Uber rides and travel inspired the newest Black-owned restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Keem Hughley was inspired to create Bronze during the pandemic. The restaurant takes its inspiration from Afrofuturism, melding fantasy and gastronomy with the culture of the African Diaspora.

You are no longer in the nation’s capital once inside. Instead, you are on a journey and experience that pays homage to the 700-year-old story of Alonze Bronze.

Bronze was known to travel freely around the globe, searching for new cultures to learn from and share with. Eventually, the people of Bronze, with their mythic cranes, settled on a lush and bountiful island in the modern-day Caribbean.

Inside Black-Owned Restaurant Bronze in Washington, D.C.
Photo Credit: Dereck and Victoria Miller

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A Space Designed By Black People So Everyone Can Appreciate Black Culture

Customers will immediately be a part of an Afrofuturistic experience when they walk through the doors. The journey into Bronze retells a different story on each floor.

Pre-Earth is the restaurant’s ground floor, which offers a low-lit and atmospheric space. As customers venture off to Earth, the second floor, an immersive natural light and green space welcomes guests.

Before leaving, be sure to visit the cocktail bar on the top floor, also known as the Crane Room. There you will find crane-studded wallpaper and a large rounded cutout overlooking Earth below.

The stories of the African diaspora come to life through the restaurant’s artwork, lighting, and interior designs, thanks to Jimmie Drummond and his team. Drummond is the founder and principal architect of Drummond Projects.

Inside Black-Owned Restaurant in DC, Bronze
Photo Credit: Dereck and Victoria Miller

“Our team did a deep research into Afrofuturism, amassing a collection of recent creative achievements on the subject,” Drummond says. “We looked at work by multimedia creator Olalekan Jeyifous, author Nnedi Okorafor, visual artist Nyame Brown, and even the architecture in Marvel’s latest blockbuster series, Black Panther.”

He adds, “We took notes on the styles and textures used by the artists and read interviews about these creatives’ Afrofuturistic ideologies and intentions.”

A Black Woman Is Behind Bronze’s Afrofuturistic Menu

Toya Henry is the executive chef behind Bronze’s Afrofuturtistic menu. Henry left her job as a former fashion editor and stylist in New York to pursue her dreams within the culinary space. Henry’s father is Jamaican, and her mother is from Barbados.

Bronze’s family-style menu draws from her Caribbean heritage, travels from Asia to the Caribbean, and previously documented conversations about food with Uber drivers worldwide.

The menu includes braised oxtails with pappardelle, towers of torched oysters slathered with flying fish roe, slate boards of hamachi crudo with crispy dasheen, Choquette, frisée, rose apple, and more.

Take an adventure through Bronze by booking your own Afrofuturistic experience during your next stop in DC.

Inside Black-Owned Restaurant Bronze in Washington, D.C.
Photo Credit: Dereck and Victoria Miller

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