Tuesday, December 28, 2010

☞ READ: Harlem's Soul Food Scene Shifts

There's an interesting article today in the Uptowner about the ubiquitous Manna's Soul Food restaurant chain of buffets in Harlem and how it is an example of one proprietor changing with the times so that business can thrive.  Betty Park is a 57-year-old Korean immigrant who started up in Harlem during the recession of the early 1980's and has since survived when traditional soul food eateries uptown have folded. During the past couple of decades, Ms. Park has learned that restaurants have to work alongside the community by providing jobs and react to change along the way in order to be successful.

Londel Davis (who is the owner of the established Londel's restaurant) states that the many soul food businesses that have closed in the past ten years failed because of "their own shortcomings."  The article basically explains that the old businesses who are disregarding the influx of "hispanic, whites and food tourist" into the neighborhood are losing the new customer base that is also changing Harlem's food culture.  Another point of interest in the article is that the younger customers have not developed a taste for offal or pigs feet so southern-style basics like fried chicken seem to be more popular these days.  Read more in the Uptowner: LINK.  Lower photo courtesy Jason Tomassini

1 comment:

  1. "But gentrification “has ruined a lot of small businesses,” he says [Jacobs Restaurant]

    Maybe if the businesses in Harlem offered more than unhealthy eating, hair salons and dollar stores they would survive. Move on Harlem. This ain't the 70's. Change with the times or you'll be gone.