Alvin Clayton’s love of cooking and entertaining began at an early age. He grew up in Trinidad, influenced by the warmth and hospitality of his grandparents. After college, in between modeling jobs, Alvin worked as a waiter in several Manhattan restaurants. It was during this time that he really fell in love with the liveliness and passion of the restaurant business.

After moving to Los Angeles, Alvin was lucky enough to be introduced to restaurateur Brad Johnson, owner of the famed Roxbury Restaurant. Mr. Johnson invited Alvin to be a partner in his new venture, a contemporary, southern restaurant called Georgia, along with Denzel Washington, Norm Nixon, and Debbie Allen. He also became a partner in Creek Alley, a Los Angeles Caribbean restaurant.

After moving back to New York, Alvin and his family settled in New Rochelle. Throughout his travels, he always dreamed of one day having his own restaurant; a place to call his own. He wanted it to feel as if he was having friends over for a visit, just as his grandparents had entertained their friends when he was a child. In thinking of a concept for cuisine, he knew he wanted to evoke not just one style of food, but a culinary style based on influences that melded harmoniously.

Alvin loved the diversity of the New Rochelle community and knew that it was the perfect place to live my dream and open Alvin & Friends Restaurant. He feels blessed to have met so many wonderful people since moving to New Rochelle eleven years ago, and he is so grateful for the support he’s received in this venture.

Described by The New York Times as “a darling of downtown New Rochelle,” Alvin & Friends– selected by Westchester Magazine for its roundup of the “Best of Westchester” yet again in 2021 — serves contemporary cuisine with Southern and Caribbean flavors. Alvin & Friends – Zagat rated 26 for food, 26 for décor and 26 for service – combines urban sophistication with comfortable elegance: Wooden panels inset with glass windows carve the main room into cozy dining areas, while dramatic iron-and-hemp chandeliers accent the high ceilings and provide a counterpoint to the colorful artwork that covers the walls. Indeed, the dozens of stunning, Matisse-inspired oil paintings — created by owner Alvin Clayton — are part of the restaurant’s signature look.