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One of Brooklyn’s Staunchest Advocates for African Culture and Cooking Dies Due to Coronavirus

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Jonathan Adewumi was the co-owner of Afro-Carribean restaurant Amarachi

Amarachi’s storefront, with white curtains in the windows
Amarachi in downtown Brooklyn
Via Google Maps
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Nigerian-American restaurateur and entrepreneur Jonathan Adewumi has died due to COVID-19, NY1 reports.

Adewumi was the co-owner of popular downtown Brooklyn restaurant Amarachi. The restaurant and event space is known as a gathering place for the area’s African community, and features a wide breadth of Afro-Carribean cuisine, from jollof rice and suya to sweet plantains and goat pepper soup.

Throughout his life, Adewumi was “a great ambassador for Africa in showing breadth and the wealth and the regalness of our culture and history to the American populous,” his brother Adebayo Adewumi tells NY1.

Aside from the restaurant, Adewumi was responsible for running the city’s Nigerian Film Festival, as well as a travel business called Homeland Travels and Tours that facilitated vacations to various regions in Africa. In the ’80s and ’90s, Adewumi also launched and ran a successful clothing business, Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions, with his two siblings, according to the report.

Adewumi’s family has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to provide burial support and help carry on Adewumi’s work, including funds for the Nigerian Film Festival.

“Jonathan had a lot of visions and plans especially when it came to Empowering Africa and he understood how important the African-Americans role in its development had to be,” the family wrote on Adewumi’s GoFundMe page.

Over the past month, NYC’s restaurant industry has been rocked by deaths due to COVID-19. Restaurateurs and longstanding industry figures including Floyd Cardoz, Andreas Koutsoudakis, Joseph Migliucci of Italian institution Mario’s, Jose Torres from Latin American restaurant Joe’s Place, Brooklyn bar owner Joe Joyce, and Italian butcher Moe Albanese have all died from the virus.