What follows is an edited selection of reader comments from the Gazette Web site responding to the stories on the Independence Day fire.
My heart goes out to the owners of Bunch of Grapes and Cafe Moxie. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I’ve spent countless hours in Bunch of Grapes over the course of many years and it was always one of my first stops on my trips back to the Vineyard.
I remember when Cafe Moxie was a barber shop.
Owner Austin Racine is my cousin and my heart goes out to him and Katrina. He has worked so hard on making his dream become a reality. And if anyone has the heart to rebuild Cafe Moxie he most certainly does. What a tragedy to watch your dream go up in flames. But I have complete faith that he will be up and running again before long. This is his passion! Thank God he was able to get out and nobody was injured. Things can be rebuilt. And I hope that the residents of Vineyard Haven will support him in his effort to continue his dream and provide an excellent place for food and fellowship. Many prayers and love to Austin and Katrina.
I think a great idea would be for the Bunch of Grapes to reopen fast in the old Murray’s across the street — setting up bookshelves and getting books back in stock could be done very fast — a good restart. I know all the records may or may not be gone — but shelves and books can be replaced and all lives are okay.
My heart goes out to my sister Katrina and to Austin. I’m glad that I was able to experience Moxie before this unfortunate tragedy happened. I know that the two of them are strong and very determined to make their dreams come true, and without a doubt they will make a strong comeback.
East Granby, Conn.
Another piece of Vineyard Haven history is gone or soon to be gone with demolition of what’s left from this horrible fire. I hope that all parties can recover from this disaster and rebuild on that same site. The location held a lot of memories for me beginning with the First National grocery store located where the Bunch of Grapes is. My cousin Ed Lopes managed the store and my Uncle Frank Lopes worked as a grocery manager. Prior to a number of restaurants locating where Moxie is, my godparents Paul and Mary Trahan had their Candy Kitchen at this location for over 20 years. Good luck on the rebuilding. I look forward to seeing the location renewed.