From left, Hailey, Ari, Mariah and Angelica. Photo courtesy of 4 Chick's Cafe.
The front of the newly located 4 Chick's Cafe on Spring Street in Newton. Photo by Laurie Gordon.
The sign in front says it all. Photo by Laurie Gordon
By Laurie Gordon
The age-old quandary poses the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Choosing between chicken and eggs isn't a problem at 4 Chicks Cafe because they specialize in both plus a full menu of enticing exotic and comfort foods. Richard and Ariadne (Ari) Laboy are the owners, and they are a true testament that hard work yields success. What started as a small restaurant on a side street in Newton just moved to a larger, more prominent space right on Spring Street next to The Newton Theatre.
From day one, the Laboys' dedication to the business has been its hallmark. “We started on Moran Street on June 2 in 2015,” Ari Laboy said. “Since that day, the menu has evolved many times to suit what our customers want, and we've worked very hard to build the business.”
The recent move to Spring Street and a more central location was “a no brainer” to the Laboys. “When we saw that the space was available, we jumped at the opportunity,” Laboy said. “It has a full kitchen with a hood and much more space plus a lot more visibility. In the past, people kind of had to know we were there to seek us out on the side street. Now, people who have never heard of us will see our sign and come in.”
The couple hails from Queens, N.Y., where they met and married, but they longed for a country lifestyle and moved to Montague.
“The problem was that we were still commuting,” said Laboy. “There were no jobs out here for us.” The ideal solution was to create their own jobs. Passion for cooking Richard Laboy is no stranger to the kitchen, and his teachers were his grandmother and television chef Rachel Ray. It was this passion for cooking that was the driving force behind opening a cafe.
“Being native New Yorkers, we wanted to bring that kind of atmosphere here,” Ari Laboy said.
Her husband came up with a rough concept for the cafe based on a restaurant in Brooklyn.
4 Chick's was born, named after Ari and the couple's three daughters — Angelica, Mariah and Hailey.
The new cafe, at 214 Spring St. (formerly where Plates was) is as eclectic as the menu featuring an a-la-New-York-City modern flare. The food is what the Laboys call “Hipster brunch,” featuring everything from chicken and waffles to French toast to pancakes to sandwiches and platters to tacos, salads, empanadas, drinks, desserts, sides and daily specials which are advertised via social media.
Speaking of which, that's 4 Chick's Cafe's main form of advertising: social media. “Traditional ads didn't work for us,” Laboy said. “We found our customers are more apt to pick up their phones than a paper these days so we shifted to harnessing Instagram and Facebook to let people know our specials and features.”
Customers appreciate the couple's hard work, and that's what keeps them coming back for more. Sandra Livingston is one of those customers. “I enjoyed 4 Chick's the minute I walked through the door. The atmosphere and positive energy is fantastic. The whole menu made my mouth water. Last time in, I enjoyed the Captain Crunch Chicken and Waffle, and it was awesome.”
Another customer, Mark Paterno, said, “All the food was very fresh and meticulously prepared, and the atmosphere was very nice. Neatly decorated very reminiscent of Greenwich village.”
The Laboys have a couple of employees, but for the most part, they do all of the work and manage to balance the business expertly while parenting their three young ladies. “My eldest, Angelica, is my right hand man,” Laboy said. “She's such a help as is our neighbor."
4 Chick's Cafe is located at 214 Spring St. in Newton and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Look for the addition of diner hours shortly. For take out, call (973) 940-8822' and follow 4 Chick's Cafe on Instagram and Facebook at 4 Chick's Cafe.