Closing Tim’s Rivershore wasn’t part of the original plan for Potomac Shores

In 2012, Potomac Shores’ developers held a series of “get to know us” meetings in Woodbridge.

Part social mixer and part power point-presentation, the events served to explain how the Potomac riverfront neighborhood would be built and showcase its coming amenities.

These types of social gatherings were common before the pandemic, you’ll remember. It and news of Potomac Shores’ decision to force out Tim’s Rivershore restaurant — a Prince William County mainstay on the river for the past 30 years — are indications of just how much times and priorities change.

Restaurant owner Tim Bauckman told his customers that the neighborhood developer and landowner chose not to renew his lease. While it didn’t respond to my request for comment, reports the developer, which had been based in California but is now represented by a New York City firm, wants to put a new restaurant on its river shore.

The decision has devasted locals who love Tim’s (I’m one of them — we pulled our boat to Tim’s dock last fall, as the tree leaves were exploding with color, for a midday lunch). A petition to save the restaurant is now circulating the web.

Booting Bauckman from his riverside perch wasn’t always the plan. At one of those “get to know us” meetings in 2012 held at the Southbridge Community Center, a spokesman for the developer said they liked that Tim’s Rivershore had such a fanbase and that the last thing they wanted to do was oust a small business owner.

But now, Potomac Shores developer did to Tim’s what the coronavirus restrictions enacted by Gov. Ralph Northam couldn’t — force its closure.

I interviewed Bauckman last May when those restrictions–which are still in place–beginning to ease a bit. He credited the patrons of his Potomac Shores location, and a second location at Lake Anna, for keeping his employees and his business afloat.

Two of his other locations, both on the Potomac River–Fairview Beach, in King George County, and Coles Point, in Westmoreland County, suffered during the lockdowns.

A successful small business, Bauckman told us he employs as many as 100 people during the busy summer months. Now, he’ll begin closing up shop, with plans to turn off the lights next month.

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