An interesting trend that seems to have a resurgence downtown and Brooklyn but still slow in coming to Harlem is the Beer Garden. To the right is a photo of one that is done so well in Williamsburg that one would think it's been there for 100 years (it's only about two years old). This is apropos since these dens of festivity were popular with German immigrants who established neighborhoods from Harlem to Coney Island.
Warm and traditional in front and usually with open air gardens in the back, the beer garden's charms lasted until Prohibition quelled the thirst for such venues.
What is interesting to see about many businesses in Harlem is that having modern, corporate brands such as Starbucks was a sign of success. Therefore many new higher end businesses that open have this almost sterile corporate aesthetic to them that feels very 1990's.
Traditional businesses such as Chez Lucienne are now showing Harlem that tradition might not be a bad idea. Another benefit is that these types of businesses are contextual to Harlem's historic housing stock. Let's bring on the beer gardens (and not the frat house fiasco that is the Village Pour House which recently opened in Morningside Heights). See previous post on how the fabled Claremont Inn was converted to a beer garden by the City of New York.