When hard times hit during the Depression, grandfather Stowe went to work driving a truck for Bilco on Bay View Place. He and his wife rented a house on Bilco’s property, and she – Wayne’s grandmother – started selling clam chowder off the back porch.
The little business eventually grew into a market, then a fullblown restaurant called Stowe’s Pilot House, which was a regional favorite clear into the 1970s.
“I grew up there,” says Wayne of the restaurant. “I was cleaning fish and cracking lobsters when I was 10.” Grandfather Stowe passed away in 1970, when Wayne was a freshman in high school. The family hung on to the eatery for a few years, then sold it in 1972, “lock, stock and barrel.”
… “For the first 10 years, we were just a fish market,” says Wayne. Today, Stowe’s still sells fresh fish and lobsters, but the bulk of their business is in traditional fried foods cooked to order.
Of course, that’s all fresh too. “I get fish delivered every single day,” says Wayne, “I cut the fish, bread it, everything.”
Food: A classic seafood shack across from the West Haven Beach has a simple menu of fresh fish, fried New England style, plus perfect lobster rolls, all served in paper boats!