The Caribbean American Restaurant Association (C.A.R.A.) is thrilled to announce the in-person celebration launch of its first National Caribbean American Restaurant Week. This historical event marks the first of its kind, taking place at 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm on Sunday, June 13th, 2021 at Suede Restaurant (outdoor garden space). C.A.R.A. has organized participating restaurants in over 17 states and 30 cities across the US including NYC.
The upcoming event for the celebration’s launch of the National Caribbean American Restaurant Week will feature exceptional Caribbean foods, top-shelf mixtures of Caribbean drinks, and a unique experience for our important invited guests and patrons alike. This celebration will kick start extended Restaurant Week which is helping as many restaurants as possible to recover and restore the financial health of their business due to the devastating losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The slogan ‘Taste the Culture, Savor the Vibes’ is indicative of the exceptional cultural experience that awaits patrons.
The Pandemic has disproportionately led to Caribbean American restaurants closing three times higher than other communities. The businesses that fought and struggled to stay open found themselves in a deeper financial hole. One of the objectives of the National Caribbean American Restaurant Week is to help generate local support for restaurants impacted by the pandemic in NYC and around the country. C.A.R.A. accomplishes this through aggressive local marketing and promotions that will drive old and new patrons to participate in this event.
Oliver Samuels, Celebration launch event Host
Legendary Jamaican actor, performer, comedian, director and producer who recently celebrated his 50th year in cultural entertainment.
Oliver Samuels talent and passion for performing has propelled him to international success, earning him the title of “King of Jamaican Comedy” and a devoted fanbase that spans the globe.
NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray
“I am proud of my Caribbean heritage and along with thousands of New Yorkers, I am thrilled to support the first-ever National Caribbean American Restaurant Week,” said First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray. “Caribbean restaurants are the heart and soul of neighborhoods across New York City and across the nation. They bring the warmth of a culture that celebrates family and community with tantalizing traditional dishes and the familiar flavors of home. Like so many other small businesses – especially in communities of color – our Caribbean restaurants were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, as we focus on a fair, inclusive recovery, it is up to all of us to support these businesses as they recover.”
Mackie Holder Chairman of CARICOM Corp & Barbados Consul General
As the Chairman of CARCOM Corp & the current Barbados Consul General, I truly applaud the critical support the Caribbean American Restaurant Association is providing to the Caribbean restaurants after going through the devastating financial impact from Covid-19 pandemic.
The first ever National Caribbean American Restaurant Week, will provide critical short and long-term support to the Caribbean American Restaurants, not only in NYC but also across the US.
“Much of the ingenuity of the Caribbean people is reflected in the cuisine of the Caribbean, in all its depth, breadth and sheer tastiness. There is an amazing range, from Barbados’ pudding and souse to Jamaican jerk sauces, and all kinds of combinations indicative of the diversity of people that make up Caribbean nations. While there is ongoing discovery of Caribbean fare, there is a lot of room for showcasing the amazing creations of food dishes and drinks.
Let’s continue to educate, share, and advocate for the culture with this being Caribbean American Heritage Month”.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
“Every year, I look forward to the world-renowned Caribbean cuisine that will be highlighted during The Caribbean American Restaurant Association’s Caribbean Restaurant Week. Not only will there be a myriad of delicious food to choose from, but this is also an opportunity to highlight small Caribbean-owned businesses and support their economic recovery from the devastating impacts of Covid-19,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09). As a Jamaican-American woman, I take great pride in my heritage and understand the illustrious legacy of how Black and Caribbean culture contributed and continues to contribute to this country’s culinary identity. Our people took scraps and the undesired, and created delicacies. We created art from ugly and cultivated nourishment from deprivation. That is why weeks like this are so important; we must not only support our Caribbean restaurants but also preserve the rich cultural legacy that is our food. Happy Caribbean American Heritage Month, and Happy Caribbean Restaurant Week. Be sure to save me a plate!”
New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry
“As we hopefully near the end of this pandemic which has impacted so many small businesses in our community, in particular restaurants, I urge all vaccinated New Yorkers to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month by participating in National Caribbean American Restaurant Week. This celebration creates the perfect opportunity to support local Caribbean-American entrepreneurs in their efforts and we do our part to help rebuild our local economy by patronizing one of the many fine restaurants in our neighborhoods”.
CELEBRATION LAUNCH LOCATION
Suede Restaurant elegantly fuses all aspects of traditional Caribbean flavors with a modern ambiance to create a one-of-a kind dining experience. The flavorful dishes are more than a meal, it is an expression of the Caribbean lifestyle and experience. Started in 2015, the restaurant quickly became a staple of the Brooklyn community attracting local and national celebrities. Since opening Suede has established itself as a positive staple within the community and during Covid-19 delivered thousands of meals to first responders and CBOs. Suede will continue to partner and participate in endeavors to further the positive development of our community.
Suede restaurant as Host
“As one of the premier Caribbean dining and social experiences in the US, Suede restaurant is honored to host the first ever launch of the National Caribbean American Restaurant Week. Our beautiful outdoor garden ambiance will be a perfect complement for this historic celebration which geared towards helping Caribbean restaurants here and around the country with efforts to recover from COVID-19 financial loses”
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
C.A.R.A is a trusted community organization whose goals are aimed at advocating on behalf of Caribbean hospitality businesses to reverse current government policies that disproportionately target small Caribbean restaurant and hospitality businesses.
C.A.R.A seeks to transform the Caribbean American restaurant and hospitality industry through business structuring, information sharing, programs that educate business owners on financial management and planning, and technology upgrades. Our organization wants to partner with government to achieve our organizational objectives.
We are the ONLY citywide Caribbean-American organization that has an online interactive business platform. This makes information easily accessible, where members and participants can view and share information that affect their business. Serving the Caribbean-American restaurant and nightlife businesses in NYC is what we do.
During Covid-19 pandemic, C.A.R.A. has risen to the occasion to help Caribbean restaurants that were devastated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. C.A.R.A members have participated in numerous zoom meetings with the Mayor’s Office, Small Business Services, and several other NYC and NYS elected officials to ensure our concerns were heard. We are a trusted community organization that understands the cultural challenges faced by restaurants and hospitality businesses in New York City.
The Caribbean American Restaurant Association will continue to highlight the problems its members face and stay committed towards a fair resolution.