Sunday Motor Co. Is More Than Just a Cafe, It’s a Brand

by Peter Candia
Sunday Motor Co.

“We try to approach it as a more holistic brand, rather than just a restaurant” says Nick Vorderman, as he looks around the dining room of Sunday Motor Co., his auto-inspired cafe in Madison, NJ. One look at the place, and that statement rings true. Racks of thoughtfully designed merch line the walls, and a green-infused color palette works to define an unmistakable brand identity. Sunday Motor Co. is unlike any cafe I’ve been to in New Jersey—maybe anywhere.

For starters, the cafe is set in an old auto shop. Think sliding garage doors, wide open space—all of it. Until the 1950s, 27 Kings Road was a Mobil station, and the sign from those days sits out front. “I found the Mobil sign underneath another metal sign panel just after signing the lease,” Vorderman tells me. “It was like it was meant to be. We obviously had to save it and lean into the history of the location.” He points to another sign, this time inside the restaurant, that reads: COMPLETE IMPORT CAR SERVICE SINCE 1974. “Our landlord found that in storage, and brought that over to us the day before opening,” he laughs. 

The vintage Mobil sign out front

Then, there’s the hung-up picture of a shattered iPhone, which playfully dons a label reading RAN OVER BY A PORSCHE :(. “True story,” says Vorderman. “We did a little short film around it as well.”

This car theme is much more than just aesthetic—it’s the pulse of Sunday Motor Co. “Cars have always been a part of my life,” says Vorderman. “My family has been in the car world forever. My Grandfather moved here and had the first Mercedes Benz dealership in Indiana,” he continues.

So, when Vorderman was bouncing around New York City, working as a bartender, manager and eventually a beverage director for various nightlife spots, he kept the car angle fresh in the back of his mind. “The car concept was always the plan,” he admits. It was in 2019 when, almost by accident, he stumbled upon a no-longer-running auto shop on the border of Madison and Morristown—the space that is now Sunday Motor Co. 

The exterior of Sunday Motor Co., defined by its past life as an auto shop

The community took an instant liking to the cafe, which infuses each corner of the operation with some kind of homage to the car world. The merch includes racing-inspired branding screenprinted on t-shirts, checkered multi-purpose scarves and even button-front chore jackets that resemble vintage mechanic’s apparel. It’s not uncommon to see regulars wearing the restaurant’s merch, which leans heavily on the fashion-focused side of things. Just like Vorderman dreamt, Sunday Motor Co. is a full-blown brand in addition to a cafe. 

On Sundays, the space transforms into a car show venue, where people from all over NJ bring their worthy automobiles to spend an afternoon mingling with others who share the same hobby. The Sunday Motor Co. parking lot—and the street it sits on—quickly fill with vintage and new-school Porsches alike, Lamborghinis, classic Mercedes and much more. You might even see pop-ups from local businesses such as Bucky’s Pizza or Perla Oyster Bar if you’re lucky. That is to say, Sundays at the shop are an event in and of itself.


Cars and the like are not the only thing Sunday Motor Co. is known for. The thing is, beyond the obvious draw of the operation, Sunday Motor Co. is a damn-good cafe and restaurant on its own, too. It’s thanks to Chef Evan Korunow, who came into the operation in 2023. With it, he brought years of experience in the restaurant industry, including a lengthy stint at the critically-acclaimed and current top restaurant in NJ, Common Lot

The menu sees many of the brunch and cafe staples you’d expect to find, albeit elevated. This can take the form of a toast flight, which allows guests to choose three toasts from the menu to have a taste of. You might go for an all-encompassing combo, like the raspberry jam toast, cucumber salmon and the seasonal heirloom tomato toast. Each one comes thoughtfully layered on toasted bread—the perfect handheld bite. 

Toast flight at Sunday Motor Co.

The raspberry jam toast offers a sweet and seasonally relevant option, loaded with bright raspberry preserves, flaky salt and lemon zest. It’s simple and delicious. In juxtaposition is the cucumber salmon, which dons a more complex outfit. Slices of cured salmon, cream cheese, crisp cucumber and soy-chili dressing top this option. Think the flavors of sushi, deconstructed and perfect for breakfast or lunch. 

“People love the soft scramble,” says Chef Korunow, so how could we pass it up? Think scrambled eggs, done perfectly. Slow-cooked and allowed to just form a curd. These aren’t your typical diner eggs—fluffy and custardy, served with pickled shallot and creme fraiche on top and toasted ciabatta for dipping. 

A well-spiced birria is the star of this egg dish

And the egg-cellence doesn’t stop there. A birria-loaded chilaquiles comes with fresh tortilla chips, crema, shredded beef in a deep chile sauce, cotija cheese and a fried egg. The birria itself is flavored by plenty of dried chile and cinnamon—offering an earthiness that helps to intensify the flavors of the dish.

Or, you could go for something from the other side of the globe: Shakshuka. A red pepper-laced tomato sauce comes topped with fried eggs and dollops of lemon-scented ricotta. Toasted ciabatta points come on the side for dipping. Break the yolk, mix it into the sauce and enjoy. It deviates from a traditional Shakshuka, where the eggs typically get poached in the tomato sauce. Sunday Motor Co.’s version is more deconstructed, but hits the comfortability of the classic all the same. 

Shakshuka with fried eggs and toasted ciabatta

The menu also features a list of creative sandwiches such as the PLT, which brings ripe tomato, pesto, lettuce and creamy stracciatella on fresh, pillowy focaccia bread. It’s a simple sandwich that packs a huge punch. Plus, it’s a great vegetarian option—if that’s your thing. 

The PLT in all its glory

In true cafe fashion, Sunday Motor Co. doesn’t shy away from sweets or coffee options either. At the front of the counter is a case filled with pastries delivered daily from Balthazar Bakery in NYC. Flaky croissants, sweet Kouign Amann, fudge brownies and cinnamon rolls. However, you really shouldn’t pass up the croissant ice cream sandwich, which comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, toasted peanut crumble and a rich chocolate mole drizzle—all sandwiched between a mini, buttery croissant. 

The croissant ice cream sandwich

There’s a similar level of complexity that goes into the coffee and tea side of the operation. Sparkling Americanos (that’s robust espresso and sparkling water over ice), strawberry and rhubarb matcha lattes, cold brew topped with fresh lemonade, iced teas, mint and strawberry lemonade and so on. Sunday Motor Co. is a cafe at its core, and the menu makes that clear as day, but we know it goes way beyond that.

Sunday Motor Co. is a cafe after all…

Whether you strictly go on Sundays to check out the dozens of photo-worthy cars and grab a cup of coffee, or if you head there on a weekday to work from the cafe with a sandwich and a fun drink, Sunday Motor Co. proves that it’s much more than just another cafe. The proof is in the impeccable design, the high-quality apparel and the attention to detail that sets it well apart from the monotony of your typical brunch spot. 

It might seem hyperbolic, but I agree with Volderman wholeheartedly: Sunday Motor Co. is becoming a brand with its limited releases and incredibly focused social media presence. It’s only a matter of time before the masses catch on, and Sunday Motor Co. extends beyond Madison, NJ. When asked whether a second location is in the cards, Volderman smirks, “We’ve been trying since day one to get a second location off the ground,” he says. “We’re pretty close. That’s all I’ll say on that.” 

Clothing racks at the front of the shop

About the Author/s

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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