Wednesday, July 17, 2013



Sofia's Italian restaurant has been in Times Square's Edison Hotel for over 35 years. Now we hear they've lost their lease.

Reader Paul Jeromack passed along this message from his friend Ron's Facebook page:

"Last call to experience the world's greatest, authentic, living 1920s - '30s 'hot-dance Jazz band': Vince Giordano and His Night Hawks at Sofia's. It's the end of an era; leading hopefully to a new one. If I ever encouraged you to go or invited you to join me NOW IS THE TIME! Sad to report that Sofia's is closing in August (they have lost their lease). Mr. Giordano doesn't know for sure if the last performance there will be on Tuesday, August 13th or Tuesday, August 27th."

I've never been to Sofia's, and Lost City Brooks gave the place a terrible review, but it makes me nervous and I'll tell you why.

In 2010, the Edison Hotel denied the Rum House a new lease after 37 years, it changed hands, and was made hipper. And now Sofia's. So what's going on? Is the Edison cleaning house? This makes me worry about the wondrous Cafe Edison, that pink and frothy "Polish Tea Room," one of the last of maybe two oases (Jimmy's Corner being the other) of sanity and goodness and real New York left in the Disneyfied hellhole that Times Square has become.

If they take away Cafe Edison, I may have no choice but to turn to homicide.

It was at the bar in what became Sofia's that Luca Brasi was made to sleep with the fishes in The Godfather.

Mr. Giordano and his Night Hawks are looking for a new venue. If you know of one, please call him at 718-376-3489.


randall said...

Well...hopefully Guy's All American Bar and Grill is going to open another Times Square location.

Anonymous said...

"I've never been to Sofia's" This really should be this blog's Lede for each and every new post. Let's mourn failing business we don't frequent -- by that I mean fail to support economically whatsoever --- all the while castigating the big bad landlords, and by association patrons, who want places to visit that they enjoy. What you seek is a New York as the ultimate wax museum, to be missed in abstentia.

alberti said...

"I've never been"
Completely misses the point. You can substitute just about anything for Sofia's - I've never been to the opera, Coney Island, Off Broadway, Chinatown, a Mets game - you fill in the blank...
The point is this is NYC and diversity (in people and places)is what makes it great

rick mcginnis said...

How much of the amazing bar we glimpse in the Godfather was preserved in Sofia's?

Pat said...

@alberti 9:23am
Absolutely! And while we're at it, there is no such word as "abstentia."

Connor said...

I always thought the Luca Brasi murder scene was shot at the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights?

drmcmahon said...

we go to sofia's all the time to see vince Giordano and the nighthawks. one of a kind band. great food, best Italian outside of little italy. modest cover when big band is there. amazing little venue. will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Sofia's has not been open 35 years--I worked in the Edison in the early 1980's and it was a steakhouse then. Sofia's dates from the late 80's so approximately 25 or so years.
Let me split yet another hair--you don't see Sofia's interior in the Godfather only the exterior hallway outside what is now Sofia's.

Stef Sharpe said...

Sad . It started with McHales, the best dive ever, then The Rum House-what a "loss" and now Sophia's. Wonder what will take their place. It's the old history wafting through the walls and floorboards that I crave. NOT new and not improved. The Edison has been my NYC home for 20 years but if The Cafe ever closes I'm finding a new home!
p.s. Does anyone know if McHales is ever coming back somewhere someday somehow?

william vestal said...

I used to stay at the Edison on trips from Los Angeles-only to hear Vince, of course. Alas, screw the Edison!

Anonymous said...

Sofias was a dirty tourist trap. I agree that the loss of authentic places is a huge loss, but not Sofias. BTW I love the new Rum House. it looks and feels the same, with better drinks.
RIP McHales- they have a new version on 51st street.

Anonymous said...

I loved going to Sofia's do you think they will re open somewhere else in the city?