They are driven by the belief that East Harlem doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.
“Basically we want everyone to know that good things are happening here in East Harlem,” organizer Raphael Benavides said. “Unfortunately, everything you have about Harlem and East Harlem is negative, when probably there are much more positives than negatives.”
To pay for the Dec. 10 event, the owners are holding a fundraising party Thursday night at the Benavides’ Poets Den Gallery & Theater, on 309 E. 108th St., near Second Ave. Proceeds will also go toward a tree-lighting display at East 106th Street and Third Avenue.
The $45-a-head fundraiser will feature live jazz, film, stand-up comedy, a sangria competition and an auction featuring local artists.
The more money they raise, the more trolleys they’ll be able to hire for the tour, Benavides said.
The annual event, which debuted last year, allows riders to hop on and hop off at each of the restaurants, which will offer free tastings. There will also be a trolley stop at the tree, which will be lit that night.
Participating restaurants include: Ceviche Tapas Bar, SpaHa Café, East Harlem Café, La Marqueta, The Kiosk, Makana, Mustache, Agua Fresca, Amor Cubano, Don Pedro’s, La Corsa, Gran Piatto D’Oro, La Fonda Mexican, Ricardo Steakhouse, Sabor Boriqueno, El Paso Taqueria, Camaradas and FB Lounge.
In the days leading up to the tour, the restaurants will take part in a week-long “holiday restaurant week” featuring $25 tasting menus.