YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — First News has been following the city of Youngstown’s eviction of businesses in 20 Federal Plaza after plans were announced to renovate the building.
Since being evicted, Top Notch Meals has since found a new location on Mahoning Avenue on Youngstown’s West Side.
Vershanda Black started Top Notch Meals 12 years ago, but only moved into a physical location less than three years ago.
“It took me three and a half months, but we are here. It was frustrating just picking up a business and moving to a whole other location,” Black said.
She said moving from downtown to her new location is a blessing in disguise.
“We started in a small location, now we are in a bigger location. Our hours can expand and our menu can expand as well,” Black said.
Black’s friends and family said her can-do attitude is a testament to the resilience of her spirit.
“Because of all the stuff that happened in downtown Youngstown, I’m just so happy she was able to find a new place,” said Black’s friend Taneysha Johnson.
“She’s a fighter, she isn’t going to let anything keep her down. She was in the Federal building and they closed the building down so she was fortunate to find this spot and she’s keeping it going. We’re going to try to make a franchise out of it,” said Black’s father Vernon Banks.
“I came from Detroit, Michigan, drove up here today for three and a half hours just to help my sister out. I was so proud of her for what she’s done — opening up her restaurant. She’s so passionate about food,” said Black’s sister-in-law Moneta Jones.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, it was standing-room only inside. The DJ played as people lined up to get a plate of Black’s cooking.