Downtown Chattanooga's Blue Orleans one of 71 national restaurants aided by 'cultural legacy' grant

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ The Southside Chattanooga eatery Blue Orleans

Back in April, when Blue Orleans co-owner Cherita Bloodwirth heard through a friend about grant money available to restaurants, she did what many people would have done. She filled out the application.

And then she told other local restaurateurs about it.

"This pandemic is a bigger story than our restaurant, but for us to continue, we had to look for ways to survive and at least try. That's one thing I tell people when they ask what we've done. You have to try."

While she applied for and was denied a few other grant applications, her efforts have paid off. From that April application, the restaurant received $14,000, out of a possible $20,000, awarded to 71 Black-owned food businesses across the country through a partnership of the Kraft Heinz Co., Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice and the LEE Initiative.