Local fish eatery named favorite

SANDUSKY It smells kind of fishy. But why wouldn't it? When the decor
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



It smells kind of fishy.

But why wouldn't it?

When the decor screams nautical and a window sign advertises live bait, its got to smell fishy.

That ambiance and the fresh fish it serves up daily recently earned the New Sandusky Fish Company a bit of national publicity.

Located at 235 E. Shoreline Drive, the local eatery is known for its perch, walleye, bass and catfish sandwiches.

"The perch sandwich is the draw. That's what really brings people in," said Christine Sidoti, who manages the restaurant along with her brother-in-law, Bill Haggerty.

And the delectable favorite has helped land the New Sandusky Fish Company in this month's issue of "Coastal Living." The nationally-circulated magazine lists its top 25 seafood places in the U.S., including Hawaii, California, Florida and Massachusetts. The magazine praises the eatery for its "huge fried-fish sandwiches smothered with tartar sauce," and compliments the frog leg dinner as a "tasty alternative."

The New Sandusky Fish Company is one of several local eateries known for specializing in perch sandwiches. Like most in the area, its fish come straight from Lake Erie.

"That's pretty amazing really," said Haggerty about being the only restaurant in the Great Lake's region featured in the magazine.

Last year, a reporter from the magazine visited Sandusky and stopped by the eatery on her first night to grab a bite. She ordered the perch sandwich and couldn't stop raving about it when she met up with Sandusky's Main Street executive director John Lippus.

"She was just gushing over it," he said.

"It just goes to show that Sandusky is getting better known on the national stage," said Lippus, adding that the perch sandwich is also his personal favorite.

The restaurant originally opened in 2000 by Tony Spino, who died three years ago. Spino's daughter, Sidoti, and son-in-law have taken over the business.

Haggerty and Sidoti agree the national exposure is both exciting and an honor.

"I think my father would be very happy," Sidoti said.

The restaurant also serves chicken strips, breaded veal and hamburgers, along with side favorites including homemade potato chips, hush puppies, clam strips and fried mushrooms.

Although the Fish Company has no indoor seating, it's benches and tables outside provides a view of the Bay as well as Cedar Point.

"I think part of the charm is you can do that," said Sidoti.

The restaurant is open seasonally, and closes down during the winter months. It reopens each spring during Lent.

The city will also be featured in a separate story in the magazine's September issue.