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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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
Hours 5:00 pm to 3:00 am
LA BODEGA 47 SOCIAL CLUB TO OPEN IN HARLEM
The Newest Venture from Uptown Restaurant and Nightlife Impresario
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
La Bodega 47 Social Club is having their soft opening tonight Tuesday, February 11th, at 5 pm. It is open to the public – with limited menu and cocktails for the next two weeks as they settle in.
This location was previously the popular Native a neighborhood favorite which owner Brian Washington-Palmer decided to revamp into more of cocktail lounge. (see Jeff C Mays recent post on La Bodega for DNAinfo New York). La Bodega 47 Social Club will have a special menu of cocktails using 47 rums from all over the world. The “Harlem Roundhouse Punch” cocktail made with Due-North rum will be one of many selections to choose from. Who doesn’t like a good rum drink! Not a lot of info yet on the appetizers other than they are Latin-themed: “lobster corn dogs with spicy mustard and Portuguese fat rice, short rib chili nachos and heirloom tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons to name a few.
Stop in and check it out!
La Bodega 47 Social Club
161 Lenox Avenue
New York, New York 10026
5:00 pm – 3:00 am