Haley House, Roxbury Main Streets launch 1st Roxbury Restaurant Week
The inaugural Roxbury Restaurant Week will infuse the community with savory smells and drool-worthy cuisine June 13-19. Organized by Misha Thomas, General Manager of Haley House Bakery Café, in partnership with Roxbury Main Streets, the week will provide both much-needed support to local restaurant owners and special culinary experiences to Bostonians.
“With COVID, it’s been extremely hard for restaurants, especially restaurants in the Nubian Square/Roxbury area,” says Thomas. “We really tried to build in as much value as possible for the restaurant owners.”
Roxbury Restaurant Week goes above and beyond prix fixe menus and specials. Participating restaurateurs will receive lunch and a workshop with America’s Test Kitchen focusing on food presentation for takeout as well as professional headshots for their marketing materials. A small grant is also available for participants to supplement overhead for the week. Interested restaurants can reach out to Thomas to join the event.
Participating restaurants currently include Soleil, Suya Joint, Haley House, P&R Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, Ashur Restaurant, Dudley Café, Nos Casa and Slade’s Bar & Grill. More are expected to come aboard as the event approaches. The continuously updated list can be found on the Roxbury Main Streets website.
“It is important and critical that we get support at this time, for survival,” says Cheryl Straughter, chef and co-owner of Soleil on Washington Street in Nubian Square. “And not just in this time of a global pandemic, but because restaurants are meeting places, gathering places for friends and family and colleagues where you break bread and have a good time.”
This vital role restaurants play as community gathering places has been particularly underscored during the pandemic shutdowns. Thomas encourages diners to visit restaurants in person when possible, for that unmatchable experience of dining out. All participating restaurants are open to the public for indoor, and in some cases outdoor, dining as well as for takeout. Each restaurant is encouraged to offer a special dish or a prix fixe menu specific to Restaurant Week.
Haley House highlights different staff members each month, and the Restaurant Week menu will be inspired by the culinary heritage of prep cook Mark Roble. Roble’s ethnic background is Latin American and he was raised in a Polish household, which makes for an interesting and innovative blend of flavors.
The tastes of Roxbury Restaurant Week will extend all the way to the Museum of Fine Arts in a partnership between Haley House, Dudley Café and the Roxbury International Film Festival. Filmgoers can pre-order a snack box of caramel popcorn and a nimki snack (an Indian snack) to munch on while watching their films.
As Boston opens back up, Roxbury Restaurant Week is the tastiest way to reconnect with the neighborhood and its local business owners.
“These are entrepreneurs that put a lot of love and history into their food,” says Thomas. “It’s about sharing information and making sure everyone is lifted up.”