NEWS Vicki Bendure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Bendure Communications, Inc. 202-374-9259
National Harbor Celebrates Black Art, History and its Black-Owned Businesses
Property is chosen location for many Black entrepreneurs
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Feb. 9, 2023— National Harbor has long been known for its unique portfolio of Black-owned businesses. The 350-acre property with eight hotels, 40 restaurants, 40 boutique shops and more than 14 million annual visitors, has long welcomed entrepreneurs with a great start-up business plan.
Through this, National Harbor has become home to more than a dozen Black-owned restaurants and retail shops—all with an amazing story. Some of these successful shops in National Harbor’s Waterfront District include BrookieGirl, opened by a veteran couple who found the solution to alleviating their daughter’s chronic skin allergies was through creating their own natural bath and body products; ZAAF, a collection of beautiful leather and woven goods and clothing from Ethiopia founded by Abai Schulze whose life journey began in an orphanage in that country and led to a successful career in the U.S. that now allows her to give back to her birth land; to The Furlough Cheesecake founded by two sisters who initially made cheesecakes out of their home during a government shutdown and realized they had a booming business. Almost two years ago, Mahogany Books opened its second bookstore at National Harbor by a couple with the idea to sell books for, by or about the African diaspora. Next month, luxury wine bar and wine boutique V-No will open. The wine bar is owned and operated by Shaina Taylor, one of the few African-American women sommeliers.
“We are delighted that National Harbor has become a haven for entrepreneurs and their successful retail and restaurant concepts,” said Jackie Saunders, AVP of Marketing at National Harbor. “These unique businesses make shopping and dining at National Harbor so much more interesting and enriching.”
National Harbor also celebrates renowned artists with their artwork throughout the property and in MGM National Harbor. Some of these include African American artists Sam Gilliam, Martha Jackson Jarvis and Cheryl Foster. In addition, lifelike statues of Frederick Douglass and Louis Armstrong are part of National Harbor’s popular outdoor art walk. Douglass was born in Maryland. There’s a free outdoor art walk that showcases the history and the artists through a guided cell phone tour.
National Harbor tourism partners and nearby locations of Mount Vernon and the Accokeek Foundation’s National Colonial Farm offer historic interpretations and tours that tell the story of those enslaved and what it was like to live and work on these properties. “The Enslaved People of Mount Vernon,” is a special tour offered at the property. Tributes at the estate’s slave memorial are also held daily.
For more info on National Harbor, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.
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About National Harbor
Situated on the banks of the historic Potomac River and just minutes from the nation’s capital, National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination unlike any other. National Harbor is home to two of Maryland’s Four Diamond rated hotels—Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, the East Coast’s largest non-gaming hotel and convention center and has almost 2,000 hotel rooms and 660,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and MGM National Harbor, an integrated luxury casino resort with renowned chef-driven restaurants, a 3,000-seat state-of-the art theater and one of the largest gaming floors outside of Las Vegas. The vibrant Waterfront District features boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options along picturesque promenades. The iconic Capital Wheel, a 180-ft observation wheel, Tanger Outlets’ 85 designer brands, and a robust calendar of events round out this destination that welcomes more than 14 million visitors a year. For more information, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.