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Dining Out Briefly.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Sofia's Restaurant

opens in Springfield

Sofia's Restaurant & Bavarian Brewery opened last week in what had been Tuscany's Ristorante and Pizzeria and, before that, Spencer's Restaurant & Brewhouse.

Sofia's, at 980 Kruse Way in Springfield's Gateway area, will be open from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. It will serve an American-style lunch menu and dinners that include German entrees (goulash and several types of schnitzel), seafood, dinner salads, steaks and prime rib.

The brew pub has a full bar. It will offer a variety of bottled beers and microbrews on tap until its own beer is ready, about Sept. 1.

The new owners are Sam and Sofia Skeens, owners of The Troller restaurant

in Garibaldi, and their sons, Karl and Alan Skeens.

The Skeenses purchased the shuttered venue June 23 from Eugene businesswoman Carolyn Chambers, who acquired it last year after the death of restaurateur David Andrews.

Sofia Skeens was born and raised in Erding, Germany, and was working as a pastry chef at a U.S. Air Force base in Germany when she met her husband. Sam Skeens operated officer and noncommissioned officer clubs during his 27 years in the Air Force.

They came to Oregon in 1976 after his retirement and lived in Lake Oswego until they purchased their restaurant on the Oregon Coast five years ago.

While traveling to brewing school at the University of California, Stanislaus, in 1995, Sam and Alan Skeens stopped at Spencer's to watch the vats being installed "and fell in love with the equipment," Sam Skeens said.

They have contracted with an experienced brewmaster to make Bavarian-style beers. Ernest Rebello, their chef from The Troller, will be the chef.

"I look at it this way," Skeens said. "The beer is just an added thing that we're going to do because we want to do it. Basically, what we're here to do is to sell food.

`The beer may bring 'em in, but the food is going to bring 'em back."

- The Register-Guard
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Title Annotation:Sideshow; Food
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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