New York City restaurant pays tribute to Black History Month through art

TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) -- A New York City restaurant known for its biscuits and brunches, is paying tribute to Black History Month through art.

Bubby's restaurant in Tribeca is known for its food, but customers, even while surrounded by art, may not know that the owner is also an artist.

"I paint every day yes, if I don't paint I go crazy ," Bubby's Owner Ron Silver said.

Silver has been painting from the time he was four -- his studio is about two blocks from his restaurant.

Figures of pets are his jam now, but the previous months were devoted to Black icons.

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For over 25 years, Bobby Ford served his community by working as a police officer. In 2016, he decided to pursue his other passion, cooking, by opening a quality BBQ joint.

"Painting all those guys was an intense experience really," Silver said.

It's an endeavor he undertook after immersing himself in the study of Black history and the lives of Black leaders like Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman .

"Knowing about Black history is knowing about American history and it's something that is hard to know about for some reason," Silver said.

The learning and the painting has provided an awakening.
"They just gave everything and made inches or lost inches in the game and I'm hoping that game changes," Silver said.

The works are now on display at Bubby's for Black History Month.

They're all for sale and Silver is donating the profits to the Union Theological Seminary, an organization committed to advancing social justice.

"I'm ready to do whatever I can to make it a better place for everybody," Silver said.

A Jewish guy, dishing up southern comfort food, served among his portraits of great Black Americans. Talk about a layered canvas.

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At Muni's Coffee Joint in Lindenhurst, customers can buy a cup of coffee for other customers and leave the order on a Post-it Note on a board in the shop.

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