Black History Month is underway, and there are many ways to honor and recognize the importance of Black history and culture both nationally and in our local communities. Here at Experience Cortland, we are celebrating by highlighting a few stand-out Black-owned businesses in the tourism industry.
To support additional, non-tourism-related black entrepreneurs in Cortland County visit the Chamber of Commerce for further information.
Walt Davis was inspired to open Tag Me 607 after a birthday outing with his son. Realizing that he wanted to spend more time with his family and less time commuting, Davis opened the doors to Tag Me 607 in February of 2020 to provide a space for families to get together and play.
As the success of his indoor laser tag and gaming center quickly grew, it became apparent to Davis that after all that play, his customers were hungry! So, just one year later, in February 2021, Davis began building a food truck. Smash Me 607 serves a variety of deep-fried delicacies, from hot dogs to funnel cake fries, but what they are famous for are their smash burgers. Davis' current favorite creation is the Rodeo burger- two smashed patties topped with American cheese, lettuce, and his own doctored up BBQ sauce, crowned with a red onion ring, served on a brioche bun.
Most days you'll find the food truck parked out front of Tag Me 607, serving up lunch to hungry customers. Check out the Smash Me 607 Facebook page for the most up-to-date locations and times. Tag Me 607 is open Friday through Sunday and for private parties.
Smash Me 607
Carol Hill created Just Chill Custom Gifting by Carol LLC as a relaxing hobby, from her home, in October 2020. By March of the following year, her personalized gift basket company had grown so much her daughter encouraged her to open her own boutique. As word spread, people traveled from all over the state to shop, sip her signature tea, and reconnect during a private viewing at the showroom.
This year it became apparent that her rapid success made it necessary to move to a larger, more central location. Beginning mid-March, customers will now be able to shop at Just Chill's new downtown location at 4 Main Street in Cortland. With the larger space comes an even greater selection of unique and whimsical items, including her new custom scented candle, Carol's Sweet Ambrosia, made in partnership with a local Ithaca candle maker.
The space will also host workshops, pop-ups, and private shopping events. If you'd like to purchase a custom gift basket before the grand re-opening, online shopping is available through her website.
In July 2017, Darris McDowell's mother passed. Wanting to do something to honor her memory, he opened The Squeeze Juice Bar October the same year. Four years later, McDowell moved two blocks down to a larger location and decided it was time to add food to the menu.
Because The Squeeze Juice bar was inspired by the juice bars he used to frequent growing up in the Bronx, it seemed only appropriate to fill the menu with New York-style street food. The menu is full of classic late-night fare, from nachos to empanadas, burgers to chop sandwiches. Open Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. there's no bad time if you find yourself craving a taste of NYC or a freshly made smoothie. Be sure to try McDowell's favorite smoothie, the Find Nemo, a tropical blend of mango, strawberry papaya, and pineapple. It's sure to put a smile on your face.
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