Harlem Tavern goes unisex with you know what!




By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
First we told you about Harlem Tavern’s menu and drink list as part of our Inside Harlem Tavern series. We continue our series with a topic that some might find odd or unnecessary, but we think it is important strategic information to have. And hey…this topic everyone deals with. It is commonly know as mother nature and when mother nature calls-at least for me-the question I will immediately ask to anyone and everyone is “Where the h** are the bathrooms?”

When I visited Harlem Tavern recently I actually asked to see the lady’s room. I wanted to know where they are located. Well, I found out there is not exactly a lady’s room. There is not a men’s room either. Harlem Tavern went…UNISEX with their bathrooms. There are several stalls with closed doors lined up against the wall to the right when you walk indoors. It is all closed off. Don’t worry. Its only when you wash your hands that you may or may not know the person standing right next to you.

I was sort of surprised when I saw this. I thought with all that space inside why not send the men one way and the gals the other way? I guess the owners figured let’s save on space indoors and give patrons more outdoor space for eating and drinking. Oh well. See you in the Harlem Tavern bathrooms.

16 thoughts on “Harlem Tavern goes unisex with you know what!”

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

  2. Actually, I’ve lived in Harlem for 33 years, and while I’ve had my share of harassment in Harlem, I’ve also had my share in the Village, Soho, the East Village, and so on. I’m not living in any fantasy world-as a woman I know what it’s like to be threatened. As a lifelong Harlemite, I also know what it’s like to here people assume that just because it’s Harlem, it must be more dangerous or less morally upstanding. My problem with your statement, is the assumption that comes with it-that Harlemites, i.e. black people, are more likely to commit a crime and assault someone. I’ve been to several restaurants in Soho that have unisex bathrooms-are you worried for those proprietors as well? I do believe that all proprietors should be concerned regarding their customers, especially when alcohol is involved. I don’t, however, think they need to be more so just because they’re on, “horrors”, 116th and FDB, which seems to be your biggest concern.

  3. QUESTION: How long have you lived in this area if at all? Those that are long-time residents know what we are talking about. Others live in fantasy world. No, what we are saying is that precautionary measures should be taken. By the way, my title does not define me, I am just a blogger much like you that has the best interests of a new proprietor in the area.

  4. Why all the harping on Harlem Tavern being on 116th and FDB, and it’s correlation to sexual assault? Believe it or not, sexual harassment happens all over the city, not just in Harlem. As a “Harlem Screenwriter” are you more likely to assault someone? Get real.

  5. Yeah, Pete’s comments (below) are good but but with 200+ people drinking beer, the “open restroom area with two exits” allows men and women to wash their hands together, put on make-up together, and anything else that a drunk patron could think of doing in front of a communal sink and mirror (especially at night)not by using cameras which would be an invasion of privacy (especially in the bathroom area) but monitored by a real person/bouncer) in order to avoid liability. Obviously, the owners have a vision and good intentions but all you need is one person to “engage in illegal behavior” or “cry rape” —- but what am I thinking since this would never happen in a Harlem restaurant filled with drunk patrons who are having a good time (especially on the corner of 116th Street and FDR Blvd). What was I thinking? Here’s wishing Harlem Tavern owners all the luck!

  6. Just for the record, I attended HT’s opening last night, and I have to say that the bathroom setting was quite different than was apparently thought to be the case by the commenters above. First of all, the “unisex” area is not the least bit secluded. Given how many people are likely to be jammed into the place on a regular basis, any safety concerns are about the same as they would be at the bar or anywhere else.

    As for the first commenter, I would suggest coming out and enjoying yourself with the rest of us here in the 21st century. After all, the weather is nice and the beer is now flowing at HT (which, if you’re having trouble finding it, is actually two avenues west, on FDB)…


  7. It is so unfortunate that we can not live in a futuristic society and enjoy the 21st century. My belief is that Harlem Tavern is setting itself up for litigation when some young lady who may have had a little too much to drink is sexually malled in one of the unisex bathrooms by perhaps a guy who had too much to drink. The style and atmosphere is beautiful but let’s be real, is Harlem Tavern in denial that they are opening a restaurant on the corner of 116th Street and Lenox Avenue. Again, I am happy to have a new fresh outdoor restaurant in the neighborhood BUT…

  8. Worst idea ever! Basically, they don’t have a men’s room and are just making all the guys go in the ladies room. I’m not even sure you qualify as a tavern if you don’t have a urinal (or a trough!) for men to pee in while standing up.

    Why make all the dudes wait on line for no reason? Only need a small amount of space for a men’s room and it is much more efficient for everybody.

  9. I am all for unisex bathrooms, and I truly believe(hope) it is the wave of the future. I am a woman, and personally hate that public women’s restroom lines are always so much longer than the men’s. As a result, if a men’s room is available I will slip in there when I can. When I am in a public restroom the only thing I need to do is pee and run, so I hate having to wait for other women to primp (don’t get me wrong, I like to primp, I just reserve the primping to my own bathroom out of consideration to other people). Hoorah for Harlem tavern and their progressive bathrooms!!!

  10. I think they made an error in the clearance between the sink counter and the stalls. This passageway is simply too narrow for the traffic that will develop in this area.

    What is the hand drying solution? They should use high-velocity blowers from Dyson or Excel.

  11. When you wash your hands in a dedicated ladies room, you ALWAYS know the person “standing next to you”?

    Not sure why this setup merits an “oh well”. tons of restaurants and bars have similar layouts. What is anoying is when there are only one or two stalls, but given the amount of space they have there are obviously more than enough. Looks like a gorgeous restroom area to me.

    1. Thanks for the comments. To your first point, yes sometimes if not most, ladies know the person next to them when washing their hands. Haven’t you ever seen women go in twos to the bathroom? Its very common. Not sure guys do this cause I’m not one. And I agree with you, the lady/men’s joint bathroom looks very nice. I have seen them and they’re pretty swanky!

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