Bringing “Sexy Back” to Harlem Bodegas

Located on the corner of West 118th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard, La Bodega 47 Social Club transforms one of Harlem’s fundamental businesses, the standard Latino grocery store, into a trendy rum lounge.

Owner Brian Washington-Palmer, originally from Berkley, Calif., believed Harlem needed a space that would complement the influx of new residents and development of new businesses and apartment complexes, so he transformed his previous Caribbean-Mediterranean restaurant, Native, into La Bodega 47 Social Club this past March.

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Renaissance On A Plate: Weekly Roundup

  • In spring 2015, Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson will open his 3rd restaurant, “Streetbird Rotisserie,”  on 116th St and Fredrick Douglas Boulevard.  –HarlemGal Inc.
  • The Cecil in Harlem , known for its Afro/Asian/American food, was deemed the best new restaurant in the country by Equire. –Daily News
  • Neapolitan Express, an eco-friendly pizza truck, is opening a permanent location in East Harlem. –DNAinfo
  • Whole Foods expected to open next winter 2015 on 125th St and Fredrick Douglas Boulevard. –Harlem+Bespoke
  • Mark Henegan opens South African restaurant “Madiba Harlem,” and it is  larger than the Fort Greene. –The New York Times

Staple Small Businesses Of East Harlem Fade Away

In October 2009, nearly 4,000 residents were granted jobs in East Harlem’s newest attraction, East River Plaza, the neighborhood’s first major shopping mall located on East 116th Street.

While the jobs were welcomed and retail sales have generated millions of dollars, small businesses in the area have not been reaping benefits since the arrival of East River Plaza, which houses a Target, Costco Wholesale and Marshall’s among other chain outlets.

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Southern BBQ Say Hello to East Harlem

The South meets El Barrio at Harley’s Smokeshack & BBQ located on 116th Street and First Avenue. Harley’s brings forth a new culture of food to the neighborhood, and there are two things I believe keep East Harlem’s residents coming back for more – the El Barrio Apricot Margarita and the restaurant’s detailed décor.

The drink menu is an extensive one, ranging from craft beers to sangria, but one of the most popular cocktails on the menu is the El Barrio Apricot Margarita, Continue reading


Are We Forgetting the Old Harlem?: Briefing of Harlem’s History

While my goal is to showcase gentrification of Harlem’s food scene, all aspects of gentrification in Harlem are important. The transformation has been ongoing in recent years, and is visible through the increase of middle class residents, construction of elaborate apartment complexes, and the rise of small businesses that cater to a wealthier clientele. As the “new Harlem” continues to develop, the “old Harlem” is fading away. Preserving the history of this New York City neighborhood is important – which is further explained in the following podcast featuring Arthur Lewin, a professor who specializes in Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College.

Professor Arthur Lewin at Baruch College speaks on his opinions of gentrification in Harlem:


“Harlem is the capital of Black America,” professor Lewin said. In the early 1900s thousands of African Americans Continue reading


Harlem’s Farm-To-Table Gem


The Grange Bar & Eatery entrance.

Roy Henley, owner of The Grange Bar & Eatery, and I engaged in an enlightening conversation at his restaurant. He gave me a brief spiel on the history of Hamilton Heights and how interconnected the theme of the restaurant is with area. He filled me in on everything a customer would want to know about the development of the restaurant, but also everything a resident would want to know about the transforming neighborhood it resides in.

If Harlem residents are looking for organic, farm-to-table eats, look no further than this farmhouse bistro on 141st and Amsterdam. Continue reading


Blissful Brunch In Harlem

Trufa store front

Trufa Restaurant’s store front.

Trufa, located on 140th Street and Broadway, is the smallest restaurant I have ever dined at. Despite its size, this Italian/New American eatery plays a huge role in the neighborhood’s budding gentrified restaurant scene. Trufa has taken the place of a restaurant that once offered Mexican eats, and currently serves Italian/New American comfort food; including pressed sandwiches, pasta dishes and burgers. On a Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend and I Continue reading