Thursday, June 11 saw the grand opening of Harlem Shake (@harlemshakenyc, 100 W. 124th St. at Lenox Avenue, www.harlemshakenyc.com), which was sponsored by the Amsterdam News (@NYAmNews), Carol’s Daughter (@carolsdaughter), Uptown (@UPTOWNmagazine), Sundae Sermon (@SundaeSermon) and others. Clouds, rain, heavy rain nor torrential rain kept Harlem celebrities and dignitaries, patrons and guests from coming to celebrate Harlem’s newest eatery. In fact, the weather proved that rain IS good luck!
Musa Jackson Productions created a red-carpet evening complete with said red carpet, stanchions, step-and-repeat wall, a DJ, dynamic servers and stacks of special guests. Thank goodness for the foresight in getting a walled tent in front to allow guests some breathing and elbow room and to protect revelers from the weather.
Harlem’s resident mixmaster DJ Stormin’ Norman (@DJStorminNorman) was holding down the “audibles” while the stylish black-clad servers were doing their best bob-n-weave through the crowd to serve beer and wine. Harlem Shake was passing the new and improved version of their fries (white and yam varieties), cut bite-sized pieces of their classic burger (cheese, onion, pickles, special sauce) and shots of their red velvet ice cream shake.
The hovering, brightly lit menu enticed guests. I was happy to see my suggestion to the owner of a black and white milkshake now on the board. Guests informed me I must try the Hot Mess with pickled cherry pepper-bacon relish and chipotle mayo. Oh, I will … yes, I will!
Guests in the retro-designed space were thankful for the galvanized bucket of hand fans, featuring an image of Miss Harlem Shake, to help ward off catching “the vapors.” In fact, as if just having walked out of the large framed image that lives on the wall of Harlem Shake, Miss Harlem Shake herself was serving ’70s realness as she sauntered through, parting the crowd, with her hot pants, platforms, hoop earrings and afro in tow.
It was a night of celebrities from fashion (designer Rebecca Moses, fashion icon Freddie Leiba, Beyoncé stylist Ty Hunter) to television (BET’s Michaela Angela Davis) to Broadway (producer Stephen Byrd, “The Color Purple” star Natasha Williams) to music (Melisa Morgan, Freddie Jackson) to Harlem royalty (Vy Higginsen).
Owner, founder and managing partner of Harlem Shake Jelena Pasic said of the event, “We were thrilled to receive such a warm welcome to the neighborhood and look forward to serving Harlem for years to come.”
Welcome to the neighborhood! We look forward to Harlem Shake serving the community, too.
Enjoy, get eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc or chat with her on Instant Messenger at AskSCHOP, Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.