Chilmark: A New Charming Café

Renaissance woman and up-cycling ladies wear goddess Beldan Radcliffe holds up 2 of her Chilmark-themed skirts at her Artisans Fair booth at The Grange in West Tisbury. — Valerie Sonnenthal

Updated June 8, 9:44 am

If you’re looking to try some new takeout up-Island, head all the way up to the Circle in Aquinnah for Juli Vanderhoop’s Orange Peel Bakery Cafe (formerly Faith’s Seafood Shack), open 8 am to 4 pm, manned by Chef Alex Jenkins. The menu is all local and fresh, with Lobster Quiche, Thai Chicken Salad, Shrimp Caesar Salad, Stuffed Grapefruit, Chowder, biscuits and gravy, and so much more. Also check out the newly opened Cliffhangers, run by June Manning’s son Paul Manning, his wife Theresa, and their son Noah; not only do they have a great menu including Fish Tacos and Chowder, they sell the New York Times and other newspapers, and are open from 8 am to sunset daily. If you’re looking for the best view and indoor dining, the Aquinnah Shop is newly painted and polished and serving up delicious meals, breakfast through dinner, prepared by Chef Jacob Vanderhoop, like Fresh Calamari stuffed with jalapeño linguica cream cheese; open 8:30 am to 5 pm and weekends till sunset. All the above establishments can be found on Facebook, where you can get a peek at their latest culinary creations.

Closer to home, the Chilmark Tavern, our “rural American bistro,” is now open at 5:30 pm from Thursdays to Mondays until late June, when dinner will be served daily. RSVP for Chef John Thurgood’s not-to-be-beat incredible new creations at 508-645-9400, and you can always do takeout. Oh yeah, and we’re still BYOB. We’ll keep you posted when the Home Port and Beach Plum Inn Restaurants will open.

Lots of great happenings at the Yard, including world premieres by the Bessie Schonberg Fellow, Stefanie Batten Bland, Dylan Crossman, and Rosie Herrera on Thursday, June 9, at 8 pm and Saturday, June 11, at 6:30 pm. New classes weekly, so be sure to check the schedule for that, future performances, and free offerings at

Learn how the pioneers’ Vineyard house style developed, and come hear Professor Jonathan F. Scott’s program, “From England to Martha’s Vineyard — A New Beginning” at the Chilmark Public Library on June 15 at 5 pm. His talk and slideshow of photographs, plans, and drawings will focus on how this distinctive Island house type evolved here. Prof. Scott, a historian and a carpenter, has written numerous articles on early American architecture. In addition, he designed and built for his family his homesteads on Martha’s Vineyard and in Vermont. His love of Vineyard history and its treasure trove of distinctive, but largely undocumented, early houses inspired his book, “Pioneer Houses of Martha’s Vineyard: Surviving Colonial Architecture: 1642-1742.”

The Chilmark library welcomes all ages to Kristin’s Stories and Songs on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 am. Irene’s afterschool program continues on Wednesdays at 3 pm.

You can now get Chilmark town beach stickers online at Any problems or questions, call 508-381-5456.

There are so many great programs available on our Island, if you need help finding something, ask your local librarian. Rain, fog, sun, and summer are creeping up on us. Welcome home to all the college kids, summer interns, seasonal workers, summer residents, and everyone who makes this their home; take it slower and be kind.

Congratulations to this year’s Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School graduating seniors, including Chilmark students Hadley Chapman, Salem de Geofroy, Addison Geiger, Mary Healy, Delilah Meegan, and Kaila Newton. Enjoy graduation Sunday, June 12, 1:30 pm at the Tabernacle. Have a great summer, and best wishes to all.