(Washington, DC) – Today, during DMV Black Restaurant Week, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the recipients of nearly $7 million in grants through the third round of the District’s Food Access Fund (FAF). Since launching the Food Access Fund in 2021, the Mayor has invested $73 million into the fund and already used nearly $35 million to support local food businesses with opening or expanding in Wards 7 and 8.
“The Food Access Fund is a fantastic example of how the government can work with local entrepreneurs to bring much-needed resources and amenities to the community,” said Mayor Bowser. “One way to celebrate DMV Black Restaurant Week is to go out and support Black-owned businesses in DC. Another way to celebrate DMV Black Restaurant Week is to reach out to that person in your life who you know has the talent and passion to open a restaurant, and tell them to go to obviouslyDC.com so they can learn about all the funding and opportunities we have available to help them.”
The Food Access Fund awards for round three include funding for seven new businesses and additional funding for three existing grantees.
The seven new grantees are:
- Go-Go Museum & Café (Ward 8): The Go-Go Café is a dine-in, fresh farm-to-table, upscale casual café restaurant that includes a cultural art, entertainment, and events venue.
- SaPoDilla’s Caribbean Restaurant (Ward 8): SaPoDilla’s is a family-owned restaurant focusing on healthy, authentic Caribbean fusion, opening a second location in historic Anacostia.
- Dreaming Out Loud, Inc. (Ward 8): Dreaming Out Loud, Inc. will transform a formerly abandoned building into an innovative food hub, vibrant grocery store, transformative food incubator, and community cafe that will provide healthy eating options in the heart of Anacostia.
- Darnell’s at the Museum (Ward 8): Darnell’s will bring founder Darnell Perkins’ signature atmosphere, coupled with increased access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food, to a contemporary casual dining environment.
- 3109 LLC – Café Poulet (Ward 8): This project uniquely converted a building in Congress Heights to a fast-casual restaurant, focused on delivering signature healthy chicken dishes and supporting local artists.
- Market 7 (Ward 7): Market 7 is a community market/food hall that features Black-owned businesses for the purpose of alleviating food deserts in Ward 7 and 8.
- Mélange (Ward 8): Mélange is a Black-owned restaurant concept from Michelin-starred Chef Elias Taddesse that blends American classics and traditional Ethiopian flavors using French techniques.
The three existing businesses, receiving additional funding, are: Little Ivy City Tavern, Sweet Tooth, and Las Placitas.
- Little Ivy City Tavern (Ward 8): A fast-casual dining concept in the heart of Anacostia, with a mission to hire all local residents and train them on customer service and preparing excellent food.
- Sweet Tooth Restaurant (Ward 8): Sweet Tooth will provide a fresh and healthy dine-in food option to Anacostia, Ward 8, and District residents in an area with historically low food access.
- Las Placitas (Ward 7): Las Placitas is coming to Ward 7 to solve food inequality and provide affordable food, beverages, and job opportunities to District residents.
“Through Mayor Bowser’s investments, local entrepreneurs are creating food access points in Wards 7 and 8, and restaurant owners are bringing more food options that already exist West of the River to East of the River,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “But it’s not just about food. It’s also about creating jobs in Wards 7 and 8 and promoting entrepreneurship for residents, especially Black residents. DMV Black Restaurant Week is an important time to support Black restaurant owners and entrepreneurs.”
Today, Mayor Bowser also celebrated DMV Black Restaurant Week and encouraged the community to support Black-owned restaurants and food service providers. This year, Mayor Bowser provided $10,000 in funding to support the DMV Black Restaurant Week efforts. In 2018, DMV Black Restaurant Week was an inaugural grantee of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs through the African American Community Grant. DMV Black Restaurant Week was established in 2018 and strives to promote the many local Black-owned restaurants and food service providers throughout Washington, DC and our Metropolitan area. This year’s theme for DMV Black Restaurant Week—reshaping our community through ownership and luxury—will highlight Black entrepreneurs who are expanding their brands to underserved communities while simultaneously starting and co-founding luxury brands and businesses.
“We have intentionally focused our partnerships for 2022 and 2023 with organizations and resident-owned businesses in Wards 7 & 8, including Anacostia Arts Center, Flavorture, co-owned by Chef Pinke, and long-time DMVbrw partner DCity Smokehouse” said Furard Tate, co-founder, DMV Black Restaurant Week. “They are still creating, still serving, and still providing the best hospitality money can and can’t buy.”
Bowser also announced that the fourth round of the Food Access Fund will open on December 12, 2022. Nearly $11 million in funding will be available. Eligible businesses and grantees can visit dmped.dc.gov/page/food-access-fund to learn more.
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