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Sturgeon Bay restaurant cooks up excitement

Posted at 8:07 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-18 21:07:44-04
  • Video shows Sonny's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria making some of their popular dishes
  • They were nominated for the show, "America's Best Restaurants"
  • They are family-owned and a favorite within the community and with visitors

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Door County brings a lot of family-owned and operated restaurants to the dining scene. One restaurant in Sturgeon Bay was nominated to be on a show that recognizes top local restaurants. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt and we visited this restaurant to see what has made them a local favorite for nearly thirty years.

"We've gone from a little hole in the wall restaurant to what you see here and we're serving 2,500-3,000 people a day," said Finney.

James Finney has worked at Sonny's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria for about 22 years.

Finney says the best part about working at Sonny’s is that he feels like he works with family and this family knows how to feed a lot of people… and fast.

"I’m guessing probably right around [400] to 500 pizzas on a normal day,” said Finney.

It was not any average day at Sonny's, they had the opportunity to show off some of their most popular dishes and have the community support them while they filmed an episode for the show "America’s Best Restaurants," which will be featured on various social media platforms.

“It's kind of neat to see that people in the community recognized us and we were nominated," said Estes.

Owner Jason Estes says that after 28 years, Sonny's has changed from a small pick-up and delivery business to what they are today and he thinks their fresh ingredients, great views, and being family-owned all have something to do with their success.

Gena Hansen is a Sturgeon Bay local and she says supporting local restaurants like Sonny's is important.

"It's special because it supports everybody that lives here and takes care of all of us," said Hansen.

Customers and staff told me Sonny's pizza and pasta is some of the best around and there's a little something for everyone.

Estes says he is proud to be a part of the Door County restaurant scene.

"It's a lot of family-owned, independently-run restaurants and I think, as you know, you get a lot more pride with that," said Estes.