As a commuter student, who had a full-time job during his time at SUNY New Paltz, Jordan Schor didn’t have the typical college experience. He viewed himself as classic case of going to class and then leaving.
Now 41, Schor is the owner of Jordan’s Bistro and Pizzeria in New Paltz and is giving students the college experience he never had.
“I’ve built the overnight into the environment that I would have wanted to hang out in,” Schor said. “I’m not a big bar goer. I’m not a big drinker. So if I can go somewhere where there’s great music and really good pizza and a fun place to hang out, then I have three things going on.”
Jordan’s will usually stay open until four or five in the morning, with a goal in mind of serving as many people as he can, in the most efficient way, Schor said.
Schor took over the location in June of 2013 and officially changed the name from Fat Bob’s to Jordan’s Bistro and Pizzeria in October 2013.
Schor has been in the restaurant business for 22 years. His last job was working as a chef in New York City. The commute become too much for him and when the location on 52 Main St. became available, he jumped at the opportunity.
“This corner location is legendary in town for late-night pizza,” Schor said. “The price was right and everything just worked out. I live in town, my kids go to school in town, so it was pretty convenient.”
While things are going well, Schor said he still has some disappointments about Jordan’s brand, despite being the owner for over a year now.
“It’s frustrating because I’ll work 100 hours a week, be here all day long and I’ll hear someone on the street say, ‘It [the owner] changes hands every semester,’” Schor said.
The biggest thing Schor did to make sure people knew that his ownership was here to stay was to make consistent changes. They now have consistent hours, they deliver six days a week and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and accept Hawk Dollars from students who order delivery.
Growing up in Kingston, New York, Schor learned how to cook from his mother. For the first 20 years of his professional career, French and Italian chefs in fine dining restaurants trained him.
Schor plans to open up a sister restaurant, Menton, on Sept. 18, which will take him back to his roots and childhood as a chef.
“For me to get my creative flow I figure we can take this dining room area and four nights a week create something that nobody’s doing in town,” Schor said. “Menton is basically a little region on the coast of Italy and France, which I thought was perfect because I spent most of my time doing that kind of food.”
Menton will be open from Wednesday to Saturday between 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., prior to the overnight crowd. He would like it to be reservations only, so people can come in and feel comfortable and not have the pressure of being rushed out or someone waiting for their table.
Schor said everything Menton will serve will be made in-house, which will include bread, pasta, ravioli and traditional Italian dishes and roast duck on the French side. He is also working to fuse the two cooking styles together.
Going forward, Schor said he wants to keep the overnight as busy as possible with their new menu items of fried dough, macaroni and cheese bites, hand-made fried mozzarella, milkshakes, smoothies and burgers. He also wants to form close relationships with the first-year students at New Paltz, to fill the void that last year’s graduating class left.
“We’re not just pizza anymore, we cater to everyone,” Schor said.