Nearly a year after opening, Scooter’s Fish House off Highway 87 in Navarre continues to thrive.
“Business has been great,” said owner Sam “Scooter” Taylor. “We’re staying busy and we are even starting to see some of the spring break crowd come in. Everything is going great.”
Sam and his brother Stewart opened the restaurant in June of 2016 and have been offering customers a wide-range of tasty menu items ever since, including fresh fish like mullet, snapper, mahi mahi, parrot fish, wahoo and flounder.
A sign in the parking lot advertises the freshly caught fish available on the menu each day. Gumbo is also on the menu and will remain there even in the summer months. Fried cabbage has become one of the more popular sides and is expected to stay on the menu year-round.
“Check the sign we have out front to see what fish we have on special,” Taylor said. “Your favorite fish is probably on there.”
Speaking of the sign, Scooter’s displayed it proudly during the Mardi Gras parade in February.
“We pulled our sign in the Mardi Gras parade. We want to thank all of the people who hollered and chanted our name,” Taylor said.
As for the restaurant itself, decorative picnic tables brighten the casual dining area. Fast and friendly customer service is something every customer will receive from the moment he or she walks into the restaurant until they leave after enjoying their meal.
“We want to provide quick service,” Taylor said. “It’s like being down on the wharf and ordering at a window and then picking it up.”
All of the recipes come from Sam and Stewart’s father. Those recipes were first featured at a small seafood business owned and operated by the family called Sam’s Oyster House.
That business has since closed but Stewart still runs Stewby’s Seafood Shanty in Fort Walton. Scooter’s is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. during the week. It is open until 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Shrimp, calamari and shrimp tacos are on the menu, as are oysters, soft-shell crab and chicken. Grilled fish and chicken sandwiches are also among the options for customers.
“We offer fresh-caught seafood and we have different specials,” Taylor said. “We also have local cala-mari from a shrimp boat. We get our mullet out of the East Bay or Sound.”
The back deck is now open for seating, which is perfect timing with the weather warming up. The old-fashioned bottled coke machine is also working now and Dasani water is available as well. Customers can get filtered water from the fountain soda machine as well.
Though Scooter’s has a staff of 25 in place, Taylor said he is still looking to add to his staff. Applications can be filled out online at http://navarreseafood.com/scooters-fish-house-menu/.
“We are looking for experienced cooks and fish cutters,” Taylor said. “The application is short and simple.”
Looking ahead to the spring, a fish fry is planned in May that will benefit the Navarre High School softball team. It will be held May 6 during lunch time at Navarre Park.
Tickets are expected to be on sale for it soon and will be available for purchase at the restaurant or from the players. This is the second year in a row Scooter’s is doing the fish fry.