Alright now, it's dinner time and you want Soul Food. And you look great! Well there's really only two options between 1967 and 2007. It's Sylvia's or Copelands'. And in true Harlem fashion, spreadin love was the way (way before Brooklyn). When Sylvia's started getting bus tours and so many people she couldn't feed them she would call and say: 'Copeland, can you take 20 to 30 people?' and he would say 'Send them on up.' The he is Mr. Calvin Copeland. "He had the idea to bring fine dining to Harlem with table clothes, jacketed waiters and a maitre d' but not downtown cuisine," said his son Vincent. The menu included chitterlings, baked macaroni and cheese, turkey wings, smothered chicken, potato salad and collard greens along with desserts like bread pudding. But, "If you weren't dressed properly, you wouldn't even be seated," said Fred Stanton, a long-time maitre d' at the restaurant. "He insisted upon dress. I had quite a few confrontations." Comedian Richard Pryor was once mobbed at the restaurant, Michael Jackson waited in a limousine outside while his food was delivered to him and Natalie Cole often had pans of bread pudding shipped to her in California. And if you're 'fit wan't up to snuff, grab something to go or sit in the cafeteria next door. It was a more relaxed vibe, and the prices were cheaper.
"He had many offers to move downtown but he was determined to never move that business," said Vincent Copeland. "He said the business needed to be in Harlem because it was about teaching people to reclaim their dignity like he did." What a class act, and certainly can't forget to shout out to Miss Gertrude Clark, one of Copelands' first employees, she made the potato salad...famous.
It's a .99¢ store now.
This rendition of the Afro Luncheonette was commissioned for Sincerely, Harlem by the lovely and talented Jessica of Ana Handmade.
Make a statement in any room with this framed poster, printed on thick, durable, matte paper. The matte black frame that's made from wood from renewable forests adds an extra touch of class
• Alder, semi-hardwood frame
• Black .75” thick frame
• Acrylite front protector
• Hanging hardware included
(Please allow 10-14 days to arrive)