NORWICH – For “Pepe,” also known as Steve Schaffer, working at the fair is a salvation. The owner of Pepe’s Restaurant on 141 Washington St. in Binghamton, Schaffer normally works inside, serving a largely college-aged clientele. A long-time face at the Chenango County Fair, Schaffer said he uses the summer to cook in a new environment.
“I like it because I’m outside. It’s a good change of pace,” he said. With an oversized sign that has his business name on it, Schaffer has set up a clam and potato tent behind the Norwich grandstands each year for nearly a decade and a half. He sells a lot of chicken and clam meals, and being within 50 feet of the beer tent doesn’t hurt, he said. “With any luck, I’ll sell about 300-400 pounds of spiedies.”