Abdel and Sivan Baron Ouedraogo are building a Harlem empire. The couple first opened The Shrine, a music venue, in 2007. A couple years later they debuted Yatenga, a French bistro and bar, right next door. And now? They’re gearing up to unlock Silvana–an Israeli restaurant, bar, and boutique–at 300 West 116th Street.
“It was kind of inevitable for us to open another place in Harlem,” says Sivan. “We have lived here for so many years and just feel at home here. It was very natural for us to open a place next to where we live.”
Silvana was Sivan’s nickname as a child. The unique bi-level restaurant/boutique combo will feature a restaurant downstairs that will serve a menu of classic Israeli dishes such as falafel and shawarma, spit-roasted meat shaved for serving akin to a gyro. Greg Sanchez is helming the kitchen; Sivan notes that he has been trained by an Israeli chef. Hookah will be available after midnight, and there will be two live acoustic shows each night. In the morning, patrons can stop by to grab Israeli pastries and small sandwiches.
Upstairs, the couple plans to sell organic loose-leaf teas, fair-trade coffee, home decor, and other accessories from around the world. “We are also going to have a lot of vinyl records,” says Sivan. “So everybody can just play them whenever they want. They can buy it or not. It will be a really cool and easygoing environment.”
If all goes according to plan, Silvana should be open within the next two weeks.