Tag Archives: Austin2Harlem

The evolution of a Harlem bodega

May 31, 2011 @ 7:00
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By Austin2Harlem
Since the beginning of April, one of my favorite Harlem bodegas has been going through a major transformation. It’s the bodega on the corner of West 112th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

I spoke with the owner recently and asked “why all the changes?” He said it was time for a different look and he wanted to keep up with the changing neighborhood. From these photos, which were taken in April and May, you can see the evolution of this Harlem Bodega. One day it was boarded up and then the next thing you see is a big red sign. I like the new appearance and I’m ready for the bodega to reopen.

In addition, the owner said they plan to open in about another week with 24 hour store hours. So if you need an item after hours, this place at 2070 Frederick Douglass Blvd plans to be open!
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Harlem Tavern coming June 2011

Apr 17, 2011 @ 12:40
By Austin2Harlem
I was running errands today (April 17th) and look what I saw!!! I think this sign says it all! Let’s hope they really mean it regarding the June opening date! That would be a perfect time to open the place since temperatures should be just right! Stay tuned Harlemites!

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Warmer weather to come in Harlem?

Mar 12, 2011 @ 10:45
By Austin2Harlem
On Friday, I witnessed a hopeful sign of warmer weather to come…the return of the fruit vendor and ice cream truck together!

CheckSpring Bank to open branch in South Harlem

Aug 1, 2010 @ 17:54
By Austin2Harlem
This past Friday (July 31), I was the first to tell you about the change taking place at 2052 Frederick Douglass Blvd.-that’s where Grand Liquors use to be. I was hoping for a food joint, but now know that will not be the case. I have confirmation that CheckSpring Bank, the Bronx-founded banking company, is moving into that space in Harlem. As a matter a fact, they’re trying to open this Wednesday. The construction crew was working today (August 1) non-stop.
Oh well…so much for my desire to have a Thai food place or diner open up on FDB in Harlem. Maybe someday? I guess the more appropriate thing to say now is “Welcome to the neighborhood, CheckSpring Bank.”

Grand Liquors Inc. in Harlem out, bank or check cashing place in

Jul 29, 2010 @ 17:43
By Austin2Harlem
Coming out of the B/C subway line at 110th Street heading north, I quickly noticed there was construction happening at 2052 Frederick Douglass Blvd., which use to be Grand Liquors Inc. in Harlem. I quickly asked what was going into this space. The first response I received “it’s going to be a bank branch.” Then someone else on site said “it’s going to be a check cashing place.” Darn to both responses. I was hoping for something else, say a diner or Thai food. Wouldn’t that be good to have another food joint on Frederick Douglass Blvd?

Harlem Happy Hours-where to go?

Jul 23, 2010 @ 12:37
By Austin2Harlem
These chalkboard signs shown in this post say it all. There are some good happy hours to check out in Harlem! I found three early evening happy hours and one late in the evening that are very reasonable and worth stopping by!
The first chalkboard is from my favorite hang out Cafe Amrita, which is located near the corner of 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Circle. Their prices for happy hour go as low as $3 for a beer and it lasts until 8 PM.
Second, is a newcomer to the Harlem happy hour scene. 5 and Diamond Harlem has been busy non-stop since it opened in the Spring, but now offer a ‘5 for 5’ drink and menu special. The menu is different. Crispy Pig Ears are available for $5…I kid you not! Go early if you want to experience the ‘5 for 5.’ Five and Diamond’s happy hour is from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. (I hope they change that to 8 PM one day. It’s a bit early.)
Another newcomer to the happy hour scene is Frizzante located at 117th and FDB. Their beer and wine starts at $4 a drink.
And the most interesting happy hour in Harlem is at Mojo on 119th and St. Nicholas. They do a reverse happy hour in Harlem that starts at 10 PM and goes until 1AM. Their signature drinks during happy hour are $6! That is a deal! Plus it’s always happening at Mojo in Harlem!
With all these happy hour options, there is no reason to be home in Harlem. Get out and frequent one of these establishments. Better yet, tell us what you think of these places and any other happy hours you may like!

Cafe Amrita sign board

5 and Diamond sign board

 

Frizzante sign board

Drinks at Mojo's reverse happy

Crowds seen at Harlem’s Frizzante, Good food and design attracts

Jan 19, 2010 @ 10:00

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By HarlemGal and Austin2Harlem
We enjoy dining out in Harlem and this past holiday weekend was no exception. For our Friday night outing, we decided to check out one of the newest food establishments in Harlem, Frizzante Italian Bistro & Bar, located on the corner of 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. Like most Harlemites, we wondered when this place was going to open up. After our visit, we now feel the wait was worth it.

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Let us start off by saying, Frizzante did not disappoint. We walked in around 9 PM and most tables were taken. Our first thought was “are we in Harlem?” Where did all these people come from? We didn’t recognize anyone in the place. It immediately felt like a downtown Italian bistro in Little Italy. The layout of the place is very well done with hanging lights, big wooden tables and a beautiful corner bar showcasing numerous wine bottles.

When we were seated, paper menus were provided with the words “CASH ONLY” on it. As we quickly scanned the menu, the price point diminished the cash only aspect because most items on the menu were below $10. BONUS! We were quite impressed. Now we were thinking, the next bonus will be if the food matches or surpasses its prices. And it did!

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We started off with Antipasto misto: proscuitto, mortadella, soppressata and capocollo served on a nice round white place; and Cuori de carciofo alla Milanese: pan seared artichoke hearts. Both starters were simple, but very tasty. The artichokes were breaded and served with lemon wedges. We sprinkled a little bit of lemon juice on top and the item tasted like you were biting into a meaty artichoke. The cured meat was wonderful as well. We liked the proscuitto and the salami-like meat. Eating the meat with the garnished type red onion gave it a kick.

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For our dinner plates, we had the Lasagne di carne, the meat lasagna, and the Scaloppine di vitello al limone, veal in a white wine and lemon sauce. Both dishes were absolutely delicious! What we were impressed the most by was the meat lasagna. It had no cheese, but it didn’t need it. It was scrumptous without it. The veal was lean and tender. You could cut it with your fork. This dish was served with roasted potatoes, but not that many. The meat was good, but they could have provided just a tad bit more potatoes. Between the two dishes we preferred the meat lasagna. However, you cannot go wrong with either one if you decide you’re in the mood for some veal.

As for dessert, we would have ordered some. After being open for only one day they were not ready to serve dessert or liquor. Frizzante does not have their liquor license yet. Not too worry, they allowed BYOB. We went to the little bodega on the corner of 116th and FDB for some brewski. However, we saw most patrons going to The WineryNectar or Harlem Vintage for a bottle of vino to go along with their dinner. Those establishments had to be happy that night and will be for a while until Frizzante gets their liquor license.

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Overall, we had a wonderful time dining at Frizzante. We saw some discombulation, but it was minor and plus Frizzante has only been open for a few days now. Between the two of us our bill was a total of about $45, not including tip. We were extremely pleased with the food and with the fact that we did not have to venture downtown and pay a ton of money for a nice Italian meal.

Frizzante Italian Bistro & Bar
2168 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
New York, NY 10026-2001
(212) 866-0525