V.H. taquería to be open this summer

Developer Sam Dunn also plans to open a sit-down eatery inside the Old Stone Bank by summer 2025.


A planned outdoor taquería at the historic Old Stone Bank property in Vineyard Haven is slated to be open for summer, according to developer Sam Dunn.

Dunn has also been working on a sit-down restaurant inside the main Old Stone Bank building, to be open for summer 2025 with seating for 85 patrons. 

The taquería, meant to seat 70 people, is being built in the former bank’s drive-through area, behind the main building. Dunn says that this project has been in the works for a couple years; the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) approved it in February.

According to the MVC, Vineyard Haven’s Old Stone bank was designed in 1905 by architect J. Williams Beal in the Romanesque and Bungalow styles. It was built with local field stones, by local stonemason James Norton. The property has been vacant since 2017 when Santander Bank departed.

Dunn says that the taquería will have a summertime focus in operation and design. “The seasonal nature of this is of course what it’s all about. That’s the crucial thing. And that’s why an outdoor restaurant like this makes so much sense…Since you only have a seasonal market anyway you don’t need an indoor space.”

This outdoor setting will include a full-service bar, and will have retractable awnings.

Dunn adds that a window into an adjacent office building, visible from the taquería site, may be converted into a fishtank. 

The taquería kitchen and restrooms will be located in a separate building next to the outdoor seating.

Dunn says that when open, the taquería will be equipped with lighting, as well as rich planting on the fencing around its site.

Dunn, noting the nearby Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano, wants to contribute to the character of local dining when his taquería and sit-down restaurants are up and running. “I think when we get the other [sit-down restaurant] done up there, and [the taquería], and Salvatore’s, and the ones that are already on Main Street, it’s going to become a real dining destination,” he said.

Last Wednesday, Tisbury’s Select Board approved a wastewater flow request for Dunn’s planned 85-seat restaurant inside of the primary Old Stone Bank building. Next steps for that project involve permitting with the town planning board, and approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

After a long period of vacancy in the Old Stone Bank building, there are now signs of recent work.

Inspired by the interior details, Dunn wants the sit-down restaurant to be a higher-end experience than the taquería. “This is going to be a much more formal place, because the space is that way. And there’s all this beautiful detailing and stuff up here, which will be restored,” he says.

Dunn pointed out a domed ceiling, stained-glass clerestory windows, and arched windows. “This is one of the very unique spaces on the Island,” he says. “There’s really nothing like it…This was built by a guy who marched to a different drummer, clearly.”

An unmistakable detail inside the building is the former bank’s vault. Dunn plans to turn this into a wine room, and use its deep vault door as a common table.

“It would be a tragedy, in my view, if this became a lawyer’s office or something like that,” Dunn added.


  1. Use to live right next door. It was ONCE a parking lot and I liked it better then. What a mess. Just admit it folks, the island has sold out completely.

    • Buildings change purpose all the time. How is a taco restaurant a sign of downward mobility for the island? Or have Mr. Dunn’s other projects harmed the island? Kindly explain. Genuinely curious.

  2. And yet all those who were against the traffic circle in OB have to admit they were wrong!… and where are all those folks that voiced displeasure with the Vineyard Haven front porch Coppola, until the librian filly gave in?! Where are they now?

    • While the traffic circle may ease the flow of traffic at the intersection of Barnes Rd and Edgartown/Vineyard Haven Rd, have you seen the traffic backups at either end of those roads?
      All the traffic that now flies through the roundabout sits for twice as long further up the road and creates backups that never existed before.

    • Perhaps a typo? Trying to follow “Front porch Coppola, until the librian filly gave in”. Either it’s a typo or that librian filly had enough?

  3. Am torn between nostalgia for Vineyard Haven’s charming but dull downtown past with nary a spot for a fishmeal except the beloved Black Dog, vs the sudden up cropping of exciting new places to dine $$$ or hopefully less expensive options, not all focused on high priced drinks!! Only time will reveal a final decision beginning this summer.

  4. I’m sorry for the neighbors, and I don’t mean the ones who have bought into Sam Dunns idea of attractive condominiums. I mean the people who actually live nearby and have lived there in spite of all the noise from the Steamship Authority, for years. At less they didn’t have to put up with all the smells and noise that this place is sure to bring.

  5. why so ugly?? nothing poor martha…. CONGRATULATIONS to this new endeavor… people are just plain jealous…. otherwise there would be no reason to hate …… cant people just be happy for others….. ? not here, thats for sure! now THATS SAD!

    • Jealous? Jealous of a taco stand for 80people next to my old beloved beach? Or am I jealous of the stupid colored condos no regular person can afford which light up sleepy vh harbor at night? Not really that jealous, nice try though.

  6. I am looking for one more nice place to go out to. I love choices and I know the developers will do a nice job. Thank you Patrict for investing in the Island. Just promise Modelo Especial.

  7. I’d be ok with an island-boycott of the eateries until the Tuscan-inspired condo paint-jobs were redone in a weathered grey. Or gray, as an acceptable alternative.
    It’s such a distraction. What were they thinking.

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