The owner of an upcoming Harlem burger joint must be hoping that a current YouTube meme has long legs. Jelena Pasic settled on the name Harlem Shake for her restaurant six months ago, well before a series of amateur videos riffing on Brooklyn d.j. Bauer‘s song of the same name went viral, quickly racking up hundreds of millions of views.
The New York Post‘s Steve Cuozzo writes today that the happy coincidence has prompted a big spike in neighborhood interest in the humble eatery, with proprietors telling him they “never [had] in the back of our minds this whole phenomenon.” Ms. Pasic hopes that the enthusiasm lingers when Harlem Shake and its proposed 65-seat sidewalk cafe open in a few months on the corner of Lenox Avenue and 124th Street.
But the craze isn’t the only thing that should bring customers in. Harlem Shake will operate just south of Jeff Sutton‘s 190,000-square-foot retail development, which The Post reports has attracted tenants like American Eagle, Burlington Coat Factory and Whole Foods. There’s also a mall anchored by Marshall’s at 317 Lenox Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets. And a flurry of smaller local retail and dining businesses have recently shot up in the area.
The Commercial Observer yesterday reported that five retail spaces totaling 4,000 square feet are being marketed on Harlem’s southeastern border.