Bayoh cuts ribbon on IHOP location in downtown Newark

It’s 2nd restaurant grand opening in Newark this year for influential, inspirational entrepreneur

Adenah Bayoh has a number of goals for Newark: Create jobs, prepare great meals and serve as in inspiration for other entrepreneurs — especially entrepreneurs of color.

Bayoh did all three Wednesday, when she cut the ribbon on her second IHOP franchise in the city and fourth overall.

IHOP Downtown Newark is located in the retail space of 915 Broad St., a new, 84-unit mixed-income residence across from city hall that Bayoh co-developed. It will generate up to 40 living-wage jobs for local residents.

“The opening of IHOP Downtown Newark in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic represents what’s possible when Black entrepreneurs have access to capital,” she said. “We deliver on our promises and we prioritize giving back to the communities that support us.”

The development was made possible with funding from Invest Newark, New Jersey Community Capital and the city of Newark.

“The pandemic only worsened existing systemic inequities and shut down nearly half of all Black-owned businesses, which is why public-sector funders that work to ensure equity and inclusion, like Invest Newark and New Jersey Community Capital, are so crucial,” she said. “If we are to finally break free of this recession, we need to ensure that all businesses have equitable access to capital.

“I’m so thankful for the support from Invest Newark, New Jersey Community Capital and Mayor Ras Baraka, who have been incredible partners and champions of small business.”

Bayoh was joined at the ceremony by Baraka, Invest Newark CEO Bernel Hall and New Jersey Community Capital President Wayne Meyer.

The group is appreciative of what Bayoh has done for the city. In addition to providing needed employment opportunities, it provides the community with another accessible and family friendly restaurant option. The new restaurant builds on and extends the growth of the Central Business District, one of the city’s main economic centers.

“Adenah continues to be one of Newark’s committed business owners, and the opening of IHOP Downtown Newark as we begin to recover from the pandemic speaks to our city’s strength and resilience,” Baraka said.

“My administration is focused on ensuring that our economic development efforts are equitable and inclusive, and this new IHOP embodies that commitment. Not only is it part of a larger redevelopment project that includes mixed-income housing that is accessible to Newark families, but it also provides employment opportunities for residents.”

Funding for IHOP Downtown Newark includes a $405,950 loan from Invest Newark, a $523,800 loan from New Jersey Community Capital and $350,000 from the City of Newark’s HOME Invest Partnership Program.

“The IHOP/915 Broad St. opening is a wonderful sign of equitable economic development for the residents of Newark,” Hall said. “In the shadow of the pandemic, this woman-owned business has successfully opened and is providing jobs and a family eatery in the heart of downtown. Invest Newark continues to help businesses start, expand and flourish.”

Meyer agreed.

“Thriving small businesses are the heart and soul of Newark’s downtown,” he said. “We believe that projects like this create a sense of place that generates pathways to economic opportunity for the residents of Newark.

“We are excited to be a trusted partner in driving equitable growth to sustain the vibrancy of the Newark community.”

Bayoh grew up in public housing in Newark and is an alumna of the Newark Public School system. In 2017, she purchased the struggling IHOP on Bergen Street in Newark, saving nearly 50 jobs. Bayoh also owns IHOP franchises in Paterson and Irvington.

In February, Bayoh and co-founder Zadie B. Smith opened Cornbread Newark, their farm-to-table soul food restaurant, at the same location.