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Southold: Sophie’s Rest

Fresh fish sandwich at Sophie’s in Southold

By Donna Giancontieri

The North Fork restaurant scene is full of interesting historical tidbits, but maybe none as colorful as that of Sophie’s Rest in Southold.

Maybe you visited the Southold bar and restaurant years ago and watched then-owner Sophie Furmankiewicz spin a pizza. Or in her later years, fold laundry on the bar’s pool table as she watched game shows on television.

And, maybe you have visited recently and were treated to a fantastic fish sandwich or shrimp tacos—not a surprise, since one of Sophie’s owners is Charlie Manwaring of the Southold Fish Market. When Charlie and Tom Grattan bought the restaurant seven years ago, their goal was to keep it authentic. They succeeded.

The owners renovated the sagging porch and made some other cosmetic and necessary changes. Yet, they retained the authentic neighborhood-bar vibe. At Sophie’s, you will find a classic barroom with faithful regulars, a cozy sunny porch, an off-the-beaten-path location on a country road. And, a generous menu with plenty of options.

The Southold restaurant, in a quaint 1860’s farmhouse on Main Bayview, has always been known as Sophie’s – even when it was officially named the Willowmere Inn. (The actual name now is Sophie’s Rest, but let’s stick to Sophie’s.)

Sophie’s has been a Southold staple for decades. The Furmankiewicz’s bought the bar in the 1960s. Sophie’s famous pizza drew local followers and her charismatic personality kept them coming back. The couple lived on the second floor and ran the first floor business.

Sophie's thin crust pizza
Sophie’s thin-crust pizza

Today, you can still get thin-crust pizzas, along with plenty of seafood, burgers, sandwiches, soups, wings and daily specials. Sophie’s is super casual with limited seating, a friendly bar and plenty of on-site parking.

Sophie’s opens at noon on Saturdays and Sundays and 4pm Monday through Friday. Prime Rib special night is every Tuesday. Call to reserve a table for that popular special.

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