John Seymour is the man behind popular NYC hotspot, Sweet Chick. The successful “chicken-and-waffles” restaurant’s main location on the Lower East Side is where John found himself spending the majority of his time. As his restaurant empire expanded and his team grew, he realized having an actual office was crucial, and he needed one.
Not the typical “office type” however, John had always held most of his meetings in coffee shops. He also regularly entertained dreams of one day actually opening his own. “So it was a no brainer when the space next to Sweet Chick became available,” he says. He’d kill two chicks with one stone and open a cafe… and make it his office.
He teamed up with his Sweet Chick GM, Kyle Martin and within four months they had opened Ludlow Coffee Supply— aptly named after the trendy block it’s on: Ludlow. The space was the former home to the iconic neighborhood bar, Pink Pony, and renovation was quick and easy for the partners who even managed to keep the original bar top.
Now, a year later, the vibe of the cafe is chill and clean with a family atmosphere. And although there’s a plethora of coffee shops in the area these days, John knows what it is that sets them apart from the others. “We differ because it’s not the traditional story,” he explains. “We opened this place to compliment our lifestyle.”
And John’s new office is working. For him, and the rest of the Lower East Side.
Despite his background being in full-service restaurants (he grew up in the industry and has done it all from bussing to bartending) John wanted to treat his little dream of a coffee shop with the same attention to detail that have made his other endeavors so successful. He brought in great people who cultivate creativity and know how to run a bustling cafe. Ludlow serves amazing product, including a local mixed coffee blend roasted in Brooklyn, and a food selection complete with avocado toasts, kale salads and baked eggs with marinara.
Never one to shy away from fun and innovative ideas, Ludlow Coffee Supply used to have a connecting three-chair barber shop in the back of the cafe but have since shut it down… which still, has done nothing to dampen their future dreams of putting a recording studio in the basement.
The people of Ludlow Street can rest assured, John Seymour is going to keep making Ludlow bigger and better. And from fried chicken-and-waffles to barber shops to marinara baked eggs… we have a feeling John’s makeshift office is going to keep getting more fun too.
Lindsay DeLong is the Managing Editor of The Fullest. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media via @lindizzaster.