When Josh and Angela Aronie this past winter, the question of where they would go next was on everyone’s minds. As the year rolled on there were rumors they would open something at the former Che’s Lounge, that they were looking in Edgartown and even some that they were headed off-Island to open something in Vermont.
All of these rumors turned out to be simply rumors, and thankfully for all of us, the Aronies are not leaving the Island. Instead they are opening a café within the existing in the Tisbury Marketplace section of Vineyard Haven.
The plan is what Aronie described as a “management agreement.” Basically, it allows Aronie to operate a café that serves breakfast and lunch in the same space that becomes the existing Saltwater Restaurant in the evening.
The Aronies are putting in an order counter and an additional smaller kitchen, but they will have use of the larger kitchen to do their onsite baking. Customers can choose from full service take-out or sit down to dine-in.
“It’s going to be a different experience for us for sure,” said Josh Aronie of the space that holds nearly 80 people as opposed to the Menemsha Café that tightly fit about 20.
The Saltwater Café will offer a laid-back breakfast and lunch with counter service and a menu similar to what they served in Menemsha.
“We will be expanding the menu a little bit, but we plan to keep it pretty much the same, using the same locally sourced ingredients that we had at Menemsha Café.”
However, other than the food, Aronie noted that it might be hard for some who are looking for a recreated Menemsha Café, to make the transition.
“We realized it would be very difficult to recreate the Menemsha Café and so we decided not to try. However, though it won’t be the same place, it is run by the same people. All of our food, the preparation and the sourcing, that will all be here. And we’ll be here,” he said.
He also noted that the Saltwater Café will have things like ample parking and a bathroom, which Menemsha Café did not have.
One of the most important aspects behind the success of the Menemsha Café was the take-out part of the business, particularly in how it catered to the tradespeople of Menemsha.
“We want that to happen here as well, which works because of the easy access and parking.”
At the same time, the size of the Saltwater Café means tables won’t fill up as quickly as they did in Menemsha, and those who want to sit down will be able to do so.
“We always had such an eclectic mix of people,” said Aronie about the Menemsha Café. He hopes that this location will cater to that same mix.
Aronie will be cooking the meals and his wife Angela will be doing all of the baking. They plan to offer a good deal more baked goods at Saltwater Café then they had in Menemsha, as well as full coffee shop offerings.
Though you may think the location leaves much to be desired when you drive by the busy intersection with the gas station across the street, once inside all of that disappears. The dining room is one of the loveliest spots on Martha’s Vineyard. It is grand, tastefull, full of comfortable seating and has a wall of windows looking out onto a view of the lagoon that is not to be missed.
The plans include a separate entrance to the café about 10 feet away from the restaurant door. Guests will have full use of the dining room, including a section of seats on a screened in porch with roll up windows. For those looking for a great place for a working lunch, the café will offer Wi-Fi service.
The big question when we hear about a new business is always whether or not they’ll be open year round and the answer is an emphatic, “Yes.” Furthermore, with this expansion, the operators of Saltwater Restaurant are planning to stay open for dinner through the off-season as well.
Saltwater Restaurant’s Executive Chef Joe DaSilva said, “I’m extremely happy that he’s going to be here. It will be a great compliment to this establishment.”
The Aronies plan to open the doors of the Saltwater Café by the end of April. You can get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow them on Twitter: @saltwatercafemv