Jack's Wife Freda
Nothing makes us happier than when we find the sweet spot where community and food meet.
Insert Jack’s Wife Frieda, the most irresistible dining destination with two locations in the heart of the city– SoHo and now the West Village. The fare is American with an enticing Middle–Eastern twist. Not only are their Poached Eggs and Haloumi a dish of our dreams, but we can’t ignore the nice factor of their amazing staff. As soon as you’re greeted at the door you feel like you’ve been crashing brunch here for years.
Husband-and-wife owners Dean and Maya’s warm and hospitable personalities shine through each aspect of the downtown hangouts. From the communal table centered in the middle of the room to the café’s cozy leather banquettes each small detail makes us feel at ease. We can’t forget the food inspired by the couple's respective memories of home.
If you are curious, Frieda and Jack are the names of Dean’s grandparents. This effortless adds to the understated welcome everyone feels here which is undoubtable how Jack’s Wife Frieda has become a neighborhood staple.
Read on for our interview with Maya to find out what she loves about her neighborhood, where to shop local in the West Village and how to create a successful business partnership with loved ones.
50 Carmine Street, New York, NY
Take us through the day of a restaurant owner.
Wake up 6am, check emails from previous night (if haven't checked in the middle of the night), get kids up and ready for school, one of us does kids drop off at school, the other usually starts the day at Lafayette street, checking in with all the staff, servers, chef, kitchen, do a walk through and see what catches our eye, something broken, something missing, speak to our team for the day, huddle up and get prepared mentally and physically for the day, and how we can make it better than the day before. After school drop off, the other one of us goes to carmine and does pretty much the same thing. Then the guests arrive and the work day begins. Its like a party everyday at 9am when we open the doors (or 8:30 am when the guests come and sit for a coffee while they wait for the kitchen to open.)
We love that anytime we visit Jack’s Wife Frieda (at either location) we always feel like we are at a friend’s place. How do you create this phenomena?
Thank you ;) hopefully through hiring and training, building that warm team dynamic. Instilling our core values into each person, that care, love and attention. and hopefully leading by example.
If you could eat one thing from the menu everyday what would it be?
Peri-Peri chicken (and Dean my husband actually eats it every day!)
Ultimate summer cocktail?
we are actually serving our PINK GUZZLER - its tequila, cointreau noir, splash of freshly squeezed lime juice, watermelon, shaken very well, served on the rocks - garnished with a mint leaf
Does community play a role in your restaurants?
Absolutely. hugely, community is our restaurant and what we aspire to. you are us and we are you;)
The Mediterranean influence of your dishes keeps us coming back. How did you arrive at this delicious cuisine for the menu?
Naturally I guess, I am from Israel. It's one of those childhood moments when you think "if I had a restaurant when i grew up, I would have this this and that" - luckily I got my wish, and it's reflected in our food and flavor.
Mixing business and personal relationships can be tricky, do you have any advice for couples or friends looking to start a new endeavor together?
I think that the energy and the effort that you put in your relationship reflects on your work, and that the energy and effort you put in your work should reflect on your relationships.
Your Instagram (or Jackstagram) is one of our favorites! We love the mix of food and fashion from Maya's closet. Since we are all about local, who are some of your independent designers of choice?
I love my friend Winnie Beattie's store around the corner from us in soho WARM –she has the best local designers there and has breakfast with us at Lafayette all the time. My friends Sean & Monica have the label SEA NY and they are amazing people too and so talented. And Jessie Randal who also comes to Jack's Wife Freda all the time has the most brilliant line of shoes and bagsLOEFFLER RANDAL. Just writing this to myself at home, shows me the value of community at in our neighborhood and feel so blessed to be part of it. And don't get me wrong, what makes Jack's Wife Freda even more so, a true local community, is that ALL the types feel welcome and are part of our clientele - its a place for everyone and anyone.