NYC’s annual celebration of black-owned restaurants and bars returns
One of the city’s biggest celebrations of black-owned restaurants and bars returns next week with the fourth annual Kwanzaa crawl. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the restaurant and bar crawl this year, which will take place on December 26 starting at 12:30 p.m., with stops at businesses in Harlem and Brooklyn. Among the participating bars are Harlem’s trailblazing Harlem Hops, Bed-Stuy’s Haitian restaurant Grandchamps, and beloved Prospect Heights bar Ode to Babel.
Last year, more than 4,100 attendees generated over $250,000 in business for the 30 restaurants and bars that participated in the crawl. This year the organizers have pledged to give a part of their proceeds to two NYC non-profits: Barbershop Books, an organization that creates reading spaces in barbershops to get more young black boys to read; and Seeds of Fortune, a scholarship program for young women of color.
Kwanzaa Crawl tickets are currently available starting at $40. Crawl-goers start at different locations in Brooklyn and Harlem, and split up into groups to prevent overcrowding, and each group hits up between three to four bars over the course of the day. Crawlers are free to go to any of the participating bars after 10:30 p.m.
Kwanzaa Crawl was started in 2016 by comedian and actress Kerry Coddett and her sister Krystal Stark, in response to the wave of gentrification that was wiping out black-owned restaurants and bars throughout the city. The sisters wanted to be able to celebrate Kwanzaa —a weeklong celebration that honors African heritage in the black community — while also supporting black-owned businesses.
In other news:
— Former teen chef sensation Flynn McGarry is consulting on the kitchen at a new members-only dining club on the Lower East Side called Omar’s. The dining club — and the nightclub below — is the latest by party boy Omar Hernandez, who’s been behind celebrity magnet hotspots Vaucluse and Omar’s La Ranita. McGarry will also continue to manage his nearby restaurant Gem.
— The Post has come out with a list of celebrity-chef approved holiday gifts where people like James Beard Award winning Tony Messina — of Boston’s Uni — and Judy Joo recommend their favorite cookbooks and kitchen gadgets.
— A Greenwich Village soup kitchen is relocating from its 40-year home in the basement of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church to the nearby First Presbyterian Church.
— Brooklyn City Council member Mark Treyger is introducing legislation today calling on the city’s Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to study the possibility of installing green roofs on at least two schools in each school district.
Pro tip: If you say “make it strong” when ordering your drink, the bartender is legally required to give you a bunch of free booze.— Jeffrey Morgenthaler (@jeffmorgen) December 18, 2019
UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that Flynn McGarry is leading up the kitchen at Omar’s. He’s only working in a consulting capacity.