The month is December.

But inside 11 North Water street it might as well have been a summer night last Saturday, with bar stools and tables filled with guests who came to check out Rockfish, a tapas-style restaurant that opened two weeks ago.

“Opening week seemed like July fourth weekend,” said general manager Adam Rebello. “It was really insane. We’ve been getting overwhelming support from the community.”

The building, which housed David Ryan’s for many years and more recently 11 North, has undergone extensive renovations over the past year. Beamed ceilings, a bar on each floor and a wood-fired pizza oven that came from the former Lattanzi’s restaurant are among the features.

General manager Adam Rebello (left) and executive chef John Shepherd. — Alison Mead

The owners are Nell, Will and Geoghan Coogan, siblings and Islanders who also own the Wharf Pub around the corner on lower Main street. “We all grew up in the business and it’s been fun to have all of us together,” Ms. Coogan said.

The small plates-style menu came from executive chef John Shepherd, who has cooked in a variety of Island restaurants over the years, including the Wharf. After taking time off to focus on raising his family, Mr. Shepherd was ready to return to kitchen with the idea of opening a restaurant that served small plates highlighting high-end food.

He said it was love at first sight. “When I came in here, I was like well, I can’t pass this up,” he said. “Really I was going to leave the Island to find somewhere more populated and then I realized that you have to have location, location, location. And this place, there’s no better place than downtown Edgartown.”

He assembled a local team with chefs Jeff Wingo and Paul Martino.

“I’d never cooked with any of these guys,” said Mr. Shepherd. “I was like, here’s the menu boys, let’s start cooking. So it was kind of their interpretation of the menu. It was an interesting way to learn to cook with somebody. It was pretty amazing.”

For now, the menu features bar snacks such as almonds and olives, small plates such as shrimp and grits and pan-roasted pork belly along with several entrees. The plan is to change the menu often.

And upstairs throwing dough in front of the wood-fired oven is the pizza guy: Libaldo (Chino) Perez.

“The pizza gives another dynamic to this restaurant,” said Mr. Rebello.

And as is the case with traditional tapas restaurants, Rockfish guests enjoy ordering several small plates to share with friends and relaxing for the evening as opposed to a more course-focused dining experience.

Downstairs at tapas-style restaurant. — Alison Mead

Rockfish plans to be open year-round. Kevin Foran and Sean Moriarty assisted in selecting the wine and beer list, and Mr. Rebello created the cocktail menu, which he says is both classic and contemporary.

“It’s huge to have a core group that people know and have seen in other places,” said Mr. Rebello. “They’re familiar faces and I think that brings another aspect to this, it’s like Cheers, where everybody knows their name.”

Will Rockfish and the Wharf compete for business in the off-season? Ms. Coogan doesn’t think so. “They’re very different with the food and the type of service,” she said. “We’ve definitely seen some of our amazing customers from the Wharf at Rockfish, but we also see them back to the Wharf — so it just depends on what they want for the night.”

Mr. Shepherd said the team has enjoyed the off-season opening. “It’s good to open up this way because there’s not a huge population to draw from, so it gives us time to work the kinks out,” he said. “It’s constantly evolving. That’s the kind of the beauty of opening up now — we’re not dictated by it being June, and we’re like, ahh!”

Rockfish's schedule will fluctuate during the holiday season. Call 508-627-9967 for information.