NC Entrepreneur Becomes First Black Woman to Own Bar on Historic Main Street

by Xara Aziz
Credit: Fullers

History was made on Main Street after a North Carolina resident has become the first Black woman to open a bar on a popular strip in Gibsonville.

“It’s a very big deal. I don’t think that I have absorbed it all in to see how much of a big deal it is,” LaVida Reaves-Burns told WFMY News. “I’m one person who I can take something and if I do it, I’m like, ‘eh’, but my family and friends are like, ‘No, no that’s major!'”

Zone 32 was named after the 32 NFL teams in the football league. She said she always had the desire to open a sports bar, so when she discovered a vacant space available to buy, she jumped on it.

“I’m a big entertainer!” Reaves-Burns exclaimed. “So, I love to entertain people but that’s just me. And, so I said, instead of doing it at home all of the time, why not find somewhere that I can bring not just my family and friends, but other people together.”

More than a sports bar, she added, Zone 32 is a place where people come to build community. She said the best part has been being able to play a part in forging new relationships that will hopefully last a lifetime.

“Zone 32 is here to bring all the people in the surrounding counties together to have more of a network. Just the other night, we had a couple of people come in who were having meetings,” she explained. “They needed WiFi so they were meeting for the upcoming AAU season for basketball. It’s not just to come and just party or anything like that! It’s to come and fellowship and to bring people together so we can build the community up.”

She boasts that the bar’s frozen daiquiris and karaoke nights are the best, and she currently hosts pop-up boutiques for locals and tourists to attend while out on the town.

“Me and my husband have three sons and, of course, they are African American, so it’s important for our family to see that you don’t have to just work at a factory or a mill, there are other things that can be done if you truly love it and if you truly want to have it, then you have to go get it.”

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