Black Owned Business

The restaurant opened at 110 E.14th St. in 1924 [ first directory appearance ], and moved to 200 E.14th sometime between 1925 and 1928. [ based on directory info ]

"The earliest one we could find was a restaurant called Stephens Restaurant,” he notes, “which was started by the Stephens family off of (East) Fourteenth Street around 1924, and they were a famous family for a number of reasons.” 2


William Stephens was born in 1870 in Accomack County, Virginia. He moved out to California while still a child and attended school in Oakland and San Francisco. After graduation, he completed coursework at Heald College before taking a job with the Southern Pacific Railway in 1886. Beginning as a Sleeping Car Porter, he worked his way up to a clerkship under H.E. Huntington, assistant to the company's President. Buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Links and References

  1. Stephen Family Papers Online African American Museum and Library at Oakland
  2. What's the Oldest Black Owned Business on International Blvd KALW May 17, 2018