67 Richmond St. E.
Ambience: Artist Carl Cassell and DJ Carl Allen have created something unique in a tucked-away space on Richmond Street — a soul food joint that’s as inviting for its delectable dishes as it is for its nightlife appeal. Harlem’s décor and vibe are inspired by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, blending art installations, a mix of R&B, reggae, funk, soul and Motown hits in both the restaurant and the upstairs Renaissance Room lounge, as well as live music throughout the week. The staff is friendly and welcoming, while the enchanting atmosphere turns otherwise brief visits into evening-long stays. Without question, Harlem is a gem of a bar/restaurant in that it does many things very well, combining style and substance in a way any renaissance man (or woman) would appreciate.
Crowd: The clientele is slightly more mature and definitely more refined than your average venue — expect to mingle with intellectuals and artistic types who appreciate Harlem’s thematic complexities. Few who make Harlem their regular hang-out are there to impress, so an amicable night is almost guaranteed.
Dress Code: Harlem is extremely relaxed so don’t feel any pressure to tap into your designer finest to make an appearance.
Will I get lucky?: There’s definitely a chance on weekends.
Should I dance on the bar? Upstairs, maybe, but don’t count on it.
Best reason to pay a visit: The allure of something unique, not the same club or bar experience that so many people endure week in and week out.
Cocktail du jour: The cocktail selection is interesting, the wine list is limited but sufficient, and there’s plenty of beer to keep you satisfied for an entire night. Most opt for either wine or beer and leave the really fancy stuff for another bar and another night.
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Renaissance Room also available for private events.