Haute Secrets: FREEHOLD Hospitality’s Brice Jones Reveals His Favorite NYC Gems

Brice Jones

Photo Credit: Freehold Hospitality

Brice Jones is a Co-Founder and CEO of FREEHOLD Hospitality. Since its inception in 2014, FREEHOLD has grown into a company of over two-hundred employees with locations ranging from its flagship in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to Wynwood in Miami. FREEHOLD Hospitality also owns and operates concepts including Ciao Ciao and FREEHOLD Rooftop at the POD 39 Hotel. Jones began his career in hospitality at the then newly opened Soho House New York while attending New York University. Graduating with a degree in hospitality management and real estate finance, Jones founded FREEHOLD in Williamsburg Brooklyn in an effort to pursue a hospitality concept for all. Since founding FREEHOLD, Jones has used his previous professional experiences in real estate investment banking and development to position FREEHOLD at the forefront of the hospitality industry.

Jones currently resides between New York and Miami. Inherently, his line of work leads to a mastery in all things hospitality, culinary and lifestyle, so take notes.

Where were you born? Pittsburgh, PA.

How long have you lived in New York? For 20 years, since going to NYU.

In which neighborhood do you currently live? Williamsburg

What is your occupation? Hospitality entrepreneur

Favorite restaurant? Le Crocodile at the Wythe Hotel

Best sushi? Studio 151, without a doubt. Kamui, the chef-owner, is an old friend who not only makes the best omakase around, but does it in a second-floor speakeasy while a DJ spins Brazilian jazz vinyl records.

Best Italian food? It’s hard not to give this to Carbone for their overall experience. However, Frank on 2nd Avenue is probably my go-to on the days when you just need a bowl of red sauce pasta to get you through.

Favorite Steakhouse? Generally, just my grill with a cut from Brooklyn Butcher Marlow & Daughters. If I am with a good group of friends, probably Catch Steak. Their team delivers day in and out.

Best dessert? 4 Charles Prime Rib’s lemon meringue, hands down.

Best spot for a romantic date? The date that really swept my wife off her feet was an opera at the MET (Figaro) into dinner in Crown Heights. It was a lot of travel but after a three-hour opera, conversation was easy and we fell in love to s’mores over lit flame in Olmstead’s backyard on a cool November day.

Best Sunday brunch? Sadelle’s – it has to be Major Food Group’s greatest concept.

Best pizza? L’industria on S 2nd. It’s the best representation of NYC pizza I have tasted. Di Fara’s and Lucali are also favorites.

Best lunch spot? Regina’s Grocery on Orchard Street. I order the ‘Uncle Jimmy’ with extra calabrese or Lure Fishbar in Soho.

Best place for a power business meeting? Zero Bond, with or without martinis.

If you have out-of-town guests, where would you recommend visiting? Central Park. I am still mystified by it years after living here. It brings everything NYC has into one place. You have artists, bohemians, socialites and CEO’s all strolling around. It’s a magnificent melting pot within nature.

Favorite shopping venue/boutique? The new Aimé Leon Dore store is legit awesome. The cafe is pretty good too.

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches? Alan Bedwell of @FoundWell. He’s like a modern Indiana Jones for watches.

Best spa? The Greenwich Hotel Spa, though a great shave on a busy day at Fellow Barber is nearly as great.

Favorite charity event? I’m a huge fan of the annual NYPD – FDNY Annual Hockey game. It’s so amazing to see the community come out for the heroes of NYC.

Favorite cultural event? Bastille Day in Carroll Gardens and Petanque tournament.

Favorite cultural institution? The Beacon Theater. I have seen so many great shows there from Sitting Down, to The Dire Straits, to Gary Clark Jr., or My Morning Jacket blowing the doors off the place. It’s the best.

Favorite gym? The Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards. It’s a hidden gem of NYC for a staycation, but the gym is next-level.

Best massage? N6th Bedford Spa- better than any luxury spa for a $1 per minute.

Best Limo/driving service? Northside Limo.

Best Museum/art exhibit? All the museums of NYC are amazing, but I personally enjoy the intimacy of the Guggenheim. Currently, there is a young Picasso exhibit that is excellent, where even a novice art eye can see his transition of art periods.

Describe your city in three words. Marquee, Hustle, Grit.

Favorite historic place to explore? For me, it’s the turn-of-the-century buildings like the Chrysler or Woolworth Building. Their historic lobbies, antique elevators, cast-iron doors, all hand-built and designed by generations of New York craftsmen for the robber barons of the era. More in nature, the Cloisters Uptown or Olmstead’s Prospect Park are amazing to walk on a nice day.

All-around favorite place in NYC? In a city of luxury brands and huge corporations, the spot that sticks out to me is Moana’s in Alphabet City, where you can always find great live music and a cold stiff drink whenever you need it.

Best aspect of New York? The people. No matter where I am in the world, I always feel NYC the second I get off the plane and see how the people walk, talk, and make the city beat.