Yeah, I hate to be the bearer of the bad news. You'll note that I wasn't even aware that Hope's had an apostrophe in it...I've never actually been there myself, and I'm not really familiar with what it once was. I'm just sort of the messenger in this case, and had/have no ax to grind against Hope's. I'm just saying what I was told, and I trust Harry, the source.
It's good that you've found Chowhound, though. Too bad you had to find it this way, but to the good, maybe Scotty Simpson's will be something that you really enjoy as a result of finding it. Wouldn't that be nice? ;)
I finally tried Scotty Simpson's tonight and it was wonderful. We got the basic fish and chips, but definitely want to try the perch next. And as promised, the people were great.
The CH contributors have been spot on. Taqueria Alameda is now in regular rotation at my house, as Scotty Simpson's will be.
Yep, I have news, and if you were a fan of the place, you're not going to like reading it: they're gone/out of business, and they closed at the end of November of last year. Harry at Scotty Simpson's F&C told me that the owners of Hopes made the decision to close. Apparently, it's a pretty tight-knit community of F&C shop owners, and it's getting smaller all the time.
One thing that *may* have led to the downfall of Hopes was that they switched to a frozen fish instead of fresh fish about a year or two ago, according to Harry. They wanted to save money by doing so, but apparently the difference in quality wasn't as hard-to-notice as they'd anticipated, and they lost a bunch of customers as a result. You can guess where things went from there.
Harry was offered the chance to "get in on the frozen fish opportunity", but declined, knowing that his customers would have a problem accepting it...and he's absolutely *right*. Scotty Simpsons F&C isn't the cheapest F&C in town by a longshot: for a dine-in plate of Harry's F&C, it's $9.75 plus tax and tip, and most places charge probably 2/3 of that price. The difference in quality, though, is *massive*, and absolutely, totally worth the extra expense. Harry gets fresh Nova Scotia cod in daily. He makes the cole slaw by hand. He cuts the potatoes by hand. He makes the tartar sauce by hand. He makes the frying batter by hand.
There's a very, very good reason why it's the best, and I'd also venture to say that it's worth more to pay for that. When I walk out of Scotty Simpson's, with my wallet usually $15 or so lighter (I get a Stewart's Ginger Beer as well), I am in foodie heaven. I'm not stuffed, but I'm comfortable, and I absolutely *love* what I've eaten. As well, I really like who I'm giving my money to...which makes it that much easier to dine there, and spend there.
Sorry about Hopes, but Scotty's will still be there for you! You'll be so happy that you went, too.