Well’s has a storied history in Harlem. An innovator of chicken and waffles, Ann Well’s opened her Harlem restaurant in 1938.
After serving some of Harlem’s hottest entertainers, who would frequent the restaurant after late nights at The Cotton Club and The Apollo, the restaurant acquired a reputation as the place to see and be seen (with a chicken wing and collard greens.). Wells’ offered inexpensive Southern cooking seven days a week and four nights of live music. The menu included appetizers of buffalo wings, barbecued rib tips, and chicken fingers with honey-mustard sauce; entrees of smothered chicken, braised short ribs of beef and Creole shrimp, and desserts of peach cobbler, sweet potato pie and Mississippi mud cake. Specialties, include chicken and waffles and Louisiana seafood gumbo. Wells’ also offers a jazz brunch on Sundays.
Rumor has it that Harlem gangster Bumpy Johnson was at Well’s Restaurant when he died. The story goes Johnson was in Harlem shortly before 2 a.m., and the waitress had just served him coffee, a chicken leg, and hominy grits, when he keeled over clutching his chest.
Before it closed in 1993, it was ran by Ms. Wells.
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