Tracey and Cheri Syphax, a married entrepreneurial couple from New Jersey, have acquired Booker’s Restaurant & Bar in West Philadelphia for $3.3 million. They plan to continue the legacy of the Black-owned restaurant that has been making an impact in the community for the past six years.
The establishment, which first opened in 2017, was originally owned by entrepreneur Saba Tedla. Since then, it became a prominent place that provides excellent dishes with exemplary service. It pays tribute to Booker Wright, a legendary African-American waiter in 1960s Mississippi who worked at a local “whites only” restaurant, while also running a restaurant that catered to Black customers.
In March 2023, Tracey and Cheri acquired the restaurant through their company Phax Entertainment Group, LLC. It is the couple’s first venture in the hospitality industry as Tracey primarily works in the real estate industry and Cheri works for a global medical technology company. They secured a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help fund a portion of the purchase. Now that they are the new owners, they hope to keep the restaurant’s operations and impact on the community.
“As a 28-year serial entrepreneur and entrepreneurial instructor, I recognize great models and Saba Tedla has built a great model of excellent service, great food in a warm and inviting atmosphere that has made Bookers a staple go-to restaurant in the heart of West Philly,” states Tracey, according to Trenton Journal. “Our purchase of Bookers now opens endless possibilities for this well-known corridor. We are excited to become a member of this thriving up-and-coming neighborhood.”
While the duo plans to put their own little touches on the restaurant such as enhancing its look and adding a few dishes, they said they will make sure to keep the ambiance that makes the place feel like home.
“Tracey and I are excited to take over a restaurant with such a great reputation and following. I have patronized Saba since Aksum and it is a surreal, full-circle moment to own an establishment that made my transition to Philly feel like home,” Cheri added. “We will keep the menu items our regulars have come to know and love, while listening to their needs and desires for something new. We will also create dishes and cocktails that will tickle and delight their palate and look forward to serving them with the same quality and excellence they have come to expect.”
Learn more about Booker’s Restaurant & Bar via its official website at BookersRestaurantAndBar.com
Also, be sure to follow the couple on Instagram @JustPhax