Black Restaurant Week is truly highlighting some pretty awesome eats around the city of Houston the week of April 3 – April 10. Not only will you be able to try some new restaurants you might not have ever visited, but some of these spots will also transport you to different countries with the food they are serving. The first stop on the culinary journey is with a visit to Marcus Davis, who is the owner of The Reggae Hut, The Breakfast Klub, The Alley Kat Bar & Lounge and The Breakfast Klub Signature Kafe. Marcus Davis is doing Houston Black Restaurant Week up The Reggae Hut Way with a very special menu that will transport you straight to the Islands.
Marcus Davis is a native Houstonian, who graduated from Kashmere High School, but started out at what is now Debakey High School. The reason, Marcus had dreams of being a Doctor. Growing up with the Cosby Show, Cliff Huxtable had the life that Marcus was determined to live until he realized he had to take science and math classes, lots of science and math classes. He very quickly changed his focus to liberal arts, which suited him much better and after graduation went to TSU and majored in Political Science with the intention of following in Claire Huxtable’s footsteps of becoming a lawyer after getting his Masters Degree.
When Marcus graduated from TSU, he had his first major life decision to make that set him on his current path. Did he follow the path he set for himself and obtain his master’s degree and then go to law school or did he take a corporate job working as a trouble shooter for a food service company he had been working for since High School? Marcus decided to take the job, so the job he began in High School had turned into a career, and he slowly worked his way up the corporate ladder, living the dream for years. He had it all for a while, but he also wasn’t totally happy or satisfied.
When he realized Marcus had gone as far as he could with the company, he decided to follow in his parent’s footsteps and teach and for three years. Marcus became a middle school History teacher at Sharpstown, where he was also the Basketball Coach. But, Marcus still wasn’t where he wanted to be. Marcus knew that people were making money in real estate, so he began to acquire lots of land in areas that were just starting to turn around. He spent most of his free time scouring the real estate sections and the green sheet looking for that perfect deal when he saw an ad in the restaurant section about a restaurant that was for sale in the area of town where he had been looking for land.
He called and inquired and knew immediately this was what he wanted to do. The operations side of the food service industry was his passion, and although he thought he had it out of his system, he realized it was still there, just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. Marcus already has his concept, which had come to him after going out with some buddies one night and they had discussed what they would do if they could do anything they wanted and after seeing a group of girlfriends always searching for the perfect brunch spot on a Sunday. He would open a restaurant that focused on breakfast and brunch and do it well.
It hasn’t been easy to achieve the success that Marcus Davis has reached with his concepts, and although it appears as if he walked onto the scene a success, he struggled many years before The Breakfast Klub started to garner the attention and lines it has today. But, he is proud of what he has accomplished, and he loves what he does. Sticking true to his plan, he serves up food that reminds him of the flavors he ate his entire life that his Dad served up, and he is always growing his empire in a thoughtful and smart way because Marcus Davis is a thoughtful and intelligent man.
The Reggae Hut
Marcus loved to eat at The Reggae Hut. What he had noticed is that over the years, as they changed ownership a few times, there had been some challenges for them, but the food had consistently been good. The Reggae Hut had been in business for years, and it was a place where he would go and eat several times a month. When he heard that they were going to be shutting their doors, he wasn’t going to have that, so he met with the owners and offered to buy them out in 2005.
As the new owner, Marcus put his troubleshooting skills to use, and did a rehab of the restaurant, from the look and feel of the inside to the way it was being managed and run. The walls are now sporting a contemporary urban motif featuring mural work by local artist Tierney Malone. The menu is still just as good, but now it runs smoothly, and business is brisk and The Reggae Hut, which Marcus is very happy to report, has now been operating for 20 years.
The Reggae Hut is special to Marcus for many reasons. He has eaten here regularly for years, it has also inspired him in many ways, and The Reggae Hut is a part of the community that he has been fortunate to be a part of. He took the fourth guiding principle of Kwanzaa and applied that practice to the purchase of the restaurant by applying the earnings of The Breakfast Klub and using those to buy The Reggae Hut. This is a unique practice, called Ujamaa, and is essentially a commitment to the practice of shared social wealth and the work necessary to achieve it, which Marcus felt the need to do with The Reggae Hut when they were in trouble and needed help.
The Reggae Hut is the only concept that Marcus Davis has that will be participating in Houston Black Restaurant Week, but you will surely get an incredible 2-course meal with a drink included for $20, and a portion of every ticket goes towards Change Happens!
Remember, Houston Black Restaurant Week runs the week of April 3 – April 10, and you can visit The Reggae Hut at 4814 Almeda, Houston, TX 77004.
We hope to see you there to enjoy this fantastic menu!