The Ritz is a true neighborhood bar — a dark, honky-tonk blues joint that’s a little rough around the edges, but that’s just how regulars like it. The Circuit avenue institution is due to change hands at the end of the month.
Poker star Jesse Sylvia joined friends and family on Monday night for a hometown celebration at the Ritz Cafe in Oak Bluffs. In late October Mr. Sylvia won second place in the World Series of Poker Main Event, earning $5.29 million.
Biggie Shorty provided the tunes and a crew of two camera men followed Mr. Sylvia around, filming an MTV True Life episode on him as a young millionaire. Earlier, the camera crew had filmed Mr. Sylvia shopping for houses on the Island for his mother Marlene DiStefano.
Last call at The Ritz last weekend was a bittersweet harmonic of Island memories, fellowship and the final touching of a central force of Island life for four decades.
In anticipation of an expected sale later this month by Janet King to restaurateur David Ryan, the most local of Vineyard watering holes hosted a last-call weekend that drew several hundred communicants from four states to say their sayonaras.
Ms. King was overwhelmed by the swan song which, in typical Island style, began on Saturday and extended into Sunday.
The Ritz Cafe, a well-known family-owned tavern on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs, is under agreement to be sold.
The buyer is John Reveruzzi, a Connecticut businessman with ties to the Vineyard. Mr. Reveruzzi is a part owner of David Ryan’s restaurant in Edgartown and the Sugar Shack, a Caribbean pub and eatery on the Oak Bluffs harbor.
The Ritz has been on the market since November, said Janet King who, along with her siblings, has managed the bar for the past 28 years.