The Chippery’s return makes a splash in Fanwood

by Eduardo Arocha
Seven years after the original owners of The Chippery closed the restaurant down and moved out of state, Fanwood’s iconic fish-and-chips restaurant has reopened on South Avenue. New owners, led by chef Brian Walter, who also owns Oh’ Brian’s Pourhouse in downtown Fanwood, opened The Seafare Chippery in November to bring back a place that was special to their families.
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“Brian wanted very much to resurrect the Seafare Chippery,” said co-owner Deena Boll. “It was always a special place for him and his family.”
The building’s architecture is inspired by an actual ship, with circular windows and a giant anchor. The indoor decor perpetuates the sea theme, with ship wheels and paddles adorning the walls along with pictures of Bulgarian fishing ships that were given to The Chippery by Walter’s father-in-law.
“The decorations reflect The Chippery’s menu and give the restaurant an identity,” said junior Leo Ramos.
The by-the-shore ambiance can make customers forget the frigid conditions that come with winter.
“If you enjoy eating good fish on a boat with no motion sickness, I highly recommend it,” said senior Spencer Gowen.
The staff decided to stick to a classic fish-and-chips menu that includes dishes fondly remembered by long-time local customers, including the  original Chippery chips, fresh Seafare Chippery fish, and sandwiches such as the Fishwich, Chickwich, and Batter-Dipped Dog.
The chips are something that are unique to the Chippery. They have the consistency of french fries, but are similar in shape to a potato chip. Chippery chips are especially crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside, and seasoning them with cayenne pepper and malt vinegar, adds a boost of spicy flavor. The chips accompany most of the main dishes, but can also be purchased alone for $4.95.
While the chips are delicious, and unique to the restaurant, the true star of the menu is the chips. Arctic cod from a local fishmonger is breaded with a perfect batter-to-fish ratio and served with chips and a side of tartar sauce. The portion, for just $6.95, is extremely generous.
The restaurant also has options for those who don’t enjoy fish. The Chickwich, also $6.95, consists of two large crispy chicken tenders with melted American cheese served on freshly baked bread from the Breadsmith bakery in Cranford.
The Battered Dipped Dog is a unique twist on an American classic. The fried batter gives  a special flavor to the hot dog, and the toasted bun creates an exceptional crunch that cpmplements the hot dog. Priced at just $3.95 for a seven-inch hot dog, the Battered Dipped Dog is the steal of the menu.
High school students not only taking advantage of the Chippery ‘s food but the job oppourtunities it offers as well. “It’s a great work environment,” said junior Sam Mahler, who has been working at the Chiperry since November. “The other employees are really friendly and great to work with, and as far as the food goes, no other place does it better.”
The Chippery is a perfect place for a snack after school or lunch on the weekend. It is fairly priced and has a unique ambiance and a menu perfect for teenagers.
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