Dry town, wet bar on Martha’s Vineyard

Paul Petersiel, manager of Chilmark Tavern on Martha's Vineyard, with a custom-designed "liquor locker."

Headed to Martha’s Vineyard this summer?

Wine lovers, take note: You can unwind with a crisp white while you listen to WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR Station — but depending on where you are, you’ll need to plan ahead.

Chilmark, for example, is one of Massachusetts’ (in)famous “dry towns.” Restaurant owners have devised work-arounds for years so their customers can, despite anti-alcohol laws, enjoy their alcoholic beverage of choice.

This year at Chilmark Tavern, manager Paul Petersiel is taking an innovative tack. Before the 2010 season began, Petersiel had wooden cabinets built where his customers can store their favorite beverages. When they come to eat, their wine, liquor, or whatever they prefer, is there waiting for them. Bartenders provide the regular accoutrements such as glassware, ice, mixology, and garnishes.

Customers who take advantage of the season’s “liquor locker rental” receive their own key and preferred seating in the dining room. And don’t forget the food: Chilmark Tavern’s menu includes island-grown greens, dayboat cod, and local lamb.

And of course there’s a BYO Happy Hour daily from 4 to 6 p.m.

Cathy Huyghe writes for the WGBH Daily Dish blog. Read new WGBH Daily Dish posts every weekday, where you can explore myriad ways and places to experience good food and wine.


One Response

  1. Hi Cathy,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Chilmark to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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