Irish pub Fiddle and Whistle reopened for just one night to host the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Connect Marshalltown event on Wednesday night, and owners Aaron and Michelle Buzbee had a special mission in mind.
The Main Street business has been closed since November 2020, and Aaron said they believe the Fiddle and Whistle will be “another victim of COVID”. The event, however, may be the popular pub’s saving grace.
Connect Marshalltown is all about networking, and while they were hosting, Aaron and Michelle did a bit of networking themselves.
“One of our goals is to reopen, and what we are looking to do is find help to help us do that. So whether it’s an operating partner, manager or other owner, we’re looking to try and cast a wide net to see who might want to help us get this up and running again,” said Aaron.
In addition to Fiddle and Whistle, the Buzbees own Zeno’s Pizza and Wayward Social Bowling Alley. Connecting with the right person could mean the difference between closing the bar doors for good or getting it back up and running again.
“We are all ears. We are an open book. Whatever we can do to make it work, whether it’s Chelle and me or whatever, but we just want the Fiddle and Whistle to go on. We believe he has a home here in Marshalltown. With all the exciting things going on downtown, we think the pub adds to all the exciting happenings,” said Aaron.
Chamber President and CEO John Hall said he shot down the idea of hosting the Connect Marshalltown event at the Fiddle and Whistle a few months ago, and Aaron and Michelle Buzbee quickly jumped in on board.
“There are often a lot of different ideas and thoughts about what should be happening in a community or what cool things people would like to see, and I find that you’re usually only a few contacts away from being able to make things… of these things happen,” Hall said.
Even if the right connection isn’t necessarily in the live audience at a networking event like Connect Marshalltown, Hall said there’s a chance someone in the audience might know someone who would be the right fit for the job. post and, in his eyes, that was what Wednesday’s event was all about.
“We never know what can come out of it until we start talking to people and telling them what our desires are, and we can surprise ourselves. So that’s really the intent of this. It’s “Hey, let’s see if we can surprise each other,” Hall said.
Only time will tell if that good connection was made on Wednesday, but community members were all happy to visit the Fiddle and Whistle again, and Aaron and Michelle Buzbee pledged to give the pub another chance to thrive.
“We love this bar, and we love the people we’ve met here and we have so many great memories that we’re just not ready to close the doors yet. I think we want to give it a final roll of the dice,” Aaron said.
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