Inaugural BORT Week will showcase Baltimore Black-owned restaurants


As the CIAA Basketball Tournament comes to Baltimore next week, there are dozens of events planned around the city for the tournament, including the Black-owned Restaurant Tour week.It is not a discount week, it’s an effort to help Black-owned businesses during the slow season.Calvin Riley opened LoCal on East Redwood Street in January. He knows the struggles that come with being a Black-owned business.”Funding. I did this basically with every penny that I had and staffing. Startup money is a challenge to find and then once you are started, it’s hard to find good quality people,” Riley said.Riley said he’s been able to build his staff and he wants people to know they are in the area. Thanks to the Black-owned Restaurant Tour week he will get exposure. The week is presented by Downtown Partnership and the Baltimore Local Host committee of the CIAA basketball tournament. Azikiwe Deveaux helped organize the event which will run Feb. 21 to Feb. 27. BORT will feature eight restaurants in its inaugural year.”Black-owned dine-in leaning towards fine dining experiences and letting people see there is a broad range of these experiences in Black-owned restaurants and that there are challenges with running these restaurants because it’s typically not expected,” Deveaux said.Riley said he’s thrilled that LoCal has been chosen to take part.”At this point, it’s really all about exposure. We want to really raise awareness let people know that we are here, that we offer a great menu, a great dining experience, so we’re just happy to be part of the BORT restaurant tour,” Riley said.Deveaux has big plans for BORT in the near future.”The plan is by next February potentially do like Carter G. Woodson with Negro History Week and grow it into Black History Month, and BORT will move from BORT Week to BORT Month,”Patrons are advised to make reservations to dine in. Walk-ins are welcome at all of the bars.

As the CIAA Basketball Tournament comes to Baltimore next week, there are dozens of events planned around the city for the tournament, including the Black-owned Restaurant Tour week.

It is not a discount week, it’s an effort to help Black-owned businesses during the slow season.

Calvin Riley opened LoCal on East Redwood Street in January. He knows the struggles that come with being a Black-owned business.

“Funding. I did this basically with every penny that I had and staffing. Startup money is a challenge to find and then once you are started, it’s hard to find good quality people,” Riley said.

Riley said he’s been able to build his staff and he wants people to know they are in the area. Thanks to the Black-owned Restaurant Tour week he will get exposure.

The week is presented by Downtown Partnership and the Baltimore Local Host committee of the CIAA basketball tournament. Azikiwe Deveaux helped organize the event which will run Feb. 21 to Feb. 27. BORT will feature eight restaurants in its inaugural year.

black-owned restaurant tour week

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Black-owned Restaurant Tour Week

“Black-owned dine-in leaning towards fine dining experiences and letting people see there is a broad range of these experiences in Black-owned restaurants and that there are challenges with running these restaurants because it’s typically not expected,” Deveaux said.

Riley said he’s thrilled that LoCal has been chosen to take part.

“At this point, it’s really all about exposure. We want to really raise awareness let people know that we are here, that we offer a great menu, a great dining experience, so we’re just happy to be part of the BORT restaurant tour,” Riley said.

Deveaux has big plans for BORT in the near future.

“The plan is by next February potentially do like Carter G. Woodson with Negro History Week and grow it into Black History Month, and BORT will move from BORT Week to BORT Month,”

Patrons are advised to make reservations to dine in. Walk-ins are welcome at all of the bars.



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