FISH restaurant scales down to zero

This Port Chester seafood place has done closed and gone. I never ate there but I remember the location. It was next door to Charlie Mower’s Old Greenwich Marine Construction yard (Charlie was from OG, even if his business wasn’t). I worked at the yard summers during college (1972 and 1973, I think), and after work we’d walk over to the dive bar that was to spawn FISH years later, where we’d have a beer or two with our foreman, Joe Leo, and absorb his bitter, cynical view of the world while we gazed at the river and watched Byram River Trout wash by. Interesting times.

I was thinking of that job just yesterday, after posting on that poor Notre Dame student who was killed while trying to film the football team during a windstorm. My brother Anthony wrote in to suggest that kid was a damn fool to climb into the mechanical hoist that was to tip over and kill him. But I remember when I was 20 and worked at the yard, building huge floats for the upcoming in-water NY Boat Show. We’d stack them as we built them – four a day – into 20′ high towers, with the owner’s son, Casey, operating the crane that lifted them while we danced around on top, guiding them into place.

Casey was a terrible crane operator, and we spent a fair amount of our time on towers dodging 1,000 lb floats, 20 feet above the asphalt yard surface. Eventually my co-worker Kenny Carlson and I confronted Charlie and told him that either his son was off the crane or we were off the job. Charlie acquiesced and fired Casey.

But it took us weeks to build up to that rebellion – Declan Sullivan of Notre Dame had to make an instant decision: go up or quit, and he made the wrong choice, with fatal consequences. That’s where grown-ups should have stepped in.

Casey, by the way, was shot to death a few years later, either by drug dealers or loan sharks – I never did hear the complete story. At least one (and maybe a second) nephew is a Navy SEAL and has served honorably for years. Funny how families turn out.


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7 responses to “FISH restaurant scales down to zero

  1. The Word

    I’ll bite: “Byram River Trout”?

  2. uncle ugly

    known down here as coney island whitefish

  3. Very nicely put, sir. The piece about being a damned fool (or maybe just having to choose between two bad options).

  4. Please, please. Respect the river for its “contact recreational impairment.”

    New master plan #3 –

    Drum roll – Wait for it:

    Army Corp takes over Fox Island Rd terminus in the river (used as Fox Island Seafood House aka FISH parking lot, and installs a hurricane barrier lift gate, just like the Stamford job, but with no need for dikes and embankments.

    Storm comes in, gate flap lifts to elevation 18, equal to US 1 bridges. Port Chester Waste Water plant converts to pump station, and pumps the river out the gate by-pass for the couple of hours of high tide.

    This is what they do in Stamford, with a river watershed on the Rippowam River equal in size and flows to the Byram River at 30 sq. miles.

    Flooding is solved in all of Pemberwick, Byram and Port Chester.

    This system has been in place in Stamford for decades. President Obama just allocated $467,000 for operations and maintenance, which keeps me on the job.

  5. Reader

    This is so sad. I ate at F.I.S.H (Fox Island Seafood House) about a month ago and it was delicious as always. They had a fabulous menu, and the interior was very cheery and colorful. I loved sitting outside on the river. Goodbye to another diamond in the haystack (it was always really hard to find!).