Photo Credit: Sunday in Soho
Sunday in Soho: The Black-Owned Restaurant Bringing NYC To Paris
When Alieu Terry and his wife Isa moved to Paris, France for work in November 2015, opening Sunday in Soho was not part of the plan. But as the couple found themselves eating out every day, thanks to their kitchen-less temporary digs, they started longing for the comforts of their Soho, New York lifestyle where friends would drop by their apartment on Sundays to share a meal.
“Those included going to your corner deli in New York,” Terry shared with Travel Noire, “where you can get a bacon egg and cheese sandwich or going into a salad shop where they can actually build your own bowl with great quality proteins, in-season vegetables, and things that will make you feel good, but also tastes great.”
According to Terry, they saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market and started doing their research. In the late Spring to Early Summer of 2018, Sunday in Soho opened its doors to the public. Although it is now one of the hottest brunch spots in Paris, it originally functioned strictly as a lunch establishment where busy workers could get a convenient, healthy lunch — something which Terry found was lacking.
“We were open only Monday through Friday. Our location is in a pretty busy work district, and we serve healthy bowls. We were always busy from day one for these bowls because it was a nice fresh option versus what was available in the neighborhood. And then we figured, why not give a go at brunch? When we started brunch, we were actually not busy at all because as I mentioned, we were in an office district. So people were like, ‘oh, you’re never going to get people to come out for your brunch because no one wants to go into that area for the weekend.'”
But social media is a powerful tool, and the couple ramped up their presence on Instagram, a platform that is tailor-made for curating drool-worthy food photography.
Now, Sunday in Soho is a favorite with the brunch crowd craving sweet and savory pancake stacks as well as those who simply desire an American-style gourmet sandwich for lunch. The restaurant is drawing rave reviews online from locals, despite not having a baguette or crêpe in sight on the menu.
“For us, making pancakes, making chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and donuts — that’s native to us,” explained Terry. “That’s what we grew up with. And so we felt that we had a competitive edge on that. I think culturally, they[Parisians] love sweets, and so they’re very receptive to it. We’ve continued to innovate, producing some fun and interesting pastries and desserts, and our clients are really appreciating it.”
If you’re looking for a starting point in the sea of delectable dishes, Terry suggests a personal favorite: the Sailor Man. The crispy chicken sandwich served on brioche bread with homemade aioli sauce, hash browns, bacon, cheddar, and arugula was aptly named after the popular American cartoon character and the fried chicken restaurant chain.
“I would literally put our sandwich up against Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich any day. And I think we would win.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, the couple moved from France to Isa’s native Montréal but continue to operate remotely. In January of this year they launched a health and wellness brand called Bespoke by Sunday offering ready-made meals, functional cleanses, and health-related products. But Terry is not ruling out more Sunday in Soho spots.
“In the future, we might build more restaurants. We love what we do and we see some opportunities in certain places, but right now we’re focusing on the problems that we have in front of us.”
Follow Sunday in Soho on Instagram.