The Executive Chef of Southwind Pizza, Jonathan Lewis, is the new owner of Southwind Pizza, taking it over from Dean Tsamouras, who has been the owner since 2012.
The restaurant has long been a staple to Main Street and the community, serving as a reliable spot for locals and visitors. Infamous for their specialty handmade hearth-baked pizzas and Thursday night jam sessions, Southwinds has been keeping it real for over 2 decades.
The restaurant is located on Church Street in downtown Mathews, across from the historic Courthouse Square in a dark teal 1920’s building with an inviting front porch. The inside walls are artfully decorated with memorabilia from its famous nights of live music, items celebrating Chesapeake Bay culture, and odds and ends reflecting its prior life as the Lee Miles’ general store.
Several staples to the business have kept a loyal following since it was opened in 2000 by Ned and Dia Lawless, and Chef Lewis wants to make sure to keep those traditions alive. Respect for the previous owners can be found on the hand painted pizza tray stamped with “Lawless Kitchen” next to the craft beer taps, or newspaper clippings and framed articles of its success and regional reputation.
Staff members have remained loyal over the years, including Lynn Abrams, pictured right, who has been with Southwinds through all of its ownership and knows a majority of her customers by name. These congenial small town qualities are exactly the type of comfort that visitors and locals love to experience when dining at Southwinds, keeping the atmosphere friendly and intimate. (Make sure to ask staff member, Chris, for his joke of the day!)
Chef Lewis will surely add his own special touch to this well known establishment. He looks forward to adding his own creativity to the menu, and bringing back live music nights starting in July now that restrictions have eased from the pandemic. He works hard to keep fresh ingredients and dishes on the menu, while also creating relationships with his customers. A few notable additions he has made to the menu are the complimentary, homemade sticky buns now served during Sunday brunch, and a variety of large stack burgers.
A big thank you to Dean for all that you have done to keep Southwinds a special place in the community, and a warm welcome to Jonathan – we look forward to experiencing the next chapter of Southwinds Pizza.