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# Food & Drink
If you’re anything like me (white… oh so very white), you may have been surprised to find out you had a lot to learn last summer. You may have also been surprised to learn that COVID was hitting Black-owned businesses disproportionately hard.
My favorite part of 2020 life was ordering local takeout or shopping online at local businesses and considering myself a doggone local hero. But as someone who was almost exclusively supporting coffee shops, breweries, and taco joints, it was certainly time to spread my wings and learn about some of the Black-owned businesses in my city.
Turns out, there are freakin’ awesome ones! Here are five of our favorite Black-owned businesses you should absolutely check out this week.
1.) Jackie’s Dream
Jackie’s Dream is in an unassuming building nestled between Central Ave and Broadway in North Knox. If you were simply passing through, you probably wouldn’t be particularly inspired to pull in the parking lot. And, WOW, would you be missing out. It may have been Jackie’s Dream to open a restaurant, but all of our Southern-food-devouring dreams have been coming true since. Widely heralded by locals as the best hot chicken in Knoxville, Jackie’s Dream is an obvious must-visit (like, really obvious. Like, go eat there. Like, now.)
2.) Steamboat on Central
Just up the street and around the corner from Jackie’s Dream is Steamboat on Central. These guys make the hearty and flavorful sandwiches (AND pickle AND banana pepper) that launch all future lunch-breaks to the next level. And while we seriously love these sandwiches, our favorite part about this local gem is actually the sunshiney patio they share with Elst Brewing Company. Beer, sandwich, twinkle lights, yellow patio furniture? Yeah, go ahead and sign us up.
3.) The Fox Den Hair Hangout
A series of unfortunate events may have led Foxy to her current shop, (“My 2020 started in 2019,” she laughed. OW.) but this current shop has turned into the trendiest, coziest little corner Bearden ever did see. The stylish decor may reel you in (and incredible Instagram feed. We’re talking mouthwatering aesthetics, people), but her friendly energy and seemingly effortless cuts (for all types of hair!) will keep you coming back again and again for haircuts and hangouts. Don’t believe us? Back to that Instagram page situation. Follow her now and thank us later 😉
4.) Oakwood BBQ Food Truck
Honestly, Oakwood BBQ’s Mac’n’Cheese (aptly named the Meaty Mac) personally contributed to our COVID weight so we’re a little upset at them right now. Of course, not upset enough to not go back and order more BBQ Mac’n’Cheese… Their barbecue (all of it. Brisket, turkey, you name it) is consistently drool-inducing. We particularly appreciate that they’re great about posting their schedule on Facebook – aka you can actually find this food truck when the craving hits! (PRO-TIP: We often find them at Southside Garage and take our barbecue To-Go to Suttree Landing Park for a picnic. Highly recommend.)
5.) Oglewood Ave
We didn’t think it was possible to love Oglewood Ave more, but then, y’all, they went ahead and did it. Knoxville’s newest plant shop moved into the absolute sweetest brick and mortar home in North Knoxville. This “Modern Houseplant Boutique” is a breath of fresh air (literally and aesthetically), not unlike Jade herself – always happy to help pair you with your perfect “plant baby” or share advice on how to love your new plant baby best. In fact, you don’t buy plants from Oglewood Ave, you adopt them. (Pardon us while we cry from cuteness.)
There are far, far more amazing businesses owned by people of color in Knoxville than listed here. Articles like this one have more extensive lists. So go explore, friends! (And then come back and share YOUR faves!)
Publish date: 5 January.
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