Sylvia Woods (pictured), also known as the “Queen of Soul Food,” is dead at 86, the New York Daily News reports.
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The Woods family said in a statement that “Sylvia gallantly battled Alzheimer’s for the past several years, but never once lost her loving smile.”
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Her death comes just as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of “Sylvia’s Restaurant” at the Mayor’s Mansion.
“We lost a legend today,” the mayor said.
News of her death spread quickly and kind words celebrating her legacy soon followed.
“Sylvia’s has been more than a restaurant, it has been a meeting place for black America,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who recalled dining there with everyone from President Obama to Caroline Kennedy.
Located at 126th St. and Lenox Ave., it was right around the corner from the storied Apollo Theater.
The business was a hit and has expanded over the years and now seats up to 450. The family also runs a catering business.
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