They plan to keep the legacy alive!
Booker’s Restaurant & Bar opened in West Philadelphia in 2017, Black Enterprise reports. Saba Tedla is the original owner, building a local establishment that offers exceptional Southern cuisine, an impeccable atmosphere, and place within the community. The restaurant paid homage to Booker Wright, a historic Black waiter who was known in 1960s Mississippi for making a name for himself at “whites only” establishments while simultaneously running his own restaurant catering to the Black community. Now the restaurant is under new ownership, husband and wife duo Tracey and Cheri Syphax acquired Booker’s from Tedla for $3.3 million, with plans to keep the rich history of the place intact.
“As a 28-year serial entrepreneur and entrepreneurial instructor, I recognize great models and Saba Tedla has built a great model of excellent service, great food in a warm and inviting atmosphere that has made Booker’s a staple go-to restaurant in the heart of West Philly,” Tracey told reporters.
Cheri is a global medical tech professional while husband Tracey works in real estate. This is the couple’s first endeavor in the hospitality industry but they believe they have the combined chops to make it work. With funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration which helped cover acquisition costs, the couple plans to relaunch the restaurant, adding their own touches and a few new menu items while keeping the feel of Booker's regularly the same.
“Tracey and I are excited to take over a restaurant with such a great reputation and following. I have patronized Saba since Aksum and it is a surreal, full-circle moment to own an establishment that made my transition to Philly feel like home,” said Cheri.
Her husband agreed, adding that this marks a new era of Booker’s which will continue to support their beloved West Philly community.
“Our purchase of Booker’s now opens endless possibilities for this well-known corridor. We are excited to become a member of this thriving up-and-coming neighborhood,” added Tracey.
Booker’s Restaurant & Bar is open for special events, brunch, dinner and catering. Check them out at 5021 Baltimore Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19143.
Cover photo: Husband & wife duo acquire $3.3 million fine dining restaurant in Philadelphia/Photo Courtesy of Tracey & Cheri Syphax/Black Enterprise