The Midtown Restaurant Sylvia’s of Harlem may be getting evicted from its newly renovated home in the area’s historic Manhattan Casino. The restaurant owes the city more than $60,000 in things like rent, late fees and bounced payments.
The city’s legal department mailed notice to Sylvia’s this week demanding payment in full of the amount owed. To remain in compliance with the city, Sylvia’s must pay up by the 29th of this month. If they fail to do so, the city’s legal department said Thursday they will begin the eviction process.
According to City Council member Jim Kennedy who delivered a report on the council Budget, Finance and Taxation committee last month, the city has tried unsuccessfully to work with Sylvia’s to ensure the famed restaurant could stay in the building.
Kennedy said the Harlem, New York-based parent restaurant has not been as involved in the St. Pete location as the city had hoped. There were also bonds issued for the restaurant to start up. The issuers of those bonds have not stepped up to the plate to make right the money owed the city.
Sylvia’s opened on 22nd Street South in Midtown in November of 2013. It took up residence in the 1920’s dance hall, The Manhattan Casino. Celebrities the likes of James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughn visited the hall.
The original Sylvia’s opened in Harlem in 1962 with famous chef Sylvia Woods. To this day that restaurant is still operated by the Woods family.