We are writing to raise awareness about an incident that occurred at the restaurant Cedric, located on St. Nicholas between 119th and 120th streets.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, a group of colleagues went to Cedric for dinner. Towards the end of the meal, we were asked to move by Cedric to accommodate a party of four, who were all Caucasian. We graciously gave up our seats, moved to the designated cramped seating by the kitchen, bathroom and front entrance. We continued to spend more money at the restaurant; however, we were confused by our relocation since a few of us were still eating at the time.
When we asked Cedric why we needed to move to a different table, he told us that the party of four had moved into the neighborhood, bought condos and they were “regulars” and he knew them, which is why he felt the need to accommodate them. When we reminded him about our long-standing support of his restaurant, and our overall support in Harlem, he responded, “I do not care about long-time residents of Harlem, I am running a business,” in a very loud and egregious tone. This all took place in front of other patrons and his staff.
A similarly charged incident occurred a few weeks ago when a group of women of color arrived for dinner in the late evening and were told that the kitchen was closed. A few minutes later, a group of Caucasian guests arrived and the kitchen opened up to accommodate them.
Since Saturday’s incident occurred, it has become apparent-based upon the layers of responses we’ve received from others in the community-that unequal treatment, strategic table placement and disproportionate levels of service is a common theme at Cedric. We simply wish to raise awareness about these troubling incidents that occurred in the hope that the trend stops here and now. We felt that it was our duty to provide the information and allow all patrons to draw their own conclusions. We will continue to support our neighborhood restaurants in Harlem.
Editor’s Note: If you have had similar experiences at Cedric or at other local establishments, please e-mail your stories to email@example.com.