AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — Nearly 10 months after it was ravaged by fire, Schneider’s restaurant in Avon-by-the-Sea was demolished this week — piece by nostalgic piece.
The demolition, which began on July 16 and took three days to complete, attracted dozens of onlookers who shared stories about the iconic German restaurant at 801 Main Street. For nearly five decades, Schneider's earned a highly regarded reputation for its “Old World” German food, including its popular sauerbraten served with potato dumplings and red cabbage, wiener schnitzel and Hungarian beef goulash.
Shortly after Schneider's was heavily damaged in an early-morning fire on October 21, owner John Schneider said would be rebuilt. However, in the latest information available — a Facebook post of March 17 — he announced, “Sorry to say with (a) heavy heart that we will be unable to reopen.”
Plans are not known for the 80-foot-by-136 foot property that sits in the borough’s general commercial across from Sylvan Lake on the corner of Field Street.
At about 3:45 a.m. on October 21, Avon’s police and fire departments and first aid squad were dispatched to the fire call at the restaurant. Mutual aid was brought in from the Belmar, Neptune City, Bradley Beach and Wall fire departments, and through their combined efforts, the fire was knocked down and placed under control.
The three-alarm fire, which was believed to have started in the kitchen area and quickly contained, was ruled accidental, according to officials. There were no reported injuries.
The building itself at 801 Main Street was not always serving up authentic German-Austrian-Hungarian dishes. Records show it had been the Circle Inn and Red Spot in the 1940s, and then operated as a “drive-in” diner with carhops under several names, including Bali Hi, Syd’s, Warner’s and Stan & Ed’s before the Schneider’s moved their Newark restaurant down to the Jersey Shore.