New outdoor dining pavilion opens in Harlem with goal to help struggling eateries

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HARLEM, Manhattan — It’s where culture meets design and practicality: a new outdoor dining pavilion in Harlem is aiming to give small business a much-needed boost amid ever-changing state restrictions.

The Renaissance Pavilion, which spans two blocks along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, was unveiled Monday.

Launched by Uber Eats in a partnership with community coalitions Harlem Park to Park and ValInc. PR, the space aims to help Black-owned businesses keep serving customers even on the chilliest winter days.

“We’ve created an exciting dining experience with a public art exhibit that will really give people a reason to come and not just stop by but to stay,” Nikoa Evans of
Harlem Park to Park explained.

Local artists contributed their work that is prominently showcased in dining spaces and in windows along the boulevard.

“We were able to draw from the community to create parklettes and these urban umbrellas where people can come out and dine in and at the same time have a full outdoor exhibit of art,” Valerie Wilson said.

Each dining space not only highlights each business’s own unique personality, but they’re all equipped with heaters.

For Jessica Spaulding and Asha Dixon, co-owners of the Harlem Chocolate Factory, the new space fills a void for longtime customers.

“We knew the community missed being able to come and just like hang out, so now we have somewhere where people could sit and stay warm,” Spaulding said.

The Renaissance Pavilion will be up and running through April and will adapt to guidelines if and when they’re imposed.

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