We noticed over the weekend that the windows of the yet-to-be-open Red Rooster restaurant has recently placed up some new signage. What's interesting about the painted windows is that it reflects a classic style that most restaurants in Harlem would have had in its prime. Especially notable is the gold leaf lettering at the lower photo (click image to enlarge) which has had quite a revival at establishments downtown and in Brooklyn. The reflections in the enlarged images also show the heavy industrial signage popular by businesses in the area and it would seem that new proprietors are just copying one another for that particular aesthetic. When the Rooster Rooster opens up at 310 Lenox later in the month or so, let's hope more businesses in the area start copying Mr. Samuelsson's look for a classic return to the neighborhood's history. Note also that the rooster logo at center has transformed to be a little less formal as of late.
Critical part of the restaurant aesthetics. Knocked the ball out of the park with that one Mr. Samuelsson!ReplyDelete
Love the outside ... let's hope they warmed up the inside a bitReplyDelete
I am so delighted that this is happening. I also hope -- and I'm not being negative -- that this cleans up the corner of 125th and Lenox a bit. There's a lot of loitering there and it's not unusual to see fights breaking out. It would be lovely if overall tone of that corner elevates a bit.ReplyDelete
I noticed inside has some large aged wooden pieces which add a lot of warmth and an acknowledgment of Harlem’s past, like a brownstone pier mirror and shelving what looks like built from old brownstone floor beams, both nice touches. Red Rooster is shaping up to become a Jewel in Harlem’s crown alongside the legendry Sylvia’s on the next block and Chez Lucienne, quite a restaurant row.ReplyDelete
Completely agree, Bob. I'm not a fan of 125th and Lenox. Love Lenox though.ReplyDelete
125th is really skeevy. Not sure if Red Rooster alone is going to be enough to get it sorted out. A Hyatt, maybe. The McDonalds just around the corner is full of characters!ReplyDelete
So Red Rooster won't be open in time for the New Year?ReplyDelete
The subway at 125th and Lenox brings a lot of foot traffic which provides a large customer base for the illegal cigarette sellers. They should really crack down on the illegal cigarette sellers, all the way from the Indian tax free suppliers to the street peddlers that are a blight on this famed corner. This is a huge loss in tax revenue and a crack down would rally clean up that corner.ReplyDelete
@Vic Vega, nobody is sure of the opening date at this point. Will let everyone know once dates are confirmed.ReplyDelete
Rehab center+Nearby transit hub (bus and subway)=Shenanigans. See also 125 and Lex.ReplyDelete
Once Cops start actively ticketing loiterers the knuckleheads will get the message.
Street peddlers are a whole other issue. Half of those dudes have thier tax IDs and expect to be left alone.
Trying to find someplace to put those guys is was what started the Mart 125 debacle in the first place.
I have no problem with the street vendors who sell the “Harlem” merchandise to tourists as they are always pleasant and add color to the sidewalks. It is the illegal tax free cigarette sellers who constantly chant “Newports” to passers by, it’s those guys who make the corner sketchy and need to be cracked down on along with their supply chain. As the corner of 125th and Lenox has improved over the years, so to has the street life become less sketchy.ReplyDelete
You know, Vic, I think the Lenox-125th zone can move forward even without displacing too many street vendors. They're such a fixture of one-two-five, and even though it wouldn't be bad to reduce their presence somewhat, I wouldn't want to see them all brushed off the sidewalk. They add character (and they must be making somebody money).ReplyDelete
As for the loiterers: yeah, the cops can lend a hand, but you've seen how this works before: as soon as enough swells--and not even swells, just taxpayers, curious foodie Upper West Siders--start showing up on that corner, many of the hangers-out will relocate very much of their own accord. (One of the chief vanities of upper- middle-class New Yorkers, I find, is their failure to recognize that those whom they cross the street to avoid--would cross the street to avoid them!)
I still find the very selection of location baffling when the short and long term promise of Harlem gentrifying is in SOHA on FDB between 110th and 125th. Specifically we Manhattan people tend to like to walk to our dining establishments, if we're going to make it a regular spot, and not have to weigh the "sketchy" factor in our travels. SOHA on FDB with it's numerous new condos and brownstones within a block has the walkable density of income earners able to dine regularly at Red Rooster. The current selection strikes with me as based on serving a below 110th street crowd that subways up and taxis home later and a tourist crowd. I suspect the NYPD will perch an officer right at the subway stop at night to comfort Mr. Samuelsson's customers.ReplyDelete
I love this location. Yes, there are more condos on FDB. But, FDB lacks the character or authenticity of Lenox. And there are WAY more nice brownstones surrounding 126th and Lenox (pretty nice brownstone blocks 8 blocks north and South of 125th and one block East or West of Lenox). I think this location can draw from both - not to mention it's not a far walk from all the development along 3rd avenue in East Harlem.ReplyDelete
SohaNewbie, opened yourself up there mate! Don't forget, there is also Adam Clayton Powell and Lenox which each have their own potential for growth moving forward. Your point about 125th is probably close to the mark. I think Marcus Samuelsson certainly wants to cater for the crowd outside of Harlem whilst making it convenient to those local. He is running a business after all.ReplyDelete
SohaNewbie makes a point, of course, but with a rather signficant asterisk (or asterisks).ReplyDelete
"We" Manhattan people, the ones who live above 125th St.--and we are Manhattan people, after all--, have a relatively modest number of superior dining options to choose from. We're prepared to walk, say, fifteen blocks or so, and that puts Red Rooster well within range of a very high volume of both new developments and older ones, brownstoners and so forth, who will supply Mr. Samuelsson with a steady stream of regular patrons.
I understand you're new to the area, SohaNewbie. But think: as a PR maneuver, Samuelsson's decision to dig new rails east of Eight Avenue is bound to attract the curious (and I doubt police escorts will be necessary); and as for its viability as a business proposition, I would remind you of the many Manhattanites who (wrongly) pooh-pooh anything north of 110th, and who take as dim a view of the restaurant district you're touting as you do of the Red Rooster's.
I think the Red Rooster location is very smart as firstly it is right in the center of central Harlem, not the established Frederick Douglass corridor, secondly it has great transportation right next to the express train stop, and thirdly it has the beautiful architecture of Lenox Ave. As for the sketchiness of the block, it certainly does not deter the vast number of tourists and visitors to Sylvia’s and adjacent attractions so I don’t see that as a problem. Unfortunately Red Rooster cannot claim to be a new upscale Harlem pioneer on this block as Chez Lucienne has earned that title. I expect to see Red Rooster attract many diners who would otherwise not travel above 96th street and will be pleasantly surprised with Harlem.ReplyDelete
I google mapped the distance from Soha 118 to Red Rooster (0.9 miles, then checked with weatherbug and see as I write it's 32F with a wind chill making it feel like 25F). I think there is a high density of people in all these new apartments along FDB able and willing to dine regularly at a Red Rooster if it were central to us, but are not keen on walking a mile back and forth. On Manhattan standards, that's far, and if you live at Soha 118, Red Rooster is the same distance from you as Pisticci for example, and if you're willing to walk a mile, that opens up a whole lot of dining options around CU.ReplyDelete
I thought Red Rooster was going to tap into this starving base of density over here and locate central to us, that's all. I am sure he will do well but I am guessing places to come like Harlem Tavern will be our local supper club over here in Soha. I think there are a lot of rewards for the restaurateur who serves Soha and is here for us (like 5 - 8 blocks, not a full mile).
SohaNewbie, I agree, Lower Frederick Douglass Blvd would have been a safer choice for Red Rooster in terms of density of immediate customers, but I suspect Marcus Samuelsson is successful by not following the herd and going with central Harlem and Lenox Ave. will prove to be a wise choice. I for one I am happy to see any parts of greater Harlem get some of the new Harlem action.ReplyDelete
You all are forgetting that there is also a captive audience right around the corner, all corners really of Red Rooster. There are large condos on Lenox. There's the Studio Museum of Harlem. Obviously Sylvia's and Chez Lucienne have customers coming from somewhere so I imagine that Red Rooster will share the same customer base. Plus, let's face it, people who go to restaurants in New York City will hop in a cab in a minute, I don't care if the place is a mile away, or 10. And there's the 2 train and tons of buses right at the corner. Harlem does not have a lot of upscale eating options so Red Rooster will be a much needed and welcomed place to eat well.ReplyDelete
This debate over the how far 125th street is from Frederick Douglas is beyond absurd. Who cares??? Clearly, this man has done his research and can locate his restaurant whereve he wants. The fact that the Red Rooster is not on the doorstep of this Sohanewbie or in his living room should be of no concern to Mr. Samuelsson or anyonelse. Tons of businesses open all over the city and they are not having sleepless nights over whether Sohanewbie can walk there or not.ReplyDelete