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Seattle Icon Ezell’s Starts New Grant Program for Black-Owned Businesses

Plus, Tom Douglas plans an Eastside location for Serious Pie, and Fuel Coffee gets a refreshed bookish look

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The storefront of Ezell’s Famous Chicken on a sunny day, with the restaurant’s famous red and green sign prominently displayed.
The Ezell’s franchise goes back 37 years, with a new grant program part of other community-oriented efforts.
Ezell’s Famous Chicken

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Seattle Icon Ezell’s Starts New Grant Program for Black-owned Businesses

One local fast food favorite is looking to give back. On August 30, Ezell’s Famous Chicken announced details about its new program called Rudd’s R.U.B.B. (Raising Up Black Businesses) Initiative, which will dole out thousands of dollars in no-strings-attached grant money to 20 Black-owned enterprises in the Pacific Northwest. Ezell’s co-founder Lewis Rudd created the program, and DoorDash signed on as a partner, helping to launch the fund with a $40,000 donation (the Rudd family added an additional $10,000). R.U.B.B. hopes to add more partners soon, and is currently accepting applications for the grants through September 20.

Now in its 37th year, Ezell’s knows all too well the barriers Black-owned businesses can face, even as it grew into one of the area’s most successful fast food franchises with currently 17 locations in Washington and Oregon. “I’ve faced systemic racism and redlining and flat-out racism ... been denied access to capital,” Lewis Rudd said in a statement about the initiative. “We believe that supporting and promoting entrepreneurship will help in closing the wealth gap for African Americans and lead to other benefits such as better medical and education and less violence.”

Tom Douglas Plans Kirkland Location of Serious Pie for 2022

According to the Seattle Times, Tom Douglas is readying a new location for his popular pizzeria Serious Pie, with plans to take up residence at Kirkland shopping center the Village at Totem Lake by spring 2022. This will be the third location for the restaurant, following one in Ballard and the Belltown original, which has expanded into the old Dahlia Lounge space with neighboring Dahlia Bakery. Douglas had shut down the vast majority of his restaurants early in the pandemic, but millions in federal grant money helped keep the business afloat. In addition to reopening Pike Place’s Seatown Market and Fish Fry and the Carlile Room recently, he’s looking to revive other long-dormant properties, such as Lola. Meanwhile, this should be a big get for the Village at Totem Lake, which continues to boost its dining lineup, recently opening outposts of well-known chains Bok a Bok, Salt and Straw, and California-based Silverlake Ramen.

Fuel Coffee Debuts New Look After Merger With Indie Bookshop Ada

Avid readers may want to head down to the 19th Avenue E location of Fuel Coffee to check out its new look. Months after its merger with indie bookseller Ada’s, the cafe now boasts shelves of different science, literary, and children’s titles, along with a sleek new remodel that includes an expanded kitchen area, per Capitol Hill Seattle (the blog has some images). Customers at Fuel’s Wallingford and Montlake locations can expect similar changes to come soon, as the rebranding continues. Ada’s acquired Fuel last May, looking to expand its bookish imprint, which includes a retail location and cafe in the neighborhood, as well as a co-working space.

Serious Pie

316 Virginia Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Ezell's Famous Chicken

East Jefferson Street, , WA 98122 (206) 324-4141 Visit Website

Fuel Coffee

610 19th Avenue East, , WA 98112 (206) 329-4700 Visit Website