Sophie’s Place, in the heart of Redondo Beach’s Riviera Village, looks more like a French café than one of the South Bay’s heavy hitting gastro pubs. Small tables dot the outside patio. Inside, behind large French doors, large black chandeliers dominate the room.
Covering the wall near the bar is a large chalkboard. The middle is circled with red chalk. The white words inside the circle are smeared and dusty. “Red Barn,” one says. “Hoptonic, Unbroue Ephemere, Mischief, Stone IPA,” others say.
According to one of the four owners, Keon Nayebdadash, the messy middle box of draft beers used to be on the top of the board, but they changed them so often they had to move the box to a more accessible area of the board so they didn’t have to pull out a ladder every time they changed a keg.
The top and bottom of the board feature different types of beers, including Pales, IPA’s Ciders, Sours, Belgian and their Reserve list with Chainbreaker, Trade Winds and Mo Betta Bretta. Sophie’s Place features at least 60-plus beers.
“We put a lot of time and effort into our bottle selection,” Nayebdadash said. “Our beer menu is constantly changing.”
Nayebdadash, along with his three brothers, Bobak, Ali and Amir, recently bought the corner restaurant and revamped the décor as well as the menu. For two of the brothers, Keon and Bobak, having a hefty and quality beer menu was important.
“It’s not a typical restaurant,” said Nayebdadash. “We have the chandeliers and artwork. It looks different, more like a wine bar than a gastro pub. But gastro pub is where we want to be.”
They keep it local by having at least one neighborhood beer on tap at all times.
Another important aspect for the brothers is making sure the staff is knowledgeable about their beer. When they get a new beer, the staff samples it while learning about how to describe the beer, and its brewery so they can advise customers.
The brothers have purposefully not applied for a full liquor license.
“We don’t want that crap, and we don’t want it to be a dive bar,” Nayebdadash said. “We’re a high-end beer bar with gourmet food. People don’t realize the passion we put into our beers.”
The brothers are constantly meeting to discuss the bar and make plans to make it better.
“This is our first shot at a restaurant,” said Nayebdadash. “We want to make sure we’re on the same page.”
Nayebdadash said that the most effective thing they’ve done to make the bar better is to listen to what the guest say and work off their feedback.
“My philosophy is that if you take the worst item on the menu and turn it into the best, the items will be that much better,” said Nayebdadash. “It’s all about the details.”
“We want to offer something new,” said Nayebdadash. “That’s what everybody’s trying to find.”
Sophie’s Place is located at 1708 S. Catalina Ave. (310) 540-8484. MSsophiePlace.com