As expected, Harlem Flo has germinated another store at 2280 Frederick Douglass Blvd., which is about a block away from their flagship store. I walked by Harlem Flo recently and checked out their window displays. They’re looking good! The store appears to have a lot of nice items to purchase for the home. Go by and check it out.
On a separate note, it looks like Harlem Flo will be residing in their new space alone for now and not with Busboys and Poets next door. I have confirmation that the deal went south for Busboys and Poets to rent the commercial space at 2280 FDB. There is still hope though for the DC-based restaurant to come to Harlem. According to Andy Anas Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, they are still looking for space in the general vicinity.
So this story is not over. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope Busboys and Poets finds retail space soon that meets their needs! Stay tune!
Frederick Douglass Blvd is in the news again! Some entities are clearly getting it that FDB from 110th Street to 125th Street is the place to be! DNAinfo.com and The New York Times have recently filed stories about FDB and how it’s experiencing a boom in drinking and eating establishments. These articles even mention the buzz words “restaurant row.” Hmm…sounds familiar?
On September 23, DNAinfo wrote about the booming restaurant and bar business along FDB. It was a good story. They introduced us to new information about what the Livmor is up to with their commercial space. However, I was wondering why they left out other notable places, such as Mojo, Billie’s Black Bar, Questan’s and Cafe Amrita? Amrita is at the base of 110th and FDB. Mojo and Billie’s are technically on 119th Street, they are less than a block away from FDB and Mojo and Questan’s opened for business in the last five years. I think all these venues deserved a mention in DNAinfo and The Times. Also, why not mention the proposed Cupcake Suite opening on FDB, Aloft Hotel or the rumored Busboys and Poets coming to Harlem? I guess there is so much action happening on or near FDB, it is a challenge for these news outlets to keep track!
In addition, I noticed that both publications did not mention much about vacant commercial space. What are The Douglass and Gateway Condominiums planning for their commercial space? I would bet that they are aggressively trying to sell their space. I hear Society Cafe is interested in expanding their space right next door once Gateway finishes their construction. If that ends up being true, that would be great for them. They appear to have outgrown their current space.
Overall, it is awesome media coverage for Harlem once again. I love it! Out of the two articles, I will end with my favorite quote from Chris Pollok, co-owner of bier international. “My sense is that this [Frederick Douglass Blvd.] is going to be the Restaurant Row of Harlem.” I will drink to that, Chris! Strawberry beer, please!
The possibility of Busboys and Poets opening up a restaurant in Harlem is alive and well. How do we know this? Anas “Andy” Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, has finally commented on the subject.
Through his Twitter account, Shallal said on August 27 that he is “visiting New York City…had a great tour of Harlem…still looking at New York…” Yes! That is good news! And Shallal even tweeted he went by Make My Cake. Sounds like he is saying hello to his future business neighbors? Also, based on the tweets the Busboys and Poets owner was touring around West 116th Street, not too far from the location where they are rumored to open, which is in the commercial space at 2280 Frederick Douglass Blvd. Recently, we told you about Busboys and Poets plan to expand outside the beltway and into Harlem.
This recent development of Andy Shallal confirming he was in Harlem definitely feeds into all the excitement. And it is keeping me on my blogging toes! Stay tuned Harlemites!
I’ve received comments on and offline about the florist/flower shop I referenced, in my exclusive blog post on ‘Busboys and Poets plan to expand into Harlem,’ asking: which florist was I talking about? Some of you guessed it right off the top! I was referring to Harlem Flo, a local business HarlemHouse introduced to HCL readers back in 2008. It’s a cute flower and plant shop located at 2292 Frederick Douglass Boulevard-not too far from the place their eyeing as their next home, the 2280 FDB condo building. When you ask the staff at Harlem Flo, they tell customers they’re working on it, but nothing is a done deal.
If you walk into the Frederick Douglass florist, you will see it is a small space and more square footage is needed. They have a nice selection of plants and flowers. However, they’re sort of cramped in there and it’s hard to move around without feeling like you might knock something over. As one of our reader states, they hope “it is Harlem Flo [moving to 2280 FDB] saying two florists so close together would not be ideal.”
So if all works out, the commercial space at 2280 FDB, which runs from 122nd to 123rd Street on the eastside of the boulevard, will have two distinct businesses, Busboys and Poets and Harlem Flo!