The Driver’s Seat -Longtime Hamptons Mainstay
Celebrates End of 50th
Story By: Edward Callaghan

Irma Herzog The Driver's Seat Restaurant

Landmark Hamptons restaurant The Driver’s Seat celebrated its 50th summer with Special Happy Hours Monday through Sunday from 5pm-6pm now through Labor Day Weekend to thank their loyal year round and summer patrons. What began as a produce store built in 1888 on America’s oldest commercial street Job’s Lane in tony Southampton and first used as a restaurant in 1960 has become one of the Hamptons most enduring dining spots - The Driver’s Seat.This month the current owners Irma and Ken Herzog will wrap up the 50th Summer of the wildly popular eatery.

Following an exterior facelift last year, The Herzogs set about transforming the interior into less of a dark pub like atmosphere into a more contemporary, light and airy quintessential Hamptons eatery without attitude. Now when diners arrive their eyes are drawn immediately to the gorgeous stained glass ocean scene at the very back of the dining room overlooking their lovely outdoor patio. The Driver’s Seat continues to draw heavily on the local population from the Gin Lane summer social set to the farming families and builders who are the backbone of the community. Indeed, The Driver’s Seat has become a destination spot not only in the tri-state region but internationally attracting diners from 9 to 90.

The Herzog Family continues the long time tradition of providing a warm and inviting atmosphere and has a strong hands-on involvement in the day to day operations. The management of the restaurant is a true family affair - even their college age children participate in everything from front of house management to behind the scenes administration. Reigning in the kitchen is Irma Herzog’s sister Hortencia Martinez, who drawing on her native Mexican roots has added new sizzle to the already popular menu with such well received dishes as one special family recipe she named in honor of her sister, “Irma’s Fajitas”. Hortencia whips up a dish unique in the Hamptons - authentic Mexican Fajitas using your choice of Tequila marinated steak, chicken or shrimp, sautéed with peppers & onions served on a sizzling pan accompanied by Mexican refried beans, flour tortillas and homemade salsa. New items also include such hits as Mussels over Linguini, Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wrap, Cuban sandwich and a Roast Pork Barbecue Sandwich.

Longtime customers and new patrons are thrilled to know that such well known local favorites as their famed Baked Clam Casserole, Lobster Roll and their incredibly juicy hamburgers are available at lunch or dinner. For more information visit

An Enduring Institution: The Driver’s Seat Restaurant

Back in the ‘60s, the owner then was Kingsley Moore, who had a passion for auto racing. He knew many of the drivers at the Bridgehampton Race Track, which was a major stop on the racing circuit back then. Kingsley Moore decided his pub would be called “The Driver's Seat” and it became a hangout for the local racing set when they were in town. The Driver's Seat under more recent ownership from 1976 to 2005 underwent extensive renovations and additions to the front bar, back dining room and outside patio/bar.

In early 2005 the restaurant was purchased by a local family Ken and Irma Herzog long time customers who loved the restaurant and wanted to restore the restaurant to its original grandeur. From the outset, they wanted to retain the staff which had always made them and their family so welcomed – some employees like local legend, bartender and supreme mixologist Tommy Alexander have been at the restaurant for over 20 years. Since then the facilities and menu have been updated. Their experienced full-time and visiting chefs now offer patrons a broader dining experience. Today, the Driver’s Seat continues providing guests with the best dining quality and value in the Hamptons.