The restaurant business, to state the obvious, is nonstop. So for Sabrina, co-owner of Dimes (the cool-kid, clean-eating café in Manhattan’s Lower East Side), it’s the quiet moments—and the ease of a great jean and a tomboy button-down—that get her through it. We wanted a glimpse into those rare moments outside the restaurant, so we paid her a visit on a Tuesday before she headed over to work. Sabrina’s everyday, in her own words, right over here…
I get dressed in one minute flat: jeans, a button-down, fun shoes and a sweater. Even before I get to work, I’m working, jumping from one task to the next. I make some kefir, play NPR, post an Instagram for Dimes and then answer emails.
I wish my days were less planned, but I do like routine in my style. It hasn’t changed since I started working in restaurants 10 years ago: durable cotton denim and a boxy shirt. It’s the Charlotte Gainsbourg approach: less is more. I don’t have “work shoes” in the way someone might imagine a restauranteur to have. Sometimes I wish I dressed up a bit more, like so many women in New York City do, but my job has always been very physical and hands-on, so it’s really about dressing for that. I love denim jackets, boxy ones that hit above the hip. Just like my jeans, you can just throw them on and not think about it.
I usually allow myself five minutes to meditate every day, just to center my breath. I love cooking—even though my work life keeps me in the kitchen, I still cook for myself. Lately, I’ve been perfecting a beef stew.
My dog Mars keeps me company on the walk to the restaurant in the morning. From there, it’s full-on. I try to escape for a few minutes during the day; I’ll use that time to call my mother, whose strength is an incredible inspiration to me.
My biggest challenge is staying balanced, through work and life. I haven’t had time to figure that part out—I think we’re all searching.
6:30am Alarm goes off and I’m out of bed.
7:00am Answering emails, having breakfast.
8:00am At the restaurant. The focus of Dimes has always been serving simple, seasonal and affordable food.
5:00pm Dinner service is up and running. I’ll take a quick walk home and call my family.
7:15pm If I am not at the restaurant (which I often am), I’ll make plans with friends or cook for myself.
10:30pm It’s hard to find energy to read, but when I do it’s The New Yorker before shutting out the lights.
11:00pm Nothing seems cleaner to me than an all-white bed. No midnight snacking, no phone in bed, no distractions.
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Photography by Angi Welsch.