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Journal / Nashville Guide

Black-Owned Businesses In Nashville

February is Black History Month. Certainly, while in Nashville one can learn about the Black experience of the past, including the vital role the city played in the civil rights movement. Nashville is also about the Black experience of today and the way Black business-owners, musicians and others are shaping the Music City of the future. The following dozen Black-owned businesses are just a small sample of the vibrant Nashville community. Check them out as you explore Music City.

All People Coffee This East Nashville spot is designed to be a coffee shop and “beverage hall” where everyone is welcome. In addition to their own brews, they welcome other small businesses, like Secret Bodega, to bring treats to sell throughout the week.

Bag Lady’s Fry Joint Two brothers loved French fries so much they decided to make the restaurant and the food about the fries (French fries are too good to be side dishes). They used to serve their favorite food from a food truck, but now they’re in their own spot on Buchanan Street.

Big Al’s Deli & Catering Sometimes getting your breakfast or lunch at Salemtown’s Big Al’s isn’t speedy. But that’s probably because owner and chef Al Anderson has taken some time to stop and chat with you. He’s as good a storyteller as a cook, so stick around and listen.

Butter, Eggs & Bakin The storefront is tiny, but the flavor isn’t. Head to this small Chestnut Hill spot for some of the city’s best pies.

Coneheads Marcus Buggs, a former football player for Vanderbilt, opened this East Nashville restaurant to serve chicken and waffles inside a waffle cone. There’s also a cauliflower option for those who prefer a plant-based diet, as well as other dishes. Check out Buggs’ bar, Plane Jane, just underneath Coneheads.

Emerson Grace Kimberly Lewis had a career working at the top names in fashion brands before opening her clothing boutique in 12 South. Head there to find stylish answers to the latest trends and classic pieces that will last a lifetime.

HiFi Cookies Sean and Kristin Newsome make decadent cookies with themes befitting Music City, with lots of limited-edition choices. They have shops in both East Nashville and Donelson and lots of coffee shops and restaurants around town carry HiFi.

Jefferson Street Sound Museum Before the I-40 Interstate cut it off from downtown, Jefferson Street was the center of Black Nashville and one of the most bustling areas of the city. Efforts have been underway to draw attention to Jefferson Street and the Sound Museum is one example. You’ll get detailed, personalized information about all the musical greats—including Jimi Hendrix—who played on Jefferson Street.

N.B. Goods Custom made tote bags, hats, signage and other goodies. are the brainchild of Camille Alston, who also co-owns The Lucky Rabbit, a candy shop in the same East Nashville complex.

Slim & Husky’s Former Tennessee State University college buddies started a pizza empire with their creatively named delicious pizzas. There are multiple locations around the South, including in the Fifth + Broad complex downtown. Buchanan Street location is across the street from The Roll Out, their cinnamon roll spot. There’s also a Slim & Husky’s with a limited menu inside Nashville International Airport.

Woodcuts Gallery This framing shop near Fisk University also houses an art gallery with works of local painters and prints by significant Black artists.

Yay Yays As is befitting its name, this café serves up lots of joy alongside its sandwiches, salads and Southern specialties. Stop here for lunch after a tour of the Fisk University campus, The Carl van Vechten Gallery or the Jefferson Street Sound Museum.