Monday, July 20, 2009

☞ REMEMBER: Jimmy Smith at Kate's

This jazz great Jimmy Smith's album cover is also a record of another institution in Harlem. Kate's Home Cooking was a luncheonette on 2355 8th Avenue (FDB and West 126th Street) as one can see in the window sign of the album.  Lore has it that because the restaurant was on the street closest to the back entrance of the Apollo Theater, all the bands used to drop by Kate's after performing each night.  The Unity Chapel which the same sign references is still there this day
but the charming eatery has long since been closed.  The now defunct Harlem Fragrance (lower photo) had most recently inhabited the space and maybe someone today can come in and revive this central Harlem favorite.  Click on top photo to enlarge. Thanks also to Bespoke reader Jamal on the fantastic tip.


  1. Interesting post. 8th Ave is Frederick Douglass, not Adam Clayton Powell.

  2. Thanks for the update. We need a little more coffee around here.

  3. Just saw this post (2 years late). The Kate in Kate's Home Cooking was my mother. She had 2 restaurants the one pictured and another on 8th Ave. As a kid my sister's job was to deliver meals to the performers at the Apollo between shows or if they couldn't get out. We got to see all of our stars daily & damn near lived there. Thanks for the gracious mention,

  4. I bought this blue note album around 1965 in London, and I have loved it ever since. I now play the cd version. My wife and I are visiting New York for the first time in April and I am gutted to find out that Kates no longer exists......any suggestions out there for similar music inspired restaurants?
    Cheers Rick Turrell