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A crowd descends on Harlem Tavern opening night

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By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
Harlem has a new beer garden and locals definitely turned out in large numbers to be the first to see it first hand. Harlem Tavern, located on the northwest corner of 116th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd., opened its doors at 5 PM sharp July 1 and folks were lined up along the outer wall to get in. By 6 or 6:30 PM the entire place was packed with uptowners. And when I say packed, every table inside and out had patrons sitting anxiously awaiting to try out the food and beverage menu. By 7 PM, I checked my online accounts and several people 20110702-113357.jpg
checked into Foursquare from Harlem Tavern and photos of the place from inside were posted immediately to Facebook. The place was completely full in two hours and the kitchen and bar were blasted with orders. The design and layout of the place had no problem seating the crowd. We had seats outside and it was nice and comfortable. Harlem Tavern is going to be a great place to drink, eat and people watch. Stop by this weekend. They are starting brunch from 10-4 PM.

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As for product, I am not going to get into reviewing the food, drinks or service yet since last night was their first night of business. I want to give them some space and time to get their service dance down. All I am going to say is the wait staff and owners did their absolute best given what was presented before them-a tsunami like large crowd. The bar and kitchen got so backed up, it was going to take them all night to get caught up. I left before 9 PM so not sure what happened after then.

I know the owners of Harlem Tavern are seasoned restauranteurs. They own several joints in the City so they know what they are doing. I plan on 20110702-113550.jpg
returning real soon. However, when I left the place last night all I kept thinking was “they better hire more staff pronto!” They need more workers ASAP! Last nights turnout proved, along with bier international’s success, there is a demand in Harlem for outdoor dining/beer gardens. Last nights attendance proved that-in my view. There had to be at least 300 or more people in attendance.

There was one more thought that crossed my mind when I left Harlem Tavern last night “gold mine.” Harlem Tavern and bier international are complete gold mines. It is obvious or it will be. Walk by these places and see for yourself! Beer gardens in Harlem…are gold mines!

7 thoughts on “A crowd descends on Harlem Tavern opening night”

  1. It is Sept and they still don’t have enough staff even though there seems to be plenty walking around. I’ve been waiting on my food for 45 min. and a waiter who was not even serving my section had the nerve to come over and tell me to have my 10 mth old baby keep it down. Meanwhile a football game is on n everyone is cheering and my son was just cheering also. I told the rude waiter to let me speak to the manager who came over and said I was wondering why he would do that and that the baby couldn’t even understand. That was it! The waiter never apologized n she didn’t even offer to comp our meal. Our waiter was very nice but could not make up for all of the shortcomings of Harlem tavern. This place really sucks. Don’t waste your money!

  2. I’d have to say – we are so critical sometimes – I think there is a curve that all NEW stores, restaurants have to go through to be better than they were the day before. Growth. :). I’m looking forward to going there this evening.

  3. Yes, we wish the Harlem Tavern owners all the luck and hope that in the future they plan to hire trained professional staff during the Brunch to: 1) provide patrons with the correct menu during the brunch; 2) take orders in a timely fashion; 3) serve sausages with the Blueberry pancake dish along with the pancakes and not 45 minutes later along with the very long awaited check; 3) serve fresh greens with the salad; 4) understand and explain correctly what the menu items are (maybe even have the wait staff taste each dish so they can have a real idea and not make up what the dish is); and 5) bring the check when requested as opposed to getting lost; and 6) hold utensils by the handle and use a napkin when providing patrons with open straws. Also, someone should be in charge of the rest room, emptying the garbage from the night before and refilling the toilet tissue in each toilet area. Thank goodness, the 4-piece Jazz band kept us entertained or we would have walked out very unhappy for a first visit. Hopefully, a few weeks from now, you will have made some mandatory changes and hired me to manage the place (just joking, but…).

    1. I was there for opening night and brunch the next day. I enjoyed my visit very much. And there was an improvement in service from one day to the next. I also spoke with the owners and they have publicly said, they have a lot of kinks to work out. They are very much aware of the mixed reviews. So let’s give them some time…and see what happens. I certainly want them to succeed.

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