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Apr 9, 2016 3:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Southampton Publick House To Take Over Drivers Seat; Drivers Seat Issues Statement

The Southampton Publick House will relocate by the beginning of summer.
Apr 11, 2016 2:50 PM

UPDATE: Monday, 12:35 p.m.

The Drivers Seat issued a statement on Monday announcing that it will be leasing its property at 62 Jobs Lane in Southampton Village to the Southampton Publick House.

Meanwhile, Publick House owner Donald Sullivan confirmed in an email, also on Monday, that his business will be relocating to the new site, although he did not provide an opening date, or specify if the new location will include the brewery.

According to the statement, signed by the Drivers Seat team, it is "the end of one era" for the 55-year-old restaurant, "and the continuation of another."

"The last 12 years of serving the community has fulfilled a lifelong dream of current owner Irma Herzog, and now it is time to pursue other dreams and endeavors not yet fulfilled, such as spending time with her elderly parents," the statement said. "This timely opportunity of the Southampton Publick house requesting to lease our space, comes just as they lost their own lease. We are thrilled to afford the team at Southampton Publick House the opportunity to continue their younger 20 year tradition of serving the Village community.

"We wish to thank the village and all of our patrons for decades of your faithful business," the statement continues. "We thank the scores of people who have worked at the Drivers Seat over the past 55 years. For many, it was a first job, and for others it was a chance to let their experience and professionalism shine. Without each of you, the restaurant would not have been the same."

Original Story

The Southampton Publick House will be taking over the Drivers Seat restaurant on Jobs Lane in Southampton Village and could be open by the coming summer season.

The Publick House, a restaurant and on-site brewery, will close its doors at its current Bowden Square building on Sunday night, after 20 years in business.

The Bowden Square building was recently sold and a new tenant has reportedly already inked a lease for the space.

Publick House owner Donald Sullivan has declined to confirm the location of the restaurant and brewery's new home until the State Liquor Authority has given its stamp of approval to the move.

Last week he told The Press that the move will include an expansion of the Southampton brand's local brewing operations.

“Our goal is to maintain the Publick House in a new location, and our goal is to expand into a full brewery operation, somewhere within Southampton Town, in the near future,” Mr. Sullivan said.

The Drivers Seat has been a fixture on Jobs Lane for more than 40 years. For the last 10 years it has been owned by Irma Herzog, who purchased the building and famous restaurant from its longtime operators John Barnhill and Doug Murtha. Ms. Herzog could not be reached for comment this week.

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As reported by Mouthampton. Count it!
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 3:50 PM
I worked at the Drivers Seat in 1973, owned by Roman Swiderski
at the time. Doug Murtha came after that.
By J. Frankenbach (15), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 3:57 PM
I can't see how they will accommodate the crowds they usually do in that space, especially with an expanded brewery there to. I suppose someone figured it out though. I wonder how well the neighborhood will fare with the college crowd on happy hours. But good luck!
Apr 9, 16 4:20 PM appended by Toma Noku
Oh...Will all the cabs line up on Jobs Lane to pick up people?
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 4:20 PM
King Moore opened it in the 1960's, as a very small cozy pub, the likes of which have not been seen in The Hamptons in recent decades . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 4:40 PM
By jacy (2), quogue on Apr 14, 16 11:56 AM
Drivers Seat used to be a local place until the last transfer. Then it lost its local identity. Food was never the same either. Publik House caters to the locals which is a key to success out here. Perhaps Sully will make it work turning it back into a local place. This will also bring some much needed traffic to a deserted downtown.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Apr 9, 16 5:27 PM
I suspect that traffic in downtown will remain thin, considering the gauntlet of SVPD patrols the patrons might have to endure. Aside from that one exception on Main Street it seems like official policy to make late night entertainment in the Village more trouble than it's worth. On several occasions I've been intentionally tailgated by patrol cars that were seemingly trying to distract me to make me do something wrong and give them cause for a traffic stop.
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Apr 12, 16 4:25 AM
Albeit smaller, it will have better parking and more foot traffic. Should do well. I will join Kevin Luss there for a drink or two.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Apr 9, 16 5:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good luck Sully and all the great people who work at the Publik House, see you soon!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 9, 16 5:42 PM
You must be an old-timer, I had forgotten he owned the place. Roman or Arnie Paster owned everything at one time or another, it seems

The Seat used to be the center of nightlife in the Village, but it really died down in the '90's after Doug Murtha sold it. What a change.
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 6:04 PM
Good Move Don!!! So happy to keep a local favorite local!!!
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 7:40 PM
Good luck, Sully... You're always a class act! Can't wait to see what the next chapter brings!
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Apr 9, 16 9:22 PM
Glad to see the Public House will be back, As for the Drivers Seat i will not miss it.I Never understood how they stayed in business as long ads they did.
By mjpnyc (1), NEW YORK on Apr 10, 16 1:26 PM
Thanks for keeping it local Don and for the locals. The Publick House would have been sorely missed. Look forward to a cozy pub again, which the Drivers Seat has not been for many years.
By masinmary (11), southampton on Apr 10, 16 3:06 PM
Great news. I honestly can't remember when someone suggested to meet at the Drivers Seat.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Apr 10, 16 9:03 PM
Was hoping for more of an upgrade, but it will be good to have something decent in that space again.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Apr 11, 16 10:05 AM
"more of an upgrade?" You mean something chic, trendy, upscale, overpriced and gone in a year? No thanks.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 11, 16 12:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
No, just not another sad, tired, old building like the one they just left. No one said anything about chic, trendy or upscale. Learn how to read. Feels like they're just transplanting from one location to another. Don't worry though, I'll be there.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Apr 11, 16 1:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
There's nothing sad or tired about either building and you still haven't said what you mean by "more of an upgrade." Learn to write.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 13, 16 10:04 AM
Sad and tired? I'm 29 and there are far more younger than I who don't feel that the Publick House's arena is/was sad and tired. It's got a historic, cozy feel without the grime and grunge of some dive. Not everything that is new sparkles.
By PrintedWord### (16), East Hampton on Apr 12, 16 10:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
Looking forward to evenings out the back!! The last incarnation of the Seat was not friendly to year round residents , glad to have the Publik House on Job's Lane!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 12, 16 3:05 PM
Hey excellent good news. Thank you for staying local. And thank you for sprucing up the outside of the old Bowden Square location - never looked as good as you are leaving it in all the years it has been there. Wow - this was a much speculated upon subject - your move. Shows what is essential to quite a lot of the people of Southampton.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Apr 16, 16 12:27 PM
The last iteration of the DS sucked. When the blew out the front they destroyed the pub like charm that made it welcoming. Those metal chairs were a disgrace. The wrong operators for that location, and the village in general.
The Sullivans have been great and I hope they bring some good cheer and local welcome to that location.
And yea, the cops will be spoiling the fun. I still remember how lively the village was in the Mike's Monument Sq days.
It will be interesting to see what happens ...more
By smacw (240), New York on Apr 19, 16 10:20 AM