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Hamptons Life

Jun 29, 2017 5:13 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Old Stove Pub Sibling Sells In Bridgehampton

54 Chester Avenue, Bridgehampton.  GOOGLE MAPS
Jul 2, 2017 1:25 PM

The timing is good to write about the Old Stove Pub, because this year that site on Montauk Highway in Sagaponack celebrates its 50th year as an eatery. But this is the real estate section, so what is the hook? Coula Johnides, the surviving sibling of the two brothers and two sisters who operated the Old Stove Pub for decades, has just sold her house on Chester Avenue in Bridgehampton, for $1,375,000.

The new owner, listed as a limited liability company, may have plans for the property. The 2-bedroom, 1-bath cottage is just 922 square feet. One real estate agency had suggested to potential buyers, “Bring your imagination,” which is often accompanied by an architect and a bulldozer.

However, the Old Stove Pub appears to be thriving. The restaurant with the red neon sign was not the first use of the site on the north side of the highway. That distinction belongs to an Irish pub, which opened its doors in 1967. Two years later, the Johnides family took over and converted it to a Greek eatery. Over the years, it has not changed much, though the vintage jukebox is gone. The merchandise sold there continues to carry the tagline, “When you’re fed up with the chic, come to the Greek.”

Coula Johnides was very much a hands-on co-owner, particularly presiding over the establishment’s Greek-only wine list. According to a New York Times profile published two years ago: “When one customer asked if he could bring his own bottle and pay a corkage fee, Ms. Johnides declined. Eventually the customer found a way around this: He would buy a bottle from the list, then pour his glass out the window, refilling the glass from his own stock, hidden under the table.”

Though fervently un-chic, the Old Stove Pub has entertained its share of celebrities. Past regulars include Ralph Lauren, Billy Joel, John F. Kennedy Jr., and Larry Rivers. Mr. Joel may not get to the restaurant as often as he used to, but in a way his presence continues: On YouTube, one can find a video of George Gounelas, the manager of the Old Stove Pub, singing “Piano Man” with one of the more recent regulars, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.

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