Tuesday, August 20, 2013

☞ EAT: Harlem's Oldest Restaurants

The handful of Harlem Renaissance establishments that have stuck around in the past decades have shuttered more recently and that had us wondering what restaurant was the oldest to stay open uptown. We first thought of Patsy's in East Harlem which was open in 1933 but there is another Italian establishment that is much older.

Rao's located at 114th and Pleasant Avenue debuted in 1896 when the neighborhood started attracting many Italian immigrants from the overcrowded smaller tenements downtown.  Both restaurant are the last bastion of when the east side was known as Harlem's Little Italy up until the 1950s when Urban Renewal changed the demographics of East Harlem.

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