Sylvia Woods is the woman responsible for Sylvia’s Restaurant, the famed Harlem soul food eatery where people from all over the world would go to dine. The famed restauranteur died yesterday afternoon in her Mount Vernon, NY home. She was 86 years old.
According to Woods’ granddaughter, the successful businesswoman had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for the past few years.
Sylvia founded the restaurant alongside her childhood sweetheart/husband Herbert, who passed away in 2001.
Sylvia’s Restaurant was often frequented by high profile celebrities and politicians. Rep. Charles Rangel told The Huffington post that the restaurant was “a magical place that brought the community together.” He continued, “Ms. Sylvia created a special place on Lenox and 127th street. Sylvia’s may have been famous nationally and internationally, but its soul has always remained in Harlem. Nothing can replace its founder, but her legacy will live on in the memories she helped make.”
Sylvia stepped down from running the restaurant when she turned 80 and has passed it on to her children and grandchildren who have continued to operate the business with the same pride Sylvia and Herbert did for many years.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sylvia’s family and friends.