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Schooner’s Waterfront Bar & Grille reopens

Jun. 06, 2013 @ 09:14 AM

HUNTINGTON — Cue up the Jimmy Buffett, fire up the margaritas and man the iPhone for sunset pictures — Schooner’s Waterfront Bar and Grille is back from the dead.

Set on a double barge and residing in the shadows of the famed East End Bridge (the Frank “Gunner” Gatski Memorial Bridge), Schooner’s re-opened a few weeks ago under new management, the boating duo of Matt Casto and Jake Morton.

A small-business owner who has been boating on the Ohio River for six years and docked at the marina at Schooner’s for three, Casto said he just wanted to see the place open and so they dove in to restart it.

“I’ve belonged to the marina for three years so we’re very aware of what the needs and the wants are,” said Casto, who is one of about 50 boaters with boats docked at the marina. “We just went back to simple and easy, and just a great place to have a drink and check out the scenery. That’s the big thing, nothing fancy, no sirloins and filets and crab cakes, just a place to eat a basic meal and be happy.”

While the original Schooner’s was known for such things as their crab cakes, Casto said to get the restaurant and bar back open for the season, they’ve stripped the menu to a basic 20 item hearty pub grub menu that features $7 sandwiches such as the Turkey Bacon Ranch Sub, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken and Philly cheesesteak.

There’s also $6 apps of fish and chips, and a thick appetizer menu of everything from potato skins and fried pickles to veggie platters and fried chicken salad.

While the original Schooner’s used both floors of the barge, Casto said they’re just utilizing the 20-table bar and grill area on the main floor as well as the outdoors tiki area which has another 10 tables and a bar. The bars keeping about nine taps with such summer ales as the 321 Urban Wheat, the summer wheat brew from Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company.

Schooners is popping live music (rain or shine) from 9 p.m. to midnight every Friday and Saturday night.

Casto, who also owns Route 60 Storage and The Car Shoppe on Route 60, said they’re trying to keep quality high and service quick and are taking suggestions on how to improve.

One unique offering of Schooners is a Float-Up Service, in which boaters on the Ohio can call ahead and place an order (minimum $25) and pick it up at the dock.

Regular hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 304-523-8414 and 523-8417 and check out Schooners Waterfront Grille on Facebook as well.