Entrepreneurs Tracey and Cheri Syphax at Booker’s Restaurant & Bar in West Philadelphia. (Contributed photo)

Tracey Syphax has always been a survivor and a businessman.

From growing up on the violent and drug-infested streets of Trenton and serving time in prison for mostly drug-related offenses, Syphax has bucked the trend of prison recidivism and continues to emerge as an entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Syphax and his wife Cheri recently acquired–Booker’s Restaurant & Bar–a posh and upscale epicurean eatery in Philadelphia, for $3.3 million. The purchase marks the couple’s first foray into the hospitality and leisure industry–thus continuing a long tradition of successful minority-owned businesses in the New York, New Jersey, and Philadephia region. https://bookersrestaurantandbar.com/

For Syphax, 60, who has owned multiple business enterprises over the years, this latest inroad into owning a business is a further testament to an unyielding and never-ending desire to own and control. “I’ve always been a serial entrepreneur and entrepreneurial instructor,” Syphax said in an interview with NJ Urban News. “I engulfed myself in studying and learning about successful black businessmen I had never heard of.”

Syphax is also the author of the book, From the Block to the Boardroom, a gritty, raw, in your face, tell-all memoir that candidly describes his life as a street thug and, at one time, “the biggest drug lord in the city of Trenton” with a long rap sheet—to a multistate, multifaceted multimillionaire entrepreneur.

In March 2023, Syphax and his wife finalized the acquisition and purchase of Booker’s through their business, Phax Entertainment Group L.L.C., based in Trenton. Syphax started the company in 2001 as a real estate business that eventually morphed into other lucrative business ventures.

Booker’s had been a staple and the go-to restaurant in West Philly for years; however, some people in the community believed the gourmet hot spot needed to be updated and, perhaps, rebranded to attract an even more diverse clientele. “We will keep the menu items our regulars have come to know and love,” Cheri said. “We will create dishes and cocktails that will tickle and delight their palate with the same quality they have come to expect,” she added.

I'm an award winning journalist based in Edison, NJ. My work has been featured in dozens of publications including, Black Enterprise magazine; ESSENCE magazine and Real Health magazine. I am also a featured...

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