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Magnolia House in Greensboro starts shoebox lunch takeout, delivery
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Magnolia House in Greensboro starts shoebox lunch takeout, delivery

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The Historic Magnolia House

The Magnolia House opened in 1949 as a hotel, serving as a haven for Black travelers during segregation. Famous entertainers stayed there. Now it's operated by Natalie Pass-Miller, hosting events, serving Sunday brunch and offering shoe box lunches. 

GREENSBORO — The Historic Magnolia House offers Shoe Box Lunch takeout and delivery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Not only does it offer good food, but an educational outreach opportunity.

During segregation, Black travelers could safely dine and stay overnight in the motel at 442 Gorrell St.

Among its guests were James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball stars Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.

It was among more than 300 hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, gas stations and beauty salons in North Carolina listed in "The Green Book." The state-by-state guide, published between 1936 and 1966, served as a travel guide and a tool of resistance to confront racial discrimination.

Now it's one of only four Green Book sites in the state still in operation. Natalie Pass-Miller operates it, hosting Sunday brunch and private gatherings and offering shoe box lunches.

During Jim Crow, Black travelers frequently carried shoe box lunches as a means of staying safe when a Green Book site was not readily available. These lunches, packed in shoe boxes and filled with less perishable foods, were a key symbol of the period.

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Now, when ordering lunch from Grub Hub and Door Dash, or via phone for pickup, diners will receive a meal of chicken, fish or burgers in a box filled with historical facts about the Green Book and the Magnolia House.

Magnolia House staff hope that this will provide a safe opportunity to have the Magnolia House historical experience from home. They hope to offer the shoe box meal packaging to local businesses seeking to share local history with their constituents.

Adult entrees range from $12 to $13, and include sides. There is also a kids' menu.

All proceeds will go towards the Magnolia House Foundation to save Greensboro’s Historic Green Book site.

To order, go online to:

Learn more at Contact Melissa Knapp at or 336-617-3382 for information for individual donations to the Magnolia House Foundation.


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