Iconic Brunch Spot Jack’s Wife Freda To Develop New NYU Expansion

The celebrated South African-Israeli "Grandma" restaurant is coming to University Place.
Photo: Official

One of New York’s hottest SoHo brunch spots is expanding to a brand new neighborhood.

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Jack’s Wife Freda is well known in New York as one of the city’s premiere all-day dining destinations. Known especially well for their famous brunch and cocktail options, Jack’s Wife Freda’s eclectic menu was once described by New York Magazine as “South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine.” The concept was established in SoHo in 2011 by owners Maya and Dean Jankelowitz, two immigrants from Israel and Johannesberg, respectively. Named after Dean’s grandparents – Jack and his wife, Freda – Jack’s Wife Freda set out to bring communities together by serving up the kind of familial comfort food that would have made Freda proud.

Since launching in 2011, Jack’s Wife Freda has since established a reputation as one of the city’s most popular dining spots. Celebrities and locals alike have been known to flock to the space to partake in the restaurant’s unique cuisine and beautiful preservation. Emphasizing dishes that are inspired from Dean and Maya’s childhood in South Africa and Israel, Jack’s Wife Freda has firmly cemented itself as a quintessential New York restaurant, where people from all walks of life sit shoulder to shoulder to share delicious meals with friends, family, and strangers alike.

Today, Jack’s Wife Freda operates multiple locations across Manhattan, including the West Village, Chelsea, and Brooklyn (who’s launch was previously covered by the stalwart reporting team at What Now New York). Now, Dean and Maya are once again gearing up to take their popular Grandma Fusion restaurant concept to a brand new neighborhood. Their latest expansion will see the restaurant opening up at 72 University Place, between East 10th and East 11th Streets, joining the dynamic community of NYU students and locals who find their home between Union Square and Washington Square Park (Go Violets!).

The restaurant’s new outpost will be replacing Blossom, a popular vegan restaurant that served upmarket, plant-based dishes served with wine and cocktails. While Blossom has permanently closed their University Place location, the restaurant still operates multiple locations across the city so fans can rest easy. The location features approximately 1900 square feet of space, and is expected to be able to seat about 68 guests inside at one time. Additionally, there are plans in place to develop and outdoor space that will seat an additional 8 guests and invite customers to enjoy the classic New York tradition of people-watching.

For the menu, you can expect to enjoy the same eclectic delights that SoHo diners have been enjoying for years. Offering breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner all day, gusts will be able to enjoy delicious breakfast dishes like the rosewater waffle and green shakshuka as well as sandwiches like the chicken prego, Jack’s burger, and the duck bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches. Sample entrée dishes include the peri-peri chicken, fish a la plancha, spaghetti and chicken meatballs, and the vegetable curry bowl. The restaurant also offers a robust beverage program with plenty of craft cocktails as well as beer and wine options.

Of course, before moving forward with the expansion, Dean and Maya must first acquire the necessary liquor license from the SLA. They are currently getting ready to meet with the community board and are proposing operating hours of 8:30 AM – 11:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and 8:30 AM – 12:00 AM from Thursday through Saturday. For more information, you can follow Jack’s Wife Freda on Instagram for regular updates on all of the team’s latest developments.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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