A new broom has taken over at the popular Filey Bistro. A familiar face is now at the helm, as the new owner Sophie Boden previously worked front of house at the Bistro. We met with Sophie over a cuppa to chat about an exciting future for the much-loved Filey Bistro.
The Bistro reopened on 28 February, following a short three-week closure that allowed time for a thorough redecoration and revamp. The new chairs, and a bright and airy feel, are the most noticeable change, in general the menu has remained as it was. It is a case of the old adage of ‘don’t fix what isn’t broke’. That said, fish and chips have been added, which have proven to be a very popular addition. The number of gluten free and vegan options have also been increased.
It was whilst working at the Bistro that Sophie became aware that the previous owners, Steve and Jo, were thinking of moving onto pastures new. Over a drink they offered Sophie, and her husband Steve, the chance to buy the lease. It was an easy and instant decision!
Whilst it is a case of evolution rather than revolution at the Bistro, Sophie is committed to utilising local suppliers where possible. For example the cheese burgers are sourced from Redcliffe Farm at Lebberston, the fruit and veg are from Smart’s of Filey and the cakes are made by Alice of Killerby Cakes, based at the Stained Glass Centre.
Perhaps the hidden gem of the Bistro is the beautiful award-winning garden at the rear. It is a real sun-trap and it has won several Filey in Bloom awards for its floral display. New furniture is planned for the dog-friendly garden. The shop front will be redesigned and there are tentative plans for weekend evening openings.
Given the recent naming of Filey in the Sunday Times as ‘one of six seaside towns that everyone will be talking about this summer’, we asked Sophie whether she sensed a change in the town’s fortunes. She said:
‘Before I purchased the Bistro I ran an Airbnb which absolutely boomed after the pandemic. I could barely keep up with the bookings. As the pandemic began to ease, and because the accommodation was self-contained, I could open earlier then hotel’s and B&B’s, there was a massive increase and change in the demographic of the visitors. There were more forty-plus and retirees with disposable income. They used to go on city breaks and into Europe. Yes, some were Filey regulars, but others were rediscovering the area. I’d say 70% were walkers, attracted by the coastline, the Wolds Way and the Cleveland Way.’
We asked Sophie if there was one thing she could change about Filey what would it be?
‘As a mum, I think it is the lack of facilities for local children, particularly outside the season. Yes, there is the huge and beautiful beach, but when the weather changes that really isn’t an option. We need a wet-weather facility, which would be useful even during the season. Before buying the Bistro I did think about setting up an indoor Little Filey, a mini town for ages up to ten. Complete with scaled down doctors, post office and railway station. It would be brilliant for birthday parties, it could have had a soft play area as well. I’ll do it one day!
‘We are trying to engage the local kids at the Bistro, for example Filey Childcare are coming for an Easter Egg Hunt. There will be activities for the kids, with decorations, crayons, all sorts. I’m really looking forward to it. Filey Tesco is supplying the Easter Eggs. We need more community-based events like this, I’m happy to offer the Bistro for hire for such events free of charge.’
It’s an exciting future for Filey Bistro, full of energy and ideas. We wish Sophie and her team all the best for the future. The doors swing open at 9am everyday. Make sure you visit soon. We will certainly be back!