Something’s up at Scup’s – Restaurant’s popularity grows as it adds beer, wine and dinner to its mix

Half the fun of going to Scup’s in the Harbor on Marginal Street in East Boston is being able to brag later that you know how to find it. You head down Marginal past Piers Park, stop at the Boston Shipyard and Marina guard gate, tell the guard you’re going to Scup’s, go straight and before you crash into the next security fence or drive off the dock you’ve found it.

On the right in the two level unassuming brick building is the restaurant named after Scup. A dog that the owners fished out of the Harbor a few years back.

Sadly, Scup recently passed away but his namesake lives on and is thriving.

Owners Wendy Saver and Dave Rockwood recently obtained a beer and wine license and have added dinner to the mix–something that has been a huge hit especially now that the summer is here.

“There’s nothing better than sitting down here at a picnic table with a frosty beer, a great sandwich and the harbor as your view,” said one patron last Thursday as a swarm of people busily placed orders, grabbed a seat and lunched with friends, neighbors and even strangers.

“That’s part of the appeal.” he said. “You never know who you’ll meet.”

Inside Scup’s during a typical rush owner Wendy greets you and takes your order. Her partner Dave’s busy in the kitchen cooking up the menu items that keep people coming back for more. Also there’s Thalia Large who’s responsible for baking daily sweets that Wendy and Dave say come with a money back guarantee. They’ve yet to refund any money to satisfied customers

This is Scup’s in a nutshell. A warm cozy place that continues to grow as more people discover its unique locations and tempting menu.

“We’re making it up as we go,” said Wendy. “We want this restaurant to be driven by what the neighborhood wants.”

And so far the neighborhood has only compliments for Wendy, Dave and their friend Thalia and want more, more, more!

Wendy and Dave first gained prominence as culinary wizards for their ‘yuppie’ spin on traditional pizza at Emma’s Pizza in Cambridge. The duo sold the popular Cambridge pizzeria to a friend after 10 years and settled on a tugboat in the harbor in East Boston. It’s at the other end of this pier that Scup’s now operates.

Also it was here that the restaurant’s namesake was found. Dave and Wendy, after a walk along the Harbor, found a small wet creature struggling to swim next to where their tugboat was docked. They rescued the animal (which turned out to be a small dog), adopted him and named him after the scup fish. The name of the restaurant is a play on words as in Scup the dog is literally in the harbor (Scup’s in the Harbor).

That was seven years ago and beginning in August of 2008, Wendy and Dave have been turning out breakfast and lunch items like French toast with brioche, baked strata, homemade sausage, breakfast sandwiches and stuffed empanadas. For lunch there’s a variety of specialty sandwiches, tuna melts, grilled cheeses, pressed sandwiches, turkey clubs and one menu item simply called ‘the best BLT in Boston’.

There’s also a hot dog that is steamed in apple juice then grilled to perfection. It’s a dog that everyone in Eastie is talking about.

“We tend to change it up, depending on what’s fresh and available, and Scup’s creative whims,” said Dave. “New dishes are added weekly.”

This is no different for the new dinner menu.

Afternoon and evening snacks start at 5:30 p.m. and include, but are not limited to deviled eggs served with cured black olives, country pate made with ground turkey, various cuts of pork, pistachio nuts and mushrooms, served with grainy mustard, cornichons, pickled onions and grilled bread, spiced carrot and a lemony feta spreads served with oil cured olives and grilled bread, salad of roasted red peppers with chick peas and goat cheese (no greens) served with grilled bread, rosemary spiced almonds and Thalia’s fresh garden pickles.

Also a few sampling from their dinner menu include, vegetarian lasagna, fresh baked cod with all the fixings, home-made mac and cheese with tomato gratin, roast pork dinner with all fixings, Dave’s milk baked ham with homemade red kidney baked beans, cole slaw and grilled bread, cold pepper -garlic roast beef plate on smoked cheddar mashed potato and meat loaf dinner with chef’s choice of sides.

“Please feel free to e-mail us at info@scupsintheharbour for daily specials or questions,” said Wendy. “We hope to get back to you soon or if you want – you can call the restaurant 617-569-7287 – just keep in mind they may be busy at the time of your call and ask you to call back in a little bit.”

Scup’s Hours are Wednesday – Friday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (seating right up to 8:00 p.m. or a little later if you call), Saturday Lunch/Brunch 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Tuesday evenings the restaurant is available for private dinners/events.

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