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A New, Ambitious African Food Hall by a James Beard Award-Winning Chef Is Headed to Harlem

Plus, Los Tacos No. 1 opens a new Lafayette Street location — and more intel

A white bowl of grains with plantains and beans is held by a hand
Alkebulan will open in Harlem.

The James Beard Award-winning chef Alexander Smalls, known for backing Harlem hits the Cecil and Minton’s, is eyeing his next neighborhood project.

Alkebulan, which positions itself as the world’s “first African food hall,” will open uptown in Harlem, according to a press release on the project. When it launches, Alkebulan will not only highlight ten food stalls from around the continent, but also feature music and art — a nod to Smalls’ opera singer roots. The NYC food hall is an expansion of an existing project that first opened in October of last year in Dubai as part of an expo held in the city, where, according to the release, it will remain as a permanent outpost. The team is also working on an additional London location. Eater has reached out for information about an opening timeline, location, participating businesses, and whether Smalls will cook there himself.

Los Tacos No. 1 is giving away free tacos today at its new store

The beloved taco chain opens its doors on its fifth location in New York City today. To celebrate, the new outpost at 340 Lafayette Street, near Bleecker Street, will be handing out free tacos from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to co-owner Christian Pineda.

Eric Adams sparks backlash after dismissive comments about food workers

In his first week in office, New York City’s new mayor held a press conference, showing his support for an imminent return-to-work plan. A video from the event is circulating on Twitter, with many criticizing Adams for calling cooks and Dunkin’ Donuts employees “low skill” workers who “don’t have the academic skills to sit in a corner office.”

Several Chinatown businesses forced to vacate ahead of the Manhattan Detention Center’s demolition

Bowery Boogie reports that the city has terminated leases with several Chinatown businesses ahead of the demolition of Manhattan Detention Center — located at 125 White Street, between Baxter and Centre streets — which is slated to be replaced by a controversial, 30-story jail. One of the affected businesses is Bo Ky, a Teochew restaurant related to the Bayard Street original, which opened on Baxter Street in 2019. It is unclear if the restaurant will relocate.