Word has just come from a rep at the Howard Theatre that Marcus Samuelsson’s New York–based hospitality group, the aptly named Marcus Samuelsson Group, is consulting on the menu for the supper club concept at the restored Howard Theatre on T Street, opening in April. Samuelsson, who owns Harlem’s Red Rooster, among other restaurants, has been a lauded chef among foodies for years, but became a nationally recognized name during his stint on Top Chef Masters.
Samuelsson’s group is currently in the process of hiring an executive chef and designing menus for the project, and will train the staff. A company rep said the food will reflect “Samuelsson’s unique culinary journey” (he is Ethiopian, but was adopted by Swedish parents and grew up in Sweden before moving to the States), but wouldn’t disclose any other dish details, saying the menu was still in its “early stages.” According to press materials, “The theatre will open its doors two hours prior to all seated shows, with first-come, first-serve basis seating. For standing-room-only shows, a streamlined menu will be offered.” Also in the plans: a weekly Sunday brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir.
Operated by the Blue Note Entertainment Group, the Howard Theatre reopens the week of April 9, with an opening gala on the 12th. Booked acts include Taj Mahal, Yasiin Bey (also known as Mos Def), Boyz II Men, Chuck Brown, and the comedienne Wanda Sykes. The theater, a historic landmark, was built in 1910 and has hosted such musical luminaries as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Smokey Robinson. More details to come.