Fish ends seven-year existence as restaurant and site up for sale

While a new restaurant is being planned for downtown, Narragansett Avenue’s arguably most acclaimed dining establishment officially is for sale.

Jamestown Fish was put on the market a week ago by owner John Recca.

“There was no single determining factor,” he said. “There are many variables to running a small business, and they all come into play. Business decisions are easy to make once you have analyzed the data.”

Perhaps the most talked-about restaurant in town in regard to its status since it closed last November for the season, Recca originally said he planned to reopen the popular spot, which opened in December 2011, this spring.

By then, executive chef Matthew MacCartney and Recca had parted ways in the interim with MacCartney deciding to focus on wine. During his tenure, Fish was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s top 100 wine restaurants in the country in 2018 (the only representative from Rhode Island), as well as winning several Best of Award of Excellence honors from Wine Spectator magazine for its selection.

MacCartney, who was coowner, could not be reached for comment

Recca said both the business and building are for sale. The listing for the approximately 2,800-square-foot building on the 5,000-square-foot lot is $1.6 million.

It boasts “this turn-key restaurant has attracted both summer crowds and year round locals for years. The floor plan consists of a formal dining room, two bars, an open concept kitchen, excellent storage and outdoor patio with an additional bar and seating. This is a rare opportunity to own an iconic restaurant in Jamestown. Property is fully equipped and ready for a new operator to just turn the key. The full liquor license is available.”

The seating capacity is 48 people on the first floor, 34 on the second floor and 74 for the outdoor patio area.

While other restaurant owners in town have lamented the diffi- culty in finding staff, Recca said that was not a determining factor and he never had any serious conversations with a new chef.

“We entertained several options, but in the end, none were ideal so we decided to sell,” he said.

Recca said the choice was based purely on business and “not a personal decision.”

“We ate and drank really well; we built a beautiful building and outdoor space; we had a nice seven-year run, and it’s time to move on,” he said.