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.
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.
Karl Franz Williams
Posted in Harlem Tagged with: 67 Orange, Karl Franz Williams, Society Cafe
Care of Society Cafe in Harlem
Posted in Harlem Tagged with: Harlem, Society Cafe
Questans, (see HarlemHouse’s previous review), our beloved music- infused seafood restaurant and bar, is undergoing a transformation.
I stopped by today and learned that Questans is transforming into a seafood store where not only can you get fresh seafood to cook at home, but also seafood cooked to order.
This is a welcome addition to Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
Questan’s is located on one of the hottest blocks in Harlem, next to Bier International, Society Cafe, Melbas, Harlem Tavern, the soon to be Londels and butcher shop (both at the Livmor) just to name a few.
We welcome the new addition!
Posted in Harlem Tagged with: bier international, butcher shop, Harlem Tavern, Livmor, Londel's, Melba's, Questans, Seafood, Society Cafe
By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
On June 21, look around in Harlem. You may hear music everywhere. Harlem Park to Park (HP2P) and its HP2P businesses are taking part in Make Music New York, the citywide free live musical celebration on Tuesday, June 21st.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., participating Harlem Park to Park businesses will become impromptu outdoor stages offering live musical performances and some select specials. A complete list of business are listed below.
Posted in Art and Culture, business, Community, Drink, Food, Free!, Harlem, Music, Restaurants Tagged with: 67 Orange, @HarlemHCL, Aloft Hotel, bier international, bikram yoga east harlem, Chez Lucienne, Harlem, Harlem Flo, Harlem Park to Park, HarlemCondoLife.com, Land Yoga, Levain Bakery, Nectar Wine Bar, new york city, Slyvia's Also, Society Cafe, your gateway to harlem
If you have been wondering when Land Yoga will open on Frederick Douglass Blvd., it is happening this week. On June 16th, the will have a soft opening, but not without thinking of others. Land Yoga will be donating $1 for each student who comes to practice to Odanadi, a non-profit which helps fight against Human Trafficking. Society Coffee is joining Land Yoga to raise money for this great cause. So if you’re around this coming Thursday morning, stop by Society Cafe or Land Yoga. They are both located on or near the corner of West 114th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. Om!
Posted in Art and Culture, business, Community, Food, Harlem Tagged with: 2116 Frederick Douglass blvd., Harlem, health and wellness, Land Yoga, Society Cafe
Several Harlemites have $20.11 posted on their Facebook or WeHarlem pages and it’s not a reminder of the current year. It’s locals reminding us through social networks that it is restaurant and retail month right here in Harlem. From April 15 to May 15, select local businesses are offering special deals. If you’re wondering who is participating, see the complete list below.
Last year, I went to Chez Lucienne and enjoyed the meal and deal very much. I wonder where I should dine this year for this occasion?
And a big thanks to Harlem Park to Park, who is once again leading this effort to promote all the wonderful retail businesses we have right here in Harlem.
67 ORANGE STREET 2082 Eighth Avenue
BIER INTERNATIONAL 2099 Eighth Avenue
CHEZ LUCIENNE 308 Lenox Avenue
CHOCOLAT RESTAURANT 2223 Eighth Avenue
GRAN PIATTO D’ORO 1429 Fifth Avenue
LIDO HARLEM 2168 Eighth Avenue
MOCA LOUNGE 2210 Eighth Avenue
NATIVE RESTAURANT 101 W. 118th Street
NECTAR WINE BAR 2235 Eighth Avenue
RED ROOSTER HARLEM 310 Lenox Avenue
RISTORANTE SETTEPANI 196 Lenox Avenue
SOCIETY COFFEE 2104 Eighth Avenue
SYLVIA’S RESTAURANT 328 Lenox Avenue
BIKRAM YOGA EAST HARLEM 4 E. 116th Street
FRANZ JAMES FLORAL BOUTIQUE 2114 Eighth Avenue
HARLEM FLO ATELIER 2292 Eighth Avenue
HARLEM FLO BOUTIQUE 2276 Eighth Avenue
HARLEM VINTAGE 2235 Eighth Avenue
LEVAIN BAKERY 2167 Eighth Avenue
MODSQUAD CYCLES 2119 Eighth Avenue
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Posted in Harlem, Restaurants Tagged with: 67 Orange, bier international, bikram yoga, Chez Lucienne, Chocolat, dining out, Franz James Floral Boutique, Gran Piatto D'Oro, Harlem Flo, Harlem Park to Park, Harlem Vintage, Levain Bakery, Lido Italian Restaurant and Bar, Moca Lounge, Native's Restaurant, Nectar Wine Bar, Red Rooster, ristorante settepani, Shopping, slyvia's, Society Cafe
We’ve frequently posted about Marcus Samuelsson who we recenlty spotted having brunch at Society Cafe on 114th and Frederick Douglass Boulevard a few weeks ago.
Yet another indication of the strip’s emerging Gold Coast status as first coined by HarlemCondoLife and the vibrancy of what the media including the New York Times now refers to as Restaurant Row Harlem.
Posted in Celebrity, Harlem, Restaurants Tagged with: gold coast, harlem restaurant row, marcus samuelsson, Society Cafe
Frederick Douglass Blvd. street sign
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?
Frederick Douglass Blvd. (Circa 2008)
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!
Frederick Douglass Blvd. today
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!
Posted in Drink, Harlem, Real Estate, Restaurants Tagged with: Aloft Hotel, bier international, Billie's Black Bar, Busboys and Poets, Cafe Amrita, Chris Pollok, Cupca, DNAinfo.com, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Gateway Condominium, Harlem, Hgl, Hgl5, Mojo, restaurant row, Society Cafe, The Douglass Condominium, The New York Times
At the corner of 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, a new restaurant is slowly coming to life and our prediction of Frederick Douglass Blvd (between 110th Street and 125th) becoming “the restaurant row” of Harlem is inching its way toward reality. Workers are on site every day hammering and painting away to ensure the new restaurant opens up in June – just in time for the summer season. Its been reported on several blogs that this corner will be the home of a new Italian restaurant, however, what I have not heard definitively is whose behind this new place? Our tipsters say its the owner of Society Cafe and 67 Orange, along with a few quite investors. If you know scoop, tell us!
Posted in Harlem Tagged with: 118th Street, 67 Orange, Central Harlem, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, new restaurant, predictions, Society Cafe
For the last couple of years (let’s say three, which isn’t that long), there have been a number of new cafes, restaurants, and bars that have opened up along Frederick Douglass Blvd between 111th and 119th Street. If our memory serves correctly, first it was Society Cafe Lounge. Soon followed Melba’s. After that we believe it was Zoma, Tribal Spears Gallery and Cafe, Nectar Wine Bar and Cafe 2112. Recently, 67 Orange opened, which we hear their Grand Opening is December 5. And now, Svntn Below, which according to Uptown Flavor is open for business!
We like that all these new places have opened up and are very excited that our community continues to grow in the dining/bar/lounges sector!
To answer the question posed, with about eight new places in less than three years opening HarlemCondoLife predicts FDB is on track to become the restaurant row of Harlem!
If we left out a new business, please tell us!
Posted in Harlem, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants Tagged with: Central Harlem, Frederick Douglass, Hgl, Melba's, Nectar, Real Estate, Society Cafe, Svntn Below, Uptown Flavor, Zoma