In 2004, when Taavo Somer and William Tigertt stumbled upon an unused alley – Freeman Alley – off Bowery, in the Lower East Side, the idea was born and in no time, Freemans Restaurant was launched.
What was the idea? “A rugged clandestine colonial American tavern restaurant, inspired by the Old World tradition”, called Freemans Restaurant – a restaurant inside an alley.
Years ago, when we went there for the first time, we approached this long, weird looking alley. We couldn’t really see what was in it, or even decide if we’d adventure ourselves to walk in. But, of course, curiosity spoke louder and we started heading towards the end.
You’ll find a few great graffiti works on the brick walls along the way. Perfect for that Instagram-photo-moment!
So, at the very, very, very end, we found this beyond charming turquoise blue, wooden door surrounded by countless vases with plants and flowers. There were a few light bulbs lit up, hanging from above that definitely set a mood!
As we walked in, this very polite hostess approaches us immediately and after a few minutes talking to her, and being welcomed, we sit. We were lucky there was practically no waiting time, but is not usually like this.
We do recommend you make a reservation to guarantee a quick table, especially for big parties.
One of the most hidden and secret restaurants in NYC offers a heavy meat-based menu, but the top voted menu item is a hot artichoke with crispy bread. We’re already salivating, lol! Their cuisine is traditional American dishes.
Freemans is one of the top restaurant picks by the crowd that r-e-a-l-l-y knows how to explore New York. You can see one of our Insider Interviews with Natalie Klein (a Bof 500 Nominee), for example!
Last, but definitely not least, their drink menu is also fantastic and they have some amazing cocktails you can try. Some are perfect for lunch, while others will be the right choice for your dinner! If you’re not into cocktails, don’t worry, their wine list is quite extensive.
In conclusion, it is still a “hideaway”, so let’s try to keep it a secret restaurant inside an alley, and just tell this to your closest ones!!!
So, let us know that you thought and do share your experience while entering this little alley! Pretty thrilling, I’d believe.
The news now is that they have a speakeasy bar on the upper floor called Banzarbar. It’s hidden behind an unmarked door! This 20-seat cocktail bar was “inspired by early 20th Century explorers”.
To eat, you can try their 5-course tasting menu paired with low-ABV cocktails. Something quite different when you go to a speakeasy bar. This definitely differentiates them from the other spots.
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11am to 4pm
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday: 10am to 4pm
Afternoon Cocktails & Light Fare: Every Day 4pm to 6pm
Dinner: Every Night: 6pm – 11:30pm
Location: At the end of Freeman Alley, off Rivington Street (between Chrystie and the Bowery, on the Lower East Side
Photo Credits: Alex Bowman, Daina A., Ciara G. and Courtesy of Freemans Restaurant