Alexander Smalls Plans a Food Hall for Harlem. But First, Dubai.

In October, an African food hall, Alkebulan, opened as part of Expo 2020 Dubai. It was created by Alexander Smalls, the Harlem chef, restaurateur and performer, with TGP International, a hospitality management company based in London. Originally the plan was to open Alkebulan first in Harlem but the pandemic interfered and then, as Mr. Smalls put it, “Dubai came calling.” With a name that was once that of the African continent and is said to mean “mother of mankind,” the hall has 11 stands created by Mr. Smalls and run by African chefs and restaurateurs, with West African street food, barbecue, dishes inspired by Zanzibar and East African seafood. The lineup includes Mr. Smalls’s own Shoebox Bakery, Chicken Coop and Sweet Ophelia’s, an Afro-Asian wok bar. The Harlem version is back on track to open next year, and then another Alkebulan is set for London. The partners are looking for a two-story location in Central Harlem with more than 20,000 square feet of space.


Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Next Post

All The Tools You Need For A Perfect Sous Vide

Sous vide (pronounced like “sue veed”) is a French term that translates to “under vacuum” and refers to a cooking technique in which food is cooked slowly in a vacuum-sealed bag that is submerged completely in heated water. This style of cooking allows you to have more control over the […]