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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The inaugural Midwest Black Restaurant Week started Friday, featuring more than two dozen local restaurants.

And with more social awareness and support for Black-owned businesses, these restaurant owners say they’re feeling the impact.

Big Momma’s Bakery and Cafe on Bannister Road has been impacted by the coronavirus, but they’re doing OK now. Co-owner Fabian Brown said it’s largely due to an increase in customers related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The support we get from the Black community has just grown significantly,” Brown said.

He hopes the inaugural Midwest Black Restaurant Week brings in even more business.

“The Black community has came and started supporting us like crazy, just like they’ve been doing for other small, Black-owned businesses in Kansas City,” he said.

The event is meant to shine a light on cultural cuisines, like those at Blue Nile Cafe.

“We’ve been in business since 1995,” owner Daniel Fikru said. “We just celebrated our 25th anniversary.”

Fikru is hoping Black Restaurant Week will bring new customers to his River Market eatery.

“A lot of people are starting to seek different kind of alternative foods, healthy food, vegetarian foods, so that’s where we come in,” he said.

Midwest Black Restaurant Week runs through Aug. 2. Cities across the Midwest are participating, and more than two dozen KC restaurants are joining in:

  • Big Momma’s Bakery KC — 4707 Bannister Road, Kansas City
  • Blue Nile Cafe — 20 E. Fifth St., Kansas City
  • District Fish & Pasta — 1664 E. 63rd St., Kansas City
  • Elevate Bar & Grill — 7543 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.
  • Fannie’s West African Cuisine — 4105 Troost Ave., Kansas Cit
  • Fat Jack’s Chicken & Fish — 5912 Blue Parkway, Kansas City
  • Just Ask: Cafe 75 Carryout — 7502 Troost Ave., Kansas City
  • KC Daiquiri Shop — 1116 Grand Blvd., Kansas City
  • Mattie’s Vegan Eats — 201 N. Forest Ave., Independence
  • Mesob — 3601 Broadway, Kansas City
  • Niecie’s Restaurant — 6441 Troost Ave., Kansas City
  • Ruby Jean’s Juicery — multiple locations
  • Smaxx Restaurant — 1827 Vine St., Kansas City
  • Soiree Steak & Oyster House — 1512 E. 18th St., Kansas City
  • Wingz & More — multiple locations
  • Yogurtini — 8375 N. Booth Ave., Kansas City