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Do the work that comes straight from the soul of you.

Oprah Winfrey




Darryl Settles is a Boston entrepreneur and civic activist with a 25+ year career marked by significant contributions to hospitality, real estate and development industries. As founder of Catalyst Ventures Development, Settles serves as a catalyst in identifying and developing initiatives that benefit Boston’s diverse residents, business owners and visitors. He is committed to fostering partnerships and relationships in the areas of real estate development, business investments, and special events that will empower minority communities by providing the resources that encourage financial growth.

Settles has served, and continues to serve, on multiple nonprofit and public boards that advocate economic and social equality for under-served communities.



Originally from South Carolina, Darryl Settles earned  a B.S. in Engineering from Virginia Tech and completed an Executive Education Program at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. Settles’ career began as an industrial engineer, and later as a successful Sales Executive, with Digital Equipment Corporation. He eventually started a new career in real estate development and as a restaurateur. 


Recognizing music as a unifying force, he began his early career with enterprises that fused the local music scene with the hospitality/entertainment industry. He was the founder and driving force behind the BeanTown Jazz Festival in 2001, a music, food, and art event, now produced by Berklee College of Music. He also co-founded and developed the concept for The Beehive in Boston’s South End, though he is no longer affiliated with the establishment or partnership. 

Settles entered the hospitality and restaurant business in 1990, purchasing Bob the Chef’s Restaurant, which he renovated and renamed Bob’s Southern Bistro in 2000.

In 2010, he reinvented Bob’s Southern Bistro as Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen. In 2017, along with partners, Settles purchased Slade’s Bar & Grill, Boston’s oldest operating black business which was founded in 1935. Settles acted as Managing Partner until mid 2019 when he sold his shares to his partner to focus on other investments. Additionally, in the Fall of 2018, Settles sold Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen.

Settles has served, and continues to serve, on multiple boards that advocate for economic and social equality for under-served communities. He co-founded the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), a coalition of Black business, community, religious and labor leaders working together to improve economic indicators in the Black community. He currently serves on the following boards: Builders of Color Coalition (BCC), Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBVTB) – Executive Committee, Black Economic Council of Ma. (BECMA), the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC), and the Mass Housing Investment Corporation - Loan Committee. 



  • BECMA: Director Emertitus, (2020)

  • Newton-Needham Metro West: 50 Most Influential Business People of Color (2020)

  • Eastern Bank’s Business Equity Initiative: Cohort 1 Recognition Award (2019)

  • Slade’s Bar & Grill: Community Game Changer Award (2018)

  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation: Culinary Community Champion Award for Lifetime Achievement (2018)

  • GK 100: Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color (2016)

  • Boston Business Journal: Leaders in Diversity Award (2014)

  • Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action: The Community Leadership Award (2014)

  • United South End Settlements: Harriet Tubman Community Achievement Award (2014)

  • Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston: Sunday Brunch (2014)

  • Nuestra Communidad Development Corporation: Business Leadership Award (2013)

  • Color Magazine: Change Agent (2013)

  • Museum of African American History: Legacy Award

  • Minority Business Enterprise: Minority Retailer of the Year

  • Renaissance Charter School: Living Legacy Award

  • Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center: Healthy Lifestyle Award

  • City of Boston: Minority Business of the Year

  • Black & White Boston: Business Profile Award

  • Bostonian: We Are Boston Community Leadership Award

  • Stuff@Night’s: 100 Players of Boston’s Nightlife (3 years)

  • Boston Magazine’s: Forty Bostonians We Love Omega Psi Phi Fraternity: Omega Man of the Year
    “Tiffany 10” Community Award

  • Digital Equipment Corporation: DEC100 (Digital Sales Award; 4 years)

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