Waking early with the tide to fish, crab and clam, generations of Schnoor men have proudly served the seafood industry since 1888. In December, they celebrated a new milestone in their family history with the opening of Schooners Fishery in Belford, NJ. The restaurant and market are open daily for locals and visitors to the Bayshore region.
Drawing from years of first-hand experience in the commercial fishing industry, they now sell and serve their delicious, fresh fish direct to the public. The BYOB restaurant offers dine-in, take-out, catering, fresh seafood (by the piece or pound), and soon delivery.
The colorful art on the restaurant’s walls was painted from historical and recent family photos. They serve as reminders that while you dine the Schnoor family is hard at work behind the scenes bringing you the most flavorful seafood available off our shores. The nets hit the water at 4 a.m., the boats arrive at the deck around 7 a.m. and the fish is delivered to the restaurant’s doors by 8:30 a.m.
Jason Schnoor, once a full-time clammer and crabber, operates and manages the family business. You can always count on Jason or his manager Anthony to be on-site for questions. Their staff is always welcoming, and your dining experience is quaint and inviting, making it comfortable for friends, couples and families alike.
You’ll also find the restaurant kid-friendly as Jason himself made sure of that with a fish tank design, inspired by his daughter, with an added step for children to easily watch the fish swim. They also entertain children with stickers, coloring sheets, and ample table room.
You may be curious as to know why the name of the restaurant is called Schooners. For years, the Schnoor name was mispronounced and spelled as Schooner so they figured they would make it easy on everyone and go with it. Jay even jokes that his cousin hadn’t noticed the difference.
The restaurant attracts a steady local crowd during the winter for their in-door dining and fish market. When the weather warms up, they will also offer dining outdoors with 20 tables for beachgoers looking to end their seaside day with a delicious meal. The seating area is kid and pet-friendly. Jay adds that they look forward to rolling out the paper and bibs for diners to crack open some crabs, lobsters and dig into their delicious shrimp boils. It’ll be a guaranteed good time with friends, family and man’s best friend any day of the week. Acoustic music will entertain as well.
“This community means everything to us because we are a part of it. The Schnoor Family always has and will continue to deliver the freshest product possible to our friends and family, locally and across the country,” says Jason Schnoor.
Schooners delivers a long list of time-tested recipes. Beer battered lobster tail satay skewers with teriyaki sauce and crisp crab cakes stacked high atop tortilla chips served with four succulent dipping sauces are just two of their many appetizers. Popular entrees include the go-to Grilled Tuna BLT with grilled to perfection Ahi tuna on toast with lettuce, tomato, bacon and chipotle mayo and a mouthwatering bouillabaisse overflowing with shrimp, clams, mussels and white fish poached in a white wine tomato thyme broth over angel hair pasta. The bouillabaisse is so good customers drink up the last drops!
Other unique, local offerings include the monkfish and shrimp Fradiavalo with sauteed monkfish medallions and shrimp served over a bed of linguini and topped with a lightly spicy, white wine marinara. Brought from southern waters are highlights like the herb-crusted broiled grouper, served over a vegetable pasta salad and drizzled with a zesty balsamic glaze. Warm up on chili Jersey shore days with their homemade soup du jour like the seafood or lobster bisques and lobster pot pies. In the warmer months, Schooner will have tables set up outside with rolls of paper ready for shelling crabs and shrimp. Guests can also order a delicious large pot filled with mussels, crabs, clams, scallops, red potatoes and corn. With such a diverse range of dishes, be sure to check out their Facebook page for new specials and photos.
In addition to their prepared meals, there is also a well stocked retail section with stand out items like 16/20 fresh shrimp, lobster, 10/20 fresh scallops, Ahi Tuna, cod, crab cake, oysters, clams, calamari, New Zealand green lip mussels and scallops. All the product offered at Schooners is wild caught which offers that one of a kind, briny taste of the sea, a rarity in this day and age of farm-raised seafood. Fried items are available as well for dine-in and take out like flounder, shrimp and clam strips. Locals will especially appreciate the Sunday football finger food platter that serves up to six people with a mix of wings, clam strips and calamari (optional substitutes available).
The Schnoor Family has a large network of contacts to procure seafood from so don’t hesitate to ask them for something special request with a few days notice. Stay updated on their events, market specials and ever-growing menu on the Schooners Facebook page.
In the coming months, Schooners will also host pairing events with a local brewery and liquor store will offer delivery to the restaurant. You won’t want to wait to reserve your space for these events as they are anticipated to book quickly. The restaurant also offer a 10% discount to active military personnel and veterans with proof of i.d.
Location: 571 Route 36, Belford, NJ 07748
What to wear: Casual
Visitors: Locals, tourists
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 11:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Phone: (732) 769-2166