Tag Archives: Harlem Trends

La Bodega 47 Social Club in Harlem (New)

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We stopped by La Bodega 47 Social Club this week in Harlem the night of the pouring rain/snow storm and were pleasantly surprised and relieved when we walked through the red velvet drapes into the welcoming, warm space.  Due to weather, and the fact that La Bodega are still in their soft opening until early March, there were just a few patrons at the bar.  However, owner Brian Washington- Palmer along with Harlem Park to Park’s Nikoa Evans Hendricks arrived shortly afterwards.  And we were happy to speak with Brian about what to expect of La Bodega.

We sampled several tasty rum-based drinks which warmed us up nicely.   That warmth was further reinforced by the decor which was dark, cozy, inviting as well as visually interesting.  The old school floating lamps added a fun and unique touch to the atmosphere.  We had hoped to sample the food, but the kitchen will open during the official opening period which is expected in March (for details see the Press Release below).  Many of the planned dishes sound tasty.

To top it all off, the staff was friendly and knowledgeable about and interested in the neighborhood.

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Just below is a photo of the back wall in La Bodega which looks like a shelf full of stacked produce which you would find in any local Bodega.  Or is it?  You will have to stop in to see for yourself.

Big thumbs up to the fun and innovative chic and kitsch design.

La Bodega 47 Social Club 161 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10026
(212) 280-4700
Hours 5:00 pm to 3:00 am

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PRESS RELEASE

LA BODEGA 47 SOCIAL CLUB TO OPEN IN HARLEM

The Newest Venture from Uptown Restaurant and Nightlife Impresario
Brian Washington- Palmer

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Brian Washington-Palmer

Harlem, NY – January 22, 2014 — Harlem’s nightlife will go up another notch next month with the opening of its newest bar and late night eatery, La Bodega 47 Social Club. Brian Washington-Palmer, the uptown nightlife and restaurant pioneer and owner of such acclaimed hotspots as Bleu Evolution, the Monkey Room, No Parking and Native, will open the upscale bar and lounge on the corner of 118th and Lenox, adding to Harlem’s ever-expanding entertainment scene and to Lenox Avenue’s growing nightlife venues.

The Latin- and Carribean-inspired La Bodega is a rum craft mixology concept that will feature cocktails skillfully created with a well-curated global collection of the finest rums from the Diaspora including Guyana, Venezuela, Jamaica, Trinadad, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Brazil, West Indies, as well as local craft brands from New York. It will open initially with drinks only, but eventually include a Latin infused menu from Palmer-Washington, a chef who was at the helm of the kitchens in all of his previous ventures.

La Bodega’s design and concept is based on the beloved New York City institution of the bodega, the “corner store” used for smaller grocery items, a gathering place, and an opportunity to satisfy a craving — salty, sweet or of the alcohol variety. The social club is a continuation of a conversation that began with Washington-Palmer’s journey as a NY nightlife and restaurant impresario, from his Lower Eastside days, to his many Washington Heights ventures, to Harlem’s Native and now La Bodega. It is lounge and a social meeting place with an eclectic, multicultural groove that will finally give Harlem a go-to bar that is as conceptual and upscale as it is welcoming and neighborly.

The bodega influence is carried throughout the project, from the exterior, echoing the look and feel of a traditional bodega, with bright awnings and creative lighting, to interior design elements that also include references to the bodega motif coupled with a neutral palette of warm tones against design elements of wood, metal, glass, lucite and ecological materials like cork.

Washington-Palmer designed the overall space and concept and the vision is executed by designer William Rohlfing, a scenic and interior design specialist with clients like Steven Miesel, 40 Acres and a Mule, BET, Universal Pictures, Apple, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macys, and Victorias Secret, among others. Central to the design is the bar that creates a cohesive feeling to the room for maximum opportunities for interaction. Dramatic lighting along with a customized playlist of Latin, House, World and other global-themed lounge music round off the atmosphere for a cool and eclectic vibe.

Hours of operation: 5 pm to 3 am M-Sun

Sunday Jazz Corner With Etta James

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The one and only Etta James.  It is sad to think we have just only recently lost Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins)  on January 20, 2012.  She was born January 25, 1938 and she died five days before her birthday on which she would have been 74 years old.  James was known as an American singer-songwriter.  Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, jazz, R&B, soul, rock and gospel.  Whenever anyone thinks of the jazz classic “At Last” they think of Etta James.  Etta’s version as compared to versions by other jazz singers, belonged to her.

James was married to her husband Artis Mills, whom she married in 1969.  They had two sons, Donto and Sametto.  Both started performing with their mother — Donto played drums at Montreux in 1993, and Sametto played bass guitar circa 2003 with his mom.  Etta James battled with Heroin addiction for years and her husband Mr. Mills served a 10-year prison sentence for heroin possession.

From 1989, James received over 30 awards and recognitions from eight different organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which organizes the Grammys.

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Now perhaps more trendy than ever Etta James is a “cult hero” with producers and remixers waiting in line to remix her legendary sound and style.  We continue to hear her though samples in rap, hip hop, electronic and pop music of today.  Her legacy lives on through blues and jazz singers in clubs worldwide honoring her sound.  Here she is singing “At Last” as only she could.  And the second video is of a young Etta James singing “Got A Hold On Me.”

At Last (live) [VIDEO] – Etta James

Somethings Got A Hold On Me (Live) [VIDEO] – Etta James

(NEW) The Cecil – Opens Today In Harlem

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Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns, Yam Flapjack, Piri Piri Sauce.

The highly anticipated Cecil opens today with a frenzy of social media flying in as fast as they possibly can just to experience what all the buzz is about.  We here at Harlem Condo Life are among the enthusiastic media, and look forward to our first time experience with Cecil.  We have high hopes  for this old meets  new establishment and newest addition to Harlem Restaurant Row.  They have our attention with small plates such as “Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns, Yam Flapjack, with Piri Piri Sauce” (above ) and “Spicy Crispy Ginger Squid with Okra and Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce.”  Or a shared bowl for two of Afro / Asian / American Gumbo (Smoked Turkey, Chinese Chicken Sausage, Gulf Shrimp, and Crabmeat)

Take a peek at Cecil’s menu (below) with a scrumptious assortment by – Chefs Alexander Smalls – Restauranteur, and Joseph “JJ” Johnson – Chef de Cuisine.

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The Cecil MENU.  Here is a photo they sent us of their sticky buns.  I don’t know about dinner, but I am ready for these sticky buns right now!  They also were recently written up in the Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter and The Wall Street Journal.  Both The Cecil and Minton’s were mentioned in Huff Post BLACK VOICES and one dish in particular that stood out to us was the “Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna.”  Looks delicious.

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photo by Lucy Schaeffer for Huff Post

So let’s get our forks and knives ready, and go experience the new CECIL together.  I’m up for the adventure and ready to dig in.  See you all there!

The Cecil
210 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026
Tel (212) 866-1262

The Cecil New Restaurant in Harlem

Uptown Battle of the Bars Showdown! Monday at Harlem Tavern

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The finalists are in and it’s going down!  Monday, August 26th at Harlem Tavern hosted by Bevy Smith with music by DJ Stormin’ Norman.  Uptown Battle of Bars VIP Showdown will start at 6 pm to 10 pm at Harlem Tavern.  Harlem Tavern is located in the heart of Harlem’s Restaurant Row at 2153 Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 116th Street.  Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door.  Visit uptownbattleofbars.eventbrite.com to buy tickets.  

See yesterdays article in The Daily News 12 barkeeps vying for supremacy in Uptown Battle of the Bars…and all have a shot!  Pictures in this post are originally from the Daily News.

See our previous post  Uptown Battle Of The Bars Competition.

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