Recep Dinli was hanging the sign for his new store on Winter Street, but he was having a tough go of it.
“I was on the ladder, and the screw I was using was too short,” said Dinli with a shrug. “I’m not very handy.”
A man was walking past with a tool belt around his waist, and Dinli stopped him, telling him that surely he was a godsend. The man helped Dinli hang the sign, which included a quick visit to the hardware store, and when Dinli tried to pay him for his help, the man waved him off.
“Welcome to the neigborhood,” he told Dinli.
Early last month, a 40-foot-long container arrived from Istanbul, filled with items that now populate Kissmet, Dinli’s Edgartown store: housewares and pottery featuring Turkish, Arabian, and Persian influences, boots crafted by Dinli’s brother from caftan and leather, and rugs and tapestries not often found in the area.
9 Winter St., Edgartown, 508-939-4526
J. B. Blau opened Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. last July in downtown Oak Bluffs, and he is planning to open a chowder “takeaway” near the ferry landing on Main Street in Vineyard Haven at the end of June.
The menu features a few varieties of chowder — including a gluten-free option — and lots of seafood, with prices from $19-$27 for entrees. The restaurant is open 365 days a year.
9 Oak Bluffs Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-696-3000, mvchowdercompany.com
Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack
The Jolly Roger flag was raised on Memorial Day weekend outside a former diner near the Oak Bluffs ferry, signaling a perfect spot to grab a burger.
“We use a proprietary blend of ground beef,” said Ed Charter, who operates the shack with his son, Seth. “The burgers are flame-broiled and we think people who order them are in for a treat.”
One attention-getting entree is the Jean Lafitte, which adds smoked applewood bacon and peanut butter to the mix.
“We sell a lot of those burgers with the peanut butter,” said Charter, who also planned to introduce Southern fried chicken to the menu, along with po’boys for the breakfast crowd. “It will be an omelet on a brioche roll with pommes frites and a variety of sauces.”
5 Oak Bluffs Ave., Oak
Bluffs, 508-687-9636, burgers from $8
Free Bird Market
Described by owner Ashley Gilbert as a “bohemian-chic resale marketplace,” this shop opened two months ago near the Vineyard Haven ferry, in a space formerly occupied by a bookstore.
“Most of the things in the store are vintage or consignment discounted 50 percent or more,” said Gilbert. “We feature high-end designers like Prada and Cynthia Rowley, and we expect the inventory to change weekly.”
Gilbert also plans to have some nighttime trunk shows featuring jewelry and designs from Vineyard Artisan Festivals, of which she is a member. Gilbert also sells her own multimedia wall art in the shop.
29 Main St., Vineyard Haven, 203-727-4823
The Pit Stop and Hooked
The bad news is that one longtime venue, Nectar’s, won’t be providing live music this summer. The good news is that a couple of new locations are going to help fill the sizable gap.
The Pit Stop is one option, opened by Don Muckerheide in a converted auto shop on Dukes County Road near Oak Bluffs. Another is Hooked, a restaurant-bar formerly known as Lola’s that plans to feature live music nearly every night.
The Pit Stop opened in February and has already hosted island and regional favorites such as Willy Mason, Ryan Montbleau, and Jemima James, along with several Monday open-mic nights and music workshops.
“The Pit Stop has struck a chord with both the overall community and the music community,” said Barbara Dacey, longtime program director for mvyradio in Tisbury.
Hooked, which was opened by Christian Thornton, the chef-owner of popular restaurant Atria, promises to provide a strong live music presence. And Dacey expects the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, the Katherine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven, and the Whaling Church in Edgartown to book several acts again this summer.
Hooked, 15 Island Inn Road, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-6093; The Pit Stop, 114-116 Dukes County
Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-693-4219,thepitstopworkshop.org
Juliska has moved in on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, replacing local fixture Bramhall and Dunn in the two-story space. Juliska is based in Stamford, Conn., and its owners, David and Capucine Gooding, have their flagship store there. Their specialties include mouth-blown glass produced in the Czech Republic and ceramic tableware made in Portugal, while also featuring linens, flatware, and items such as pillows and throws, jewelry, accessories, and cookbooks. The large shop’s second floor is an outlet with seconds and overstocks offered at a significant discount.
23 Main St., Vineyard Haven, 508-562-4010, www.juliska.com
La Choza Burritos
Seth Gambino opened this take-out burrito place at the corner of Main Street and State Road in Vineyard Haven at the end of February. It’s truly a takeaway space with a small area to order burritos, either in a traditional flour tortilla or in an untraditional biodegradable bowl, with gluten-free chips. The base burrito ($4 for a vegan rice and beans option, $6 for beef, chicken, portabella, or chorizo options) can be embellished with more than a dozen a la carte items.
4 Main St., Vineyard Haven, 508-693-9050, lachozaburritos.com
The Griffin Madison Corp., which recently purchased this 21-room inn, also owns the Madison Inn and the Nashua House Inn in Oak Bluffs. Co-owners Caleb Caldwell and John Tiernan have made more than $250,000 in improvements to the inn, whose design mimics the gingerbread houses in the famed Oak Bluffs cottage colony a few blocks away.
9 Circuit Avenue Extension,
Oak Bluffs, 800-245-5979, 508-
Ron Driscoll can be reached at