Tag Archives: Karl Franz Williams

Harlem’s Battle of the Bars is back!

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For the second year in a row, top bars from across Harlem and Washington Heights/Inwood to compete for Title of “Best Uptown Bartender”

Mixologists from 30 of New York City’s best uptown bars from Harlem and Washington Heights/Inwood will try to wow bar goers between May 5th and 15th with delectable and original cocktails featuring sponsor spirit brands Hennessy V.S and Hendricks Gin.

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The Uptown Battle of the Bars is presented by Harlem Park to Park, a community improvement association in Central Harlem, and produced by Good Ice Marketing.

Participating bartenders will create signature original cocktails using their choice of ingredients, along with the featured spirits. Cocktails will be available to sample on Monday, May 5 and Monday, May 12th, between 6-10 pm at a special $8 discounted price. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote online from May 5 through the 15th at Instagram @UptownBattle for their favorite cocktail.

The bartenders from the top 12 bars with the highest votes will advance to compete for the title of Best Uptown Bartender at a showdown VIP finale event on May 19, from 6-10 pm, at Harlem Tavern on Frederick Douglas Blvd at 116th Street. At the final showdown, industry and celebrity judges, along with the audience, will taste creations by the mixologists featuring Hennessy V.S and Hendricks Gin.

The Showdown Finale includes 3 rounds of competition. In the first round the bartenders will have 10 minutes to create a cocktail using Hennessy V.S. For the second round, first round finalists will compete to create cocktails using Hendricks Gin. For the last round, the final 2 bartenders, with the assistance of fellow competitors, will use surprise secret ingredients — á la “Chopped” — to create original cocktails, using either of the 2 spirits for the winning title. Drinks will be judged on creativity, taste/complexity, originality and their crowd pleasing factor. Music will be provided by Dj Stormin’ Norman of Sundae Sermon.

“Harlem’s nightlife and bar scene has developed tremendously in the complexity and originality of offerings and concepts. From rum-based craft cocktail bars, to craft brew beer gardens and speakeasies, we are able to offer comparable entertainment options to what one has downtown,” said Harlem Park to Park Executive Director, Nikoa Evans-Hendricks.

“We also have an opportunity to highlight the amazing beverage talent that these establishments are attracting throughout the uptown community,” added Karl Franz Williams, founder and CEO of Good Ice Marketing and owner of mixology bar 67 Orange Street. “Harlem and Washington Heights are not only attracting top restaurants, but both neighborhoods are also attracting and grooming amazing beverage talent. This competition will help generate some visibility for this talented group while providing some exciting entertainment for the neighborhood.”

Tickets to the Showdown finale on May 19, at Harlem Tavern cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door and can be purchased at www.uptownbattleofbars.eventbrite.com. Admission includes discounted drink/appetizer specials and original cocktail samples. Harlem Tavern is located at 2153 Frederick Douglas Boulevard and 116th Street.

Event Rundown:

May 5 to 15: Bars from across Harlem and Washington Heights create signature cocktails available to the public for $8. The public can vote for favorite cocktail at Instagram @UptownBattle.

May 19: Top bartenders compete at Harlem Tavern for title of “Best Uptown Bartender.”

Participating Bars
5 and Diamond, 67 Orange Street, 9A Kitchen & Lounge, Billie’s Black, Cantina 1838, Cedric’s, Chocolat Restaurant & Lounge, Corner Social, Cove Lounge, Harlem Food Bar, Harlem Public, Harlem Tavern, Heights Tavern, La Bodega 47 Social Club, La Marina, Lido Harlem, Maison Harlem, Minton’s, Moca Lounge, Red Rooster Harlem, Settepani, Shrine World Music Venue, Silvana, Sylvia’s Restaurant, The Cecil, The Park 112 Restaurant & Lounge, Vinateria Restaurant & Bar, Ya Tenga

A Benefit for The East Harlem Collapse – HARLEM HELPS

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Hosts:  Marcus Samuelsson, David Lauren, Lise Evans, Bevy Smith, Tre’ness Woods-Black, Sidra Smith, Troy White and Karl Franz will all be at this special and important event “Harlem Helps.”

At 7 pm there will be a VIP Cocktail Hour – $350
At 8 pm General Admission will be – $175

Tickets are available on Ginny’s website.

Harlem Helps: A Benefit for the East Harlem Collapse
Wednesday, April 2nd 2014
7PM VIP Cocktail Hour
8PM General Admission

Following the tragic East Harlem explosion at 116th St. / Park Ave on the morning of March 12, 2014, we at Red Rooster Harlem and Ginny’s Supper Club are responding with assistance for our neighbors. We are hosting a fundraiser on the evening of Wednesday April 2 to aid these families and individuals in their hour of need.

Look forward to an evening of food, cocktails, A-List entertainment, and a celebration of the Harlem community. The American Red Cross Greater NY Region has established an East Harlem Fund that will be used to aid the families with daily necessities and resources for recovery. This fund will be the recipient of the proceeds raised.

Special Guests:
Chef Amanda Freitag
Chef Aaron Sanchez
Chef Jonathan Waxman
The Cast of the Broadway Musical Chicago
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars
Jazzmeia Horn

Ginny’s Supper Club
310 Lenox Avenue
New York, NY 10027
(212)421-3821

Society Coffee…One Last Time… (A note from Karl)

When I first moved to my slice of Harlem approx. six (or was it seven?) years ago now, from 110th – 125th on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, there was basically Mama’s (for fast food chicken), Melbas (for what I call classic american soul-food), and Patisserie Des Ambassades (for African inspired fare).  Then came Society which we (and I personally) liked, frequented and promoted.

Which is why I was sad to learn that the venue was closing, effective this past Monday.  And doubly sad that I could not attend closing weekend activities.

I remember many things about Society.  The food, music, atmosphere including innovative DJs and interesting artwork.  But I think what stands out the most is how hard the owner, Karl Franz Williams, worked.  I would always see him at the store, working with staff, talking to customers, evaluating the voice of the customer through sites like Yelp, and walking to and fro between Society and 67 Orange (his other venue) on Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

To the owner of Society I give much respect, and a heartfelt thank you.  As I have told him many times in person each time we’ve run into each other on the street, at a function, in Society or at his other venue 67 Orange, what he did and continues to do in Harlem is no small feat.  It is simply awe-inspiring.  I love entrepreneurs.  Their spirit.  Vision.  Passion.  Their pioneering ways.

I am glad Karl took the risks, has had successes, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.  I’ll be a customer and advocate for life.

I look forward to Karl’s next act.  Get ready for it.

Below is Society’s Farewell Notice.

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Society Coffee…One Last Time… (A note from Karl)

“Dear Loyal Guests,

After seven years of serving the best coffee, red velvet waffles, and shrimp & grits in Harlem, I have made the difficult decision to close Society Coffee on Monday, October 10. A pioneer on Frederick Douglass Blvd, Society has been a true labor of love and a place I’ve called home. Over the years I have shared Society with thousands; I’ve watched people meet each other and fall in love, I’ve watched families begin and grow, deals get done, and business plans get written. I’ve watched college students work, friends hang out, and poets write. I’ve met so many great people who have changed and elevated my life.

Rooted in the richness of the Harlem community and the transformation on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Society Coffee leaves with a sense of pride and appreciation to all our friends who made each day unique and flavorful. Society has served its purpose and has set neighborhood standards for a new generation in historic Harlem. We were always very close and involved with the community and it remains in our hearts. 67 Orange Street will continue to operate and serve great cocktails.

I would like to personally thank you for all your support these past years. To show you our appreciation, I would like to cordially invite you to our closing party Monday, October 10 from 5pm-7pm.

Meanwhile, please come by this weekend and enjoy brunch with us or just say hi. Thanks again for seven great years.

Sincerely,

Karl Franz Williams