The Fish Whistle will close next month after more than 10 years in its current location.
The last day it will be open for full business is Sunday, Feb. 24.
According to Elizabeth Carroll, Fish Whistle Office Manager, the reason for the closure is “disagreements about the lease” between the owner of the property and the owner of the restaurant.
Fish Whistle owner Jeffrey Carroll said, “We’ve been here 10 and a half years through all the high tides, all the marina construction, and it’s just one of those things where it was basically an increase in my rent that I could not afford to pay.”
According to The Chestertown Spy, the owner of the Fish Whistle property is Matt Weir, who did not reply to a request for comment.
“There is already a new tenant lined up that is being backed by a group of investors that have a long-term lease with the owner,” Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino said.
Cerino said that after the Fish Whistle closes there will “be a period of two to three months where various upgrades will be made to the facility,”
As to the future of the property, Cerino said the new restaurant, “tentatively called 98 Cannon Street, will open at some point toward the beginning of summer.”
“The landlord found other tenants to come in here who are willing to pay what he thinks it is worth,” Jeffrey Carroll said.
In the meantime, the Fish Whistle is looking for a new home. Elizabeth Carroll said that it will certainly reopen, although she is unsure of exactly where.
“Right now, we are in negotiations with another location,” Jeffrey Carroll said.
Before the Fish Whistle closes in its current spot, the Carrolls have a lot planned. Elizabeth Carroll said that the Fish Whistle’s final Oyster Night will be the Thursday before closing.
According to Jeffrey Carroll, there will be a “pulling anchor” party, and one, if not two, nights with live music.
“We are definitely going to do some special nights with music and other things,” he said.
Elizabeth and Jeffrey Carroll said that the support of Washington College has been critical since the Fish Whistle first opened in 2008.
Jeffrey Carroll said he wants to “thank the college itself, the college faculty, staff, current students and alumni over the years for all the support we’ve been given from the college.”
With regards to when and where the Fish Whistle will reopen, he said “We will inform the public as soon as possible via email and social media as soon as we find out exactly what we’re doing.”