*Jay Z’s mom is one of three owners of “Diamonds N Da Ruff,” a new restaurant in Newark, New Jersey specializing in soul food.
The hotspot opened its doors three weeks ago under the ownership of Gloria Carter and her longtime homegirls Peggie Miller and Debra Holmes, reports the New York Post.
The trio christened their new venture with a party that drew Gloria’s famous son and his wife, Beyoncé. For the first two Sundays, the line of customers stretched around the corner.
The Post describes the spot’s décor, famous patrons and more:
Diamondz has none of the markings of the owner’s famous offspring. It’s a quaint room with exposed brick walls, a tile floor and busy red and purple fabric on the windows. A small stage in the center of the room plays host to Friday karaoke nights and Saturday open-mike nights. The soundtrack is soft jazz of the Kenny G variety. And the crowd is less chic Maison Martin Margiela and more old-fashioned Sunday finery.
Unlike the 40/40 Club or the exclusive Vault club at the Barclays Center, there’s no VIP room or velvet rope. The one-room boîte is a social free-for-all, with strangers chatting up strangers, making it feel like a family reunion. The owners and waitresses dish out just as many hugs as plates of $15 crab cakes (their best seller).
“I’m a hugger,” explains Miller, as she embraces patrons leaving the restaurant on Sunday night.
It’s the warm atmosphere the owners envisioned.
“It’s like ‘Cheers’ here. People just sit down and introduce themselves,” says Holmes.
During the opening party, Jay Z and Beyoncé, in a floral onesie, sipped bubbly and mingled with everyone.
Since then, other boldfacers have come to break bread. Zany musician George Clinton of P-Funk fame joined the robust post-church crowd on Sunday afternoon, and Holmes says the former mayor of Newark, ex-con Sharpe James, took the stage last Friday to belt out Sinatra’s “My Way” for karaoke night.
Holmes, a Jersey City resident, is the common thread in the threesome. She and Carter, the CEO of her son’s Shawn Carter Foundation, met 30 years ago playing the card game bid whist. Holmes then brought her longtime friend Miller into the fold.
Win tickets to see Keyshia Cole at LA’s Wiltern Theater this Friday, Aug. 22. To win, send your name, age, mobile number and email address to [email protected]. Be sure to put “Keyshia Cole at Wiltern Theater” in the subject line. But you gotta hurry ’cause the contest ends this Thursday, Aug. 21 at 12 Noon Pacific. Winners will be contacted via email.