Outerlandish!

Arthur and Barry Rosenthal: Photo by Ralph Stewart
The brothers Rosenthal, Arthur (left) and Barry (paintbrush in hand), prepare for opening night at their new club, Outerland, at the Martha's Vineyard Airport. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Former nightclub to rise again

By Karla Araujo - March 30, 2006

"He's helping his little brother achieve his dream," an ebullient Barry Rosenthal explains.

"I'm a 'foodie.' I've always wanted to own a restaurant," brother Arthur chimes in.

The Barry and Arthur show is coming to life on April 1 as the 55- and 59-year old brothers combine their dreams for the opening of Outerland, the latest incarnation of The Hot Tin Roof, the Vineyard's legendary and now defunct night club located adjacent to the Martha's Vineyard Airport.

The brothers Rosenthal acquired The Hot Tin Roof from Carly Simon and a group of fellow investors on January 24, 2006. Along with the name change, the Rosenthals have initiated a number of other significant revisions: a bistro menu for light food to be served from 7 pm on, a thoughtfully compiled international wine list, and a second, smaller stage and seating area with an intimate, pub-like atmosphere, called The Dock. The upstairs venue, according to Barry, will be opened for smaller acts and during the quieter months of the year. Outerland will be open from April 1 to January 15, a six-month more ambitious season than its predecessor.

Photo by Ralph StewartOuterland: Photo by Ralph Stewart
Once "The Roof" and now "The O," the club boasts a new soundstage.
While the zealous Rosenthals have been busy cooking up new ideas for Outerland - or "The O," as they have nicknamed it - many of The Hot Tin Roof's traditions will remain. General manager Cory Parker Cabral has stayed on to scout for new musical talent, book acts, and keep the club running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Patrons will also find many familiar faces among the bartenders, technical staff, wait staff, and security detail.

"Our mantra is 'Everyone is welcome back,'" Barry explains. "We'll do our best to find work for former staffers who want to return."

While the Rosenthals plan to offer the same top-notch caliber of music the Hot Tin Roof boasted in its heyday, they also hope to expand the club's offerings. "We're ready to take some chances," Arthur promises. "We're going to try to find out what works and what doesn't."

They pledge a full schedule of acts to appeal to a wide audience: from swing and Latin dance nights to dinner theatre and teen nights, as well as musical artists ranging from, as Barry characterizes it, "Judy Collins to The Wailers."

Plans to date include:

Opening Night, Saturday, April 1: Eguie Castrillo and his 15-piece Latin jazz band, "Salute to the Mambo Kings." Sold out last summer, this event includes free mambo lessons and a chance to sample Outerland's new menu.

Saturday, April 8: Island Jam featuring such local favorites as Entrain and Tom Major, Mike Benjamin and Maynard Silva.

Saturday, April 15: Comedy Night featuring Frank Santorelli from the cast of The Sopranos.

Saturday, April 22: Blues Traveler, popular blues/rock band.

The brothers Rosenthal bring an interesting blend of talents to the table: Barry, the younger of the two, has enjoyed a frenetic and successful career in broadcast advertising and promotion. His print, television, and radio campaigns have helped launch such hits as The Food Network and The Sci Fi Channel, as well as programs featuring Regis and Cathy, Joan Rivers, and Donahue. He is a full-time Vineyard resident and President of BR Creative, an advertising agency newly relocated to the Outerland building. As the agency of record for Boston's Berklee College of Music, BR Creative has co-produced Vineyard Vibes, a jazz festival held on the Island each summer in conjunction with the college.

Arthur, a Wellesley resident and clearly the more reserved Rosenthal, is a Ph.D. biochemist who has managed technology development in the medical device industry for 32 years. He is presently involved in a start-up venture in the same field after recently retiring from Boston Scientific.

Visibly passionate about Outerland, Barry and Arthur hope to merge their talents to birth a new success. "We're not absentee owners," Barry says. "This isn't a hobby to us. We have to make it work."

While Barry hopes to bring big-name talent back to the Vineyard, Arthur envisions a gradual transition to a full-service restaurant. "We've hired Executive Chef Brad Stevens from Zephrus to create our menu and moonlight here," Arthur explains. Outerland's wine list, compiled with his own expertise, features high quality, moderately priced selections from Chile, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and California. The bistro menu offers imaginative twists on traditional favorites: sandwiches, wings, focaccia bread, cheeses and other finger food. The bar will feature specialty concoctions with names like "The Edgartini" and "Sex on State Beach."

A little whimsy, a lot of hard work, and a sprinkling of good karma are the ingredients this brother act hopes to impart at Outerland, the Island's latest and most welcome addition to the local entertainment scene.

For more information on Outerland, call 508-693-1137 or visit the web site at www.outerland-mv.com.

Karla Araujo is a tennis instructor and freelance writer.