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Legal settlement means ‘one last summer’ for Tim’s Rivershore

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Fatty's Tap House, a seafood restaurant with locations in Stafford and Fredericksburg, will open a new location at the former site of Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant and Crab house in March or April, according to owner Chris Ahn. The Rivershore closed this fall after 28 years on the banks of the Potomac River, outside Dumfries. 

Tim’s Rivershore will continue to serve up buckets of crabs and their signature “Killer Driller” cocktails throughout the summer of 2021, as a result of a settlement owner Tim Bauckman reached with the restaurant’s landowner ahead of a Friday court hearing.

Bauckman and Compass Harbor Properties, LLC, which owns the restaurant property, came to an agreement late Thursday night in a civil lawsuit Bauckman filed in March in an attempt to avoid being evicted from the property

Bauckman’s suit alleged CHR violated the lease agreement the restaurant had held with the company since 2010 by denying the restaurant another one-year extension of the lease. CHR shot back with a counterclaim seeking $491,000 in back rent and other damages as well as possession of the property.

Both of those lawsuits have been dropped as a result of the agreement, which Bauckman said Friday was reached “literally last night.”

“We’re happy about it. We wish we could stay longer, but after September 30, we’ll be done,” Bauckman said. “We came to an agreement we both can live with.”

Under the brief, two-page "agreed order" signed by Prince William County Circuit Court Judge Angela Horan, CHR Properties will be granted possession of the property no later than 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

Efforts to reach a spokesman for CHR Properties were not immediately successful Friday morning. 

Bauckman has operated the popular summertime hangout along the banks of the Potomac River since 1993 and has a legion of loyal customers who visit by both land and water. Located in what is now the Potomac Shores subdivision, Tim’s Rivershore is the only riverside restaurant in Prince William County where boaters can pull up dockside. 

Bauckman said he and CHR properties are planning to issue a formal statement about the agreement to let the community know the restaurant will have “one last summer.”

Bauckman operates three other Tim’s Rivershore restaurants and said he is looking for an alternate location in Prince William County but has yet to find one. CHR Properties said last month they have a new tenant ready to move into the space once Tim’s Rivershore leaves.

The agreement comes at the end of a “tough year," Bauckman said. In recent weeks, fans have flocked to Tim’s Rivershore, which has an abundance of outdoor seating, but operating through the pandemic has been difficult.

 “It’s definitely been tough year. Now that everyone gotten used to it, it’s a little easier to deal with it,” Bauckman said, noting that he is looking forward to June 15, when Gov. Ralph Northam said the state would likely lift most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, with the exception of mask-wearing. The state’s mask rules will likely continue to comply with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Northam said in a press conference Thursday.

“That would be great to get back to normalcy,” Bauckman said.

Bauckman said the state’s mask rules have been “a great help in holding everything down, not only the virus but colds and flu and everything else.”

“I think we learned a lot from it,” he said.

Bauckman said he has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and hopes the same of his staff and customers.

“My whole family got it and had little to no problems,” he said. “Like the masks, it’s easier to do it and be on the safe side. The more people are vaccinated, the better chance we have to keep it from being passed around.”

Reach Jill Palermo at jpalermo@fauquier.com

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