Showing posts with label Sophie's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sophie's. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Marking the 16th day that Sophie's has been blocked by oil tankers for Con Ed work

Today marks the 16th day that Con Ed has parked these loud, smelly oil-processing rigs on Fifth Street at Avenue A... belching a pungent smell into the immediate area and completely blocking the front of Sophie's, the longtime bar at 507 E. Fifth St. (and the reason EVG started)...
A bartender said the trucks are "killing" their business.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Saturday's opening shots

Day 8 of Sophie's being obscured by these oil-processing trucks on Fifth Street just east of Avenue A... part of the never-ending transformer work at the Con Ed substation along Avenue A between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. 

The sidewalk also remains closed on the north side of the street (just past Sophie's at No. 507). Con Ed security hires helpfully tell pedestrians to walk in the street.
And Sophie's opens at 3 p.m. daily.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Celebrating the life and spirit of John Crellin, aka 'Architect John'

Photo by Kyle de Vre 
From the book "See You Next Tuesday."
Republished with permission 

Information via the EVG inbox...

John R. Crellin, 75, died peacefully on Nov. 25, 2023.

John spent his childhood in Spencertown, N.Y., and on Queechy Lake in Canaan, N.Y. He earned a history degree from Colgate University (class of 1970) and an architecture degree from Pratt Institute. 

"Architect John" was a devout resident of the East Village. He was on the board of the Howl Festival and enjoyed the local community and culture. He was a regular at Sophie's and enjoyed socializing at The Grafton and St. Dymphna's. 

In earlier years, he delighted in King Tut's Wah Wah Hut at Seventh and A (now Niagara), and he and his wife Wendy (who met at the Wah Wah Hut) were married at Life Cafe at 10th and B. 

Equal parts architect and artist, John was a lifelong creator and inventor. He loved building homemade double-decker motorized rafts ("Queechy Queens”), photographing "memories of old buildings" and cracked pavers, and creating shrines and 3D photographs. John always participated in The Howl Festival's "Art Around the Park," painting murals yearly. 

In his professional career, he practiced architecture with several firms in New York City, including Kohn Pederson Fox, Hardy Holtzman Pfeiffer Associates, and Agrest & Gandelsonas. 

Among his many projects, he contributed to the design of the Melrose Community Center in the Bronx and the renovations of the Plaza Hotel and the Brooklyn Tabernacle. 

John was the beloved father to Madeleine Hoog-Crellin, Juliette Crellin, and Lilly Crellin, and grandfather to Josephine and Caroline Crawford (Mady's girls) ... and, lastly, his bunny Honey Bunny.

A celebration of John's life is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Sophie's, 507 E. Fifth St. (just east of Avenue A) at 6 p.m.

Memories of John can be shared here

Thursday, December 21, 2023

(Sweet??) 16

Above: A joke from Sophie's a few years back

The first post arrived on this platform on Dec. 21, 2007, at 5:48 p.m., which research later showed is one of the worst times of the day to post items on platforms like this. 

ICYMI (and 99.999999999% of people did), the item was a cut-n-paste from Page Six about the possible sale of Sophie's (Fifth Street!) and Mona's (Avenue B) ... and before Josie's (Sixth Street) was part of the family. 

I'd spent some time at Sophie's and couldn't imagine an EV world without it. So, like any once-a-week bar regular would do, I created a Blogger site called Sophie's Bar Blog blog (honest, that's what the name was)... as a way to chronicle the sale of Sophie's (sorry, Mona's) and the possible end of its several-decades existence. 

After a few weeks of under-the-radar chronicling on a site that no one was reading, we learned that Bob, the owner of the bars, was selling them to his brother Richard and another friend (hi, Kirk!). 

That was that, or so I thought. Now I've told this story a few times, so if you've already read it, I'll make some shit up to make it seem more interesting than it actually was. 

I announced the end of Sophie's Bar Blog blog. [Crickets] Vanishing New York author/blogger Jeremiah Moss somehow had seen the site (thanks, Google!), and he encouraged me, just because Sophie's and Mona's were going to be OK, to keep the site going, covering other comings and goings. 

So Sophie's Bar Blog blog was rebranded to EVG (I give this site six months!). And here we are 16 years after the first post. 

Two people recently told me they started reading the site in high school and were in their late 20s/early 30s. Which is really cool and obviously terrifying.

A sincere thank you to everyone who has read the site and continues to read it, sharing comments and tips and creating a sense of community. 

A BIG thank you to everyone who contributes to the site, particularly Derek Berg and Steven, for their ongoing daily dispatches... and to Stacie Joy for her intrepid reporting from bell towers, abandoned schools or former motorcycle clubs

May your holidays be filled with warmth, peace, and joy ... and had we created an Etsy account 16 years ago, Sophie's Bar Blog blog T-shirts, hoodies, and customizable tabletop beer pong games.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunday's parting shot

Outside Sophie's today on Fifth Street between A and B...

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The 'See You Next Tuesday' book from Sophie's will be here next Tuesday

East Village-based photographer Kyle de Vre is ready to release "See You Next Tuesday," a documentary portrait project turned photo book he shot during his Tuesday afternoon bartending shifts at Sophie's between 2017-2022. 

We wrote about the start of the project in August 2018 ... after de Vre started taking portraits of patrons seated in the comfortably worn bar at 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

There's a release party next Tuesday during his shift (3-9 p.m., though the festivities will likely start around 7) where you can purchase a copy of the coffee-table book ($65). You can also order a copy online here.
Previously on EV Grieve:

Photos here via Kyle de Vre

Friday, March 19, 2021

Yes, Sophie's is reopening today

There has been activity in recent days at Sophie's, the bar that someone once started a blog about here at 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

This photo from yesterday shows a beer delivery ahead of its reopening this afternoon. 

Sophie's along with its sister bars Josie's on Sixth Street and Mona's on Avenue B return after closing in December when Gov. Cuomo did away with indoor dining at bars and restaurants. (Indoor capacity in NYC is at 50 percent as of today.) 

There was never any doubt that these neighborhood bars would reopen at some point. 

Still, there were some freakout moments in recent weeks ... like when Google temporarily listed Sophie's as "permanently closed" ... 😱🤯

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Sophie's, Josie's and Mona's will reopen this week

After sitting out the past six-and-a-half months, sister bars Sophie's, Josie's and Mona's will reopen later today with a 25-percent capacity.

The owners are renting small electric ovens and will be offering pizza (as well as a few smaller items) to meet Gov. Cuomo's meal-with-a-drink mandate.... and in keeping with the reopening guidelines, there is only table service. So no sitting at the bar. And masks are mandatory. 

The pool tables at the three bars, which closed at the start of PAUSE in mid-March, have also been removed to allow for more socially distant spacing for the handful of tables.

Of the three bars, only Mona's on Avenue B might have a few outdoor tables. (Owners said they thought outdoor seating on the side streets where Sophie's and Josie's are located might be too disruptive to nearby residents.)

The three are expected to be open from 3-11 p.m., though that is subject to change.
  • Josie's (seen below yesterday), 520 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. (646) 590-0044
  • Mona's, 224 Avenue B between 13th Street and 14th Street (212) 353-3780
  • Sophie's (seen above last night), 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. (212) 228-5680

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday's parting shot

A look at a darkened Sophie's tonight on Fifth Street ... the bar closed last evening... along with most other city bars tonight after Mayor de Blasio signed an executive order to temporary close nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues.

The order also limits restaurants, bars and cafes to take-out and delivery. We're working on a list of East Village establishments that will have food available for pick up or delivery.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tuesdays at Sophie's redux

[Montage via Kyle de Vre]

Last Tuesday I wrote about a new photo book by Kyle de Vre, an East Village resident who has worked at Sophie's for the past four-and-a-half years.

The book, "See You Next Tuesday," features portraits of patrons seated in the bar. The launch is tonight at 9 at Sophie's, 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. Read my interview with Kyle here.

Sadly, Freddy Corea, pictured in middle of the top row, died back in July. He was a longtime regular at the bar and a familiar presence in the neighborhood. I never did hear anything further about his passing. In recent years he had been splitting time between his East Village apartment and his family's place in Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tuesdays at Sophie's

Kyle de Vre is never without a camera. So it made sense that de Vre, an East Village resident who has worked at Sophie's for the past four-and-a-half years, would put his camera to use while behind the bar.

During his Tuesday afternoon bartending shifts, de Vre started taking portraits of patrons seated in the comfortably worn bar on Fifth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

The results can be seen in a new photo book, appropriately titled "See You Next Tuesday," which he'll release in a limited edition next Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Sophie's.

As he writes about the project on his website: "All of the subjects positively impact the neighborhood in one way, shape or form. Community is important and these are the types of people that make this neighborhood special."

I asked de Vre a few questions about the book.

What compelled you to start taking photos of patrons from behind the bar?

I had brought my camera to Sophie's a few times over the first two-to-three years that I worked there. I mostly took street photography as well as photos when I travelled. I got a new camera early last year, which was great for taking portraits — something I had never really done before.

So I started taking it into the bar every Tuesday because I knew I would have subjects to shoot. There was just enough light in the bar that I could [take photos] without a tripod or flash on Tuesday afternoons.

At what point did the idea for a book come about?

A friend was on the phone and I just started taking photos of him from behind the bar. Although the images weren't the greatest, the idea and framing were there.

So the next week, [my friend] Kayla came into the bar to chat with someone. I asked her if I could take her photo from behind the bar — more so along the lines of a traditional portrait. I shot four images of her while she drank her gin and tonic. When I saw the photos, it just kind of clicked in my head — why not start taking photos of everyone I know who visits me on Tuesdays.

What is your favorite thing about - or any day — at Sophie's?

The Tuesday day shift was just my first shift at Sophie's. Every day at Sophie's is pretty much any old day at Sophie's — and that's why I like it.

The "See You Next Tuesday" book launch is Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. at Sophie's, 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. All photos by Kyle de Vre. Posted with permission.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A pizza for Count Slima

[Photo of Count Slima by Walter Wlodarczyk]

Joseph "Count Slima" Williams worked for the Two Boots family for 30-plus years, starting with helping build the original location at 37 Avenue A in 1987.

He has retired from Two Boots ... and now the pizzeria has named a pie in his honor.

Starting today, you can grab a slice of the Count Slima, featuring bacon, andouille meatballs and tasso ham on a thick Sicilian crust...

Even if you don't see Slima playing pool at Sophie's (on Fifth Street between Aveue A and Avenue B), you can still see his artwork that adorns some of the walls there.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

2 hawks fledge as 1

[Photo via TwoHawksNYC]

Hawk watchers were happy today to see two of Christo and Dora's three offspring successfully fledge today... (thankfully none of that drama like last year.)

One of the kids ended up atop 507 East Fifth St., the building that houses Sophie's just east of Avenue A...

The TwoHawksNYC blog has an account with photos of what happened today right here. And Goggla will have photos soon.

The baby hawks have been nesting 12th floors above Avenue A on the Ageloff Towers between East Third Street and East Fourth Street…

Previously on EV Grieve:
Red-tailed hawks nest on the Christodora House

The hawks of Tompkins Square Park have laid an egg at the Christodora House

More eggsciting hawk news from the Christodora House

Breaking (heh) news: The hawks of Tompkins Square Park are officially parents

Hawk (and egg) watch continues on Avenue A, now with the help of a live webcam

Christo and Dora are parents! (Again!)

Look at the 3-week-old hawklets high above Avenue A

Growing up so quickly above Avenue A

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sophie's is closed tonight so that a bouncer can push Krysten Ritter into some trash

Sophie's, the bar at 507 E. Fifth St. just east of Avenue A, is closed tonight while a film crew preps the exterior for a scene for the Netflix Marvel series "A.K.A. Jessica Jones."

Sophie's co-owner Richard Corton confirmed this evening's closure to us… in the scene being filmed, a bouncer will apparently 86 the show's lead, a former super hero played by Krysten Ritter, who falls or is pushed into some trash. Will have to wait for the series premiere to find out why.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Winter Friday flashback: Jeff Bridges at Sophie's

On Fridays this winter, and probably spring and summer ... we'll post one of the 16,000-plus EVG, uh, posts from yesteryear, like this one from Feb. 22, 2010...


One day last month, American Songwriter Magazine did a photo shoot at Sophie's with Jeff Bridges for an upcoming feature... a photographer for The New York Times was also there for a feature titled "Nine days on the road with Jeff Bridges."

Bridges was in character as Bad Blake from his Oscar-nominated turn in "Crazy Heart." Here are two of the photos that Peter van Agtmael took for the Sunday Times magazine at Sophie's...

Friday, January 25, 2013

The wrath of Khan on East Fifth Street!

Sophie's in the light snow... on East Fifth Street... where it all began. Photo by Dave on 7th.

And is this snowfall part of Khan? And how many "Wrath of Khan" headlines will this spawn? (Aside from this one...)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Joe's Bar is joining the Sophie's-Mona's family

[Joe's Bar last fall]

Longtime favorite Joe's Bar on East Sixth Street has remained closed since proprietor Joe Vajda died this past Thanksgiving. (Joe's opened in that space in 1973. Joe and two other partners previously had a place across the street.)

There were rumors that several people were looking to take over the space between Avenue A and Avenue B from Joe's domestic partner Dottie.

Richard Corton confirmed that he and his business partner Kirk Marcoe, who own Mona's and Sophie's, have signed a lease and sales contract with Dottie.

Which will all be good news for anyone tired of bars with drinks toting, say, heritage pork-infused artisanal ice cubes and shaved nutmeg. And good news for people who really like the neighborhood aspect of Joe's (and great neighborhood bars like Sophie's and Mona's), something in short supply around here these days. Corton isn't expecting to modify much about Joe's.

"Small changes. Clean up. Maybe, if we feel ambitious, we might redo the wallpaper with exactly the same wallpaper. We love that wallpaper but it is in really bad shape," Corton said via Facebook.

Meanwhile, Corton and Marcoe need to seek the approval of CB3 (they are on April's agenda) and obtain a Letter of No Objection from the DOB. If all goes well, then they plan to open this July.

One last detail.

"Per Dottie's request, we are gonna change the name," Corton said. "Joe's will become Josie's."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

RIP Markand Thakar

[Photo by Thomas D. Ward]

The folks at Sophie's and Mona's passed along the sad news that Markand Thakar, a longtime regular at the bars, died this week. He was 82. We don't have a lot of details at the moment about a service or any possible celebrations of his life.

His artwork adorns the walls at both bars. He was a regular at the popular Tuesday night jazz sessions at Mona's. You've probably seen him there. And you'd remember having a conversation with him.

You can read about his life and work and view his art at his website, The Skunk Museum & Library. (We particularly like his oil paintings of bar scenes from the 1970s and 1980s.)

Part of his life, in his own words:

I've been asked, on numerous occasions, to explain the origins of my name and of my antecedents - and, just how did my parents, being of such different backgrounds, manage to meet? It has become obvious, that in this day of the American hyphenate, merely stating that I was born in New York City, on the 4th of July, in the fateful year, 1929 — and being the sixth child of a father born in India, and a mother born in Belgium, makes for an insufficient life history...


After the drafting, during WWII, of my three older brothers, I began working as a gofer at a haberdashery that furnished the uniforms for Columbia's Navy ninety-day-wonders, then worked as a soda jerk — during which time I dropped out of High School. On July 18, 1946, shortly after I turned seventeen, I enlisted in the Regular Army and served for about a year in the post-WWII occupation of Japan. As a result, I joined my three older brothers as WWII veterans (all of us having served during WWII's emergency years).


After my discharge, and over the years, I used up my GI Bill schooling allowance — during which time I worked at numerous jobs: soda jerk, bank page, RR dock worker, apprentice machinist, model maker — all the while, and from then on, I was more or less involved in the making of art. Then, from late 1953, before selling my business in 1974, I supported my wife, Betty Huber (a German Baptist, born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1926, who was in the process of obtaining a Ph.D.) and our three children as a licensed customhouse broker and registered foreign freight forwarder. My wife of over half a century (now deceased), after obtaining her PhD. carried much of the burden of supporting the family — from 1974 on.


We featured Thakar in a post this past Dec. 22.

[Photo by Thomas D. Ward]

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Markand Thakar

You may not know Markand Thakar, though it's likely that you will recognize his work. Several of his paintings adorn the walls of Sophie's on East Fifth Street as well as at Mona's on Avenue B.

Thakar, who was born and raised in New York, is 82. You can read about his life and work and view his art at his website, The Skunk Museum & Library.

The site is also full of his writings. Thomas D. Ward, who took the top and bottom photos on this page, offered this: "Those interested in a first-hand account of the New York art world from mid-century to the present will certainly find much to ponder."

You may also appreciate his vivid, street-level accounts of a native New Yorker in "Noo Yawk, New York." (You can access that work here.)

In addition to the website, he distributes his writing via pamphlets at the two bars the old-fashioned way ...


Depending on the day or time, you might even find him sitting at the bar at Sophie's or Mona's. (He's particularly fond of the Tuesday night jazz sessions at Mona's.) Why not say hello.

[Photos by Thomas D. Ward]