3612 Broadway, at 149th St.; 212-939-9404
Harlem Public delivers a much-needed bar scene to an underserved stretch of Broadway. The communal vibe is chill enough to bring a book or laptop, but friendly enough to meet your neighbors, and the craft-beer list is always changing; sixteen draft options ($5 to $8) favor small breweries like Monk’s Café, and regional distilleries like Hillrock are well represented. In keeping with the collective spirit, the bar’s partners relied heavily on family and friends for the décor: Slate-blue walls are hung with a grandmother’s collection of mismatched picture frames; there’s a namesake mosaic tiled by one of the owners’ mothers-in-law; and piping lights were made by one co-owner’s childhood friend–slash–electrician. Two restored pews from Central Harlem’s Mt. Moriah church offer a final nod to the neighborhood, along with photos of local landmarks like Maggie’s Garden and the Royal Tenenbaums’ house.