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Harlem Shake Opens New Location

By Dartunorro Clark | September 1, 2016 8:31am
 Workers scoop Blue Marble ice cream for Harlem Shake's milkshakes.
Workers scoop Blue Marble ice cream for Harlem Shake's milkshakes.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — Harlem Shake’s burgers, milkshakes and old-school flair is migrating east.

The popular Central Harlem diner will open a second location Thursday at 2162 Second Ave., expanding the restaurant’s reach in the neighborhood.

The flagship location opened in 2013 at West 124th Street and Lenox Avenue. Over those three years it has become a staple in the neighborhood because of its cheap eats and upbeat atmosphere.

Jelena Pasic, the restaurant’s owner, said the flagship store’s popularity prompted talk of another Harlem location.

“Even after three years, we continue to be wowed by the warmth and welcome the Harlem community has shown us,” said Pasic.

“The people of Harlem inspire us in everything we do and we are thrilled to be able to open a new Harlem Shake in East Harlem and contribute to the community and culture there.”

The restaurant is known for its décor celebrating both pop culture and Harlem’s style, with a “Wall of Fame” featuring autographed headshots of some of the stars whose work has helped make the neighborhood famous.

At the new East Harlem location, the signature burgers and milkshakes will remain but there will be a twist to give homage to El Barrio’s unique culture, the owner said.

The restaurant will continue to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as Sunday brunch.

Some of the menu items include a pulled pernil sandwich with sour orange mojo, refried black beans and chipotle mayo; a frita Cubana, made with seasoned pork and a beef patty topped with shoestring fries; and tostones served with mojo and chipotle dips. 

Drinks include a guava iced tea and a "Poppin’ Parcha" milkshake made with passion fruit.

Daily breakfast includes a “Harlem Hangover,” which is a spicy sweet potato hash with onions, jalapeno peppers and jerk spices topped with a fried egg, and “Shrimp & Sausage Grits,” which is creamy grits with homemade sausage and shellfish butter.

Sunday brunch, will include mimosas and NOTcrackers — a playful take on the illegal fruity, boozy nutcracker drink.

The restaurant will also continue to serve soda, beer and wine.

The décor of the East Harlem location will also include a "Wall of Fro,” which puts a spotlight on Harlem residents with afros “who help make the neighborhood shine,” the owner said.

The restaurant’s bathrooms will feature vintage décor, with one donning more than 160 original comic book covers of Harlem superhero Luke Cage. Other wallpaper will use more than 600 covers of JET Magazine covers.

The main dining area is a throwback to old-school diners with round corner booths, old-school ads and a coin-operated 1962 juke box filled with 45s from artists such as Dinah Washington and K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

Harlem Shake’s East Harlem location is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.