A Harlem mainstay has closed its dining room doors.
Bailey's Deli and Grill owner Stacie Caldwell-Hart closed the restaurant's dining room May 16, just nine months after taking over the restaurant from retiring BG's Deli and Fine Catering owner Cindy Greenwell.
"The dining room is closed, but my kitchen is still open," Caldwell-Hart said, adding that A 2 Harts Catering Co., her longtime catering business, is still operating.
Caldwell-Hart said the restaurant, on Louisville Street in downtown Harlem, was a 24-hour-a-day commitment, which kept her away too much from her husband and three children, ages 12,13 and 23.
"The children are the main (reason)," Caldwell-Hart said. "Just being away from my children. (Before) I was a stay-at-home mother doing catering. There's just no balance at this point. It is a 24-hour deal pretty much."
Caldwell-Hart said she'd initially considered working through the end of May, until her two youngest children started their summer vacation. But her grandmother, who fell and needed emergency surgery May 12, will soon be moving in and Caldwell-Hart's eldest daughter recently was married in Atlanta.
Caldwell-Hart said she'll continue to operate the catering business, which offers her the flexibility to work and spend time with her family.
Members of the Harlem City Council recently passed an ordinance allowing the sale of beer and wine Monday through Thursday inside the city. Caldwell-Hart was instrumental in getting city officials to consider the change.
"I still think it is great," Caldwell-Hart said of the change. "It is a positive change for our city."
Caldwell-Hart said that during the summer she hopes to still offer many menu items for lunchtime delivery. The delivery menu and days will soon be listed on the restaurant's Web site: www.baileysdeliandgrill.com.
Though the restaurant is closed, Caldwell-Hart has not eliminated the possibility for reopening the dining room doors once her children graduate.
"By the time they graduate in about six years, who is to say that the three-year business plan can't go back in place," Caldwell-Hart said. "And I won't have the worriment of feeling like I constantly need to be at home."
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