After departing Harlem’s the Cecil and Minton’s, the James Beard–nominated chef J.J. Johnson was left without a professional kitchen to call his own. He nevertheless published a cookbook, Between Harlem and Heaven, and began actively laying the groundwork for his next project. Those plans will come to fruition today when Johnson reopens Henry, inside the Life Hotel, with an exciting menu that promises to be unlike anything else in the neighborhood.

“I said the only way I’d do it is if I cook my food,” Johnson says. “It has to be my food, my music, J.J. neon lights. The full J.J. experience.”

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