Old Reliable Fish House
Between Lancy’s Wharf and the engine house of the Colonial Cold Storage plant is a three-story building that once housed the Old Reliable Fish House restaurant, now a forlornly abandoned near-ruin. This establishment was most famously the province of Howard Mitcham (d 1996), perhaps Provincetown’s most colorful chef and, in the 1970s, easily its best known. Mitcham had no use for culinary airs of any kind. He was a passionate advocate of seafood and of Portuguese cooking, and did much to keep these staples on the town menu when other restaurateurs started catering to summer people looking for more cosmopolitan fare. His Provincetown Seafood Cookbook of 1975, with a cover by Jackson Lambert, is an absorbing and entertaining history that can be happily consumed even by those who plan to get nowhere near a shucking or filleting knife. Henry S. Rose (b 1917) was the proprietor of the Old Reliable and the property is still in the family: Bradford Rose (b 1964) has owned it since 2003. Lorraine’s restaurant was briefly at No. 229R in the 1990s, before taking up permanent residence at 133 Commercial Street.