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Cherished Watts legacy business

The 1992 Uprising was another revolt caused by police brutality and built-up frustrations. In the aftermath, Harold Hambrick (then-retired pillar, community activist, and Black Business Expo Trade Show President and CEO) was intent on reviving the Watts Happening Coffee House Hambrick rallied the community (the Watts Prophets, Quintin Drew, and others) and local chef/caterer Desiree Edwards to reincarnate the Center’s kitchen as a community-centered soul food restaurant designed to train graduates from the drug rehabilitation program of Watts Health (Uhuru). The Watts Coffee House opened in 1997 and took over the café space located on the ground floor of the Cultural Center.

Edwards continues her involvement with restorative justice, and guests gather from near and far..The Watts Coffee House is still the only sit-down, full-service restaurant in Watts. The walls are covered with collectibles of classic albums, headshots of up-and-coming actors, signatures of politicians and celebrities including Steve Harvey, antique memorabilia, and even a note from Arthur Silvers: “To Desiree and Staff: Watts Coffee House: Thank You For Making My Dream A Reality: Love And Peace.”

Desiree Edwards, owner of the Watts Coffee House. Photo Source: Desiree Edwards

Interior of the Watts Coffee House. Photo by Stephen Schafer

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