Subscribe to stay up to date with the latest in Provincetown!
Subscribe to ptownie

    Provincetown History Snippet: Old Reliable Fish House

    Fish House Provincetown
    November 29, 2019

    Between Lancy’s Wharf and the engine house of the Colonial Cold Storage plant is a three-story building that once housed the Old Reliable Fish House restaurant and pier, now a forlornly abandoned near-ruin. The structure was a prominent pier from the mid-19th through the mid-20th century. In the 1960s and ’70s, the Old Reliable Fish House restaurant at the head of the pier was the haunt of Howard Mitcham, local character and chef.
    David Dunlap writes, “Mitcham had no use for culinary airs of any kind. He was a passionate advocate of seafood and of Portuguese cooking, and did much to keep these staples on the town menu when other restaurateurs started catering to summer people looking for more cosmopolitan fare. His Provincetown Seafood Cookbook of 1975, with a cover by Jackson Lambert, is an absorbing and entertaining history that can be happily consumed even by those who plan to get nowhere near a shucking or filleting knife.”
    Old Reliable Fish HouseOld Reliable in Disrepair
    Mitcham’s book was an inspiration to beginning-chef Anthony Bourdain, who called it “a true classic, one of the most influential of my life,” and includes a page on how to cook a sea-serpent.
    After a fire in 2015, a contractor hired by the town concluded that, despite its appearance, the front of the building was in “adequate condition” and “salvageable,” while the one-story rear part of the building was “beyond repair.” He recommended that the whole single-story section be torn down and rebuilt. Despite that recommendation, Bradford Rose, the owner, recently hired preservationist Ginny Binder—who previously designed the rebuild of Whaler’s Wharf after the fire—to act as manager for a restoration project.

    More Recent Provincetown News

    Art We Love – More than Meets the Eye
    September 9, 2022
    Art We Love – More than Meets the Eye
    The first impression a piece of art makes when you walk into a gallery can be thrilling.  But sometimes what’s even more exciting is discovering that what you see up close is not at all what you thought you saw from afar. All of the pieces here had that...
    The Lemonade Girl
    April 21, 2022
    For more years than many of us can remember, summers in Provincetown weren’t complete without the sight of a little girl walking up and down Commercial Street, calling out in a lovely singsong voice, “Lemonade! Fifty cents! Lemonade!” That little girl...
    Art We Love – Lightning Strike
    February 20, 2023
    One of the great bonuses of being an artist is the ability to meet and interact with other artists. In these moments, the work they produce becomes more than an artifact, it becomes an extension of the times we’ve had together, the conversations, the laughs...
    Real Estate Update January 2023
    January 25, 2023
    ptownie Real Estate January 2023
    2022 in Review This month the full data for 2022 is available and it is only a pretty picture if you are selling a property on the Outer Cape. See the below for the full YOY statistics, but here is the summary. Inventory is way down, prices are up, and the...
    Winter in Provincetown for Dining
    December 28, 2022
    Guide to Winter Dining in Provincetown! We are always asked “What’s Open for Food in the Winter?”  Well here you are! 1620 Brewhouse 214 Commercial Street (508) 413-9687 Tue&Thu-Sun 12pm-9pm Where everyone is welcome to come, grab a...