Popular Menemsha Cafe restaurant closes

The Menemsha Cafe provided a homey dinner scene on Friday nights in winter. — File photo by Susan Safford

The Menemsha Cafe, a popular year-round eatery, closed its doors on Friday, December 16, after three years at its Menemsha village location.

Owner and chef Josh Aronie said the lease renewal offered by building owner Everett Poole included a rent hike and a number of conditions that made remaining difficult.

“It was not a lease that was designed for us to stay,” Mr. Aronie said in a telephone call Tuesday. “It was pretty clear we were not welcome. It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating.”

Mr. Aronie said the lease conditions would have prevented him from offering dinner service, which had become a large part of his business.

The restaurant was open seven days a week in the summer for breakfast and lunch, and five nights a week for dinner. In the off-season, the restaurant was open for lunch, but only on Friday evenings for dinner. Mr. Aronie said the winter dinners were very popular. He served about 50 dinners each Friday.

“It was great, people would come in, they would see their friends, it was very casual, very fun,” Mr. Aronie said. “Most people are kind of shocked, kind of upset that the community that we’ve supported for the past few years is going to be left behind for a little while.”

Mr. Aronie said he is already making plans to open a new establishment, but was not ready to reveal when or where.

Building owner Everett Poole had little to say. “I’ve heard rumors that he’s not coming back, but he’s never told me that,” Mr. Poole told The Times in a telephone call Wednesday.