March 31, 2016


“Riveting”…”Bravo”…”Outstanding talent”
“a collaboration between some greats of African-American culture”
“The dining was as delicious and as delectable as the show itself”

Sugar Ray Robinson

Reginald L. Wilson    

Sugar Ray Robinson revisits his career and legacy in a play staged with dinner at New Harlem Besame Restaurant, located where the boxer’s own bar/restaurant and offices stood during the 50’s and 60’s.

A unique experience which is exciting to those who idolized him and illuminating to those who grew up after his era.

Reginald L. Wilson in performance

New Harlem Besame Restaurant presents a site-specific dinner theater presentation of “Sugar Ray,” a biographical play by Laurence Holder about the life and career of Sugar Ray Robinson, the man who was was, pound for pound, the greatest boxer of all time. The venue is a family-owned restaurant that occupies the location of Sugar Ray’s own bar/restaurant and business offices during the 50’s and 60’s.  AUDELCO winner Reginald L. Wilson plays the boxer. Director is Woodie King Jr., the much-honored Artistic Director of New Federal Theatre.

New Harlem Besane Restaurant

In his 25-year professional career, from 1940 to 1965, Sugar Ray Robinson was boxing history’s first winner of five divisional championships (in the middle weight and welterweight divisions). This “King of Harlem” was renowned for his litheness, his power and his flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring. His career peaked between 1947 and 1950, before the era of TV boxing, so his style and legacy are less preserved today that those of other boxers, including his admirer, Muhammed Ali. This play recaptures Robinson’s life and boxing legacy in a solo show that is exciting to those who idolized him and illuminating to those who grew up after his era.


2070 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (corner 124th Street, central Harlem)
Subway: A, B, C, D to 125th St./St. Nicholas Ave. (Station is 2 blocks East.)
Sundays at 2:00, Mondays and Tuesdays at 7:00 PM
includes show and prix fixe dinner.
(Drinks may be ordered à la carte.)
Box office:; 212-868-4444.
Additional info: 646-261-5397.
Visit the show’s website:
Group sales 646-261-5397.


buy tickets


NEW YORK TIMES (Ken Jaworowski)
“I’ve never formally met Reginald L. Wilson. But if I see him on the street, it will be tough not to give him a bro-hug. Indeed, even though he portrays a hard-hitting fighter in ‘Sugar Ray,’ this friendly actor exudes warmth, and that helps make a fairly good play quite a bit better….The play is primarily anecdotes and casual storytelling, and would be far less successful if done on a traditional stage. But the location here is a character in itself: the New Harlem Besame restaurant, the former site of Robinson’s own restaurant and business offices, on a section of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard that’s been renamed Sugar Ray Robinson Way.…Dinner after the show is included with the $49 ticket price; I’ll do double duty as restaurant critic here and recommend the tilapia with peppers.” more

“Riveting….The strong, sympathetic piece is wisely framed as if in Robinson’s own words and stunningly brought to life by actor Reginald L. Wilson who works the room with grace, energy, charisma, and focus. Director Woodie King, Jr. immerses his audience by having the actor not only come among us, but periodically address attendees with hypnotic in-your-face deliberation. Pacing is pitch perfect. Gestures feel natural, emotions credible….Bravo.” more

BLACK STAR NEWS (Deardre Schuller)
“Via his outstanding talent, actor Reginald L. Wilson, brought the one-man play alive with considerable verve, wit and humor….Both Mariette and I chose to dine on salmon, salad and coconut rice. It was delicious and as delectable as the show itself.” more

“‘Sugar Ray’ the play, not the man, is a collaboration between some greats of African-American culture.  Not only does it bring together again a partnership between such titans of the theater as Laurence Holder and Woodie King, Jr., but it ropes in the new Harlem community in the form of the owners and staff of the New Harlem Besame Restaurant – a family-owned Latin and Carribean-themed restaurant that stands on the spot of Robinson’s old bar and restaurant.” more

“Sugar Ray” was the subject of a segment of WABC-TV’s “Here and Now” with Sandra Bookman on March 20. Coverage includes film of the show and interviews with actor Reginald L. Wilson and director Woodie King Jr. watch


Sugar Ray Robinson
Reginald L. Wilson

Categories: Besame In The News

Guava-Marinated Ribs Make This Harlem Latin Fusion Restaurant Worth a Taste

January 14, 2015


HARLEM — New Harlem Besame, a Latin fusion restaurant  that opened Friday, already has 62 years of history.

On the wall of the dining room at 2070 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. hangs a massive black and white portrait of Clara Francis Rubie, a beautiful young woman with flowers in her hair and the words “est. 1952” printed beside her.

“My grandmother was the matriarch of the family, she was a self-taught cook,” said her grandson Osei Rubie, 44, who opened New Harlem Besame with his father Bernard, 64, Friday.

“We wanted to pay tribute to her.”

The Rubie’s come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Clara Francis’ husband, Dennis, had a restaurant called Dennie’s in San Jose, Costa Rica. Both Bernard and Osei learned about the restaurant industry there.

They’d get home from school and help prep for dinner service. As they grew older they would learn about the business side of the operation, the younger Rubie said.

From Costa Rica, the family moved to Liberia where Bernard started multiple businesses including a restaurant. The family moved to Harlem in the 1980s.

Up to now, the family hasn’t ventured into the restaurant business in Harlem, but with all the new eateries opening up in the neighborhood they felt the time was right.

New Harlem Besame aims to combine Latin and Caribbean flavors with Harlem soul.

“This is a true union of cultures,” Rubie said. “The ribs marinated in guava. Everybody tried them at the soft opening and their minds were blown.”

Appetizers, including home-made guacamole, range between $7 and $10. Entrees, like the ribs and a garlic marinated chicken breast, cost between $14 to $20.

The decor is a mix of West African artwork — a 9-by-20 foot mural carved out of mahogany that tells the story of Liberia — and Latin craftsmanship in the form of a hand carved wooden bar.

It also have a piece of Harlem history. The famed boxer Sugar Ray Robinson owned several businesses on the block including a restaurant, “Sugar Ray’s” at the same location as New Harlem Besame.

Rubie and his father sought out Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard because it hasn’t gotten the same attention that other parts of the neighborhood have.

“What we noticed is restaurant row has been developed in two areas, Lenox Avenue and Fredrick Douglass Boulevard,” he said. “There is nobody hear in terms of casual dining. We are going to add to Harlem and be in the middle of it.”

dna_info By Gustavo Solis on December 22, 2014 11:59am | Updated on December 26, 2014

Categories: Besame In The News

Celebrate New Year with Besame Harlem

January 13, 2015

OSEI2For your New Year’s Eve celebration we recommend checking out the new creation of the father and son team Bernardo Rubie and Osei Rubie, which recently opened in mid December. These seasoned businessmen and Harlem residents felt it would be a major benefit for the community to enliven the corner of 124th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, as opposed to finding a location established restaurant corridor on Lenox or Frederick Douglass Avenue. You heard it here first on Morningsider: Adam Clayton Powell is the place to be in 2015….in 2104 we welcomed both Besame and Ponty Bistro Harlem. And there is more to come.

We digressed, back to New Harlem Besamse…The blended Latin Soul menu truly embodies Afro-Latino cuisine and is designed to showcase the most preferred dishes of Latin countries with a touch of soul. New Harlem Besame boasts a flavor-filled including ribs marinated in guava sauce, chicken breast marinated in garlic sauce, its authentic recipe for guacamole, jerk chicken wings and much more that will leave customers salivating. The drink menu will include iconic Latino drinks. New Harlem Besame will also offer a full assortment of tequila to tantalize the palate while patrons engage in the ambiance and enjoy live music.

Located in the exact location of boxing great and businessman Sugar Ray Robinson’s Harlem Renaissance restaurant and bar ‘Sugar Ray’s’, New Harlem Besame honors this legacy through art. Other visually pleasing works include a unique, hand-crafted mahogany wood piece imported from West Africa that makes the restaurant immediately feel like home!

A family of entrepreneurs, restaurateurs and self-taught cooks precedes this father and son team. The father and Grandfather, Denis Rubie, lovingly known as Don Dennis, owned and operated a hotel and restaurants in Costa Rica. This team will continue the legacy of entrepreneurship through the opening of New Harlem Besame Restaurant. Bernard and Osei Rubie have a commitment to the community of Harlem and will seek to provide jobs to long-time residents of the community.

We wish them the best of success and many besames more.

morning_sider By Morningsider

Categories: Besame In The News