The wait is nearly over.
I caught up with the owner of the Bon Ton Fish Market who confirmed that the long-awaited Wilton location -- in the same plaza as Hattie's Chicken Shack, The Meat House, Chipotle, Five Guys and others -- will open at 9 a.m. Friday.
The market is the first spin-off of the flagship Bon Ton Fish Market in Greenwich, Conn., which has been open since 1902.
Tony Norado, owner of the Connecticut location, said the Wilton store will offer the same fresh, high-quality seafood as the Connecticut store. He will do all the purchasing for both stores at the Fulton Fish Market in New York.
“We’re just going to bring the best quality seafood up to the area,” he said Monday.
Joel Reingold, a Saratoga Springs resident for about 14 years, is the owner and operator of the Wilton location. Bringing quality seafood to the Spa City is a labor of love for Reingold who said the idea, originally his late wife Berna’s, has been 13 years in the making. The Reingolds often went to the Greenwich, Conn. Bon Ton Fish Market and, as seafood lovers, wanted to bring the seafood closer to home.
“She loved Bon Ton Fish Market more than anything in this world, except Saratoga,” Reingold said.
Berna Reingold died in 2003 and the plan to bring Bon Ton north languished for a few years, but Joel Reingold never let go of the dream. “With the dramatic changes to this community, it became clear and apparent that if we’re ever going to do it, we’re going to do it now,” he said.
The store’s opening was slightly delayed by some construction issues, Norado said, but the store customers will walk into Friday will offer a top-of-the-line fish-buying experience.
Fish will be trucked to Wilton daily, Norado said and it will all be what is known as “day boat” fish – meaning it spent no more than 48 hours at sea after being caught. With the exception of a few imports from Europe like Dover sole, all the fish sold will be domestic. Norado said the inventory will vary with the seasons and with what looks good on a particular day, but will include “everything from cod to tuna, swordfish, scallops, lobsters.” All the fish will be cut in the store and nothing already processed will be sold.
Norado, who has been the owner of Bon Ton Fish Market for 25 years, is actually only the third owner in the market’s long history. “We’ve been doing this for many, many years here in Greenwich,” he said. “There’s a lot of experience behind the counter.”
Offering a high level of customer service is as important as high-quality fish, he added, and while I was interviewing him he put the phone down to offer a long explanation to a customer inquiring about the mercury levels in different varieties of fish.
Another fish market is also planning to open in Saratoga.Rick Lofstad Jr., the owner of the popular Pura Vida Fisheries stand, long astaple of the Saratoga Farmers Market, purchased the former home of Pepper’sMarket and Deli on Lake Avenue earlier this month and plans to open a permanentlocation there in the near future.