Q&A with Sunday in Brooklyn on Community, Tech and More
November 14, 2016
The restaurant making a business out of their ideal day off
Todd Enany and Adam Landsman are seasoned restaurant veterans. After years working for both EMM and Major Food Group on countless restaurant openings, they’ve ventured out on their own with Sunday in Brooklyn, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Teaming up with former Atera chef Jaime Young, the partners hope to create a restaurant that embodies their ideal day off, with unpretentious, delicious food to share with friends.
We had a chance to sit down with Todd and Adam at Sunday in Brooklyn during opening week to talk about the importance of community, technology and what it’s like to get a restaurant off the ground.
Adam and Todd at Sunday in Brooklyn.
Warm Up Questions:
What’s your go to coffee order?
Todd: I will drink iced coffee in a blizzard or 100 degree weather. Iced coffee, black.
Adam: I gave up coffee two years ago because I was drinking like 200 ounces of it a day. We were opening restaurants and it was the only fuel I had. I think I’m going to start drinking coffee again this year because our coffee program is awesome. But right now it’s all green tea.
What was the last thing you cooked at home?
Todd: A nice big steak from The Meat Hook.
Adam: I usually have a lot of people when I cook, so it ends up being everybody cooking a little something. Recently, since Jaime has come into the family, he’s ended up taking over a lot of the cooking. Generally though, it’s something on the grill.
Last supper meal?
Adam: My wife and I are big lobster fans, so it’s probably steamed lobster with butter. Super simple and delicious.
Todd: I think I would be completely guilt ridden and have a huge burger.
What was the last thing you bought online?
Todd: We haven't stopped buying things online. I think it was a paper towel dispenser.
Adam: Smoking chips for the bar, which we use to smoke the sweet vermouth.
Sunday in Brooklyn's wood burning oven.
Both of your backgrounds are in working for restaurant groups. What’s been the most jarring difference between that life and opening your own spot?
Adam: I think we’ll both agree it’s raising money. I thought we had both been through some really hard, challenging openings in the past. But raising money is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
How did Sunday in Brooklyn come together?
Adam: Todd and I worked together for the past 7 years at EMM and Major Food Group. It was opening after opening after opening and we were doing everything, from hiring to the staff to building the infrastructure to making sure everything functioned properly. We realized the last time that if we were going to keep doing it for other people, we might as well try to do it for ourselves. If you asked me a year ago I would have said, “I’ll never open my own restaurant, it’s the dumbest thing you could ever do.” But I think we realized we were pretty good at it, and we found a concept we really believed in. Then one day I ran into Jaime, who I used to work with at Grayz, at the Greenmarket. I told him about our concept and he was like, “I just left Atera because I want to open a restaurant in Brooklyn.” So it was a really serendipitous meeting.
How have you tried to incorporate yourself into the community?
Todd: Everything we’re doing right now is focused on our neighborhood. For example, we’re structuring our reservation program to only take 40 percent reservations and holding the rest for walk-ins. We’re only going to release our reservations 48 hours prior to the day, so that we really allow the neighborhood and passersbys to enjoy what we’re offering.
Milk buns, oyster cream.
How have new technologies played a role in the opening of Sunday in Brooklyn?
Todd: We have been smart to partner with great tech companies along the way, BentoBox being one of them. Others are Toast, which we think is going to be a great POS system, and HotSchedules, which will be helpful for labor.
If you could offer one piece of advice to budding restaurateurs looking to open their first place what would it be?
Todd: I think the big thing is to make sure you have amazing relationships with potential investors and align yourself with people that share your values.
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