by Patrice Gaines / Urban News Service, June 16, 2016
Leah Chase recalls a time when she couldn’t get a loan from a White-owned bank to expand her now-legendary New Orleans restaurant.
“I remember my husband going to a bank we used for years,” said Chase, 93. “When we went to get a loan, we couldn’t. This was in 1957, and we wanted to make the restaurant bigger.
“Then Liberty Bank came along,” said Chase, referring to the Black-owned Liberty Bank and Trust, headquartered in New Orleans. The Chases got a $150,000 loan from Liberty to remodel their Creole eatery, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant. Chase has 15 employees today, “sometimes more,” and has fed “the Jackson Five, Duke Ellington, the Freedom Riders … President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.”