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Richmond's Black Restaurant Experience is back with virtual options

Posted at 8:20 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-06 13:56:03-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Black Restaurant Experience is back again with virtual options this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have created an opportunity to have a virtual, a menu of virtual, experiences throughout the week," said Black Restaurant Experience Co-Founder Shemicia Bowen.

Bowen said this year's event will include 43 brick-and-mortar restaurants -- which is a huge growth from the 18 restaurants that the event started with five years ago.

There will also be 27 food trucks.

But the experience is more than just-food.

"So, we’re having an unofficial kick-off this Friday, March 5. We are going to watch, as a family, Coming 2 America," said Bowen. "It took 29 years for us to get a sequel to the movie, and we’re really excited."

Keeping in line with the movie, Bellos and Ma Musu’s Africanne will be serving African cuisine, while other restaurants will feature a twist on the movie’s knock-off "McDowell's" burger, including vegan and vegetarian options.

You can see the movie preview Friday at 7 p.m. on Amazon Prime, then, on Sunday, it’s the official kick-off with Sunday Mobile Soul.

This year, there are nine locations with historic references -- the Arthur Ashe Center and the Maggie Walker Statue are just two. You’ll find the list on the new website

It reflects the organization’s mission to support its members year-round. Last year $50,000 was raised and given back to restaurants.

"This year we are anticipating eclipsing $2 million, which is pretty amazing. Over the course of seven days in five years for these restaurants to hit that 2 million mark is pretty remarkable," said Bowen.

For a complete list of restaurants and events, tap here.

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