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By Riis Williams, Thomas Humphrey and Brooke Kushwaha

In the face of growing worker shortages and uncertainty nevertheless lingering in the post pandemic enterprise landscape, the Island retail and restaurant scene continues to adapt and, in a lot of instances, expand. As Memorial Day weekend and the standard start out to summer season arrives, the operative word is modify, with many downtown favorites revamping below new ownership and new faces hunting to make their mark.

Beginning a enterprise is constantly tricky, but at seasonal destinations, exactly where the bulk of earnings requires to be created in just a couple of quick months, the stakes are greater to open early and powerful.

In preparation for the weekend rush, the Gazette toured Island towns this week, speaking to enterprise owners about the shifting scene and their hopes for the coming season.

Vineyard Haven

C.B Stark lately refreshed its Vineyard Haven storefront.

Ray Ewing

Vineyard Haven Most important street received a facelift throughout the offseason, bringing freshly paved roads and enhanced walkways to the central thoroughfare.

“Everything in town appears definitely terrific,” mentioned Sarah York, basic manager of C.B. Stark Jewelers. “The town reinvesting in corporations in Tisbury is definitely paying off.”

In addition to the street redesign, mentioned Ms. York, C.B. Stark’s Vineyard Haven outlet has been remodeled for the 1st time in 20 years.

“We just necessary to lighten it up,” she mentioned. “This has been a definitely large refresh.”

Additional up on State Road, the Black Dog Bakery Café has also had an interior remodel. Ms. York mentioned she anticipates a large season for the town’s enterprise scene, as she feels that updates to the town’s liquor laws have “evened the playing field” for Tisbury corporations. In the fall, residents voted to enable alcohol to be served without the need of meal till 11 p.m.

A handful of new eateries strategy to open in Tisbury.

Ray Ewing

Numerous new dining establishments are also slated to open quickly in Vineyard Haven. La Soffitta was lately rebranded as The Attic at Waterside. Across the street, the restaurateurs behind Salvatore’s are opening a 30-seat lunch spot named La Strada, and behind the old Stone Bank home, developer Sam Dunn hopes to open a taqueria later this summer season.

Down by the water, the Tisbury Marketplace has also turn into a locus of activity, with bustling corporations new and old.

“It’s coming collectively, it is type of been enterprise as usual for us,” mentioned the Net Outcome manager Mike Holtham, who has been excited to give fresh sea scallops brought in on the Menemsha Rose.

Mr. Holtham mentioned he has noticed a rather earlier crowd at the fish shop, which he credits to the current opening of Catboat Coffee. The cafe opened in March and options cheese boxes, Lebanese sandwiches and spreads and, of course, coffee.

Subsequent door at the Toy Box, function continues on their new planned ice cream shop, which shop co-owner Kate Salop mentioned they strategy on opening in June.

“We’re excited about what’s taking place at the marketplace,” she mentioned.

The renovation of the nearby Art Cliff Diner is ongoing, even though attempts to attain the owners had been unsuccessful.

Significantly of Vineyard Haven remains unchanged, having said that, as Vasska Fondren of Brickman’s clothes shop noted. The place was began as a cobbler shop back in 1913 and it largely continues to give clothes essentials and fundamentals year right after year.

“That’s how it has gone, and that is how we will proceed,” he mentioned.

Sandro Silvio stands inside the revamped Square Rigger in Edgartown.

Ray Ewing


Edgartown welcome back two beloved hallmarks this weekend when The Newes From America and The Square Rigger reopen.

The Newes, which operates in the former Kelley Residence creating, returns right after building shuttered its doors in January 2022. Now named Faraway MV, the higher hotel complicated will reopen later this summer season, according to Jason Brown, the managing companion of the investment firm that purchased the hotel.

Mr. Brown mentioned the firm created it a priority to get the Newes open in time for the start out of the summer season season. The appear and menu will be practically identical to the original restaurant, he mentioned, but with a higher reliance on neighborhood meals sources.

“Everyone which includes my parents wanted us to retain it the exact same,” he mentioned. “They mentioned they had been going to kill me if we changed something.”

The hotel’s sushi and cocktail bar, The Pelican Club, will also reopen later this summer season with an enhanced appear.

Just outdoors of town, the Square Rigger has reopened below new management. Sandro Silvio began serving out of the restaurant’s takeout window earlier this winter, but this weekend’s debut marks the 1st time the extended-operating restaurant has opened its doors considering that it was bought by Carlos Teles. 

Blackbird Cafe brings a new breakfast and lunch spot to downtown Edgartown.

Ray Ewing

Mr. Silvio mentioned he had received considerable feedback from regulars not to modify also a great deal.

“We have all the old favorites,” Mr. Silvio mentioned, pointing to things on the “House Specials” section of the menu. “I didn’t touch them.”

The expanded menu does incorporate a couple of new attractions — notably, the “lobster lollipops,” two half-tails of beer-battered and fried lobster served on a stick.

The space itself has been considerably reworked, featuring a sleek, black marble bar prime and new paint and flooring.

“I hope individuals nevertheless get the exact same feeling they had prior to,” Mr. Silvio mentioned. “A spot to bring your household, a spot to bring your elders…when you come right here, I want you to come out superior than you came in.”

Back in town, Lucy Dahl’s Untamable Gallery has moved from Dock street to South Summer season street, subsequent door to Rosewater Cafe, and the Blackbird Café will open in the space formerly occupied by Murdick’s Café on North Water street. Co-owners Luke and Katie Kenney previously operated the Blackbird meals truck on Chappaquiddick prior to acquiring the brick-and-mortar place final year. The new café will give a complete scope of espresso solutions, as nicely as breakfast and lunch.

Oak Bluffs

In Oak Bluffs a pink glow coming from the windows of six Circuit avenue signals the arrival of Mikado Hawaiian BBQ &amp Sushi. The restaurant opened final week, an offshoot of its Vineyard Haven place. The Oak Bluffs menu does not stray far from the original Vineyard Haven place, but owner Xi Yu mentioned consumers will also have a choice of a variety of barbecued meats, seasoned with a marinade of garlic, ginger and other spices.

Mikado just opened a new place on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs.

Jeanna Shepard

“Hawaiian barbecue is really well-liked on the West Coast,” he mentioned. “But if you search for it on the East Coast, you will possibly see practically nothing . . . Now individuals from our location can attempt it as nicely.”

Just across the street, restaurant and bar Eleven Circuit is producing its debut just in time for the vacation weekend.

“We’ll have breakfast, lunch, dinner and then celebration,” mentioned owner Ralston Francis.

Mr. Francis formerly operated the enterprise as Flavors MV, alongside co-owner Sonny Chhibber. He rebranded the restaurant right after getting Mr. Chhibber’s share and runs it with his wife and two daughters. He mentioned he plans to have DJs and reside music performances in the evenings.

Mr. Francis also owns the Edgartown Diner, and will split his time involving the two restaurants throughout the busy season.

The Strand Theatre has extended been a hallmark in Oak Bluffs, and new owners Steve and Dorothy Capers strategy to retain the place vibrant right after its prolonged closure throughout the pandemic. Mr. Capers owns the production corporation that produces the annual Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Festival, now headquartered at the Strand. He also envisions jazz concerts, educational workshops and maybe even video game competitions, along with motion pictures.

Aalia’s has expanded previous morning coffee and will enter the Oak Bluffs nightlife scene.

Jeanna Shepard

“We’re definitely considering outdoors of the box than just motion pictures and concerts,” mentioned Mr. Capers.

The Capers are also transforming the theatre lobby into a daytime coffee shop, to open in mid-June.

On Kennebec avenue, a new create industry is in the operates. The Notalot Farm Shop is nevertheless below building, but owner Julie Keefe hopes to welcome consumers subsequent month.

“We’ll have a lot of create, pre-created salads — issues like that,” mentioned Ms. Keefe. “People can come right here to get their groceries, some premade pastries and additional.”

Ms. Keefe 1st believed about opening a farm shop 4 years ago, right after getting a household that came with a garage facing Kennebec. Ms. Keefe and her brother have been designing and renovating the garage ever considering that. Right after a pandemic delay, she plans to open June 15.

Up the street, a thing new is brewing at Aalia’s AM/PM, formerly Aalia’s Coffee. Right after opening final year, Aalia’s presented itself as a classic early-morning coffee shop but with a Lebanese twist. Now, with a brand new dinner menu and a beer and wine list to accompany it, Aalia’s is prepared to join Oak Bluffs’ nightlife. The new meals selections incorporate cauliflower shawarma, spicy shrimp, horiatiki salad and a banana cream pie with tahini for dessert.


In Menemsha, new is not the order of the day. Rather, tradition leads as the weathered wooden benches at Larsen’s Fish Market place fill up with consumers enjoying a cup of chowder or oysters on the half shell.

The Homeport restaurant in Menemsha will be open for the 1st complete summer season below its new owners.

Jeanna Shepard

“It’s surely going to be an less complicated season this year,” mentioned owner Betsy Larsen, recalling that final year and the debut of their shop’s redesign. “We’ve got the space figured out and we are prepared proper out of the gate.”

Subsequent shop at Menemsha Fish Market place, Stanley Larsen is also expecting a busy season.

“I’ve been promoting a lot of lobster so far,” he mentioned.

In spite of their excitement for the season, each Larsens predict that the current pattern of visitors gridlock in town, particularly throughout the rush at sundown, will not strengthen a great deal this summer season.

“I just hope some individuals will take the sunset shuttle,” mentioned Ms. Larsen.

Also on the waterfront, the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust is ramping up efforts at their Seafood Collaborative creating off Dutcher Dock. Thanks to a grant, the nonprofit will be in a position to give seafood on a retail was nicely as wholesale base, all bought from neighborhood fishermen.

A new gin boom, a huge crane-like piece of gear, was installed by the bulkhead at the Seafood Collaborative creating this week. The piece of infrastructure was installed with income from a grant plan run by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, mentioned trust executive director Shelly Edmundson.

“It makes it possible for you to lift heavy stuff from the boat, so you are not breaking your back,” she mentioned.

The trust also received a grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Bank to obtain a flash freezer, also housed in Menemsha.

“The freezer circulates the cool air really rapidly. It freezes the fish rapidly sufficient so that ice crystals do not type and it preserves top quality,” mentioned Phoebe Walsh, the new manager at the Seafood Collaborative.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka sponsored a new gin boom, pictured right here, for the Seafood Collaborative in Menemsha.

Jeanna Shepard

This summer season the group will be piloting a fish CSA plan, with a wide variety of neighborhood, flash frozen seafood packed month-to-month for subscribers, to be picked up at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market place.

“I feel it is the 1st time everyone has had finfish at the industry,” Ms. Edmundson mentioned.

Seafood fans will also get the possibility to have their fill at Menemsha’s Homeport restaurant, which opens this weekend. It will be the 1st complete season for new owner Seth Woods, who bought the home with his enterprise companion Erik Berke and started operations final June.

“Last year we had to open so rapidly that we didn’t have time to give really like to what definitely necessary it,” mentioned Mr. Woods.

They have also considerably revamped the drink menu, he mentioned, building a host of “zero-proof” cocktails in line with Chilmark’s dry status. The back door takeout operation will also restart this year.

Considerable remodel function has been undertaken at the restaurant this off-season, which includes a comprehensive revamp of the restaurant’s bathrooms. A strategy to construct a pergola on their outside porch was canceled, mentioned Mr. Woods, right after a misunderstanding more than permitting with the town.

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