Back in Business: Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale in Madison


MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — The kitchen at Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale in Madison is open, lobster rolls are fresh, and there is a table with your name on it.

Anita, a customer, said, “We were just talking about that ourselves, how excited we are to be in a restaurant.”

The days are looking brighter after a bleak experience at the height of the pandemic.

Owner Jim Schreck said, “Three of our key employees had to leave because they are the main caregivers for their children.”

Employees left, the carousel stopped, and business dropped. But that didn’t stop Schreck.

“We were not going to close, we were not going to lay people off. So we went outside, spray-painted numbers on the parking lot, put cones up…and got rocking and rolling right from the beginning.”

And it caught on. Diners trickled back. Takeout is now 90% of business, but tables are back open. They’ve chosen to work with fewer.

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“One of the big challenges is this new model of business requires a lot more help,” Schreck said. “It’s much more labor-intensive. So you never want to bite off more than you can chew.”

But for these loyal guests, the pandemic has made them appreciate the small stuff. Being back together, seeing old friends, and of course, sampling local seafood again.

“This is maybe our third time out,” Anita added. “And sitting here at one of our favorite restaurants and haveing a lobster roll is such a treat.”

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