Founder, 518 Black Restaurant Week
Get to Know the Founder
Jamila Adams is the founder of the first Black restaurant week in Albany NY; she is driven by a singular passion: to spotlight and celebrate the rich culinary traditions of black-owned restaurants in her community.
Jamila is the owner of Johnnies on Broadway, a local bar & restaurant that has been serving the community for more than 8 years. With over 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry and a deep appreciation for the diversity of food and culture in her community, she knew that a Black restaurant week was long overdue.
Jamila states, "My father and I used to walk to Barbecue Billy’s almost every Saturday. My parents would get fried chicken from the Twilight Lounge and our family was good friend’s with Big John and his wife from Big John’s on Elizabeth Street downtown. As a teenager when my mother didn’t cook I walked to Kenneths for a fish fry, fries, with cheese, tarter, and ketchup." She believes this is how communities should operate; together.
Working to build relationships with local restaurants, civic leaders, and community members, she envisioned a weeklong celebration that would promote not only amazing food, but also the innovative and talented entrepreneurs who make it. Through a mix of social media, advertising, and word-of-mouth, her and her team created an unforgettable event that brought together food lovers of all backgrounds to experience the best that the Black-owned dining scene in Albany had to offer.
We are expecting the first Black restaurant week to become an integral part of the Albany food scene, supporting small businesses, celebrating local culture, and creating new connections amongst community members. As founder, she is proud to create a platform that underscores the value and vitality of Black food businesses and invites everyone to indulge in the rich tapestry of flavors, spices, and textures that make up our community's vibrant food scene.