Supporters of Tim's Rivershore Restaurant and Crab House mobilized by Zoom Thursday evening with plans to show up and speak out at next week's Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting.
For nearly three decades, Tim's has been a staple along the Potomac River between Woodbridge and Dumfries. But owner Tim Bauckman learned last week the property manager for the Potomac Shores development was not renewing his lease.
Thousands have taken up the cause of saving Tim's, with a “Save Tim’s Rivershore!” Facebook page and a Change.org petition. They plan to continue the fight to get Bauckman's lease renewed, setting up for a showdown between a distant corporate developer and those who want to save a beloved local institution.
More than 100 people participated in Thursday's Zoom strategy call. Bauckman also attended, and thanked everyone for their support.
"I’ve been there 28 years," he said. "It’s hard to fathom not going there to work."
Biddle Real Estate Ventures, the developer managing Potomac Shores in south Woodbridge says it solicited proposals from Bauckman and "multiple local restaurant operators" for making improvements along the riverfront.
“As complaints about the location escalated, we have sought ways in recent years to pursue improvements on-site,” Biddle executives said in a statement to InsideNoVa.
Biddle decided not to renew Bauckman's lease and go with "new restaurant operations" and infrastructure improvements to the waterfront.
Rumors about a Stafford restaurant moving to Tim's site made the rounds on social media this week, prompting an employee of Fatty's Taphouse Seafood Bar and Grille to post on Facebook about the uproar and ask for decency.
"Please take into account that words and actions have a tremendous emotional ripple affect to more than the one person you're lashing out at," the post said.
According to the post, Fatty's owners were presented with "many opportunities to expand our business, at multiple locations. With that said, we may or may not be expanding in 2021. Only time will tell."
During the Zoom call, organizers asked for people to rally at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting with the message that out of town developers shouldn't dictate what the county is going to look like.
The public comment portion of the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Click here to sign up to speak.