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  • Martel Sharpe

Harlem's First Black-owned Craft Beer Bar Celebrates Two Years


Harlem Hops, Harlem's first Black-owned craft beer bar, recently celebrated two years of being open since 2018. The bar is owned by HBCU alumni Kim Harris (Clark Atlanta University), Stacey Lee (Clark Atlanta University) and their partner Kevin Bradford (Hampton University).



Besides craft beer, the bar also sells other alcohol, sports and food.


Harris told The Undefeated, “We want Harlem Hops to be Cheers for a lot of people in the neighborhood. We want it to be the safe haven where you can just come and learn about something different.”


Harlem Hops started with Harris, who said she would travel to Brooklyn to drink beer. She decided that she wanted to create a beer bar in Harlem, so after a failed partnership she met a restaurant consultant who introduced her to Bradford, a Detroit native with the same idea.


Bradford was also a beer lover who had to travel to Brooklyn for a good beer. The two decided to enter a partnership, and eventually brought in Lee, a friend of Harris from college who had experience in entrepreneurship.


During the pandemic, Harlem Hops remained open for take-out and delivery, providing delivered fresh beer, food, and even cocktails in a 20-block radius.



Harlem Hops also delivered food to the housekeeping staff of 75 at Mt. Sinai Morningside Hospital in Harlem.


After opening, the three also started their 501c3 foundation Harlem Hopes, which awards scholarships to local students headed to study at HBCUs.


Students receiving a scholarship from Harlem Hopes must be a graduating senior, have a cumulative unweighted 2.7 GPA, and planning to attend a Historical Black College or University (HBCU).


So far, Harlem Hopes was able to award Jada Harris and Marquise A. Gaywood.

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