Whether behind the bar or in the weeds during dinner rush, there’s no denying that women are at the helm of hospitality and turning the industry on its head. We’ve been celebrating Women’s History Month oh so correct, so to round out the month we took to the BK and Manhattan streets to present establishments where badass women are leading the charge and showing that the
future present is female. Grab your best girlfriends and reflect on your magic with a visit to these five lady-led spots.
Owned by twin sisters Marva and Myriam, Ode to Babel pays homage to the Brooklyn spots of the ’90s the ladies came to love growing up. Part bar and lounge, part event space, Ode to Babel showcases curated art and magazines on its walls, locally-crafted spirits in its cocktails, and music escaping from old-school records spun by a rotating list of DJs. The icing on the cake? The genuine vibe that makes guests feel like their at a kickback at the coolest apartment in Downtown Brooklyn.
De Maria is a culmination of design, food, music and art led by Grace Lee, a music producer and creative director, and Chef Camille Becerra. From the muted color palette and art gallery-like energy to the seasonal menu, this Nolita hotspot is supported by a female squad of creative collaborators. Even more impressive than the Instagram-worthy cafe eats of restaurant (ahem, Rooster Bowl) is the political statement it embodies: “We inspire, aspire, and live the duality of a fe(male) in areas where we can be of an influence from youth to older generations that see history changing,” says Lee. Touché.
When Yvette Leeper-Bueno conceptualized Vinateria, she placed a strong focus on being warm and as hospitable as possible. This goal still shines through as Leeper-Bueno can often be found at Vinateria’s door, alongside her mother, greeting guests. Blending the global with a hyper-local feel, this contemporary Harlem outpost touts a wine list with labels from boutique winemakers, spirits selections from local producers, fresh herbs from the restaurant’s very own herb garden and pasta made in house.
After running up a large tab (guilty) at a bar in Guatemala, Ivy Mix worked off her outstanding balance behind the bar, ultimately igniting her obsession for Latin American spirits and cocktail craftsmanship. Fast forward to present day, and you’ll find Mix at Leyenda where she’s co-owner and mixologist. With cocktails made with ingredients like mulatto chili, sotol, and aged cachaça, you’ll get to Guatemala — by way of Cobble Hill — in no time.
“It’s like the summer camp we never went to,” says Samantha Safer, and for good reason: Otway, her restaurant, in partnership with chef-partner, Claire Wells, operates six services a week with an all-female kitchen staff of only nine. Cozy up in the Clinton Hill restaurant with a loaf of homemade rye made fresh daily, or a cut of meat from off the menu. From baking to butchering, the ladies of Otway do it all. Who runs this motha? As if we had to ask.
Written by Shanika
Feature image via BK Mag