One day out of the blue I got an email from Gabriel Stulman — the guy behind a few of New York’s smallest and most loved restaurants (Joseph Leonard, et. al.) — inviting me to lunch sometime. If you have ever been to Joseph Leonard you will understand Gabriel and I share an aesthetic, something that was further established for me the first time we met. That was about a year ago and it was near the beginning of the process of planning Gabriel’s newest spot, Jeffery’s Grocery. The concept is oyster bar meets local grocery meets late night drinks-and-a-sandwich. destination. Eventually, our shared appreciation for vintage American aesthetics led to a series of discussions and meetings over the next several months where Gabriel and I would meet to talk about the look and feel for Jeffrey’s. We discussed everything from the colors of the wood that made up the bar, to the beadboard, the employee uniforms (which are from Levi’s, Gitman Bros. Vintage, Kenton Sorenson Leather, Stanley & Sons and The Hill-Side; more on that here soon) and all of the little design details and layout that goes into making a place unique. I’d even see Gabriel and his fiancé Gina up at Brimfield with all sorts of cool old stuff that was destined for Jeffrey’s. It was obvious early on that Jeffrey’s was going to me my type of place.
More than anything I was a sounding board for Gabriel’s creative process — which was really amazing to be a part of. To get to know Gabriel and see Jeffrey’s Grocery come to life over the past year has been such an interesting experience. Especially since since it is a place I want to eat at, and not just enjoy visually. Gabriel and his Gina are such welcoming and generous people, it is a pleasure to see their vision and hard work become a reality.
[Jeffrey’s Grocery | 172 Waverly Place nr. Christopher | New York City]