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On June 9, owners Kevin Bradford, Kim Harris and Stacey Lee officially opened the doors of Harlem Hops to the public, making the establishment the first craft beer bar in Harlem to be 100 percent owned by African-Americans.
“We want Harlem Hops to be Cheers for a lot of people in the neighborhood,” Harris said. “We want it to be the safe haven where you can just come and learn about something different.”
The vision of Harlem Hops began for Harris, a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, nearly five years ago. Born and raised in Harlem, Harris appreciated her neighborhood, but good beer was hard to find. Her quests to drink beer she enjoyed included traveling to Brooklyn to get it.
Their ultimate goal
One of their main goals is to help Black-owned brewers who are having trouble getting distribution.
Harris comments, “There are brewers of color all over the country, and it takes time to get your distribution and things of that nature. So, as they get their distribution into the New York area, then that’s when we’ll be featuring them as well. We’ve been in contact with a lot of brewers and building our own network.”
Not just beer
In addition to beer, the bar also serves food like Crispy Tater Tots, Bavarian Pretzels, Tokyo Chicken Bratwursts, Vegan Bratwurst Style Sausages, Spicy Cheesy Beef and Plantains, Spinach and Cheese Patties, Mango Chicken and Cheese, Seafood Patties, and more.
Their concept is years in the making and a dream come true – a product of years of hard work, collaboration and positive thinking. They comment, “Our mission is to invest in the local Black community, to offer great beers made by us and for us, and expand access and enjoy good times together, our way.”
What other black-owned breweries or or beer locations are there in the country?
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