The pink whale is coming to Vineyard Haven. Vineyard Vines will open a new store on Main street in the building that once housed Midnight Farm and the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore.

Brothers Shep and Ian Murray, founders of the clothing company, purchased 44 Main street from Ann Nelson and Robert Marshall. Vineyard Vines also has stores in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.

Speaking over the phone this week, the brothers reminisced about spending summers browsing the bookshelves in the building.

Vineyard Haven location formerly housed Midnight Farm and the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. — Mark Lovewell

“We grew up going to Bunch of Grapes Bookstore every year,” said Shep. “That’s where we did our summer reading.”

The Murray brothers started Vineyard Vines in 1998 and currently have stores in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. They had been hoping to expand into Vineyard Haven for some time, Ian said.

“We’ve been looking for a long time, we got close on a couple spaces,” he said.

Midnight Farm closed this December, and the property has sat empty since. Vineyard Vines bought the property on March 9 for $1,275,000 under the name 44 Main street LLC.

Ideally, the shop will open in time for the summer season, but there is no concrete timeline. Currently, the brothers are in the design phase.

“We try to make each of the stores unique so there’s a reason to go there,” said Ian. “Something really cool about this building is we have so many memories from the bookstore. It’s about how to best use the layout and work with what’s already there.”

Certain aspects of the building already stand out in the brothers’ minds.

“We love the store front, the high ceilings, the staircase going up the center, and upstairs the ceilings are awesome,” said Shep. “Our goal is to make it a positive part of the community.”

Main street Vineyard Haven has fluctuated in the past year. While an active business association has been renewed, several shops have closed, leaving empty storefronts. The Murray brothers said they usually lease their stores, but by buying the building they are committing to the town for the long term.

“We invested in real estate and we’re going to invest in Main street,” said Shep.

The project potentially qualified as a Development of Regional Impact since it involves a business with more than 10 stores internationally, but the Martha’s Vineyard Commission decided unanimously not to review the plan.

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