Rolling Out

Harlem Shake showcases new shakes, looks to increase locations

The restaurant is also committed to giving back to the community
Harlem Shake showcases new shakes, including the celebratory Born Day Bonanza. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out.)
Harlem Shake showcases new shakes, including the celebratory Born Day Bonanza. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out.)

Harlem Shake was founded in 2013 by Jelena Pasic. Harlem-born and raised DarDra Coaxum, who has a rich ancestry in the impactful neighborhood, soon came aboard as a partner. The eatery — which also serves a variety of draft beer and wine in addition to burgers and shakes — began with the first location on 124th and Lenox Avenue in Harlem and has since added two locations, including one in Brooklyn located not far from Brooklyn’s billion-dollar sports and entertainment venue, Barclays Center, and Long Island City. Rolling out spoke exclusively with Coaxum about the new shakes added to the menu, giving back to the Harlem community and their expansion and franchising goals.

“The Born Day Bonanza is a birthday shake that we just wanted to highlight to celebrate our customers on their birthday,” Coaxum said. Some other new additions include Caramel King Swirl and Wild Cherry Eclipse.

“These are just very flavorful shakes that we wanted to add to the menu to remind people why we are named Harlem Shake,” she added. “Harlem Shake goes beyond the dance. … We really wanted to focus on our milkshakes, which are organically made, hand-spun by our employees here — and they are very delicious. We typically like to change them out seasonally, but we do have some new additions that will be on the menu to stay, like our pistachio shake and our mango-flavored shake.”

Of the new shakes, I suspect Born Day Bonanza will be the biggest hit. Complete with sparklers, it seems like an incredible way to celebrate not just birthdays but to commemorate any special occasion.

“If you are following Harlem Shake on Instagram and you’re subscribed to our newsletter, you can get the Born Day Bonanza for free on your birthday — so, if that’s not enticing, I don’t know what is!” Coaxum said. “We’ve always had classics like black and white, vanilla, and chocolate Oreo shakes, but to have something added like mango, pistachio — something that’s rich in flavor and a little bit outside of the norm of what you would typically find in the shake — has been very exciting for our customers.”

Since its opening, Harlem Shake has been committed to giving back to the Harlem community and beyond, something that continues today.

“We’re approaching our 11th anniversary this year, and starting later this spring, we’ll be bringing back around the Miss Harlem Shake contest,” Coaxum shared. “Our current Miss Harlem Shake is in Rwanda, helping single mothers and children. We recently did a fundraiser for her for her birthday.”

Harlem Shake is also collaborating with Figure Skating in Harlem through the end of the month, with a portion of proceeds from all specialty shakes going to the organization.

The Harlem Shake team is also looking to open additional locations.

“We would love to be worldwide, so whether that’s in America or countries outside of the United States franchising, that’s really what’s next for us,” Coaxum said. Harlem Shake franchising is available now.

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