New craft beer bar in Harlem draws crowds

- When you walk into Harlem Hops, the owners want you to feel like family.

"It's like, 'Come on in, how ya doing? Have a beer, have some bites,'" co-owner Stacey Lee said. "And, you know, have a great conversation."

The slogan says all you need to know: Beer, Booze, Bites, and Beats. It's all about having an experience.

"The beer nerds know about the beers, so they're coming for the beers," co-owner Kim Harris said. "But the people that aren't familiar with the craft beers, we want to introduce them to something different."

But if beer isn't your thing, no worries. Wine and cider are also on tap and a selection of local liquors is available, too.

With so many options and chill vibe, it is no surprise that since Harlem Hops opened less than two weeks ago, the response from the neighborhood has been overwhelming.

Located on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, Harlem Hops is the first 100 percent black-owned craft beer bar. Co-owners Lee, Harris, and Kevin Bradford said that bringing this bar to Harlem was especially important. In fact, they saw it as a necessity.

"When I was living in Harlem and I started drinking craft beer, I started experimenting and going to different places," Harris said. "But I couldn't find the stuff I really liked outside of Brooklyn and Queens."

Patrons seem to agree and are happy the wait is over.

"It really is like family," Lee said.

This endeavor is about much more than just a bar. It's about community. By next year, these owners hope to have a Harlem Hops scholarship for a graduating high school senior to help inspire a new generation.

Harlem Hops | 2268 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Harlem, NY 10030 | 646/998-3444 | harlemhops.com

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