Copper Wok Owner: 'We're in the Home Stretch'

"At this point it's silly to offer an opening date," writes Martha's Vineyard restaurant owner JB Blau on Facebook. "That said, if it isn't in February we will donate $1000 to the MV Boys & Girls Club. If it isn't March, we will donate $10,000."

Copper Wok in Vineyard Haven is nearer than ever to its long-awaited opening date, writes owner JB Blau on Facebook. (Louisa Hufstader photo)
Copper Wok in Vineyard Haven is nearer than ever to its long-awaited opening date, writes owner JB Blau on Facebook. (Louisa Hufstader photo)
"What's the deal with Copper Wok in VH?" wrote restaurant owner JB Blau in a post on his Choco Copperwok Sharky's Facebook page last week.

Under the heading AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MV COMMUNITY, Blau wrote:

"At this point it's silly to offer an opening date. That said, if it isn't in February we will donate $1000 to the MV Boys & Girls Club. If it isn't March, we will donate $10,000. April? They can have the restaurant. :)

Delays can be great marketing- the anticipation builds, excitement grows and then you open and BAM! What a great strategy for a new venture.

But then there are really, really, really delayed openings, that like a relative who stays at your house too long, start to get on your nerves. 

The anticipation turns into doubt and frustration, and now instead of people being excited for a restaurant to open, they start to question if it ever will.

Copper Wok is getting close to that point. But have no fear, the end, of the delays, is near.

After opening Sharky's OB, Edg, ChoCo and Dreamland we learned a lot. One of the biggest lessons: Cut no corners and do it right the first time. Copper Wok has turned into a project like no other for us, with more than 10,000 person-hours of work so far. The buildout has gone from minor to major, the design has gone from amazing to awesome, the time table has gone from quick to crazy long, and yet, in a Zen spirit most likely inspired by the restaurant's culture itself, everything is going to be alright. 

This project was one of passion from the beginning. Chinese food, Sushi, Pho, Pad Thai and more are all components of a dining experience that for so many years we have been deprived. Not to mention all this taking place in a town that has only had beer and wine (and sake!) available for a few years. We had to do this right. We had to make Vineyard Haven and the Island proud of our new restaurant, and fortunately/unfortunately we compromised almost nothing in creating a community based restaurant that we could not be more proud of.

So where are we at? The beginning of the end. The custom banquets have been delivered and installed, the floors have been stained and coated, the Sushi bar is done. The Sushi counter is done. The patio is done. The ceiling and lighting is done. Cameras are hung. Speakers are in. Chairs are in. Mirrors are done. Fireplace installed. The kitchen is basically done- the wok and equipment is operational and fantastic! The plumbing finished, the painting almost done, and the ridiculous amount of staining and polyurethaning is close to done. We are in the home stretch. The town of Tisbury has been amazing, helping and encouraging us every step along the way.

What is left? The final details. Assembling tables, stocking the bar, all the small items, installing the computers, stocking the shelves, training the staff. These items take time, but days and weeks, not months. The end is near and the beginning is near. And nobody is more excited about that than all of us.

To everybody who has patiently waited- THANK YOU!

Once we open, we will be there for our community 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is our one shot to get it right, and we think we have. We thank you so much for your interest, your patience, your support and your anticipation. This has been a humbling and invigorating experience and we cannot wait to share it with you.

Stay tuned to future emails for the exact dates, and thank you for your amazing continuing support of Chowder Co., Sharky's and Dreamland."

Source: Choco Copperwok Sharky's Facebook page

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Paul F. Doherty January 25, 2014 at 09:40 AM
Kudos to JB Blau for for giving us, the public, a "third eye" into the workings for an opening of a restaurant. Rushing an opening, for the sake of opening, makes no sense, especially when first impressions tend to be lasting impressions. So please take your time! We look forward to when you do, indeed, open! Paul Doherty
Aron Levy January 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Hopefully it will be better than the utterly disappointing (in my family's opinion) ChowderCo. That being said, what happened to the ChowderCo location across the street? It has been vacant for years.
Martha Magee January 25, 2014 at 01:15 PM
" We're ON the home stretch "
ksw430 January 26, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Sorry, Aron, but I disagree. We've always enjoyed the Chowder Co. Will be happy to try the Wok.
Aron Levy January 26, 2014 at 12:02 PM
I realize I'm in the extreme minority on this one, but every time I've gone the food has been mediocre to poor. Perhaps they've improved in the past year and a half? But I'm hesitant to go again. Plenty of better seafood restaurants. And while I'm certainly not a fan of their overall business practices, my chowder heart belongs to the Douglas family ;)
ksw430 January 26, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Really, the Douglas family? With their shameless and highly tacky infomercial, The Vineyard? I think Mr. Blau has always been very supportive and involved with community projects and charities. At least he's local, not becoming the McTeeshirt company of the east coast.
Aron Levy January 26, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Oh believe me, I know. I truly hate their business practices, and I will never forgive them for what they did to MaryAnne's. I just really love their chowder. What can I say? I've a weakness for really thick, creamy chowder.
Aron Levy January 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM
And I agree with you regarding JB Blau's personal strengths. I just didn't care for one of his restaurants. I still feel he makes the best nachos I've ever had, however. And I've saved every Shark Attack Sharky I've ever ordered. So that's something.


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