‘Queen of Soul Food’ Sylvia Woods Dies

Updated: The Harlem restaurateur was 86 years old. 

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Newscom

“I know I had to make it or else my mama was gonna lose her farm. So I gave it all that I had to give,” Woods once told Nation’s Restaurant News.

Located at 126th St. and Lenox Ave., it was right around the corner from the storied Apollo Theater …

In 2001 the Woods family created the Sylvia and Herbert Woods Scholarship Endowment Foundation, which provides scholarships to Harlem children.

Said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement: “We lost a legend today. For more than 50 years, New Yorkers have enjoyed Sylvia’s and visitors have flocked to Harlem to get a table. In her words, the food was made with ‘a whole lot of love’ and generations of family and friends have come together at what became a New York institution.”

A statement released this evening by the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network group said: “Sylvia’s has been more than a restaurant, it has been a meeting place for Black America. Rev. Al Sharpton has dined at Sylvia’s for decades with everyone from President Obama to Caroline Kennedy.  National Action Network has held our leadership summits there and will continue to do so in honor of the Matriarch of the Woods family, Sylvia Woods.”

Read more at the Daily News.