integrity as a family enterprise.
With as little bootstrap advertising as handing out flyers and free samples, word of mouth soon spread about the little homey spot with the deliciously comforting food. Slowly but surely, the business grew and in 1974 a second restaurant showed up on the corner of University and San Pablo Avenues in Berkeley, California.
Just one year later, the family opened a third location. Time and time again, the Everett family triumphed over adversity. Where fire burned one of the locations beyond repair 6 new restaurants opened up around the Bay Area.
Everett & Jones BBQ became known for being one of the leading BBQ joints in the nation and for having the best sauce in medium and hot varieties.
Today, although it grew into many restaurant units and expanded into retail, the business is still run by Dorothy’s children and grandchildren. For Dorothy, trust in God has led her through the path of providing for her family. “I had a dream,” she says, “I wanted to build something that my children could fall back on. He answered my prayers.”
Discover More Black-Owned Restaurants
Of course, there are many more Black-owned restaurants and bars in the Bay Area. Here are some ways you can find and support them:
- Try an app. The EatOkra app was founded by Black developers and programmers. It features Black-owned restaurants in major cities across the US. It integrates withGrubHub, DoorDash and other food delivery services, so you can easily order takeout from a Black-owned restaurant of your choice. Most food delivery apps also have a “support Black-owned restaurants” button at the top.
- Do a quick search. Websites like EatBlackOwned or Eboneats make finding Black-owned restaurants and private chefs easy and fun. Besides state, you can search by type of food, although we recommend simply being spontaneous. Searching for “Black-owned restaurants in the Bay Area” on Google will also get you a variety of dining options.
- Get on social media. Hashtags like #BlackOwnedRestaurants and profiles like Black Owned Food LA or Black People Eats are a great way to find out about exciting new eateries, menu offerings or community news. Don’t forget to follow them to show your support!