Chicago Black Restaurant Week is back. Here are the black-owned restaurants participating this year

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CHICAGO — An event highlighting Black-owned restaurants in Chicago and surrounding suburbs is back for its seventh annual celebration.

Chicago Black Restaurant Week starts Sunday and ends February 20. Neighbors can travel from Fulton Market to Oak Park and Auburn Gresham to Lynwood for a range of food and treats. Diners who stop at this year’s featured restaurants will receive special discounts decided by each restaurant.

Lauran Smith, a social media manager originally from Memphis, came up with the concept of Chicago Black Restaurant Week in the summer of 2015. The goal was to support black-owned restaurants by giving them a platform to shine. The first extravagant restaurant opened in February 2016.

Smith chose to hold her event the second week of February to honor scholar Carter G. Woodson.

Woodson created National Negro History Week in 1926 to celebrate the successes of African Americans. The celebration took place during the second week of February, on the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass – Black History Month was not recognized until 1975.

Chicago Black Restaurant Week commemorates black history while creating a stage for black entrepreneurs to have time in the spotlight. Over the past seven years, 200 restaurants have participated and 50,000 customers have dined, Smith said.

The event also increased and diversified the locations of participating restaurants. Neighbors can choose from 32 restaurants this year.

In Beverly, Flippin Flavors offers fresh hoagies and jerk chicken salads. Dock’s Chicago, a Chicagoland staple for more than three decades, offers fried fish sandwiches and shrimp po’boys. And when diners start craving something sweet, Afro Joe’s Coffee and Tea in Auburn Gresham offers sweet potato puffs and tiramisu lattes.

Here is what is open:

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