Longtime Harlem residents, the Masters sisters look back on opening a cafe that’s become a community hub
Photography by Jean Schwarzwalder
If Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes were alive today, they might be regulars at The Edge in Harlem. The late, great writers attended literary salon parties on the rooftop of the residential building that now has a ground floor restaurant that’s home to The Edge, a Jamaican-British spot owned by sisters Juliet and Justine Masters.
Having opened in 2014, The Edge is a bustling place from first-time restaurant owners and Harlem residents for the past 17 years. The Jamaican-British combination comes from family, since their mother is British and their father is Jamaican. “We realized that we wanted to serve simple and delicious food that we grew up eating,” Juliet says.
Inside, it’s wall-to-wall diners in a cozy, exposed brick space that feels like a friend’s spacious apartment, with blue-stained concrete floors, cushiony booths, and cafe tables dressed with flower-filled vases. Behind the bar, there’s a painting of Langston Hughes and it’s Damian Marley on the sound system during Saturday brunch.