About Us

Our History

This top family-owned seafood restaurant rooted from the 1977 Armstrong Rubber Tire Strike. This worker’s strike forced Jonathan Smith (Former Owner) to get creative and find another source of revenue.

Jon and his wife Debbie started a small seafood drive-in in Madison, also known as USS Chowder Pot I. Due to popular demand, Jon and Debbie expanded to USS Chowder Pot II in Clinton where they took on John Bencivengo, Jr as their Executive Chef. Throughout the years, the response to the Smith’s menus and dining experience allowed them to grow their restaurant into bigger and better quarters. Chowder Pot I and II quickly blossomed to the current establishment, one of the state’s premier seafood restaurants where John Bencivengo, Jr. traveled with them.

We are happy to transition as of June 2017, John from Executive Chef to NEW OWNER! Chef John has expressed his determination and passion for his work and this business throughout his life and in his cooking. Chef John cares about each individual and their experience which will remain as he transitions into the next chapter of his career.

Diners continue to enjoy the finest seafood and slow roasted prime rib in two large dining rooms. There’s also the large Captain’s Lounge, dance floor, weekend live bands, and a popular bar side raw bar.

Chowder Pot III has won numerous awards from Connecti­cut Magazine and for 18 years in a row been voted Best Seafood by the New Haven Advocate.

As of May 7, 2021, we have updated our policies per the owner.

Prices, Promotions & menu items are subject to change at any time without notice. Due to a number of fraudulent credit/debit cards, as of November 15th 2017 we must see a photo id with every credit/debit card purchase.

Banquet Policy

Our banquets are held on our upper lounge, lower lounge, and our patio open from May to October (depending on the weather). To have a banquet it must be a minimum of 20 people. We have a set menu for a sit down, family style, buffet style, and hor d’oeuvres which can be emailed to you. You will get a confirmation for your banquet once you signed the event terms and email or mail it to the banquet manager as well as the $50 deposit to hold your date. Any questions contact Nicole at banquets@chowderpot.com.


In order to make a reservation it must be parties of 7 and more. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we only take reservations for parties 7-12 people after 4pm. 18% gratuity is added to parties 5 and more. No separate checks (but you can do different payments).

We only hold the table for 15 minutes if we are on a wait. The whole party must be here in order to be seated if we are on a wait. When making a reservation you must include if someone is coming in with a wheelchair, how many children and if you need a high chair or booster seat. If you are bringing in a cake you must let us know so we can store it properly.

If you are trying to make a reservation for 20+ and it’s during the weekend it is considered a banquet and you would need to contact the banquet manager well in advance to go over the banquet menus, event terms, time, and date.


We recommend calling 30 minutes before coming in and if we are on a wait at that time, we will put your name and amount of people (including children) down. It does not guarantee that you will be seated right away when you come in, it will just lower your wait time (This is not a reservation).

Event Policy

We have several events that happen throughout the year. You can see our events on our facebook page or our website www.chowderpot.com. If we have a private event, we post it ahead of time that we are closing an area. If we have an event that cost money to attend you must prepay in advance in order to attend the event. If you cannot make it to the event and you already paid you must cancel within 48 hours in order to get your money back.

Catering Policy

To order to place a big to go order you must speak with Chef John (the owner) and he needs a 3-day notice. You must provide your name, number, food options, and leave a card on file.

Opening Hours



Tuesday -Thursday & Sunday

11:30a – 8:30p

Friday & Saturday

11:30p - 10:00p

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