New lessee sought at Port Albert Wharf

Port Albert's wharf is without a Fish & Chip shop for now. Photo: File

Port Albert is currently without a Fish & Chip shop following the closure of its sole vendor.

Wharf Fish & Chips has been forced to shut after its lease was not renewed by Wellington Shire Council.

The news was confirmed by a council spokesperson to the Gippsland Times.

“At the time the option for a seven-year extension for the lease for Port Albert Wharf Fish and Chip Shop came, council provided the current tenant additional time to decide whether or not to continue with the lease,” the spokesperson said.

“During this extra period, the tenant did not propose any alternative arrangements to continue.

“Council has engaged Graham Chalmer Real Estate to advertise the property for lease, with the view to find a new tenant for this iconic business.

“Council acknowledges the important role that hospitality businesses contribute to the community and is seeking an operator that will continue to build on what is an iconic part of Port Albert and surrounds.”

Graham Chalmer Real Estate, which is based in Sale, confirmed to the Gippsland Times that it will be handling the selling of the lease, and is currently advertising the buisness on its website.

Former lessee of the business, Michael Hobson told ABC Gippsland that council offered him a seven-year extension in January, but there was not enough certainty in the industry for him to engage in a long-term agreement – owing to the COVID pandemic.

It is unclear whether the shopfront will continue as a Fish & Chip business should a new owner be found.

Prior to its closing, Wharf Fish & Chips had been a popular business among tourists and locals.

It became the only vendor of its kind following a fire at the Port Albert Hotel in 2014.

The heritage-listed building – which also sold takeaway seafood – was damaged beyond repair by the fire and has since been demolished.