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CARIBBEAT: Harlem's Cove Lounge and Broadway's 'Once on This Island' musical made fruitful Caribbean connection

February 26, 2018

Harlem's Cove Lounge uniting with the Broadway musical production "Once on This Island" is a match made in Manhattan that has its roots in the Caribbean.

 

This week ends the collaboration of special prix fixe dinners, Caribbean-inspired cocktails and ticket promotions. But the popular Caribbean-themed musical and the special island flavor at the Harlem nightspot will carry on long after the current promotion stops.

 

Through Wednesday, the Cove Lounge at 325 Malcolm X Blvd. and W. 126 St. continues to serve up its special dinners of appetizers, entrees and cocktails, featuring menu selections such as island wings, salt cod fritters and mango-infused crab cakes, said owner Alyah Horsford.

 

Discounts for "Once on This Island" ticket holders and other promotions, touted during the Cove's "Caribbean Thursdays" affairs, were part of the lounge's affiliation with the show.

 

With a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, "Once on This Island" is based on the novel "My Love, My Love" by famed Trinidad-born writer Rosa Guy, who died in 2012. The musical, which debuted in 1990-1991, began its run last December.

 

With help from the Walker International Communications Group public relations firm, an exchange took place — cast members from the Broadway show visited the lounge, while chef Harold Breton and Cove general manager Billy Council saw the musical and the promotional collaboration was set up soon after.

Horsford assured regular and prospective patrons that, like the "Once on This Island" musical, her weekly "Caribbean Thursdays," will be continuing. On Thursdays, she is joined by Caribbean co-host Ivo Philbert, from St. John in the U.S. Virgins Islands.

 

Horsford and Breton talked about the establishment's everyday "Caribbean Southern Soul" flavor and the extra special Caribbean flair on Thursdays at the Cove.

"Cove Lounge is open for going on six years now," said Horsford, a Harlem native who put "all" her money and "all" her savings into creating the type of establishment she had envisioned over the years.

"My grandfather is Antiguan and my grandmother was born and raised in the Dominican Republic," said Horsford, explaining the roots of the Cove's fusion concept and Caribbean-focused Thursday affairs.

 

 

 

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