Fisherman’s View brings Boat to Table concept to Cape Cod

Fisherman’s View opened in August in Sandwich and has quickly become a new favorite restaurant on the Upper Cape.

Combining beautiful views with fantastic fresh fish, the “Boat to Table” concept is taking off.

Bob and Denny Colbert are Mass Maritime Graduates who became involved with fishing after graduation. They started with one small boat, and over thirty years fishing out of the Sandwich Marina, they expanded their fishing operation and now have three commercial offshore fishing boats which fish year-round.

Their boats catch primarily lobsters, Jonah Crabs, and scallops. They have always wanted a place to store their catch, and had been looking at the spot on the canal for many years, especially when the freezer plant there had to be torn down.

They purchased the land in August of 2015 and were going to build a big tank to store their catch and have a fish market that sold a bit of take-out food, but a Boston restaurant group approached them around that time and said that if they built additional space into their plans, that they would lease it from them and put a restaurant there.

After hearing similar offers from others, the brothers decided to try out the restaurant business as well, and broke ground in December of that year.Eight months later, they constructed a restaurant, bar, retail seafood market, and wholesale business with their extended family, and they also just opened up an outdoor bar with a more casual concept as well!

The name Fishermen’s View has a few layers of meaning to it — they wanted to highlight not only the spectacular location, but also the concept of this “boat to table” business: to give people a view of modern fishing and their big fishing family. The commercial boats in the Sandwich Marina, including the Fisherman’s View boats, unload their catch right in front of the restaurant.

They loop silent videos of the boats out at sea throughout the restaurant and market so guests can have a deeper connection to the fishermen, the lifestyle, and what is involved in modern fishing.

The owners, two longtime commercial offshore fishermen, said their goal is to promote a better understanding of modern fishing and give guests a greater connection to the seafood they enjoy.

“The “farm to table” movement has really taken off and people seem very eager to connect with their local producers, so our “boat to table” concept is a spin on that,” said Elizabeth Colbert, Chief Operating Officer of Fisherman’s View.

The menu focuses on their boats’ three primary seafood products (lobsters, Jonah crabs, and scallops), but to meet the demands and fill out the menu with other rotational items, they also focus on sourcing from local fishermen from the Sandwich Marina.

When needed, they seek out regional boats and vendors that Bob & Denny have cultivated long relationships with over the past 30+ years in the business, whether it be in Gloucester, New Bedford, etc.

“We hope that guests try our seafood in the restaurant, experience it in new ways through different forms of seasonal preparation, and go to our fish market on the way home with more great fish to try in their own homes!” said Colbert.

Exactly how fresh is the seafood in the restaurant. “Boat to Table” means that what you’re eating could have been caught that morning.

“We are finding that our fish market, restaurant, and wholesale complex is a great model for keeping product moving quickly through the different channels, and we are lucky that this allows us to sell out of about 95% of our finfish and molluscan shellfish product daily. And because of our tank system, our crustacean shellfish can be stored longer than a usual restaurant!” explained Colbert,

“Our boats catch millions of pounds of crab, and many, many thousands of pounds of scallops and lobsters. We fish year-round, so we have consistent product year round.” The huge, open-system tank in the building holds about 26,000 pounds of product.

It’s so big they use a floating crate system for organization.The executive chef, Scott Robertson, draws inspiration from what’s brought in and loves to create different “featured fish” dishes to keep the menu flexible and exciting!

By opening in August, Fisherman’s View built up a small but dedicated local following that saw them through the winter. Now that the Cape Cod summer season is in full swing, they are excited to welcome visitors to the newly expanded restaurant.

“This spring we doubled the size of our outdoor patio right by the water overlooking the Sandwich Marina, and built an outdoor bar and seating area that we hope will cater to those folks just looking for a casual drink, quick bite, and relaxing experience by the water,” said Colbert.

In addition, they’ll have local live music on the patio as well as music in the main indoor bar space.

By Rebecca Romo, Lifestyle Reporter CapeCod.com



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