Some of the fondest memories that residents or visitors to Martha’s Vineyard have are of a celebration that they attended on the Island.
While part of this can be attributed to meeting up and spending time with friends and family, some credit is also deserved by the various venues where the celebrations are held. This eclectic mix of venues, combined, of course, with the natural beauty and mystique of Martha’s Vineyard, can often lead to family reunions that turn into yearly family traditions, or one-off weddings that set the standard for the plans of any future brides in attendance. The following is an assortment of private party venues on the Vineyard.
The Cupola at The Mansion House
In the past year some new celebration venues have sprung up on the Vineyard, and there are more opening soon. One example is the Cupola deck, which opened this past summer. It is located above the third floor of the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven. While the Mansion House itself was established in 1791 and rebuilt in 2003, the Cupola deck, formerly used as a weather station, was re-imagined as a place for parties.
“It has wonderful views of the Vineyard Sound,” answered Susan Goldstein, co-owner of The Mansion House, when asked what she thought was the main drawing point of the Cupola deck. “The ferry boats coming back and forth, the tall ships. You get to inspect the rooftops of everyone on Main Street. On one side you have this beautiful harbor, and on the other side you have church steeples.”
When President Obama visited this past summer, The Mansion House was host to the White House Press Corps, which meant if there was a situation where the President needed to address the nation, he would have spoken from the Cupola deck.
“It’s affordable luxury,” Ms. Goldstein said. “People can cater it depending on their needs. We’ve had clam bakes. We’ve had very elegant cocktail parties. Since we have a full-service restaurant, Zephrus, with a brilliant chef, we can design something around what you want to do.”
The Cupola balcony has a capacity of 40 people when used for dining only or 100 people for cocktail parties. Prices vary according to the season, and reservations are encouraged to be made as soon as a date is decided upon.
“The earlier you talk to people, the surer you are of getting what you want,” said Ms. Goldstein. “Frequently though, we can work with people to book a date they are happy with.” For more information, call 508-693-2200 or visit mvmansionhouse.com.
Atria’s Rose Garden, Lawn, and Wine Parlor
Another popular venue for celebrations is at Atria in Edgartown. Operating out of a building that was once a 19th century ship-captain’s house, Atria is a fine-dining restaurant that is also known for catering to private parties of all different sizes. Atria handles many weddings, especially in September and October, and they have professional wedding planners on staff.
“It’s a very unique location. It’s like you’re in someone’s home. It makes it special because it’s very intimate,” said the manager of Atria, Angela Vezzose.
For large events, Atria features The Rose Garden, an outdoor area that can seat up to 65 people. This private area is surrounded by boxwood hedge and latticework and features a koi pond and fountains. If that is not enough room, Atria also has The Lawn, another outdoor venue with a classic white tent that can fit up to 150 people.
For smaller events, there is The Wine Parlor, located on Atria’s third floor. It has a capacity of 30 people and has its own fireplace, temperature controls, music controls, as well as a private bathroom. The rental rates for the different areas fluctuate depending on the season, but as long as there are no other private parties being held, guests at Atria are welcome to use The Wine Parlor at no extra cost if they are seeking some extra privacy. For more information, visit atriamv.com or call 508-627-5850.
Another new venue opening this year is Hooked, slated to open May 25. Greer and Christian Thornton of Atria are opening Hooked in the former Lola’s space, on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs. According to Ms. Thornton, the venue can seat 200 for functions, includes a meadow for ceremonies and cocktail parties, a club for after parties, four bars, a patio area, and a bridal suite. Live music is permitted. For contact information, visit atriamv.com. Hooked’s website will go live in May.
A new venue that is set to open in May 2012 is The Dreamland Event Space, located above Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs. The M.V. Chowder Company opened its main restaurant and bar this past summer.
Details on The Dreamland Event Space are sparse right now, as construction has just begun. Judging by the positive response that the M.V. Chowder Company has already received, as well as the management’s experience in also running the two Sharky’s restaurants that are located on the Island, The Dreamland Event Space seems like it might be a nice new option for holding events or celebrations on the Island.
What is known so far about The Dreamland Event Space is that the sprawling, sky-lit venue will have a capacity of 500 people and will host weddings, concerts, fundraisers, dinner theaters, movies, and conventions. An official listing of prices to rent the venue has yet to be released.
Farm Neck Cafe
One of the most popular places for weddings on the Vineyard, Farm Neck in Oak Bluffs offers beautiful grounds and spaces for small private parties to large wedding receptions.
For smaller parties, guests have the choice of both inside the restaurant and outside on the brick patio, a scenic spot for a gathering. The Farm Neck Tent is perfect for medium and large-sized wedding receptions, which includes a dance floor.
All-in-all, there are many more venues on the Island to consider when one is planning a celebration, whether it is an engagement party or a 200-guest wedding. Some are older, and some are newer. The good part about the number of different venues is that you can find the one that fits better with the experience that you are looking for. For more information, call the M.V. Chowder Company at 508-696-3000 or visit mvchowdercompany.com.
Even Offshore Ale Company, the Oak Bluffs restaurant/pub and Martha’s Vineyard’s lone independent micro-brewery, frequently caters to larger groups, and you can even take a tour of their cask engines while you are there. Call 508-693-2626 or visit offshoreale.com for more information and reservations.
The main thing is to just find out what each venue has to offer and then take it from there.