Maya Jankelowitz of Jacks Wife Freda

Q&A with Maya Jankelowitz

Co-founder of Jack's Wife Freda

Where are you today?
New York City
What do you do for a living?
Own Jack's Wife Freda with my hubby
Why are you doing it?
On some level it was inevitable, given that myself and Dean worked in restaurants pretty much since we were teenagers, but it has now become a place to practice humanity and be good to people (of course feed them), and creating a place for like minded people to feel at home. There's a real sense of community at the restaurant that starts with the staff, the team, the way we work, and it trickles down to our guests
Most prized possession?
My topaz engagement ring from H. Stern 2005
Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Miu Miu plaid coat
Current regulars on the playlist?
Dave Matthews Rodriguez, the Moana soundtrack, the LALA Land soundtrack, Zee Avi, The Kinks, Duophonic, Chilli Peppers, The Cure, Phoenix, Stones, Marley, Sinatra, Billy Joel...sorry I can go on and on about the playlist! We love updating it with nostalgic memories and favorites in general that add to the personal feeling in the's a never ending work in progress
Best gig you've been to?
In the 90's - there is a triangular building on 14th street and 9th Av/ Hudson, where they split, and they used to have a Speak Easy on the top floor with the most amazing Colombian band. I went to see them every week (until it was shut down!) they were called Very Be Careful (, they're still around, hopefully they will come to the restaurant one day.
You invite any 3 people to lunch, living or past, who joins you?
Andy Kaufman, Peter Sellers, Tom Hanks (check Dean's answers!)
Best memory or memories?
Whenever I feel like the best version of myself, good or bad, whenever there's a truthful moment, those are the memories that stay and build me
What are some of your environmentally friendly practices?
We are recycling in the restaurant, educating our kids and ourselves, making small changes under our own roof is challenging enough - I understand the true meaning of 'small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world'. It starts with ourselves. There's no peace in the world without peace in town. No peace in town without peace in the home. No peace in the home without peace in the heart. Go inside
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Wherever I'm meant to be