Friday, May 31, 2013

☞ REMEMBER: Fish & Chips on 125th c. 1932

A photo of West 125th Street back in 1932 shows that Seafood eateries have always been popular in Harlem.  Nowadays, fish fry shops uptown are abundantly hole in the wall establishments or affordable fast food joints.  A couple of unsuccessful, sleekly modern startups popped up on FDB/8th Avenue in the past few years but better businesses that have the old New England Fish & Chips model have not come about yet.  Old school seafood or lobster shacks are a big trend downtown and in Brooklyn but Harlem has yet to establish this vintage look uptown for its fry shops.

Photo courtesy of The Museum of the City of New York

☞ REVIVE: ACP Boulevard Slowly Develops

Out of all the major avenues in Central Harlem, Adam Clayton Powell/7th Avenue appears to have been the slower to develop than Lenox or FDB/8th Avenue.  The grand avenue blocks between 110th Street and 125th Street are mostly intact with distinct, early century buildings but new developments are far and few.  A condo conversion called the Morellino (above photo), has empty storefronts that now serve as popup galleries, was a possibility for better businesses to arrive when it was first established a few years back but nothing has materialized as of yet.

The blocks on ACP above 125th Street is another story altogether since the many former empty lots in the area made it ready for development several years back but not much has happened.  A large public housing complex just above 125th Street has made this area really just attractive only for rental buildings and the new condos that have been constructed  on the upper part of the boulevard are the only ones uptown that have not been successful.

With all that said, once 125th Street develops more and retail prices go up, new businesses might finally discover the charms of lower ACP.  We are not sure what the going rents are like for the storefronts but if the building owners make them more attractive than the other avenues in Harlem, then this iconic grand Harlem boulevard might finally catch up with FDB or Lenox Avenue.

☞ BESPOKE: Finishing Details at The Grange

The new pub called The Grange is quickly finishing up in Hamilton Heights and plans to open next week.  We walked by this corner by 141st and Amsterdam Avenue yesterday and saw the window signage being prepped for the classic gold lettering that will be applied by one of the local Sugar Hill signage specialist.  A Facebook update from folks at The Grange this morning shows the finished floors  are all set, industrial lamps in place and the new addition of warm wood furniture.  Stay tuned for even more updates before the opening of The Grange in the coming week.

☞ LISTEN: Mafrika Music Festival 2013

Sunday, June 9th, 12:00 Noon- 7:00PM, 7th Annual Mafrika Music Festival at Marcus Garvey Park, 120th and 5th Avenue. The date for the 6th Annual Mafrica Music Festival has been set this year and folks will be able to see various genres of music performed by African/World musician at this series of free concerts.  More details can be found on the Shrine music site: LINK

Thursday, May 30, 2013

☞ EAT: Harlem Shake Outdoor Seating

Lenox Avenue has wide sidewalks and Harlem Shake informed us that their cafe license is all in order. The popular new eatery on the corner of 124th Street by the Mount Morris Park Historic District should have everything up by early to mid August at the latest when the weather will be especially warm.  Read more about Harlem Shake in our past post: LINK

☞ SHOP: Art Supply Storefront at ACP Boulevard

A Bespoke reader mentioned that they saw an art supply store being set up between 125th and 126th Street on ACP/7th Avenue.  The above photo was submitted and this appears to be one of the retail spaces available at the Alhambra Ballroom building.  This shop apparently is an employee-owned establishment that has a New York outpost in Brooklyn and many across the nation.

☞ QUESTION: Ask Harlem Bespoke

If any readers out there have a question they would like to throw out to the Bespoke audience on neighborhood organizations, restoration services, property search or history, just send them over and we can possibly have it written up as a future post:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

☞ INTRODUCING: The Cecil to Debut This Fall

The famous jazz venue known as Minton's Playhouse is located within the lower floor of the Cecil Hotel and a restaurant named after the hotel will be its partner business this coming fall according to the New York Times.  This iconic location at 118th and St. Nicholas Avenue has been going under a gut renovation since the past winter but details on any opening dates were pretty discrete until now.  Another bit of information revealed is that the notable Chef Joseph Johnson has been selected for The Cecil which should help get the word out on the restaurant once it opens.  Check out our original interview with Chef Joseph Johnson after his win on a celebrity chef's Bravo Television competition: LINK

☞ LISTEN: Anna Sui Talks Burrows at MCNY

Stephen Burrows' Signature Styles, Thursday June 6th, 6:30PM at The Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street. A conversation about Stephen Burrows' far-reaching impact on fashion yesterday and today with Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Anna Sui. The panelists will explore Stephen's "style signatures," including his use of color blocking and the lettuce hem. Robin Givhan, Pulitzer-prize winning fashion journalist and former style editor at the Washington Post, will moderate the discussion. The program is co-sponsored with the Couture Council of the Fashion Institute of Technology.  More details and advance ticket purchase at the MCNY site: LINK

☞ DRINK: The Grange Opens Next Week

The new West Harlem pub called The Grange announced on Monday via Facebook that they will be opening within the next 10 days or so.  This Hamilton Heights establishments currently finishing up on Amsterdam and 141st Street has been busy installing wood flooring, tin ceiling tiles and all of the classic early century details that seem to visually draw in crowds these days.  When The Grange debuts in early June, only the bar will be open initially and food should come along soon.  Stay tuned for more details.

☞ FOLLOW: Harlem Bespoke Via Twitter

Harlem Bespoke also has a Twitter account for those who want daily updates about stuff that's happening in the neighborhood. If you Twitter, check out our Harlem tweets and join here: LINK.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

☞ MEET: Samuel Thiam

Harlem Bespoke's style interviews continue with Maison Harlem owner Samuel Thiam who happens to be French but has lived in the neighborhood for the past 15 years.  Maison Harlem at 127th on St. Nicholas is clearly one of our recommended restaurants to have breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner at and it was refreshing to be able to catch up with the gentleman behind the great vision of the uptown eatery:

HB: You have a very distinct sense of style. What are your menswear influences?

ST: Well for me comfort is number one as well as mix and match texture,fabric and style I believe it's a reflection of your personality and your moods and my Menswear influences are the elegance of Yves Saint Laurent snd the casualness of Indiana Jones.

HB: Do you think American men are finally catching up with Europeans in the way they dress?

ST: In big cities, yes, but anywhere else I think men dress more by necessity rather than style but there is something cool and trendy also about the lumberjack look from the Midwest.

HB: Your restaurant Maison Harlem at St. Nicholas and 127th opened in the past year.  How has business been so far? 

ST: We are very happy with Maison Harlem since the beginning and it has been surprisingly well received in the community.

HB: One of the things that sets a restaurant apart from others besides the food is the decor. What was the inspiration for the look of Maison Harlem? 

ST: I wanted to feel at home and wanted everyone to feel warm and comfortable as soon as they got through the door. I wanted a perfect mix between Paris and Harlem and I think we succeeded in doing that!

HB: There appears to be a lot of French tourists and restaurants uptown. Is there a romantic relationship between the French and Harlem?

ST: The French like Harlem, they like jazz they like black heritage and authenticity.  Harlem has always been a big inspiration for a lot of French people.  It is part of a pop culture as well as music, arts movies, fashion - so many different things created a fascination for it.

HB: Are there any surprising things about opening a restaurant in Harlem that most in the city might not know about? 

ST: There are a lot of foodies up here.  People know their wine and food.  They like to travel through a meal, and if they enjoy, we enjoy. This is an amazing experience to be part of a rejuvenation, a new splash of energy in this part of town. Come to Harlem and enjoy an authentic slice of New York City.

☞ SEE: Walter Mitty Films Again in Harlem

Third time seems to be the charm for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty which wrapped up filming in West Harlem over the holiday.  Security was tight at the location just below 125th Street and Broadway but we received the above photo showing the florist shop neon light that was added to the set at the last minute.  This vacant storefront used to be a deli but 90s awning was removed to reveal a lovely hand painted sign.  Flowers and the neon was added to make it look more period appropriate for the film which stars Ben Stiller: LINK

☞ DWELL: Record Contract out at 2036 Fifth

Number 2036 Fifth Avenue has been on the market for the past year at one of the highest prices listed in Harlem and now has a contract out.  This classic, 20-foot wide brownstone located just above 125th Street has a full gut renovation that has kept a large amount of original detail and is asking for $3.99 million.  Since the recession hit, the record sale for a townhouse was in South Harlem for the closing price of  $3 million at a much smaller building on West 121st Street by Morningside Park.  With 125th Street picking up speed in development and the Lenox Avenue commercial corridor just one block over, this picturesque section of 125th Street might be ready to put Central Harlem on the map again as far as brownstones are concerned.  More details can be found on Streeteasy: LINK

☞ EAT: Maharaja Palace Opens Tonight

Signs were up over by FDB/8th Avenue and 114th Street this past weekend announcing that South Harlem's first Indian restaurant will be opening on Tuesday, May 28th.  Folks should expect a modern interior at this new eatery called Maharaja Palace and we expect it to do well since Indian fare is very popular with New Yorkers but lacking in the Central Harlem.  Over on the east side, there is an Indian restaurant called Polash that opened a couple of years back but Maharaja Palace appears to have more of an eye for decor.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

☞ REMEMBER: James Reese Europe in Europe

James Reese Europe lead the 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, in World War I and was notably credited for being the ambassador of Jazz from the United States.  The bandleader was already a famous African-American musician and when it was time to serve his country in 1918, he naturally had the Harlem men in his service bring along their musical instruments which would introduce ragtime music to Britain and France.  The Jazz Age would officially start the following year after the war was over and Mr. Europe's style of ragtime would be the predecessor to the music that would take over the city in the next decade.  Harlem is now very popular with French tourists and one can trace this romanticism all the way back to when the Hellfighters played for the first time overseas.

☞ INTRODUCING: Harlem Yo! Arriving Soon

The second frozen yogurt shop for Chill Berry who first started up on Lenox will be on FDB/8th Avenue. Walking by the former space that used to house a boutique pet shop, we noticed that the signage has been put up for Harlem Yo! in the past week or so. This location located between 114th and 115th street is in prime South Harlem so should see heavy foot traffic once the summer roles around.  Chill Berry opened in Central Harlem a couple of years ago but this new spot is different since the yogurt shop will also be selling burritos instead of soup on the side.

☞ REVIVE: Restored Cornices on 125th Street

We noticed that the owners of the row of tenements lining 125th Street just east of Amsterdam have been restoring all of the facades as of late. Some of the buildings further uptown tend to remove this architectural detail in order to save costs but there now appears to be somewhat of a preservation trend happening as of late. As property values go up in the neighborhood, this sort of maintenance will be of more importance and will add more value so owner are taking note.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

☞ DWELL: 58 West 129th Street Condos

A Bespoke reader mentioned this week that the developer responsible for 5 West 127th was working on a new construction at West 129th Street so we went straight to the source.  It turns out that the condos have not been built yet since the new development is just breaking ground at 58 West 129th Street.  This was originally the site of a small building that the Mormon congregation used before the huge church was built down the block and now will be a 7-story condo with 19 units, some very bespoke paneled windows, and a community facility.  We received the sketch today for the building that will be next door to the wildly popular Lenox Coffee and expect this one to do just as well as the 5 West 127th Street which sold out in only a few months without a single open house: LINK

☞ SHOP: 241 Lenox Avenue Storefront

Number 241 Lenox Avenue might be one of our favorite buildings in Harlem especially since it was renovated over the past couple of years and has a distinct corner storefront. Boulevard Bistro just opened across the street at the opposite corner of 121st and they both share a gated area out front for al fresco dining. This part of Lenox in the Mount Morris Park Historic District already has 2 cafes, a cupcake shop, a busy burger joint, an Italian eatery, a forthcoming yogurt shop and a soon to open wine bar.  What should arrive now at 241 Lenox since a lot of stuff has already been covered?

☞ INTRODUCING: The Sweet Spot Festival Market

Sunday,May 26th, from 3:00PM-9:00PM, The Sweet Spot Festival Market at the West Harlem Piers on 125th Street by the Hudson River. The Sweet Spot Festival Market is a FREE family friendly event series, bringing Harlem's increasingly diverse community together to celebrate it's rich historical legacy. Its purpose is to promote music,culture, art, and commerce. Here you will find an eclectic range of musicians, DJ's, performance & visual artists, a mouth watering array of food & dessert vendors, kids activities, workshops and to-die-for vintage & jewelry selections.

☞ QUESTION: Ask Harlem Bespoke

If any readers out there have a question they would like to throw out to the Bespoke audience on neighborhood organizations, restoration services, property search or history, just send them over and we can possibly have it written up as a future post:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

☞ DWELL: 102 West 123rd Street Brownstone

Number 102 West 123rd Street arrived on the market recently for $1.8 million but apparently is a 7-family building without a Certificated of Occupation.  The broker does not mentioned that the property is an SRO but DOB paperwork has it listed as SRO restricted so the price would seem rather on the steep side.  This is a great location by the Mount Morris Park Historic District and there are some original details in the building but these are the only major selling points.  There will surely be some major financing needed on the buyer's end since the legal paperwork and renovations might be quite involved.  More on Streeteasy: LINK

☞ REVIVE: Sidwalk Shed Now at 2272 FDB

The long abandoned construction site at 122nd Street and FDB/8th Avenue had new plywood up recently and now it appears that a sidewalk shed has been constructed overhead.  The concrete foundation was set a long time ago but the site has been abandoned for a few years now.  Looking at the DOB paperwork submitted in 2013, it appears that an 8-story building has been approved for the site and all of the paperwork was renewed in recent months.  Since sidewalk sheds are built to protect pedestrians, we expect some major overhead construction to happen by summertime.  Does anyone have more details on this building?

☞ SHOP: The Morningside Park Farmers Market

Saturday, May 25th, 9:00AM-5:00PM, The Morningside Farmers Market, 110th Street at Manhattan Avenue.   The Morningside Park Farmers Market has been around since 2005 and  returns for 2013 this weekend.  Folk uptown should expect a couple of new vendors this season: LINK

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

☞ SHOP: Chain Stores on 125th Street

There has been some discussion on the arrival of national chain store on 125th Street such as the Red Lobster that will open by the Apollo and we actually think these will be necessary for Harlem's economic growth.  Don't get us wrong, we definitely fantasize about all of Harlem consisting of small boutique shops but the reality is that 125th Street is more like 42nd Street in midtown or 14th Street downtown.

Harlem's commercial district will be mainly an affordable shopping destination for locals and tourists while the side streets and historic avenues will have the smart eateries and more custom establishments.  For the most part, chains like Blink, DSW, Joe's Crab Shack, or Burlington Coat Factory will provide affordable fare while Whole Foods will cater to the middle class market that has emerged in Harlem.  There will be something for everyone but 125th Street will not be the small town shopping corridor that it was sixty years ago for much of it has to be rebuilt by developers who must charge a premium after the work is done.

☞ ARCHITECTURE: Contextual on 129th Street

We noticed back in December that the stalled construction site just west of Lenox on 129th Street started up again and it now appears to be one of the more contextual new smaller developments in Central Harlem.  The limestone-looking facade with small balconies could have been the basic brick affair that usually pop up on smaller lots but the new construction mostly blends in with the older architecture on the block.  Our only major critic would be that the top cornice could have been made more pronounced by leaving the last two rows of brickwork solid but overall the building is a visual success.  Does anyone know if these will be rentals or condos?

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Monday, May 20, 2013

☞ MEET: Yvette Leeper-Bueno

We continue our style series that interviews some of the new faces of Harlem with this feature on Vinateria owner Yvette Leeper-Bueno who also happens to have very deep roots in the neighborhood.  More details on the said new eatery located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard can be found at:

HB: Your look is so current right now with all of the late 80s and 90s references happening in fashion. What are your style influences? 

YLB: As a woman, I'll have to admit that I have plenty of style influence. I grew up in the fashion business and folks that know me well will definitely tell you about how much I adore fashion. My inner 90's kid is definitely excited to see all the latest 90's fashion influences happening right now in fashion. I like to be on-trend, however many of my go to staples in my closet are of classic lines. In college, even with a fully stacked course load, I still found the time to feed my incessant collecting of international fashion magazines. Fashion is one of my guilty pleasures that share top billing along with great red wine, dark chocolate and a relaxing bath with all of the luxurious fixings.

HB: We have noticed that folks in Harlem like to dress up when they go out. Do you find this true?

YLB: Yes, I have found that folks in Harlem do like to dress up when they go out. I grew up hearing my mother recant stories of how 125th street during the 40s, 50s and 60s was filled with shop after shop selling beautiful fashions for both men and women. 125th Street was the place folks went to promenade and show of your 'Sunday's finest'. Fashion was one of the areas where Blacks could freely and lavishly express themselves. While folks might dress up in Harlem to go out, the intention is that people feel very comfortable at Vinateria and definitely come as you wish.

HB: You just opened Vinateria on Frederick Douglass and 119th Street this past month. How has business been going? 

YLB: The reception to Vinateria's opening has been extremely warm. It was definitely a long awaited opening. Many of my customers have told me that they have found a home away from home. Hearing this really makes my dream a reality. People in the neighborhood yearn for connectedness with other and to be able to hang out in a place that evokes warmth and soulfulness. My aim was to create an inviting neighborhood spot that could truly bring people together regardless of whether you might be a long time Harlem resident or a recent arrival. This type of charm can be difficult to find in more corporate style restaurants. I have received loads of complements on the Chef Gustavo Lopez's delicious cuisine and Gabriela Davogustto's amazing wine and beverage selections. We've all been focused on developing all of the operating area of this business to have high quality and a very caring touch. I am so delighted that we already have many return customers. Quite a few of these customers are reconnecting with me from previous involvements that I've had, i.e. through my education at Barnard college, my children's schooling or my prior owned boutique at Grand Central Terminal. I do not take all of this wonderful support lightly-- I am very fortunate.

HB: Vinateria is very modern but also has a strong nod to history. How did you come up with the concept? 

YLB:  Developing the decor for Vinateria was extremely exciting for me. I had the great fortune to have worked with an extremely talented designer on the restaurant project. Her name is Jonsara Ruth and she is the head of Interior Design at Parson School of Design. We challenged ourselves to create the neighborhood place I've always wanted to go to myself. You make a very astute observation-- this notion of modern and historical at the same time. My designer will speak of this as being one of her ultimate aesthetic goals. About a year ago she and I embarked on an incredible creative journey. As with my interest in fashion I was fuelled with the process of us putting it all together. I learned SO much about where to research and find fabulous vintage artifacts. You'll notice the lovely historical details of our expansive vintage bar that once had it's home in a Gramercy Park restaurant. One of the main objectives was to infuse the classical with a striking touch of modernity. Hence, we've intentionally chosen a simple, subtle yet elegant palette of materials so as to set the stage where it is the people and the enjoyment that become the main focus. I take such pleasure in noticing the extent to which people have been taking in all the design details when they come in to dine with us.

HB: Tell us more about your family history in Harlem and why you decided to open a restaurant in the neighborhood.

YLB:  My family has been involved in Harlem life for decades. My mother migrated here from Jamaica and my father from North Carolina--both in the 1950s. After High school in 1956, they first met each other just a few short blocks away from Vinateria at nearby Morningside Park. This area holds a lot of history for my family and I. Years later, after marriage they purchased a brownstone building on 112th Street, where I happen to currently reside with my husband and children.

My folks remember when Harlem was such a happening hub that you had little reason to ever want to leave-- shopping, dining, entertainment and church were all readily available in the vicinity. Most left Harlem only for work, school and an occasional trip to Macy's or for the Christmas show at Rockefeller Center. My parents held onto their brownstone after many tumultuous periods of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. They are delighted that a new Renaissance has come to Harlem with a blending of cultures that was not possible in the Harlem of the 1950s.

HB:  What are your thoughts on the changes happening in the neighborhood?

YLB:  Changes in any neighborhood will inevitably happen. I would say that most of us that reside here welcome the new changes in Harlem. We can all look forward to enhanced services in the area, new businesses and housing and enhanced schools. The role played by such community organizations as Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance FDBA, comprised of both residents and local businesses on FDB is positioned play a vital role in effecting positive changes in our area. I am truly excited to see all the new businesses opening in the area. The new residents that have come to live here are now part of the fabric of our Harlem evolution. We need to stay mindful of how much this in turn works towards broadening the awareness of all the greatness we have to offer here. I adore our neighborhood and I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to follow my passions while also serving to contribute to the area's venue options.

☞ BESPOKE: Retro Signage Returns to Harlem

Many of the great old Harlem storefronts and establishments have not been protected over the decades but now some of the more successful new businesses uptown are giving a strong nod to history by coming up with signage that looks decidedly historic. Lenox Avenue appears to be the leader in the trend with the recently opened Harlem Shake becoming an instant success alongside eateries like the Red Rooster, Corner Social and Lenox Coffee.

Down on the more modern FDB/8th Avenue, Vinateria debuted last month with painted signage out front which also compliments the vintage neon vibe of the Harlem Tavern a couple of blocks south.  On the west side, Harlem Public put the Hamilton Heights neighborhood at 149th Street on the map with their rustic pub vibe and has become a game changer in the neighborhood.  This classic aesthetic automatically makes a storefront look like its been in the neighborhood for some time and we are definitely glad that this new trend has seen an uptick uptown.

☞ REVIVE: Harlem Whole Foods Update

The last we heard, the Whole Foods building at 100 West 125th Street at the corner of Lenox was supposedly breaking ground in May but not much has been going on with the site. So what is the status and will the 2015 opening date really happen?  We checked on some of DOB filings online and the paperwork is all there for the six-story building and has been filed over the past five months of this year.  Groundwork plumbing appears to have been approved but the building itself is still waiting for some zoning approval.  As folks might recall, Burlington Coat Factory and American Eagle have also signed leases for this new development so expect this one to happen sooner than later: LINK

☞ READ: Jazz. New York in the Roaring Twenties

Taschen has once more released the wonderfully illustrated book called Jazz. New York in the Roaring Twenties and uptowners should take note.  As one can see from the map provided within the book, Harlem was basically the hotbed for the music scene back in that decade and was the central neighborhood in Manhattan for entertainment.  All of the big bands and notable singers are also included in this informative, coffee table book which goes for only $50 at the Taschen site: LINK

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Friday, May 17, 2013

☞ SEE: Stephen Burrows & Pat Clevland at MCNY

We were graciously invited to the screening of Versaille 73 at the Museum of the City of New York in East Harlem last night and were part of the crowd that got to meet designer Stephen Burrows and Pat Cleveland during the event.  Stephen Burrows is of course the first great African-American designer who made his mark in 70s and was one of a handful of Americans that showed their collection against the stiff French fashion giants such as Saint Laurent and Dior back in 1973.  Pat Cleveland was the most notable, pioneering African American supermodel of that decade before the public new what one was and is still an inspiration to many in the industry.  Folks who want to discover more about these icons of fashion should check out the  When Fashion Danced exhibit at MCNY on 103rd and Fifth Avenue which will be showing until July 28th:

☞ REMEMBER: Clark's Barber Returns

A Bespoke reader mentioned that a movie set was being constructed at Tiemann over on Broadway and was wondering what it was. This barber shop set was actually at this location last year for a filming of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and apparently they have to re-shoot the scene. An old dry cleaner at this corner now has a faux concrete portico and cornice added on along with some great vintage, hand painted signage overhead and gold lettering in the windows. We now hope that any new business that takes over this available space after the filming can retain a bit of the charm that the movie crew envisioned when making this film. Check out the Hollywood movie star who showed up for this production last year in our past post: LINK

☞ INTRODUCING: Kura Kuma Coffee

Coffee culture is such an important part of any block and some of best ones show up in unexpected places. Kura Kuma coffee shop is on the south end of Manhattanville in West Harlem and the charming spot serves up one of the best cups uptown. We have recently discovered their pecan sticky buns which comes from Balthazar Bakery so make it a point to stop by when we are in the neighborhood.

This little shop on LaSalle (123rd Street) and Broadway only has four small tables on the interior but the overall design of the space shows that creating a welcoming setup with a bit of historic charm requires more vision than financing. Original tin ceiling and just one wall of glazed-finished brick add to the overall appeal. Connect with Kura Kuma via Facebook: LINK

Thursday, May 16, 2013

☞ EAT: Crowds Welcome Harlem Shake

Today was the official opening day for Harlem Shake at Lenox by 124th Street and Harlem took notice.  We arrived at about 1:30 PM and the lines already had been forming and by the time we left at 3:00 PM, they were all the way out to the door.  The price point of the eatery is a step above the fast food establishments on 125th Street but substantially more affordable than most of the new eateries opening in Harlem so the business is seeing instant popularity.

Add on great, retro decor along with quality food which also features some amazing hotdogs and success is the only way to go.  Service has definitely improved since our last visit at the soft opening but folks should really be patient when stopping by this week.  We have not seen any restaurant with such a crazy lunch hour uptown so it goes to show that if all the pieces come together, the crowds will arrive in Harlem.

☞ INTRODUCING: Outdoor Seating for Barawine

Barawine at the corner of 120th on Lenox is aiming for a summer opening and apparently there will be outdoor seating arriving also once things finish up.  There has been a lot of construction activity on the site recently and a public noticed was posted in the window to announce the review of the cafe setup on this corner of the Mount Morris Park Historic District.  This is across the street from Settepani so folks at this part of Lenox should expect two outdoor cafes facing each other when Barawine finally opens.