More than 100 local residents recently gathered together to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Naka’s Broiler, a Black-owned restaurant which also happens to be the first ever Black-owned business in Compton, California.
A lot has changed in 60 years
Naka’s Broiler was founded by Katherine Banks and her husband in 1956. Banks was a mother figure for many black students back then, and made sure they had a safe place to eat lunch, after which she ushered them safely back to school. It was a different era, filled with racism in the predominately white community. Even the location of the restaurant on the northwest edge was as far away from whites as they could get.
The restaurant was (and still is) across the street from Centennial School, where many black students came to eat after school. Interestingly, the school itself was also located at the far northwest edge of the city. Stanford history professor, Albert Camarillo, states it was intentional to keep black students away from Compton’s white students.
A good example for the community.
Local residents say that Banks has always been an excellent example for others as a Black entrepreneur and community leader. The celebration of the 60th anniversary of Naka’s Broiler included both teachers and students so that the students could learn about the history of the restaurant and it’s importance to the community.
The restaurant is still going strong, having been recently purchased by another local Black entrepreneur, David Fisher. Fisher says that she taught him well about the business, and that he feels like her adopted son.
Visit the restaurant at 961 W El Segundo Blvd, Compton, CA 90222 or learn more about them online at www.yelp.com/biz/nakas-broiler-compton/