Restaurateur J.B. Blau moves into Mansion House

Restaurateur J.B. Blau moves into Mansion House

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The Copper Wok will soon replace Zephrus with a new menu and look. — Photo by Nelson Sigelman

J.B. Blau, owner of popular Mexican restaurants Sharky’s in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, and M.V. Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs, is just a wok away from opening a new restaurant in Vineyard Haven.

Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Blau announced an agreement with the owners of the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven to operate a restaurant in the space now occupied by Zephrus.

Mr. Blau said the new restaurant, Copper Wok, will feature mostly traditional Chinese food, as well as familiar dishes from Thailand, Viet Nam, and Japan, complemented by an extensive selection of beer, wine, and saki. The restaurant will open in April and serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, he said.

“You’ll recognize our menu items, some of the most popular dishes from each of the regions.” Mr. Blau said. “Our focus is going to be the year-round business. This restaurant will never close.”

The Goldstein family opened Zephrus in 1999, soon after the hotel was rebuilt following a fire. It featured an open floor space and patio.

“We’ve had a great run,” said Susie Goldstein, co-owner with her husband Sherman. “We’re delighted to hand over the reins to J.B. We wanted someone who had the same commitment to the community. We have been watching J.B. and we are very impressed.”

Chef Alex Nagi, a business partner with Mr. Blau in the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, is also a partner in Copper Wok, where he will be the head chef.


  1. While I’m happy for the change, excited to have some decent asian food in VH, and wish JB the best of luck, I wish the Times would cover how the Zephrus ownership decided to break the news to their loyal year-round staff… After denying the Copper Wok buzz to the staff for weeks, the Goldstein’s informed their workers moments before news hit the Times and Facebook that they will be without jobs in just 3 days… no time to prepare, no “sorry for the short notice,” only “JB promised to interview you!” And I’m sure they’re all expected to finish out their last few shifts!

    It’s fitting with how that family runs their business’ that they have such little regard for integrity, professionalism, or general human kindness. Frankly, I didn’t expect much more from them, but it doesn’t make it any easier to hear. It’s no wonder Zephrus has been riddled with problems- proof that karma does exist!

    I hope Copper Wok will operate far outside of the Goldstein grasp- JB- Make sure you get control over the security cameras, or they will be watching your every move from their couches at home!

    And good luck to all the staff! may you find work that better serves you and your interests!

    1. I have to answer “Progrescongress” and the false and strange comments that this nameless person has made regarding my family’s business. When this exciting conversation with JB started, we let all Zephrus employees know that we were talking with a local restaurant operator and that there might be significant changes at Zephrus. We promised that as soon as we had a handshake in place, we would tell them. Both JB and my family wanted this deal to get done. We were ready to reopen after our annual School Vacation closing if this deal did not go thru. We happily shook hands late this afternoon and walked from his side directly to Zephrus. We gave employees accurate, real information as it was available and true.

      The accusation involving the security cameras is a strange one. Yes, like many businesses we have cameras set up that monitor the building. We set them up as a safety measure, not for personal entertainment. In fact, we have been able to assist the local police departments when asked. The insinuation that I spend my time sitting around watching these cameras is ridiculous.

      I’m excited for the energy that Copper Wok will bring to Main Street. Again, congratulations to JB and I personally look forward to a great meal!

      1. The “non-denial denial,” it seems to me. If you are going to respond to a person’s complaints or allegations (and doing so is not always a good idea), then you need to respond to them. Is it true that there was three days’ notice of possible termination? Did you deny the “buzz” that was going around beforehand? Are the security cameras in work areas so that employees may be observed? If you don’t watch the cameras, (or their recordings, perhaps) who does?

  2. Chef Alex is also a partner at Copper Wok…without him Copper Wok would be impossible…

  3. And, for Mansion House guests, such as my family, what will happen to the breakfasts that were so fabulous? Now, if we stay, we will have to go elsewhere in the morning?

    1. Our hope is to do breakfast and to make it even more fabulous. Plus a Dim Sum Sundays eventually. :)

    2. Our hope is to do breakfast and to make it even more fabulous. Plus a Dim Sum Sundays eventually. :)

        1. Wonderful, because nobody has beaten the fabulous buffet they had. Ever! I tell everyone about it.

          1. No, this past summer…different kinds of quiche, sausages, fabulously cooked bacon, eggs how you wanted them, scones, bagels, fresh fruits, homefries…and great coffee.
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  4. Congrats to JB and Chef Alex on this new adventure. You have already proven to be such a strong asset to this community. It is exciting to see the changes that you will bring as they unfold.

  5. Best of luck to JB Blau, Chef Alex Nagi and Copper Wok! The Vineyard has a need for good Pan-Asian cuisine and based on JB and Chef Alex’s stellar track record (staying in business year-round, creating customer-friendly atmospheres and large, well-rounded menus) the right guys for the job are going in there to make it happen. Good for them, for us and for the job market…

  6. I grew up eating and cooking authentic Chinese food my entire life. Let’s see if this will cut it….

  7. Coppersmith, artist and former Vineyard resident Marla Stelk made the “Zephyrus” copper bar-back splash. I hope something nice comes of that wonderful piece, maybe offer the artist first refusal of return?

  8. Coppersmith, artist and former Vineyard resident Marla Stelk (mjstelkdesigns) made the
    “Zephyrus” copper bar-back splash- I hope something nice comes of that
    wonderful art piece!