New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is feeling generous this Monday: He has offered to buy dinner for the first 200 people to show up at Sylvia's in Harlem before 7 p.m.
On Monday afternoon, Ochocinco put a feeler out to his nearly 3.3 million followers. Just curious is anybody n NY available 4 dinner tonight? Lets say 100 people? I need to know before I lock down the venue? Free food/drinks, he tweeted.
About an hour and a half later, he tweeted a confirmation. Dinner in NY tonight --> 1st 200 people at Sylvia's Restaurant by 7 pm in Harlem. Leave ya money/credit cards at home. I got you this time.
The offer seems to be genuine, though we worry that the NFL store may have bitten off more than he can chew: In 2011, Ochocinco topped the list of CNBC's Most Influential Athletes In Social Media. In addition to his multimillion direct follower base, his messages are being heavily retweeted. There's no telling how many people will respond to the invitation and rush the legendary soul food establishment.
But Sylvia's owners will certainly appreciate the business.
Until recently, Sylvia's dominated the culinary landscape around 125th street: On any given evening, and especially during the weekly Sunday gospel brunch, diners would be spilling out the door. But in 2010, Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson gave Sylvia's some competition when he opened the more contemporary, upscale southern comfort food establishment Red Rooster Harlem just a few doors down. In March 2011, Red Rooster hosted a $30,000 a plate fundraiser for President Barack Obama.
@SylviasSoulFood chimed in to promote the impromptu dinner event on Twitter: Guess who's coming to dinner... @ochocinco ! We ready for ya & have a special surprise for you & your guests!
Ochocinco has reason to feel flush -- on Monday, TMZ announced that the NFL star and his fiancée Evelyn Lozada inked a lucrative VH1 deal for a reality show that will chronicle the weeks leading up to their wedding. The bride and groom-to-be will each get a reported $300,000 for two months of working on the yet-unnamed show.