COOS BAY — You don't realize how happy it makes you when one of your go-to restaurants re-opens after being closed down for a while.

It has happened to me three times now, the latest being this past week when The Boat opened in Coos Bay.

For those of you who didn't get up to the Winchester Bay location, The Boat in its prior life was Unger's — a wonderful little fish and chips place in the marina at Winchester Bay.

Earlier this year, the boats came out of the water in Winchester Bay, and now they've been relocated to Coos Bay as The Boat. The location next to the Train Museum has prime highway frontage across the street from McDonalds.

The Boat, with its two indoor seating areas also has an extensive deck with a nice windbreak wall and plenty of seating.

The painted holiday message on the windows of the smaller boat welcomes everyone coming in from the parking lot with the message "Merry Fishmas."

When we heard that The Boat was almost ready to open, Sports Editor John Gunther and I started talking about how long it had been since we'd had fish and chips during our lunch series.

Thus, our decision was made.

The place really filled up at lunchtime on Monday. We got a table in the main cabin where the kitchen is. The other seating areas also began to fill in pretty quickly. By the time we left, there were a dozen people sitting outside on the deck.

For those of you that remember, it was a little chilly at lunchtime. I checked my phone as we were finishing up, my app from The Weather Channel said Coos Bay was clocking in at 49 degrees.

Hearty souls.

I've been telling John about Ungers for years. It makes Autumn's favorite fish and chips. The lighter, seasoned breading makes for a different flavor profile than most fish and chips. John noticed right away.

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"I don't know if I can technically tell you why that it is, but it is good," he said.

Not wanting to miss out on the Alaska cod entirely, I ordered the 1/2 & 1/2 combo that comes with fish and one of their other selections — I chose the popcorn shrimp.

As good as I remembered.

I think I'm really going to enjoy having them so close to work here in downtown Coos Bay.

The one thing I will miss about the old location will be going over before sunset, being right in the water and having some fish and chips, a beer and watching the sun go down.

The Alaska cod fish and chips was $12.99. The 1/2 & 1/2 combo was $13.99. Our total with a couple of drinks and a large cole slaw came to $35. They also do takeout.

The boat is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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