By Della Hasselle
HARLEM — A "groovy" new lounge will open in the basement of Chef Marcus Samuelsson's new Harlem Red Rooster restaurant, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
The lounge is scheduled to open in a little more than a month at 310 Lenox Avenue at 125th St., but specific details about the new space would remain a mystery until closer to the opening, spokeswoman Lucinda East said. However, the lounge was designed in the spirit of the Cotton Club, Zagat reported.
East did make it clear that the bar would not stray far from the stylings of the original Red Rooster, the traditional Harlem speakeasy Samuelsson's restaurant is named after.
"The space downstairs is definitely NOT a nightclub," East wrote in an e-mail. "It’s going to be a lounge bar that offers cocktails, live music, and more. Essentially, it’s going to be a really groovy place to hang out in!"
Located in Central Harlem, Red Rooster has already proven its grooviness with the sheer amount of people who have shown up nightly for the sleek design, traditional American comfort food and homemade bourbon, since it opened Dec. 17.
Top Chef Masters winner Samuelsson, who lives in Harlem, has become a high-profile neighborhood celebrity over the past year, appearing at the July opening of Target in East Harlem, flipping the switch on 125th Street’s holiday lights and appearing on advertisements across the city.
Longtime residents say they hope the chef's latest investment will draw even more visitors — and businesses — to the neighborhood.
"In New York the media has been talking about the Harlem Renaissance and how Uptown and Harlem are now the places to go," 39-year-old resident and writer Gurilla Kinn said. "It's true to some extent, but I think it's pretty marginal. There's not as much as you think."
"If Red Rooster could add more to the vibrant scene, that's great," she added. "It would be nice to keep the same feel to it, so Harlemites don't have to go downtown and they can feel pride in being here."