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GREENSBORO, N.C. — James Brown, Tina Turner and Jackie Robinson are just a few of the famous people who once stayed at the Magnolia House in Greensboro. 

In the late 1940s and 50s, the home appeared in the Green Book, a guide for safe places for Black people to safe stay overnight when traveling. The Green Book rated Magnolia House as one of the top spots in North Carolina, and that’s why so many famous people stayed at the hotel when they traveled through the state. 

After desegregation, the hotel shut down and the house sat empty. Now a local family owns it, and they have restored it to its Green Book days. 

They want to share the history of the home with the entire community. To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, they are serving shoebox lunches.   

When Black people traveled during segregation, they would pack a lunch just in case they couldn’t find a safe spot to stop and eat. 

At Magnolia House, customers can now order southern favorites like fried chicken and fish with macaroni and cheese or yams. The chef packs the food into a box that’s printed with the history of the home.  

The Magnolia House is located on Gorrell Street in Greensboro, right across from Bennett College. 

You can order take-out or delivery shoebox lunches Thursday through Sunday.