Leonardtown, MD – American Express, a global financial services company, is once again demonstrating its commitment to the restaurant community by providing funding and resources to support the growth of small and independent restaurants. Through two grant programs, “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” in the U.S. and “Backing International Small Restaurants,” American Express aims to preserve the cultural and historical significance of these establishments while celebrating the diverse cuisines they offer.

In partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the third annual “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” grant program has recently announced the 25 recipients of this year’s grants. Each recipient, including Leonardtown’s own Social Coffeehouse & Speakeasy, LLC, will receive $40,000 in funding, totaling $1 million in grants. The funds will be used to enhance the physical space of the restaurants and support critical operating costs, enabling them to have an even greater positive impact on their communities.

“We believe in backing small businesses, and these grant programs are a testament to that commitment. They support the important cultural and historic independent restaurants within our communities and help preserve their legacies,” stated Madge Thomas, Head of Corporate Sustainability & President, American Express Foundation. “We are excited to partner once again with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the IDA Foundation to continue celebrating the rich variety of cuisines served around the world.”

As part of the grant program, Resy, a restaurant technology platform owned by American Express, will provide each grant recipient complimentary use of ResyOS software for one year. This software, designed to improve operational efficiency and hospitality, will assist the restaurants in operating more effectively.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, responsible for selecting the grant recipients, sought out restaurants that operate in historic buildings or neighborhoods, contributing to the preservation of their neighborhood’s past and identity. Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, praised this year’s grantees, stating, “These restaurants embody the unique stories of how local businesses empower communities, sustain cultural traditions, and extend family legacies. Thanks to American Express, these resilient businesses can continue to grow, thrive, and serve their communities.”

Social Coffeehouse & Speakeasy, LLC, located in Leonardtown, Maryland, is thrilled to be among the recipients of this prestigious grant. Dr. Kristal Williams, Chief Operating Officer, and H. Brandon Williams, Executive Chef of FishScale in Washington, D.C., expressed their gratitude, saying, “Like many small restaurants, we have faced many challenges over the past few years. We are honored to receive this year’s Backing Historic Small Restaurants grant, which will help us continue to preserve our business’ future and welcome in a new generation of customers.”

American Express continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting small and independent restaurants worldwide through its grant programs. By providing funding, resources, and technological assistance, American Express aims to preserve the cultural significance of these establishments and celebrate the diverse culinary experiences they offer. Applications for the second annual “Backing International Small Restaurants” grant program, in partnership with the International Downtown Association Foundation, are currently open, allowing even more restaurants to benefit from American Express’ support.

About Social Coffeehouse & Speakeasy, LLC: Social Coffeehouse & Speakeasy, LLC is a beloved restaurant located in Leonardtown, Maryland. Known for its unique blend of coffeehouse culture and speakeasy ambiance, the establishment provides a warm and inviting space for patrons to enjoy delicious food and beverages. With the support of the Backing Historic Small Restaurants grant from American Express, Social Coffee

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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