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CARIBBEAT: Cove Lounge and its Caribbean connections

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.

Harlem’s Cove Lounge used its weekly “Caribbean Thursdays” affairs to promote the “Once on This Island” musical on Broadway.

(Cove Lounge )

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.

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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 Benton 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.

Chef Harold Benton (l.) and Cove Lounge owner Alyah Horsford (r.) make "Caribbean Thursdays" special each week, with help from cohost Ivo Philbert, DJ 62 and DJ MoBetta.

Chef Harold Benton (l.) and Cove Lounge owner Alyah Horsford (r.) make “Caribbean Thursdays” special each week, with help from cohost Ivo Philbert, DJ 62 and DJ MoBetta.

(Cove Lounge)

Horsford and Benton talked about the establishment’s everyday “Caribbean Southern Soul” flavor and the extra special Caribbean flair on Thursdays at the Cove.

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“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.

Chef Benton, who has Dominican roots, and Horsford agreed that a combination of authentic cuisine and music make Caribbean Thursdays a memorable experience for patrons.

“You didn’t even need a plane ticket” to get to the Cove, said Benton, letting patrons know that the food, the music and the atmosphere on Thursdays is truly Caribbean, truly special — and very easy to get to.

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Horsford gave loads of credit to the talented Caribbean Thursdays music makers — DJ 62 and DJ MoBetta — for creating authentic Caribbean evenings.

Learn more about the Cove Lounge at www.covelounge.com. For tickets and information about “Once on this Island,” visit www.onceonthisisland.com.


Like its revered late namesake, the Dr. Walter A. Kyte Memorial Foundation — and its upcoming “Cultural Event” — are all about educational opportunities for young people.

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The March 3 event, one of the foundation’s benefit affairs, will be held at the Grace Christian Church, location at 434 Dewitt Ave. (at Malta St.) in Brownsville, Brooklyn, starting at 7 p.m.

The Cultural Event features the music of Denzel White. Donation for the event is $5, which includes participation in a raffle.

Named for the late Walter Kyte, the nonprofit association was started in 2013, the same year the Guyana-born Brooklyn school principal died while on an educational mission to his homeland.

The association increases opportunities for students through social, economic, educational and community based programs and events.

The former principal of P.S. 298 (the Dr. Betty Shabazz School) in Brownsville, Kyte was remembered with a street sign naming the intersection of Watkins St. and Glenmore Ave., outside the public school, Dr. Walter A. Kyte Way.

For information, call (516) 400-9884, send email to [email protected] and visit www.facebook.com/WKMemorialFoundation.


Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island veteran Barrington Burke-Green has been appointed president and CEO of the agency.

Barrington Burke-Green is the new president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island.

Barrington Burke-Green is the new president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island.

Since joining the VNA in 2004, Burke-Green, who was born in Jamaica, has managed the administrative and professional staff of the organization, which promotes the health and wellness of individuals and families through nursing, therapies and related health care services.

“The VNA has earned a reputation for excellence in providing healthcare services with knowledge, skill and compassion,” he said. “As we begin our second century of service, I pledge to do all in my power to honor and continue this legacy.”

A proud graduate of Jamaica’s Kingston College high school, Burke-Green also contributed to the establishment of the pioneering HealthWatch-Lifeline personal emergency response systems.

In addition to his devotion to his career in the health field, he serves as a cabinet member for the Staten Island Economic Development Corp., in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of Staten Island and the Kingston College Old Boys Association.

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