Monetta White and David Lawrence are the owners of Black Bark BBQ. Black Bark BBQ is a quick serve barbecue restaurant in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. They offer Texas-style BBQ that emphases good quality, excellent service, affordable prices, and comfort food. Black Bark BBQ is known for their brisket, and in fact their restaurant is named after the black bark that you find on the meat when you smoke it. They opened in January 2016, and now they have 16 employees. They were named The Best BBQ Joint in California by Thrillist in 2016.


David is a chef, and Monetta is a native San Franciscan, and they both have strong entrepreneurial spirits. They put their passions together ten years ago to open 1300 on Fillmore, a full-service restaurant in the Fillmore. David wanted a place to share his food, and Monetta wanted a place for her community to come together. In 2016, they were looking for their next challenge, and decided that a quick service restaurant would be a good fit. “As the food industry evolves, quick service has become more popular,” reflects Monetta.


Black Bark BBQ’s loan from Main Street Launch provided the business with working capital. “For us working capital helped our overall cash flow by giving us the money we needed as we were first starting to go at full speed. It helped us with payroll, some inventory, and marketing for our new business,” she explains. “Especially when it’s hard to get traditional capital, having someone believe in you has a huge impact. Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money when you need it.”


“Going through the loan process helped us understand our full project and what the total costs would be. Darius [Mahajer – Senior Vice President] is on top of it and was really helpful at guiding us through the process,” remembers Monetta.


Monetta offers advice to other small business owners: “I’m an experienced entrepreneur, and I still ran into issues with my lease, so I recommend that small business owners make sure that contracts are thoroughly reviewed. We have also learned that you can never have too much capital, so if you need $100,000, seek $250,000.”


Visit their location to try some of their incredible food.