From national chains looking to make their first move in Harlem to local businesses opening their next neighborhood joint, there are quite a few expansions currently underway uptown. From south to north, here are the ones generating the most buzz:
1621 Lexington Avenue at 102nd Street
Everyone's favorite destination for authentic al pastor tacos on East 116th Street is opening a second East Harlem location in about a month. (NB: There's now also an Industry City branch and another coming to Queens.) The new corner spot looks like it will have a lot more seating than the original counter-only address–one awning reads "Tapas & Wine Bar"–so fans should be able to make an evening of it.
1961 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 118th and 119th Streets
Three years after this cozy jungle-themed coffee shop debuted on Amsterdam Avenue near 146th Street in Hamilton Heights, it's expanding some 20 blocks south. Expect an opening in the next few weeks, if all goes according to plan.
256 W 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Boulevards
If you want to see what this new Harlem bouldering spot will be all about, you can check out its other locations in Long Island City, Valhalla or even DUMBO. Construction should be finished sometime this summer.
309 West 125th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue
An appliance chain that understands New Yorkers' needs to a tee, P.C. Richard is bound to be a hit when it debuts in Harlem. An employee at another store said to expect doors to open by the end of this month–just in time for air conditioner shopping season.
112 W 125th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard
The brand new building that will house these two popular chains–both owned by L Brands–has been under construction for what seems like forever (its next-door neighbor is the new Whole Foods), but there has been progress: the store signs for both are now up.
72 West 125th Street between Fifth Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard
That was fast. News came out in January that Chipotle was opening in Harlem, and now the store sign is up and they're hiring. (There's also talk of a second location in Washington Heights on 181st Street.)
1 West 125th Street at Fifth Avenue
This über-popular hamburger joint is coming to 125th Street in a space that was last home to an Applebee's.
3820 Broadway at 159th Street
"NYC's premier gay sports bar" has locations in Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea and the Upper East Side. Next up? Washington Heights. The windows are already papered up with the chain's canine mascots.