Tuesday, January 7, 2014

☞ BESPOKE: A New View in Harlem

Harlem Shake, Maison Harlem, Harlem Public, Harlem Shambles, Harlem Flo, Harlem Tavern, East Harlem Cafe, and Harlem Food Bar have all started the branding of Harlem as something positive in the past few years.  There is still a strong negative stereotype of Harlem in the collective consciousness of the city but these new establishments are changing the perception of uptown's historic neighborhood by showing their pride on the outside.

This reminds us when the midtown neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen did not want to be called Clinton, which would have been accurate, but did not talk of the neighborhood's storied past.  Harlem is one of the last true diverse collective of neighborhoods that is still interesting in New York City and it is good to see that many of the new businesses uptown are embracing this fact.


  1. I like to see new businesses proudly flying the Harlem flag but I have two minor reservations. It would be too much if every new restaurant included the word Harlem, secondly, Harlem is full of micro neighborhoods with their own characteristics and the designation Harlem is too broad a brush stroke. I like the name Lenox Social where Lenox says Harlem without saying Harlem.

  2. Let's not forget some of the wonderful pioneering businesses that unfortunately closed that helped pave the way for the new businesses and were at the start of the positive "branding" such as: Harlemade, Zukuma, N Boutique, Ginger, Purple Reign, Society, Harlem Vintage, Harlem Tea Room, Soha Style and others

  3. One of the very original pioneers who is still with us, Settepani..