Jack & Luna’s Café in Stone Ridge is a bright and airy place, contemporary in design, with a staff hired for its friendliness. “It’s a very welcoming place,” says co-owner Julie Bowman. “We have a lot of regular customers that we really enjoy.”
Everything on the menu is made from scratch, she says, except for the bread, delivered daily from Bread Alone. Popular items on the menu include the Luna Tuna and the Roast Beef Panini.
Bowman says that she does a bit of everything at the Café, “like every small business owner,” and she’s proud of having had readers of Hudson Valley Magazine vote her Café’s coffee, sandwiches and soups to be Best in the Hudson Valley. Some of the favorite soups are the butternut squash and curry, cold gazpacho in the summer and corn chowder with crabmeat, served only on the weekends.
One thing is puzzling, though: Given that the owners of Jack & Luna’s Café are husband and wife Chris and Julie Bowman, who are Jack and Luna? “They’re my dogs,” says Julie, “two German shepherds.” There are two sons, too, age 19, but they wouldn’t have liked having the business named after them, she says.
The Bowmans didn’t have a background in restaurants before opening Jack & Luna’s, “but as a Jewish mother,” says Julie, “I was always comfortable around food and making sure everyone is well-fed.”
For 20 years she worked as a designer in New York City for various accessory companies, and Chris is an acoustical contractor – a musician by passion, says Julie, and a builder of recording studios (with an international reputation) by livelihood.
When her sons were younger, and Julie would drive from Kerhonkson to Stone Ridge taking them back and forth to school, she’d find herself wishing that there were a place to stop for lunch along the way. Then, on one of her drives, she noticed a building for sale. “When we finally sold our place in Brooklyn to move up here permanently, we decided to take some of that money and buy this place, with the intention that someday I’d do something with it,” she says.