Closed – Sugar Shack

It is sadly the end of an era. After months of speculation The Sugar Shack has closed it’s doors for good. Tsugarshack.jpghe site of impromptu gatherings, first dates, comedy shows, poetry readings and down and dirty dancing has gone from being The Sugar Shack to Striver’s Cafe and back to The Sugar Shack. In the late ’90s and early ’00 (when it was selected the Village Voice Best of 2000) you could drop into the Shack any night of the week and find something fun going on inside behind the velvet curtain. Whether it was fight night, a live band or a dj spinning the turntables, neighborhood patrons will certainly miss the good memories created at The Sugar Shack over the years.

The Sugar Shack was opened by Odell Holland back in 1998 before the frenzied rebirth of the area. He shared his experience on a site called Real Small Business. The Sugar Shack went from have a polished, artsy crowd to a grittier clientele and eventually no one was coming through the doors. There is now a sign in the window advertising the space is for lease.

Related: Locked & Gated

Past Press: NYTimes ::


8 thoughts on “Closed – Sugar Shack

  1. Wow I am late in realizing that this place is closed. I went there about 4 years ago and it was absolutley fabulous, I enjoyed it immensely. The food was great and the live entertainment was very enjoyable- Neyo Soul music while you eat and enjoy the company of friends in a warm atmosphere. I am so sorry that this place is closed. I thought it was Great!

  2. This is truly sad news. I use to frequent the Sugar Shack quite often from 1998 until 2000. I attended Fordham University with Odell and his brother Mandel. I wish you Odell continued success. I know you’ll land on your feet and launch another successful eatery.

  3. I passed by the Sugar Shack last Saturday night and was shocked to see the for lease sign in the window. I was a promoter at the Sugarshack from late 1999 thru 2000(Rennaisance Thursdays alternative night Uptown), the spot was hot at that time.It was a place where some of Harlems Creative and intellectual Elite would congregate and share that special energy that the Shack held. I have many fond memories of the patrons and Odell. It is definetely a loss, I hope that Odell will open another space, I would definetly like to be a part of any new space. Odell is a good Brother and I wish him and his family continued blessings and prosperity.
    Farewell Sugar Shack

  4. My jazz trio and I played at the Sugar Shack years ago. I remember the place very well. All of us were living in NYC and NJ at that time. It was one of the nicer places Uptown that my trio was playing at in those years.

  5. The Native rumor was a product of Native as a business with a lease & customer base being offered for sale. I can’t find it now however Native was on the market for sale as a business with a website and brokerage, complete with photos, etc. The rumor was Melba was looking at it however it never went any further. However it really (and still may well be) on the market and forsale. People assumed it was going out of business for this reason.

    On a side note it sucks (my last 4 visits) and I’ve been going there since before they had a liquor license.

  6. remember a while back there was a rumor that native was closing. but it’s still running along—anyone know more about that?

  7. wow…i never got a chance to stop by sugar shack. though by anom’s review it sounds like the place was in decline. i suppose i should check Revival real quick before it succumbs to the same fate.

  8. If we’re going to be honest, Odell ran that place terribly. Truth? On a Saturday night at 7pm I brought in a party of 3 people. We ordered a bottle of chardonnay before anything. The place did not have any wine but they told us we could go across the street and buy a bottle and bring it in the restaurant. I kid you not. There were not prepared with wine on a Sat. night at 7pm? They had the liquor license, just no wine.

    Same night, party of 4 people, the waitress gave herself a 15% tip on my bill. The service was “suspect” and I can see giving yourself a tip for a large party…but 4 people? This was in ’99. I paid the bill, wrote Odell a letter, never heard back from him, never spent another penny in his place.

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