September 25, 2020

B. Smith, Model Turned Restaurateur and Lifestyle Guru, Dies at 70

B. Smith, Model Turned Restaurateur and Lifestyle Guru, Dies at 70
Often called the black Martha Stewart, Ms. Smith wrote books on cooking and entertaining, had a syndicated television show, and created a line of products.
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B. Smith, Model Turned Restaurateur and Lifestyle Guru, Dies at 70
Often called the black Martha Stewart, Ms. Smith wrote books on cooking and entertaining, had a syndicated television show, and created a line of products.

B. Smith in her Central Park South residence in 2011. Her popular Manhattan restaurant became a stylish gathering place for affluent black New Yorkers.
B. Smith in her Central Park South residence in 2011. Her popular Manhattan restaurant became a stylish gathering place for affluent black New Yorkers. Credit…Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times
By William Grimes
Feb. 23, 2020
Updated 4:38 p.m. ET

Barbara Smith, a fashion model who created a business empire by catering to the tastes of aspiring black professionals with her restaurants, television shows, bedding and furniture collections and books on entertaining, died on Saturday at her home on Long Island. She was 70.

The cause was early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, her family said. Ms. Smith had waged a long and public battle with the disease, which was diagnosed when she was in her 50s.

Ms. Smith was best known for her popular Manhattan restaurant, B. Smith’s. Located at the edge of the theater district, it opened in 1986 and almost immediately attracted a following among affluent black New Yorkers, who welcomed it as a stylish gathering spot. Essence magazine, in 1995, described it as the place “where the who’s who of black Manhattan meet, greet and eat regularly.”

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