Nefetari’s, a true community treasure, welcomes all demographics. They most specifically aim to cater to African-Americans by offering fine cuisine dining that incorporates African tradition, culture and authenticity.
All artifacts of their decor are authentic except the Egyptian replicas, which are exceptional carbon copies.
Nefertari was the favored Egyptian Queen of Ramses the Great, who reigned from 1279-1213 B.C. Her name means beautiful companion.
After spending a great deal of their lives traveling, the owners Dana Dennard, Ph.D., and Sharon Ames Dennard, Ph.D., have managed to recreate their experiences and incorporate them through various elements, adding a unique perspective.
“As Clinical Psychologists, my husband and I always look for innovative ways to have a positive impact on our community. Nefetari's is a mental health initiative designed to provide our community with healthy, locally sourced, mainly organic, prepared to order cuisine served in an aesthetically pleasing environment,” Dennard said.
The couple has owned the property for 24 years. Before deciding to transform it into a restaurant, it once housed their clinical practice and community center. They offered martial arts classes and hosted the African Caribbean Dance Theatre.
It was also operating as Amen-Ra’s Bookshop and Gallery Sakkara Youth Institute, which is named after the ancient burial ground in Egypt, known for containing pyramids built by Kings.
Ishmael Mayhew, fourth-year media communications student at Full Sail University, speaks of his first time dining at Nefetari's.
“Nefetari’s was not only an amazing experience but I really felt empowered and inspired as black business owner to see such a wonderful establishment flourish so well in Tallahassee,” Mayhew said.
Though he is a native of the city, he had never been to the restaurant and shared his plans to revisit as frequently as possible.
Each of their children are partners of the business. The oldest child, Nefertari, serves as the graphic communications expert and hostess. Nzinga is the general manager and bartender, and Malek is a server and works in the kitchen as needed.
Dennard said there is always something exciting happening at Nefetari's. It is a community staple that exemplifies what it means to see a need and fill it.
“We have live entertainment and welcome auditions from students with original music. We have original Mystery Dinners. Murder and Mayhem: A Naw'lins Mystery Dinner is March 19, 2016. Black on Black Rhyme Poetry is held every Tuesday from 8-11 p.m.,” Dennard said. “We offer lunch Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., brunch Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner Wednesday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Celebrate Valentine's Day with us at our Lover's Brunch Sunday 10-3.”
Nefetari’s is located on 812 S. Macomb St. For more information visit http://new.nefetaris.com.