In the 1980s, my section of Harlem (now more commonly referred to as Hamilton Heights) was full of "mom’n’pop" restaurants and small businesses. These days, gentrification and urban renewal have taken away some of the local fare and substituted it with small cafes, gourmet delis and trendy restaurants. The Grange Bar and Eatery is one of these new up-and-coming eateries.
The Grange is a moderately sized restaurant with wooden tables, exposed brick walls, and a coffee bar. The decor is modern, the ambiance is festive, and the clientele is a mixture of neighborhood locals and City College students and faculty. I love The Grange’s huge windows, which face Amsterdam Avenue and allow you to people watch as you dine.
As my server handed me the menu, she noticed I was staring out the window and asked me if I was waiting for someone; I replied, “I’m just enjoying the view of my old neighborhood.” She said, “Well, welcome back home! I hope you have a good visit back!” The Grange’s servers are always friendly and courteous. I’ve had several wonderful conversations with other servers on previous occasions; someone there knows how to hire excellent wait staff!
As I looked out the window, I saw an old neighbor of mine walking past the window with a coffee cup in his hand, it was from Café One on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and W140th. A few doors down from The Grange, Café One is a trendy spot for City College students to read, write papers, and congregate. What they don’t know is that before these kids had their little cliché café, it was my neighborhood bicycle shop.
When I was ten years old, my father bought my first and only bicycle there. I loved that bike; it let me explore my neighborhood and was the only exercise I enjoyed. He was proud of me for learning to ride without training wheels. I racked my brains trying to remember what happened to it, but I couldn’t remember.
Hunger brought me out of my nostalgia, so I reviewed the dinner menu, which is divided into four sections: Fromiage and Charcuterie (Cheese and Sliced cured meats), Appetizers, Salads, and Entrees. Check out the Grange’s menu at: http://thegrangebarnyc.com/#!/menu/dinner/
Curious to sample the Fish Tacos, Lamb Sliders and the Grilled Cheese sandwich
The Grange Bar and Eatery