Appropriately, a cannon blast just after 11:00 am last Saturday, May 11, was the signal for Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino to cut the ribbon for the opening of 98 Cannon Riverfront Grille, the newly-renovated restaurant at the town’s marina. Formerly the Fish Whistle, and before that the Old Wharf, the restaurant offers Chestertown’s only waterfront dining experience. The restaurant is located right on the Chester River at –no surprise– number 98 Cannon St.
Owner Joe Elliott, Elliott’s wife Kristin and their children, and the staff of the refurbished restaurant stood behind Cerino for the symbolic opening. Elliott, in brief remarks, thanked the town of Chestertown for its support. He said he moved his family here in 2012 and was inspired to invest in the restaurant after falling in love with the town. Elliott also thanked Matt Weir, who owns the physical property on which the restaurant sits, and Albert Nickerson for completing the renovations on the building in time for the opening.
After the ribbon-cutting, Elliott invited everyone to come on in! 98 Cannon, he said, is now open for business for lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week.
Inside the building, the changes were immediately apparent. The wall that formerly separated the bar from the dining area has been removed, leaving a larger, more spacious interior – and a two-sided bar. There are now booths on the inside wall of the main dining area, and a wide door opening onto the deck – which is being expanded along the downriver side of the building. And the entrance to the kitchen has been moved closer to the front desk.
The menu has also received an update. A number of old favorites remain, including burgers and crab cakes, while new additions include brick oven pizzas, bistro steak frite, and Langenfelder Farm pork chops. The kitchen, according to their FaceBook page, is headed by chef Chris Golder who has over 40 years experience creating fine dining. There is an emphasis on casual yet upscale cuisine including oysters, Buffalo shrimp and even fish tacos featuring fresh, local, Chesapeake seafood and various farm to table favorites.
On Saturday, among the first customers was a family celebrating its senior member’s 100th birthday! On Sunday there was a sumptuous and well-attended Mothers’ Day Brunch. The menu also includes brunches for Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays. Future plans also include Kayak and paddle board rentals.
The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week. The phone for reservations is 443-282-0055. The FaceBook page is here. A webpage is still under construction but already has some good information. The restaurant is currently hiring more staff. Anyone interested in a position may send info to firstname.lastname@example.org.