Creole Kitchen was opened by Andrew and Edna Bishop, an African American couple, in 1938, and quickly became a staple for many Black Clevelanders. In addition to specializing in shrimp, fish, lobster, soft-shell crab, frogs, and gumbo, the restaurant held popular community events such as a clam bake on October 17, 1938. By November of the same year, the Bishops opened the Jungle Room in the basement of Creole Kitchen. It was intended to be a venue for parties and small events, as well as somewhere for local artists to perform, as Andrew Bishop was a former stage performer himself. He was not the only Black entrepreneur of his time to come from a different career background, as many African Americans turned to entrepreneurship after unsuccessfully attempting to work in another field. This was largely due to opportunity and pay disparities between Black and White workers across all professional fields. The reflection of Bishop’s personal interest in his business ventures characterizes Creole Kitchen well, as it was a business that was keen on serving its community and staying true to their roots. For unknown reasons, the Creole Kitchen closed sometime between the fall of 1938 and summer of 1939, when a dry-cleaning business replaced it.
Green Book Details
Creole Kitchen appears as “Creole Inn” in the 1939 Green Book at 7820 Cedar Ave. under the category Taverns.
- “Andrew Bishop Announces Opening of ‘Jungle Room.'” Call & Post. November 17, 1938.
- “Creole Kitchen Features Clam Bake Monday, Oct. 17.” Call & Post. October 13, 1938.
- “Display Ad 7 — No Title.” Call & Post. August 3, 1939.
- House-Soremekun, Bessie. Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland. Kent: Kent State University Press, 2002.