A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 09, 2017
Spice Mecca (Kalustyan’s nickname)

Kalustyan’s, located at 123 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, opened in 1944 and has specialized in Indian and Middle Eastern spices and foods. The store was called the “spice mecca in NYC” on Twitter on February 8, 2010. Harlem-based chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson wrote an article titled “Kalustyan’s: New York’s Mecca of Spices” on February 1, 2012.

“Mecca” means center, as Mecca in Saudi Arabia is to the religion of Islam. Kalustyan’s neighborhood has been nicknamed “Curry Hill” (curry + Murray Hill).


Wikipedia: Kalystyan’s
Kalustyan’s is a shop located at 123 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, New York City that originally sold primarily Indian and Middle Eastern spices and foods, and increasingly an extensive selection of culinary products from around the world. Established in 1944 by Kerope Kalustyan, a Turkish-Armenian, it sold Turkish and Middle Eastern spices, dried fruits, nuts, oils and grains, when the neighborhood was largely Armenian. In late 1960s and 1970s, when New York become home to a significant number of Indians, Kalustyan’s expanded itself to cater to the Indian market, while bringing out its own brand of chutney and mango pickles. The “Curry Hill” neighborhood of New York City is partially a result of the presence of Kalustyan’s.

Kalustyan’s
Location
123 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016 USA.
About Us
In 1944, Kalustyan’s opened the specialty food store at its present location, carrying Indian spices and groceries. After his demise, the ownership and management has passed on to MARHABA INTERNATIONAL INC. Kalustyan’s Spices and Sweets is dedicated to bringing you only Quality Products and Exceptional Services. We are excited to offer the ability for customers to shop online at the convenience from their home or office. We believe the online shopping experience will be of the highest quality service to you.

Twitter
Carla Zanoni 👑‏
@carlazanoni
Read about most amazing sounding & looking spice mecca in NYC Kalustyan’s (http://ow.ly/154KF ). Anyone ever been? http://ow.ly/154K9
10:24 AM - 8 Feb 2010

Columbia University Culinary Society
WEEKEND GETAWAYS
OCTOBER 30, 2010 MATT
(...)
1. Kalustyan’s: Located at 29th and Lexington, this unimposing storefront seems like nothing out of the ordinary. However, upon entering this market, one is immediately hit with the smell of spices. (It brings me back to my mom’s spice cabinet back in San Diego.) Browsing down the aisle, there are at least 20 types of beans, 30 types of rice, nuts galore, and salts like no other place in New York. It was absolutely amazing! However, I initially searched out this market for its spices, and I had yet to find them. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a side-room down the stairs. No joke–I actually did a double take. This was the spice room. Surrounded by other food enthusiasts, I had found New York’s spice mecca.

Our Daily Dinner
December 1, 2010
Gone Indian: Spicy Shrimp
George and I love Indian food. Unfortunately, the Indian restaurant in our neighborhood doesn’t measure up to expectations. Although I had vowed not to buy another cookbook, I succumbed to Madhur Jaffrey’s latest opus “At Home with Madhur Jaffrey”. Jaffrey delivers her promise to simplify the use of Indian spices which, to a novice, can be mind blowing. I went to Kalustyan*, the Indian spice mecca on Lexington Ave., and replenished my Indian staples of ground coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper, with cardamom seeds, cinnamon sticks, and ground turmeric which, according to Jaffrey, together form the cornerstone of Indian cooking.

Twitter
Aparna Mukherjee‏
@aparnamuk
Second-to-last customers before close...Moroccan preserved lemons + dark-choccie Marcona almonds at spice Mecca #kalustyans
7:45 PM - 23 Apr 2011

MarcusSumuelsson
Kalustyan’s: New York’s Mecca of Spices
February 01, 2012
(...)
Since 1944, Kalustyan’s has been providing generations of New Yorkers with an array of spices that is hard to match. Originally, the spice shop was home to only Indian spices and groceries, but has since taken the title of an international specialty food and spice shop.

Dough-Eyed Girl
March 6, 2013
Mixed Burfee at Spice Corner
(...)
Curry Hill is home to some of my favorite Indian restaurants in the city, as well as a number of South Asian specialty shops, such as spice mecca Kalustyan’s, corner shops stocking the latest Desi flicks, and Indian clothing boutiques. Admittedly, I spend a lot of time in the area, since it is smack between my office and N.’s apartment.

Twitter
Aarti Virani‏
@aartivirani
#Kalustyan’s. “For everything you didn’t know you ever needed.” @seriouseats peeks inside this spice mecca: http://bit.ly/JdJZkG
10:01 AM - 17 May 2013

Eater
At Kalustyan’s, NYC Chefs Browse Spices and Stay for Lunch
Inside the international food market with more than 10,000 products on offer

by Melanie Dunea Jun 16, 2017, 3:06pm EDT
“This place is catnip for chefs,” chef April Bloomfield says. The smell of spices hits us like a tidal wave. I am tucked like a drafting biker behind April as we enter Kalustyan’s, the Lexington Avenue shop reputed to be “the spice mecca” of New York City. April and I are meeting for a long overdue lunch date and I assume we are first stopping for a few items she may need for one of her NYC restaurants. I am thrilled to be her shadow, because the only time I visited Kalustyan’s, I bought a packet of fennel seed powder and chestnut flour. That was five years ago, and they still lie unopened in my cupboard.

Twitter
Nina Katherina‏
@NinaChasingLife
At Kalustyan’s (known as NYC’s spice mecca), Chefs Browse Spices and Stay for Lunch http://crwd.fr/2ruLqTN
10:04 AM - 20 Jun 2017 from Chicago, IL

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Sunday, July 09, 2017 • Permalink