Copeland's of Harlem Ashtray$129.00
For almost forty years, Calvin Copeland served up southern treats like sautéed chitterlings, creamy mac-and-cheese or saucy braised oxtail, plus Bayou delights like shrimp etouffee and Louisiana jambalaya. Folks in Harlem put on their finest duds and stopped by for the infamous Gospel Brunch on Sundays. With its smoke-mirrored walls, L-shaped marble bar and carpet the color of honey, Copeland’s was at once cozy and démodé, a place where men in polyester suits and women in hats dine alongside European tourists who come to Harlem to experience American black culture.
Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican archbishop, ate there once, and so did Muhammad Ali and the comedian Richard Pryor, who threw money in the air when he left the restaurant so as to distract the crowd that had surrounded him. Natalie Cole was a regular. Michael Jackson came by once, but did not come in; one of the waiters took a plate of food to his vehicle, which was parked outside.
A favorite of local residents and African-American celebrities, Copeland’s Restaurant on West 145th Street in New York City’s Harlem closed its doors forever in 2007, but we've found an artifact of this legendary “soul food” restaurant, a genuine tabletop ashtray.
Copeland's of Harlem Ashtray
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