Fiddle and Whistle owners seek new partnership at Connect Marshalltown event

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Fiddle and Whistle Irish Pub was reopened for the evening on Wednesday to host the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce Connect Marshalltown event. Owners Aaron and Michelle Buzbee were behind the bar making drinks for those in attendance, and they are seeking a new partnership to keep the establishment open in the future.

The Fiddle and Whistle Irish Pub reopened for one night only to host the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Connect Marshalltown event on Wednesday evening, 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 thought the Fiddle and Whistle would be “another casualty of COVID.” The event, however, may be the popular pub’s saving grace.

Connect Marshalltown is all about networking, and while they hosted, Aaron and Michelle did a little networking themselves.

“One of our goals is to get back open again, and what we’re looking to do is find help to help us do that. So whether that’s an operating partner or a manager or another owner, we’re looking at trying to cast a wide net to see who might want to help us get this going again,” Aaron said.

In addition to the Fiddle and Whistle, the Buzbees own Zeno’s Pizza and the Wayward Social Bowling Alley. Connecting with the right person could mean the difference between closing the bar’s doors for good or getting it up and operational once again.

“We’re all ears. We’re an open book. Whatever we can do to get this going, whether it’s Chelle and I or what have you, but we just want the Fiddle and Whistle to continue. We think it has a home here in Marshalltown. With all the exciting things that are happening downtown, we think the pub adds to all the exciting happenings,” Aaron said.

Chamber President/CEO John Hall said he had thrown out the idea of having the Connect Marshalltown event at the Fiddle and Whistle a couple of months ago, and Aaron and Michelle Buzbee quickly jumped onboard with it.

“There are often a lot of different ideas and thoughts out there about what should happen in a community or what cool things people would like to see, and I find that you’re usually only a couple of connections away from being able to make some of those things happen,” Hall said.

Even if the right connection isn’t necessarily in the direct audience at a networking event like Connect Marshalltown, Hall said it’s possible someone in the audience knows an individual who would be the right person for the job and, in his eyes, that was what the Wednesday event was all about.

“We never know what may come out of that until we start talking to folks and start telling people about what our desires are, and we may surprise ourselves. So that’s really the intention of this. It’s ‘Hey, let’s see if we can surprise ourselves,'” Hall said.

Only time will tell if that right connection was made on Wednesday, but the members of the community were all glad to be visiting the Fiddle and Whistle once again, and Aaron and Michelle Buzbee are committed to giving the pub another chance to thrive.

“We just 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 one last throw of the dice,” Aaron said.


Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or



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