Black-owned businesses promote growth in North Huntsville

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:20 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - DARK.SIDE is one of the newest businesses to call north Huntsville home. The trendy coffee shop located off North Memorial Parkway describes itself on its website as “a neighborhood coffee shop finally in your own backyard.”

Huntsville District One City Councilman Devyn Keith is a co-owner of DARK.SIDE.

“People in the community and the surrounding area said there was no place in North West Huntsville that they felt comfortable that they could sit down in and enjoy a good cup of coffee,” said Keith.

He believes North Huntsville is already paying off for investors.

“You can drive right now on North Parkway and it does not look the same as it did 6 years ago and that’s good thing,” said Keith.

Huntsville Historian William Hampton, who you can find next door to DARK.SIDE at the H.C. Blake Art & History Center, says changes to North Huntsville started in the 1960s.

“This evolved into a concentration of black homes and African-American homes and businesses north of downtown,” said Hampton. “It’s exciting to me being a native seeing these individuals come in and fall in love with Huntsville and willing to take a chance on North Huntsville.”

A group of North Huntsville business owners are adamant that operating in North Huntsville is vital for the success of the community.

“They are 100-percent behind us,” said LaChasity Lyle of Soul on Wheels. “A stain has been put on North Huntsville that doesn’t properly represent who we are. That’s one reason that I feel like we all chose to stay over here. There is so much more in North Huntsville and it could be so much more,” Lyle added.

“Every time someone opens up a business in North Huntsville, we’re in a better position,” said Club Forty7 owner George Mondane. “Northside is bound to grow when someone puts the same effort that they put into the Westside or put into downtown,” said Mondane.

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