“Where’s Seattle’s Black community?”
Oh, the refrain heard over and over, especially during the drought years when the residency of Black people living in the city, specifically the Central District, saw dramatic declines from nearly 75% in the 1970s to just around 15% in 2020 (Seattle Times, Percentage of Black residents in Seattle is at its lowest point in 15 years, June 16, 2020).
Partnered with the decline in Black residency is the decline in Black businesses, either owned by and/or intended to serve the Black community. Black communities nationwide can be identified by the presence of Black businesses offering basic and specialized services. The culinary arts feed our soul and our spirits and are as essential as the art of adornment and the art of self-care are in creating a sense of place and community.
Seattle may just be on the rebound if the latest emergence of Black-owned businesses is any indication. We certainly hope that is the case! To encourage your exploration and patronage, below are a few places to check out that are easily accessible along the primary Central District corridor, anchored by East Union and South Jackson Streets.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list! Rather, a nod to some of the newest offerings to check out, whether you live in the area or for when you visit:
Communion Restaurant and Bar – Recently voted one of the best restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, located at 24th & East Union.
Rooted - Jewelry, wellness, clothing, children’s gifts, art, accessories, and events, located at 1105 23rd Avenue, open Tuesday – Saturday, 12 pm - 6 pm.
Queencare – Body care products infused with healing aromatherapy, located in the small business kiosk at 23rd & So. Jackson. The website is not updated with new location information, but you can call for hours/information at 425-200-4027.
Jackson’s Catfish Corner – Needs no description!! Located at 2218 So. Jackson, open hours vary, closed on Mondays.
Other business openings to watch for:
Café Avole opening soon at Liberty Bank Building, 24th & Union
Simply Soulful Cafe coming to Jackson Apartments complex at 23rd & Jackson