If you’re looking something fun this weekend, head to Harlem and check out Mark Hanegan’s newly opened Madiba Harlem. South African native Mark Hanegan opened his original restaurant, Madiba, in 1999 in Fort Green Brooklyn. The place quickly became a local favorite for it authentic South African cuisine, festive atmosphere and dedication to community. Now he’s expanded to Harlem with his new place located in MIST (My Image Studios) a catering and event space. Like the original Madiba, the Harlem location is modeled after a South African shebeen, a casual beer and social hall that is the center of cultural life in South African townships. Those of you who saw PlayCo’s Generations got a flavor of the shebeen, a show which Madiba sponsored.
Like the original, Madiba Harlem features South African staples like Durban samoosas, pap and boerewors, ostrich carpaccio and curries, alongside a selection South African wines. Mark also runs the nearby Kalahari Co-Working Lounge and Cafe serving up South African drink specialties as well as more traditional coffeehouse fare. The cafe is open to all and a co-working lounge membership is optional. Both are located in MIST, Harlem’s most unique cultural center, providing a platform for film, music, visual art, poetry, comedy seminars and other live and recorded events.
For more information about Mark and the opening of Madiba Harlem, check out this item in the New York Times.