Main Street Smiles Two eggs over easy, a side of bacon, rye toast with jam and a cup of coffee. Nothing really remarkable about an age-old breakfast standard. And yet when this breakfast is served at Café Moxie it becomes quite remarkable. This is not a restaurant review, although the food is quite good. What makes this scene really worth writing about is the fact that the food exists at all.
Café Moxie opened last Friday, Oct. 12. Just a little over four years ago, on July 4, 2008, the original Moxie burned down in a Main street fire that also claimed the Bunch of Grapes bookstore.
The Bunch of Grapes reopened on June 13, 2009 while Moxie continued to remain dormant, although it was repeatedly reported to be opening each year, month, even week at one point. It became the butt of jokes at town meetings, the restaurant court jester and stand-in for the lyrics from the movie Dumbo: I Be Done Seen About Everything When I See Moxie Re-open.
The reasons given were varied and as far as we know had merit. We are not here to place blame, dig deep or even wonder why. Rather, it is to the moxie of Moxie, and by extension the whole of Main street, that we turn to now.
Almost a year ago, the Gazette wrote an editorial referring to “concerns over the vitality of Main street” and “the gaps in downtown smiles.” Businesses were closing, both in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown, and fears over the economy, Internet shopping, high local rents and heating costs were on the rise. While these issues remain potent adversaries for all local businesses, a casual stroll through the down-Island towns can’t help but nurture a touch of optimism.
La Choza burritos, La Cave, The Port Hunter, 11 North Water, Lucky Hanks; both Vineyard Haven and Edgartown are experiencing a food renaissance. So, too, the Bunch of Grapes, which after a move across the street saw its sales double this summer. The final chapter was almost written for Edgartown Books, but in the eleventh hour a sequel was announced. Familiar favorites like Brickman’s and Sundog hold firm and Midnight Farm looks smashing, strutting on the catwalk of Main street.
Bob’s Pizza and Sweet E’s Cupcakes are now dating, or at least holding hands in their new shared location, and Mosher Photo refuses to go gently into that online good night. We of print and digital journalism feel a sense of solidarity with this brick and mortar photographic goal line stand.
Down the road, not Main street proper but still in town, the new film center has brought a year-round venue for art films to be enjoyed in plush stadium seating.
And at 48 Main street, Vineyard Haven, eggs are being served, lunch and dinner, too, as Café Moxie has declared itself open, seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Racking up those hours, Moxie will, on average, quickly outpace the number of hours open in the last four years for any number of stores, particularly those that close in the off-season.
It’s good to have Main street smiling again.