I hail from a long line of no-nonsense people who regard eating out every week (not to mention living on the Vineyard, with all of its inconveniences and expenses) as a practice in utter frivolity. But these simple pleasures will never thwart the seed of practicality that has been firmly planted in my soul. That’s why I carry Our Island Club Card.
When Geoff Rose and Jonathan Bernstein launched Our Island Club five years ago, they sought to uphold a sense of community and economic autonomy immutably threatened by current financial trends. The most compelling reasons to join the club are significant discounts on such essential items as auto insurance, groceries, gasoline, appliances, and home heating. Once you’re a member, there’s hardly an indulgence you won’t find on the extensive list of participating businesses. Everything from art to massage to jewelry and, my favorite, of course – restaurants.
About a dozen member restaurants will be closing for the season by the end of October, but all is not lost. Almost twice that many are open year-round. What better way to warm up this winter than with our member coffee shops? At 32 Beach Street in Vineyard Haven, just up from Five Corners, Beetlebung Coffee House is open from 7 am to 6 pm serving breakfast, lunch, and free WiFi. Save 20 percent on all paninis and personal pizzas. Espresso Love at Old Post Office Square in Edgartown serves breakfast, lunch, and love every day. From 6:30 am to 11 am, save 10 percent on a coffee/baked-good combo. From 11 am to 6 pm, save 20 percent on sandwiches and lunch specials, especially delicious on a warm autumn afternoon in the garden.
Almost every town has a member restaurant to get your day started. In West Tisbury, enjoy 20 percent off on breakfast Monday through Friday from 7 am to 11:30 am at the Plane View Restaurant in the airport. Linda Jean’s Restaurant at 25 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs offers cardholders a free birthday breakfast. In addition, save 10 percent on daily specials from 6 am to 8 pm. (The savings increase to 20 percent between 3 and 5.) Up-Islanders love the Menemsha Cafe open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm (though they may open earlier than 10 on some days) with a 10 percent discount on all food. Dinner is served, currently, on Fridays from 5 to 8 pm.
Looking for a bit of ethnic flair? O-Sun Asian Kitchen across from the Oak Bluffs Steamship at 5 Oak Bluffs Avenue is always a great value. Add a 10 percent member discount, and you’re as golden as the shrimp and vegetable tempura. Up the street at 53 Circuit Avenue, Deon’s Restaurant serves the only contemporary Caribbean fusion cuisine on this Island. Get breakfast, lunch, or dinner for 10 percent less with the Island card. Nicky’s Italian Cafe, at 395 State Road, behind Radio Shack in Vineyard Haven is open for dinner at 5:30 pm. Save 20 percent on any entrée from the Classic Pastas menu. Mangia!
Be the hero of the family, football party, or game night when you use your Island card to get the pizza. Edgartown Pizza at 224 Edgartown Road at the triangle offers a 20 percent discount on large and extra-large pizzas. At Rocco’s Pizzeria in the Tisbury Market Place on Beach Road, buy one pizza and get 20 percent off a second pizza of the same size. You can save 20 percent on pizza, or other entrées on the lunch and dinner menus at Offshore Ale Co., the Island’s only brewery, located at 30 Kennebec Avenue in Oak Bluffs.
Two family-friendly members who need no introduction are The Wharf Pub and Restaurant on Lower Main Street in Edgartown, and Season’s Eatery and Pub at 19 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. At the Wharf, you can save 20 percent on lunch Monday through Friday. At Season’s, save 15 percent on lunch or dinner Monday through Thursday.
Visit Oyster Bar Grill, at 57 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs and save 10 percent on dinner every night beginning at 5 pm. Or check out Zephrus at 9 Main Street (at the Mansion House) offering 20 percent savings on dinner every Tuesday night.
At 76 Main Street in Vineyard Haven, Waterside Market is open daily for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner on Friday and Saturday offering a 10 percent discount on all food.
The annual cost of membership to Our Island Club is $89 for individuals and $109 for families. The club donates 20 percent of the membership fees to Island-based charities. So far, they have contributed more than $120,000. For more information, visit ourislandcard.com.