By Abby Bittner
Downtown St. Augustine is polluted with many breakfast and lunch spots, but a new brunch restaurant on San Marco is a unique hangout.
Looking to bring the community together through food and friends, Sunday is a modern and laid back-spot to do just that.
Misty Lake and her husband, Ed, own the restaurant – he takes on the cooking and she takes care of operations.
While Sunday is a brunch place now, the early ideas for the restaurant were a little different looking.
“We played around with a raw bar or an oyster-type concept, and then we landed on breakfast and lunch because we saw more of a hole in the market for breakfast, lunch and fresh-made sourdough. No one that we know of in St. Augustine specializes in fresh-made sourdough,” Lake said.
Despite some setbacks in the kitchen, Lake knew they would find a way to make a short yet intricate menu possible.
“It’s a very, very small kitchen. We knew we needed to make the menu really concise, which is another reason why at noon we switch from breakfast to lunch,” she said. “We don’t do both at the same time because we can only prep and put out so much at a time.”
Not only does Sunday serve brunch and freshly baked sourdough bread, but also has local artist Jenna Alexander’s studio planted inside, inviting customers to watch and eat.
The atmosphere was always important to the couple, as they wanted to create a space for everyone to enjoy.
“The building is from 1907, and our landlords had come in and redone a lot of it. It was beautiful to begin with, but we really wanted to come in and make it a cool, hip, and laid-back place to enjoy brunch with your friends and family,” Lake said. “Hence the name Sunday, just that feeling of it’s the end of the weekend and you’re with your best people.”
Along with the food, bringing the community together has always been a main function of Sunday in Lake’s mind.
“The intention from the beginning was to create a space and a menu that really caters to locals and students, and make it approachable but cool, and maybe something you’re not seeing in St. Augustine,” Lake said. “We wanted it to be appealing for all demographics, we’ve got an awesome college here in town and we have awesome locals too.”
With spaced out tables and other precautions in place, Lake was aware that opening a restaurant during a pandemic would be different.
“We knew it was going to be really important to be sensitive and aware of what was going on jumping into it. It’s been really well-received given that we’re really busy on the weekends and weekdays are steady,” Lake said. “It’s really nice to be a part of the community and feel like this is where people can come to feel comfortable and safe, but also enjoy a really well-prepared meal.”
Sunday, which opened in March, has been a longtime vision for the couple, even when their chance to act on it came at a tough time.
“It’s been a dream of my husband and I’s for a really long time to do a brick and mortar. When the opportunity arose, we knew we were going to have to make it happen despite COVID and all of these things going on right now,” Lake said.
While most brunch stops close in the afternoon, Sunday keeps the fun going into the evening on Fridays with their Patio Parties.
“We’ve got a projector that we set up outside so people can watch that while they’re eating, and we do drink specials. We’ve had pop-ups in the past, we’ve had a girl who sells vintage and she setup here one night,” Lake said. “We’re trying to go down that path a little bit more now where we’re inviting people who specialize in art, vintage or crafts to do their thing too.”
While not every day can be Sunday, each day is a vision becoming reality for Lake.
“It’s literally living a dream that’s come to fruition, and it’s amazing every day. It’s been so much fun just watching the different people come in and enjoy it, and sincerely be like, ‘That was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time,’” she said. “Amidst the pandemic, it’s been really nice to see people coming together because they’ve been scared. Especially in the beginning, when we were all under quarantine and seeing people who were ready to get out and sit down in a restaurant again and enjoy the experience. That was really neat.”