Coop DeVille at Oak Bluffs Harbor is undergoing renovations to expand its seating in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. This will double the restaurant’s current seating, adding three more outdoor tables to the Shuck Shack.
The Coop will have a new look as it heads into its 35th year of operation. The bustling harbor bar seats will give way to a more casual-dining space that will allow the restaurant to serve the maximum number of customers safely.
“It’s been 35 years, and we have to learn to adapt,” owner Petey Berndt said. “We are 100 percent playing by the rules. We have to be careful.”
The Coop also installed a new computer system to allow for online ordering and curbside pickup. Berndt noted that there has recently been a strong demand for their to-go dining as more boats fill the harbor. The Coop has been enforcing masks and social distancing in front of the restaurant.
“We’ve had to be the bad guys, and tell people they can’t stand and have beers, because that’s not within the governor’s plan right now,” Berndt said.
Despite the changes, Berndt is confident in the abilities of his staff to abide by the guidelines. The Coop has shifted with the circumstances, adopting the slogan “Cooped up 2020” to celebrate bringing the Coop’s food home.
“Now we are ready to get loose out of the Coop,” Berdt said. “We are ready to go.”
He hopes that with the renovations, the restaurant will be able to draw in more sit-down business, both this summer and in the future.
Berndt is grateful for his customers’ patience as they figure out how to adapt to the changing guidelines. Coop deVille is welcoming diners back with socially distant lobster rolls and craft beer on Thursday.