If you get a chance to stop by Lee’s BBQ restaurant on Selby Avenue, I suggest you do it! You won’t find a better BBQ sandwich in town; And one can garuantee you won’t engage in a better conversation! Read along as my partner, Hawo, and I learn more about the community through the eyes of a long- time business owner.
How long have you lived here?
How long have you owned the restaurant?
21 years, my daughter actually owns it now…I just do all the work, haha
Has the neighborhood changed at all since you’ve been here?
Changed a lot! It used to be real rough. In 20 years it has changed over. There were no white people on Selby Avenue back then.
Is there more of a diversity now?
Oh yes. There are more immigrants than ever before. And we all get along
What’s the best part about the neighborhood?
There’s more business! Everyone relates in some way. Like if someone were to come in here and steal a meal, I maybe know someone down the road who that same person might have helped out. I know, then, that person isn’t so bad maybe just hard getting by. It’s very friendly around here too. 20 years ago you didn’t see no one getting together with others. Now we are close.
And the worst thing?
I can’t name a bad thing nowadays. People all try to get along and are much more accepting
Would you consider this part of the neighborhood a community?
Oh of course. People are always getting together now, not separating. People and places are always trying to get us all together, seems like each week. Next Sunday, actually there’s a church gathering at one of those big churches by Summit Avenue. We all get together there as a community.
Do those gatherings happen often?
Yea, they happen every month. Especially now it’s nice weather outside. The winters are a little cold but once that sun comes out, everybody is outside together.
So the relationships are pretty close around here?
Yes, relationships here are very close.
As a business owner, do people look up to you a lot?… As a person who kind of brings this area together?
I would say so. I think there are a lot of people that look up to me and the other businesses around. I mean, you get to know all the people on another level because you’re always interacting.
And how is your relationship with other businesses throughout the years?
Much better. It used to be we were all trying to get businesses up and running and there was a lot of bad stuff going on. Now, businesses are a positive thing. We’re always helping each other out. Giving each other costumers and what not.
Sounds like this area has formed into a pretty tight knit community over the years?
You could say that. Yea I think we’re a very tight knit community. It’s a community to be proud of.
(Costumers started coming in…)
Well, it looks like you’re getting busy! And so that’s all we have for you. We’ll let you carry on your day. Thanks for your time!
Thank you, stop by some time for a meal…