Best Thing to Come Out of Harlem’s Gentrification - 2008
Nectar - CLOSED
The little corner of South Harlem between 110th and 125th streets has been in the eye of the luxury-condo storm, with million-dollar one-bedrooms going up practically next-door to the projects. The subsequent disparities in income and skin color make for brittle relationships between new and old residents, and the political storm brought on by the city?s rezoning of 125th Street hasn?t helped, either, with its promise to displace long-time local businesses. Already, an onslaught of new storefronts targeted at the changing demographic has sprouted up. The new kids on the block include a Starbucks, a few tiny boutiques with gigantic prices, and, of course, a million branches of WaMuCitiChaseBankofAmerica. The one new addition that stands out in a pleasant way is a little wine bar called Nectar. It can?t boast any deep Harlem roots?the owners are outsiders who traded in their high-paying finance jobs to start hocking wine?but it has managed to get popular quickly among both long-time residents and new Harlemites. A changing menu of wines, minimal and carefully chosen, makes it easy for the novice wine drinker to pick something?and usually has a few surprises for the expert. And the place is blissfully free from the distraction of flat-screen televisions on every wall. Best of all, it has that vintage Village of Harlem vibe: It?s just plain friendly.