DeJuan’s Makes History As Akron’s First Black-Owned Fine-Dining Restaurant

De’Juan Kelker, the owner of DeJuan’s fine dining restaurant in downtown Akron. Alex Darus,

AKRON, Ohio — Downtown Akron has a new corner hangout at DeJuan’s, an upscale fine-dining bar and restaurant on the corner of Main Street and Exchange Street.

It’s not just another restaurant opening in the city. It’s owner De’Juan Kelker’s first — and the first black-owned fine-dining restaurant in Akron.

The bar at DeJuan’s restaurant in downtown Akron. Alex Darus,

“I hope this is the motivation for somebody else with a dream,” Kelker said during the restaurant’s grand opening on Friday. “I’m a risk taker.”

The corner spot at 1 W. Exchange Street is full of low tables with white tablecloths to give it a fine dining feel. A back room with a full bar offers a casual and reserved experience, with DeJuan’s also having the capability to host private events. Previously, the location housed the Bricco restaurant before becoming available in 2021.

A cocktail and charcuterie board from DeJuan’s in downtown Akron. Alex Darus,

The menu at Dejuan’s is truly fine dining with a comforting feel. The lunch and dinner menus offer a wide range of options, from steamed king crab legs to bone-in ribeye. There’s also an all-turkey menu, featuring items like turkey burgers and flatbread pizzas topped with turkey pepperoni.

“Dejuan’s is a new age of Akron, Ohio,” Marco Sommerville, a senior advisor to the Akron mayor, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Sommerville added that the restaurant is located in one of the first corners of downtown Akron.

The exterior of DeJuan’s at 1 W. Exchange Street in Akron. Alex Darus,

It’s easy to see with its location that Dejuan’s is prime for date nights out or after-work drinks for locals on Main Street. Additionally, it brings a sense of pride for folks to celebrate a minority-owned business in the downtown district.

“All of its history has passed by here, and today, we strike history again,” Sommerville added.

De’Juan Kelker, the owner of DeJuan’s, and the staff of the new restaurant in Akron. Alex Darus,

If You Go

Where: DeJuan’s, 1 W. Exchange St., Akron

Hours: Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.; open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays; Bar is open during the intermission period from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking: Street

Reservations: Recommended

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