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A peek at an establishment participating in Juneteenth NYC Restaurant Crawl

CBS New York profiles Brooklyn restaurant participating in Juneteenth restaurant crawl
CBS New York profiles Brooklyn restaurant participating in Juneteenth restaurant crawl 02:06

NEW YORK -- Step into Native Restaurant and Lounge in Bushwick where there is a celebration of the vibrant flavors of West Africa.

"It's super spicy, but it's definitely worth it. The flavors are just an explosion in your mouth," general manager Fatima Barry said of the menu.

CBS New York is a proud partner of Juneteenth NYC, which is hosting its first restaurant crawl to highlight Black-owned businesses serving up unique flavors.

The glittering establishment marked its first anniversary earlier this year, a milestone for the Black- and women-owned business.

"I remember what I was coming up, where a lot of us first generation kids here, we weren't so proud to say that we knew about our African culture or our background because we were teased a lot. Now fast forward 20 plus years later, a lot of African-Americans embrace their African culture. They want to know where their roots come from, with all these websites like," Barry recalled.

A peek inside the kitchen is enough to see the symbolism displayed on the plate. The restaurant has some signature red dishes like jollof rice, a nod to the traditions to eat red food during the holiday.

"It's the bloodshed, you know, that our ancestors that were enslaved. That's why we celebrate red food when it comes to Juneteenth," Barry explained. "Most West African countries have red in their flag. And that is a symbol of resilience, pride."

There is also a red hibiscus flavored cocktail making its way to the menu for the occasion.

"When you think about hibiscus, that comes from West Africa, the Yoruba people and all of that, which is a tribe native to Nigeria," Barry said.

The restaurant is owned and managed by daughters of immigrants from West Africa, first-generation Americans seeking to use their food to empower, educate, and remember.

The Juneteenth NYC restaurant crawl begins on Friday.

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