Scojo’s Reopens With Renovations

Mar 07, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

The wait is over for the fans and friends of Scojo’s Eatery, who lined up at 7 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, to be greeted by fresh, modern decor zested with colorful suspended fish over the addition of a breakfast counter.

When the popular, casual eatery that’s a year-round comfort closed for renovation this winter, it took every bit of patience that some customers had. A few confessed that they had peered into the windows as the opening date got close.

Owners Scott Russo and Joseph Wright say they enjoy the new flair, and it was a good time to build in an update for patrons.

“We’ve been here for 20 years, and we were looking to give it a fresh new look,” said Russo, adding that one of their loyal customers for years is an interior designer, Sherry Fruchterman of Creative Spaces LLC. She provided the nudge to take the leap.

She suggested, “Let’s do a remodel in here,” and showed them photos of her work all over the Island, Russo noted. “We decided to, just basically, take the plunge.”

In the place that “serves up good food, great fun and plenty of LBI smiles,” says the advertising, “everything” about the decor is new.

“Pendant lights over our new breakfast bar counter, we brightened up the decor, we put shiplap on the walls, new tables and chairs, everything,” Russo listed.

“I think after 20 years we were starting to get, I hate to say it, a little bored and tired,” he added. “This gave us a new, fresh jolt and gave our customers a new, fresh feeling. It’s like a payback after 20 years; this is for the customers.”

The menu kept all the favorites, the owners said, and added some new breakfast skillets, some new entree salads, gluten-free items, something new in every part of the menu.

Also new is a downloadable app that lets customers make a reservation ahead to help speed the line that can pile up outside at the busiest times. A link to the app, called TheList, can be found on the Facebook page or the website, Sign in and be notified by text when your table is ready.

Scott and Joe, as diners call them by first name, had a busy first day back, a day that seemed like the first sign of spring to customers coming for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The extensive menu offers traditional American fare with generous portions and family-agreeable pricing, describes the website. “Of course we use quality ingredients and we take pride in our meals.”

Customers wrote last week from Staten Island saying they’ll be in for a weekend. Others are neighbors who are regulars for the “Thanksgiving Everyday” dinner platter or a fried flounder sandwich or the cinnamon bun French toast and a warm welcome.

A greeting that the owners put on social media describes their outreach.

“We are a small community eatery where we know your name, the owners give you a hug, our staff knows your iced tea needs 2 lemons and you don’t have to ask for it ... it is delivered when you sit down. Our menu, yes, has a few tweaks ... new items and even some price reductions, because we want to keep it all fresh and interesting for you ... because for almost 20 years ... it's been you that makes Scojo’s, Scojo’s. Other places have customers ... we have a big extended family. Thank you for making our place so special and giving us your support during the renovations.”

Hours are Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The address is 307 Long Beach Blvd. Phone is 609-494-8661.

The entire menu can be seen online at There are daily specials on the Facebook page, Scojo’s Restaurant. They also do catering.

“We want to go for another 20 years,” Russo said.

— Maria Scandale

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