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American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Announce 25 Recipients of the $1 Million “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” Grant Program

  • 25 historic independent U.S. restaurants will each receive $40,000 grants to put towards physical improvements and operating expenses

American Express (NYSE: AXP) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced the 25 U.S. historic independent restaurants that will collectively receive $1 million in grant funding through the “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” grant program.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Backing Historic Small Restaurants - program collage (Photo: Business Wire)

Backing Historic Small Restaurants - program collage (Photo: Business Wire)

Now in its second year, the program will award each establishment $40,000 in funding to help improve the restaurants’ physical space and offer the grantees critical operating costs to help them better serve their customers and grow their businesses.

“Backing Historic Small Restaurants” and “Backing International Small Restaurants” are part of American Express’ wider Backing Small initiative aimed to provide small businesses with financial support and other resources to address critical needs. Backing Small builds on American Express’ legacy for supporting small businesses, which includes initiatives such as Shop Small, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses, and the Inclusive Backing grant program.

“These establishments have served their communities for decades, and they represent a diverse collection of cuisines and cultures that are integral to the fabric of their neighborhoods,” said Madge Thomas, President of the American Express Foundation & Head of Corporate Sustainability. “Backing small businesses is central to who we are, and we are proud to support these historically significant restaurants in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.”

These grants will help historic restaurants make much-needed updates such as creating outdoor seating, address deferred maintenance of their historic spaces to help serve their communities for years to come, and fund other general operating and marketing costs.

“The National Trust is pleased to partner with American Express in recognizing the irreplaceable value of these multi-generational small businesses which often sit at the center of their communities. These small restaurants reflect not just the histories of their neighborhoods but also their futures. They represent the dynamic and vibrant nature of preservation today, relevant to customers while deeply rooted in legacies of gathering around good food,” said Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” grant program is funded by American Express and administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 25 grantees were selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from a diverse group of historic and culturally significant restaurants that have been in business for at least 25 years and operate in historic buildings or neighborhoods. They include restaurants like Penn Brewery, which is majority women-owned and operates out of a facility that dates back to the 1800s.

“Community is very important to Penn Brewery, especially supporting local non-profit groups who help new artists and musicians, as well as, bringing awareness to the history of the neighborhood. We're very excited for our customers to see what the space will look like now that we have an option for covered outdoor seating, thanks to American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.” – Penn Brewery and Restaurant

“Backing Historic Small Restaurants” Grantees

Antoine’s Restaurant

New Orleans, LA

B&H Dairy Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant

New York, NY

Black Forest Inn

Minneapolis, MN

China King’s Restaurant

Leesburg, VA

El Adobe Mexican Grill

Atoka, OK

The Glen Rock Mill Inn

Glen Rock, PA

Golden Burro Cafe

Leadville, CO

The Harmony Inn

Harmony, PA

Hi-Way Cafe

Vinita, OK

The Historic Magnolia House

Greensboro, NC

The Irish Rover

Louisville, KY

Khalil's Middle Eastern Restaurant

Pittsburgh, PA

La Segunda Bakery

Tampa, FL

Max’s Taphouse

Baltimore, MD

Miller’s Soul Food

Dublin, GA

Mr. Henry’s

Washington, DC

Nancy’s Silver Café

Silver City, NM

Penn Brewery and Restaurant

Pittsburgh, PA

Rainbow Chinese Restaurant

Minneapolis, MN

Saratoga Restaurant

Terre Haute, IN

Schwabl's Restaurant

Buffalo, NY

The Seaside

Hilo, HI

Stamps Super Burgers

Jackson, MS

Teshima Restaurant

Honalo, HI

Welton Street Café

Denver, CO

To learn more about the 25 historic establishments receiving this year’s grants please visit


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, InAuth, corporate card, business travel, and corporate sustainability.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

American Express has invested more than $30M to preserve historic places in the U.S. through its close partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 1992.

Source: American Express Company

Location: U.S.


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