Spring on Martha’s Vineyard always brings with it the excitement of re-openings, but this season in particular carries a certain buzz with all the new places setting up shop.
In Edgartown, Bryan McPhail is expanding his coffee shop, MacPhail’s Café, and opening The Scoop Shack, which will serve gourmet pizzas, salads and ice cream.
Patrick Courtney has taken over at 55 Main Street, the former In the Woods locale, and is planning a 49-seat, casual restaurant that will highlight locally caught seafood. Their target opening date is May 17.
Ed Charter, a builder at Arrowhead Homes, is switching his focus to building burgers, at Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack, opening at the former O Sun location in Oak Bluffs. Look forward to pirate-themed fun and gourmet burgers. Pirate Jack’s is slated to open in mid-April.
Christian and Greer Thornton, owners of Atria, are getting ready to open Hooked, a fish house and night club, at the former Lola’s spot in Oak Bluffs. Hopefully by Memorial Day weekend we can enjoy fish house favorites, a raw bar, and a DJ or live music every night.
Chef Jean Dupon of Le Grenier in Vineyard Haven is expanding. He is getting ready to open La Cave du Grenier, a French-style café downstairs, formerly the site of the M.V. Bagel Authority. I imagine enjoying French pastries curbside will be quite a treat and a great addition to Main Street.
Fans of the Menemsha Café have been anxiously awaiting news regarding Josh and Angela Aronie’s next venue. Seems that it will be at Saltwater in Vineyard Haven, and judging by how much the Café has been missed up-Island, I expect it to be a hit.
And also new in Vineyard Haven is Mon Amour, specializing in French American cuisine and serving beer and wine. In the space that was the former Nicky’s, it will open Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22 for a sneak peak. Reservations are required, and begin at 5:30 pm. Call 508-693-8444. For more information, visit monamourmv.com.
Ed Charter and his son Seth are gearing up for the opening of Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack on Oak Bluffs Avenue, where O Sun used to be. Renovations transformed the building to resemble an old ship and the pirate-themed décor will make for a fun, cheeky vibe but when it comes to the menu, the Charters are serious.
Rather than Googling “best southern fried chicken” or “gourmet hamburgers” the Charter men set off on a series of road trips to find out for themselves. From Boston and New York to New Orleans, they were on a mission. When it came to fries they needed to know, French or Belgian? What goes into the absolute best burger? They ate fried chicken at some of the nation’s most famous southern eateries including Dooky Chase’s, Coop’s Place, and Willie Mae’s Scotch House, all the while scouting for ideas, recipes, and products that will be new to the Vineyard.
The Charters have a connection with the city that inspired their Breakfast Po’ Boys. “My heart and soul reside in New Orleans,” said the elder Mr. Charter. While his sons went to Tulane University, Ed Charter was involved with a real estate development there. Mr. Charter’s properties sustained significant damage in hurricane Katrina. Through Po’ Boys and southern fried chicken, Mr. Charter is bringing a piece of New Orleans to Oak Bluffs.
Though Pirate Jack’s is their first joint endeavor, it is neither of the Charter men’s first foray into the restaurant business. In addition to being a building contractor at Arrowhead Homes, Ed Charter also owned the E&E Deli, an authentic New York-style deli located at Five Corners from 2000 to 2004. And for the past two summers, when Seth wasn’t traveling the globe, he tended bar at Giordano’s.
The menu is still being fine-tuned, but there are promises of gourmet burgers at affordable prices, authentic Belgian-style fries with a variety of dipping sauces, southern fried chicken, breakfast omelets served on Brioche, and the intriguing breakfast Po’ Boy.
Pirate Jack’s will have some ocean-view counter seating but it will be mainly take-out, serving breakfast and lunch. The Quartermasters Shop will be stocked with pirate souvenirs that I imagine will become very popular.
Pirate Jack’s mission is simple, according to Ed. “We want to offer a unique, delicious dining experience that will be enjoyable for kids and adults alike, there is nothing on the Vineyard like it.” Pirate Jack’s is slated to open by the end of April, so for now we wait for burgers, fried chicken, and for little pirates to take over Oak Bluffs.
Chesca’s opens Thursday, April 12. Spring hours are Thursday through Sunday, 5:30 to 9 pm. The popular Edgartown restaurant’s bar will be open later with a new bar menu.