This corner of Harlem at 126th and Lenox has always been a vibrant block, but when it came to good times and food, it was all about one place: the legendary Sylvia’s that opened in 1962. I’ve been a customer at Sylvia’s for a long time now, but I was excited when Red Rooster opened up a block away in 2010, and then in 2012 when the bar Corner Social came in just across the street.
Corner Social might not achieve the culinary chops of the other two, but when I just want to kick back or meet some friends for a cocktail or beer, it’s a sweet little spot that will quickly grow on you. They have a short list of well-crafted specialty drinks, a handful of excellent craft beers on tap and a few decent wines by the glass for $ 9 or $ 10.
I’ve tried a few of the gourmet bar bites, and the nights are a good time when it fills up with locals looking for a fun night out. However, my favorite activity here is on the outdoor patio when the sun is shining on a weekend day. Grab a table, order up a round and watch this beautiful neighborhood walk on by.