The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge returned this week, encouraging Bostonians to patronize at least one Black-owned restaurant per week throughout February in honor of Black History Month. In previous years, the organizers encouraged Bostonians to dine out at Black-owned restaurants, however the focus this year is on takeout and delivery due to the pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Black and Latino communities.
The initiative was initially launched in 2018 by state Rep. Chynah Tyler. In an Instagram post announcing this year’s rendition, Tyler wrote:
Despite Black-owned businesses being the backbone of our community, we know that Black-owned restaurants are significantly more likely to close down in their first year of operation. Through this challenge it is my goal to expose you to some fantastic restaurants this month and to create year-round supporters Black-owned restaurants across Boston.
Tyler posted a list of suggested restaurants to patronize during the Boston Black Restaurant Challenge, which can be found here.
And in other news…
- Massachusetts restaurants will soon be able to operate at 40 percent capacity. Gov. Charlie Baker announced the news at his February 4 press briefing. Restaurants have been limited to 25 percent capacity since December 26, 2020. The capacity cap expansion is the second major easing of restrictions for restaurants in the past 10 days — the state recently lifted its stay-at-home advisory and early business closure order, which had previously required restaurants to close by 9:30 p.m.
- All this despite the fact that restaurant workers in Massachusetts still aren’t eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. A representative with Baker’s office told Eater via email that restaurant workers will be eligible for the vaccine sometime between February and April. That’s a pretty big (and vague) window — especially given the state’s recent expansion of indoor dining, and especially because there are still very real risks associated with dining out (particularly for restaurant workers).