Harlem couple invest in where they live creating Harlem Tavern

By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
What does The Tonic Bar located in Times Square have in common with Harlem? The Tonic Bar is owned by a couple who live in Harlem. They’ve been residents of Harlem since 2006. The couple behind The Tonic Bar in Times Square have now decided to invest 100 percent in where they live by launching Harlem Tavern, a neighborhood bar & grill, at 2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd. This is the space we told you about back in April how the corner gas station/auto shop was up for lease. (Oh…and a reader too had sent us an update on the recent construction happening at this corner space.)
Today, one of the owners of the upcoming Harlem Tavern spoke directly with HarlemCondoLife to tell us why they are putting their dinero dollars into where they live-particularly Frederick Douglass Blvd.
According to Sheri Wilson from SoHa 116 Restaurant Corporation and co-owner along with her husband says Harlem Tavern will be a restaurant that is representative of Harlem. “Harlem Tavern is going to be a place for everyone. Harlem is such a diverse place. We are creating Harlem Tavern to capture and accommodate that diversity,” says Wilson.
Wilson says word recently got out about their exact plans cause their website was just finished and hit the internet. She said “you’re the first we are speaking to.”
They still have several processes to complete with NYC’s Department of Buildings. However, they’ve built-in plenty of time to open in their business timeline, which is not soon. Wilson says they are aiming to open after the new year. “If all things go as planned, we plan to open in February 2011.” She said if they make that deadline they will get heating lamps to accommodate customers and the winter weather.
In closing, Wilson explained why Frederick Douglass Blvd? “Harlem is a great place to live and Frederick Douglass Blvd is a wonderful street that holds enormous potential for growth.” We could not agree more with Sheri Wilson! We have dubbed FDB as “restaurant row” and the “gold coast of Harlem.” As each day passes, our predictions are becoming more and more of a reality.
A special congrats to our fellow Harlemites on their plans with Harlem Tavern! May everything fall in place and so that we have another new and interesting place to hang! Salude!

17 thoughts on “Harlem couple invest in where they live creating Harlem Tavern”

  1. Terrible service customer service! No customer appreciation whatsoever! Will never go back, and it’s right up the block from me!

  2. Terrible Service at this restaurant! I tried to tell manager about our experience and he was very dismissive. What happened to ensuring customer satisfaction?!

  3. Reasons I will be patronizing Harlem Tavern:
    1) Harlem Tavern creates jobs in a community that has astronomically high unemployment rates.
    2) Economic diversity in neighborhoods creates better schools and infrastructure, which everyone benefits from- including elitists like yourself, “Justice.”

    pssst. gentrification is not the same thing as racial diversity. Why would you argue for a racially homogeneous area? That sounds, well, racist.

  4. Perhaps, Harlem Tavern will encourage the MTA to treat Harlem residents like human beings instead of animals. Anyone who has visited the 116th St. train station on the B/C line knows that there is only one entrance in and/or out, plenty of vermin (animals and humans) as well as hazardous conditions, like no MTA agent on the uptown side EVER!!!! But, of course the new restaurant will encourage the MTA to finally do some construction and clean-up since “visitors” will be using this station more frequently. Perhaps, the Mayor should take a real ride uptown on the B or C and take the front of the train, will he be in for a rude awakening. His body guards will probably cover each other until they get out of the rat hole tunnel. Harlem Tavern will be fine since their patrons will be in yellow cabs.

  5. Hi Justice,

    I only shop at places in Harlem that provide quality service whether they are black, white, brown or yellow. It’s a shame a good portion of businesses in Harlem do not offer what the community wants or needs. Like Harlem’s colors have changed over the last hundred years, nothing can stop the next generation of Harlem settlers. There’s room for everyone. If you can make it in Harlem, move over someone else will.

  6. Reasons I won’t Be Patronizing Harlem Tavern:
    1. Gentrification- eating at this establishment encourages white gentrifiers to come into Harlem. The owner is white, and is not native to Harlem.
    2. I shop Black in Black areas. There’s nothing shocking here whites do it all the time, but in reverse.
    3. Shop Local- not transplant, just because someone takes up residence in the area does not make you a Harlemite. You can’t buy history.

    To keep Harlem— HARLEM—- Shop Black

    1. I’m with you Justice. Down with Gentrification!!!!!
      I’m originally from Williamsburg Brooklyn and many long time residents have been pushed out because of the gentrifiers coming in renting aparttments at astronomical prices. I moved to harlem about 16 years ago because I couldn’t find an affordable apartment in Williamsburg and now the same crap is happening over here. My stomach turns everytime I have to go visit my parents in Williamsburg because I have to pass by all these expensive luxury rentals/condos in Williamsubrg that are 99.9% occupied by gentrifiers. I never see a latino nor a black person stepping into or stepping out of those so called luxury buildings in Williamsburg.

    2. I totally agree with you justice… They have done that to my neighborhood as well El Barrio now named SPAHA. It’s so sad how they don’t welcome us into there neighborhoods but, they just come to ours and take over. Maybe they will provide US with jobs and it’s what the communitty needs… Most businesses in Harlem are NOT owned by African Americans so if you intend to only shop Black then your going to be in for a rude awakening…

      1. Thanks for your comments. Harlem Tavern is moving along and will be opening soon. I have personally spoke to the owners and they are creating a place that is welcoming to all, both old and new, big and tall, skinny and fat, and black, brown, purple, white and yellow. As a Latina and a Harlemite, I aim to shop and dine at all local places-and blog about it. If I judged each place, I would have no where to go. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading HCL!

  7. hey guys best of luck in your new venture .
    plans look amazing .maybe i will relocate to ny from dublin ireland.
    i,m good at washing dishes lol.
    great to see positive things happening in Harlem.
    best of luck .cheers

  8. I’m excited by the news…I was hoping something more interesting then another auto repair shop would happen. Thanks for the heads up.

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