Marcus Williams

NFL safety and restaurateur Marcus Williams, owner of the Breakfast Bar in downtown Minneapolis. 

If you are looking for a new Black-owned business to support, dining at Breakfast Bar, 319 1st Ave. N, Minneapolis, should be on your radar.

In early July, Minneapolis-native Marcus Williams bought the restaurant with every intention of flourishing in downtown Minneapolis.

Williams shined at Hopkins High School in both football and basketball and was a standout cornerback at North Dakota State University, which led to his current NFL career. His NFL journey has allowed him to play in New York, Texas, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Chicago and New Orleans – his current team. In each of those destinations he noticed one thing, a unique and savory dining experience that inspired him to own his own restaurant.

“The food they have is so good and there is nothing like that up here,” Williams said. “I wanted to open a spot that offers southern food and a southern feel. I had the opportunity (to buy Breakfast Bar) and I had to go with what I love to eat.”

Breakfast Bar presents a cozy dining experience and southern comfort food. They also offer an outdoor patio which has hookah and cigar services. Breakfast Bar is within walking distance of Target Center, Target Field and US Bank Stadium, so it is a spot where sports fans can dine, have drinks and cheer on their teams.

Owning a restaurant has presented a unique set of challenges, however, Williams and his team has worked to overcome them to ensure success. He knows that getting everyone on the same page is vital and he sees synergy as a similarity between playing professional football and running his own restaurant.

“It’s a team effort. That is the number one thing I have been learning,” he said. “We want people to come in and have the best experience.”

A key component of that team is his family. His father is one of the catalysts for his desire to own a business. He was an inspiration for entrepreneurship and instilling a strong work ethic. His father, along with other family members, can be spotted working or dining at the restaurant.

“My family comes in here so much and I love it,” Williams said. “They just want to see me do well and I just can’t thank them enough because they’ll come here after church on Sundays and it makes me happy.”

The support for Breakfast Bar transcends his family. Locals and his social network have supported the restaurant and the recent Minneapolis Black Business Week brought in a tremendous additional support.

“That was great; we had a ton of people come through,” Williams said. “Being a Black owner, it means a lot to see (Black Business Week) going on in Minneapolis. It is something that a lot of people don’t see, so when I opened, I got a ton of support from the people.”

Now that Williams has the Breakfast Bar open and running, he wants it to be an inspiration to those who look like him from his community. He is well aware of the need for Black entrepreneurship and understands the importance of owning a restaurant in is old stomping grounds.

“I’m from Minneapolis, the place I love. No matter where I go, I always talk about home,” Williams said. “I got the opportunity to do something at home, in Minneapolis, five minutes away from my house where I grew up. It is like a dream come true.”

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