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Deals and Meals in Harlem

Chez Lucienne at Lenox and 125th.

 Harlem Restaurant & Retail Week benefits students and businesses by Zerline Alvarez                                                                               

Juan Hernandez, a 20-year-old student at CCNY, enjoys spending his free time hanging out with friends and grabbing a bite to eat. “I’m always going to different restaurants and writing reviews on Yelp of the different places I visit.”

Fortunately for Hernandez and other students who enjoy dining, shopping and bargains, there will be plenty of restaurants and some retailers around Harlem offering lunch, dinner, and other services for discounted prices as part of the Harlem Park to Park (HP2P) 4th annual Spring Harlem Restaurant and Retail Week–February 15-28.

According to Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, executive director of HP2P, the event “promotes its retail/service members as well as its restaurant members.” Participating restaurants offer 3-course pre fixe menu options: Lunch is $20.13 and dinner, $30.13. Retailers/Service providers also offer items for a pre fixe price.

Some of the participating restaurants and retailers:

Business owners hope students will take advantage of the deals. “For me, having been a college student and working my way to school, having something like this where I can get a 3-course meal for 20 bucks is great,” says Faith Talley, manager of Harlem Tavern. “It’s just a great way to stay within your budget.”

Hernandez agrees. “If you’ve been around campus, you know that you’d easily spend ten bucks on a small amount of food. Harlem Restaurant and Retail Week makes it affordable for students,” he says.  “It also drives people to visit these places which can bring the community more income.”

Adds Hendricks: “Harlem Restaurant and Retail Week benefits the community by increasing awareness of the broad array of businesses located within the neighborhood, reinforcing the idea that residents no longer have to go downtown for entertainment, dining, shopping, etc.”

“When residents spend locally,” she adds, “businesses thrive and the community develops as the commerce increases.”

In fact, business has been thriving in Harlem, confirms Hendricks. “Businesses report a 10 to 15 percent increase in sales during the promotion,” she says.

“Traffic has increased for the special that has been offered this week,” says Lara Land, owner of Land Yoga.

Other Harlem businesses have also witnessed the positive impact organizations like HP2P have on the community. Scott Siler, owner of Harlem Food and Bar says, “I have had businesses in a lot of neighborhoods in the city and I have to say that HP2P is probably one of the better in terms of outreach and participation.”

Nadine Chevreux, owner of the restaurant Chez Lucienne, says she’s glad to be in Harlem. “Everything is booming,” she says. “Harlem is going to be the place to be.”

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