Bunch of Grapes bookstore starts a new chapter
On Saturday morning, as the clock in front of Bunch of Grapes bookstore reminds everyone, "It's time to read." At 9 am, Vineyard Haven's beloved book emporium on Main Street starts a new chapter in its 37-year history, opening its doors again after a devastating fire last July 4.
The opening will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A grand opening celebration will be held over the July 4th weekend and will include guest author book signings, children’s activities, and food and drink.
As business owner Dawn Braasch and building owner Ann Nelson attest, reaching this milestone less than a year after the fire can be attributed to an outpouring of support from the Island community, the dedication of a team of contractors, and the cooperation of Tisbury selectmen and town officials.
"I think it's going to be a marvelous situation," Ms. Nelson said in a phone call yesterday. "Not only are we serving the community, but the community has really served us. Over the years, people have been such good patrons, and without them, we wouldn't be in business."
Rising from the ashes
The July 4 fire started shortly after 9 am next door at Café Moxie, which shared a common wall with the Bunch of Grapes. The flames shot through the roof of the café and spread to the bookstore's second floor. Although Café Moxie was totally destroyed, the bookstore was left standing.
The contents and interior of the building, however, were badly damaged by smoke and water. Ms. Nelson vowed she would rebuild, as soon as possible.
Last October, Ms. Braasch, the Bunch of Grapes events coordinator for two years, bought the business from Ms. Nelson's son Jon, who had moved to Texas. She has a long-term lease on the building with Ms. Nelson.