INDIANAPOLIS — A former Atlanta restaurant owner and popular social media reviewer stopped in the Circle City and left some scathing reviews of several Black-owned restaurants over the weekend.
Darius Williams, known by many of his followers as DariusCooks, livestreamed several videos while in the city.
The videos, which averaged between 20 and 45 minutes, featured Williams visiting the local eateries and giving his opinions on the atmosphere, prices, taste of foods and customer service. His social media accounts have followings of anywhere between 665,000 on Instagram to over 1.4 million on Tiktok and Facebook.
Black-owned restaurants Williams visited included BlankUS Luxury Lounge, Kulture Bar & Bistro, Huge Impact, Hanks, King Ribs BBQ and Open Kitchen.
The food blogger also stopped by Mississippi Belle, a southern soul food spot that is notably not Black-owned but serves soul food to the local community.
In the livestreams, Williams accused several of the eateries of not cooking homemade recipes, being dirty inside, having bad customer service, overpricing food or making it too salty. In a recap video, he stated Indianapolis disappointed him and “it is beyond crazy that people open restaurants and don’t cook.”
Williams was in the Circle City for Dining with Darius cooking events that he hosts across the country. According to the website, these parties are $289 per person; he reportedly hosted six dinners in Indianapolis.
On his website, Williams also sells cookbooks, cookware, wine glasses and apparel. The costs for the several items vary from as low as $25 for a cookbook to $349 for a knife set.
The Georgia-based online chef has been at the center of controversy in recent years after the Better Business Bureau issued a warning in May 2022 for customers to use caution when doing business with DariusCooks, LLC.
The BBB stated over 70 customers reported that the company failed to deliver products ordered by their customers, did not provide requested refunds, did not communicate reasons for shipping delays and provided poor customer service.
DariusCooks, LLC has an “F” rating, the lowest on BBB’s rating scale, due to the unanswered complaints.
When FOX5 in Atlanta asked Williams about the BBB warning, he responded, “Respectfully, I don’t care.”
Certain critics of the food blogger can be blocked from his social media platform if they post comments on his videos. During the livestreams in Indianapolis, Williams can be seen blocking viewers making negative comments about him or his businesses.