The Edgartown select board discussed a flurry of business licenses at its meeting Monday, including a change in ownership of The Square Rigger restaurant and the opening of a new cafe on North Water street.

Nestled into the corner of the Edgartown Triangle, The Square Rigger — a longtime staple for everything from fried seafood to chowder to cheeseburgers — has come under new ownership, according to business license transfers approved at Monday’s meeting.

The board accepted the surrender of the restaurant’s business license by owner Jenny Dowd, and set a date for a future liquor license hearing for The Square Rigger by Nina’s Inc. on Jan. 23.

Sandro Silvio, the chef behind Nina’s — a Brazilian eatery which currently operates out of The Ritz Cafe — confirmed in a phone call that he would be taking over The Square Rigger restaurant. He said that he planned to open a takeout window with a limited menu at the Triangle starting next week, while waiting for the upcoming liquor license hearing. He said the takeout window would be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week, but was still finalizing the restaurant menu and its official opening date.

Carlos Teles is listed as the applicant on the liquor license application.

In a statement provided to the Gazette, Ms. Dowd said that the restaurant would be coming under new management, but that the restaurant would continue to be called The Square Rigger. She thanked patrons and staff for 27 years of management. 

"The location and name will remain the same but new faces will greet you and provide their services," Ms. Dowd wrote. "We will be forever grateful to all those who were a special part of our journey."

Downtown Edgartown will also welcome a new establishment in the space just south of Murdick’s Fudge on North Water street. Blackbird Café, a regional café and catering chain, will take over the space, supplementing the food truck and general store the company acquired and opened on Chappaquiddick this past summer.

The new café, which will serve a full coffee and espresso menu as well as light breakfast and lunch options, is expected to open in March or April of this year and operate seasonally, Blackbird Café founder Luke Kenney confirmed in a phone call.

Mr. Kenney co-owns Blackbird Café with his wife, Katie, and currently operates three mainland locations in Acton, Groton, and Burlington. The couple first bought property on Chappaquiddick in 2013. Six years later, in 2019, the company bought the general store, once Jerry’s Place, which opened this past July.

“We’ve been coming to the Island since the late 90s,” Mr. Kenney said. “We’ve always been looking for ways to get involved with the community here.”

When his company acquired the space, Mr. Kenney said he solicited feedback from Chappaquiddick residents as to what kind of business would best suit their needs.

“We got a lot of responses,” he said. “The overwhelming feedback was for food, beverages, ice, and general staples.”

Mr. Kenney said he learned a lot in his first year of operation, which weathered the unique challenge of being on an island next to an Island.

“The ice truck deliveries could only happen at certain times, some deliveries couldn’t happen at’s the kind of thing that might cause another business owner to pull their hair out, but it was all just part of being on Chappy,” he said. “That’s why people call it the Eastern Frontier…it’s all part of the flavor.”

The Edgartown location will be open seasonally from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday to Monday, he said.

Updated to include a statement from Ms. Dowd.