On April 24, Chilmark is voting to allow the sale of beer and wine in restaurants. We are writing as year-round Islanders who work seasonally at Chilmark Tavern. We are also a high school teacher, a child care provider, a grad student, a refugee worker, a florist, a gardener, an artist, a new mom and a coordinator at an Island nonprofit. We come together every year because we love what Jenna has created at Chilmark Tavern. The tavern is at the heart of the Chilmark summer community, and we are proud to be part of that.

A yes vote on beer and wine makes the tavern a stronger business to endure the increasing financial demands of running a seasonal restaurant. A stronger tavern provides good jobs and economic vitality in the town of Chilmark. Many of us have worked with Jenna at Chilmark Tavern since 2010, and we return each season because we truly enjoy what we do. We also need the additional income to support our families (collectively we have 11 children). We understand and appreciate the charm (and savings) of bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant; perhaps that bottle you have been saving for a special occasion. But we also understand what it feels like to serve a table where patrons drink too much and not be able to do anything about it. If you vote yes on allowing restaurants in Chilmark to sell beer and wine, we in turn accept the responsibility for serving it. As it stands with the current policy of BYOB, we have very little control in limiting the consumption of our customers.

To our friends and neighbors, we wish to state that we’re not trying to change Chilmark, and we’re certainly not trying to ruin Chilmark. But Chilmark hasn’t been standing still all these years, either. We feel that article 11 reflects the world we live in today — this is where Chilmark already is. We kindly ask for your support by voting yes on article 11 so the Chilmark Tavern can finally be a damn tavern.

Erin Slossberg
West Tisbury

This letter was also signed by Makenzie Brookes, Marc Cooper and Eliska Suryckova of West Tisbury, Kim D’Arcy of Oak Bluffs, Georgia Maroni and Jeanine Moulden of Vineyard Haven and Molly Purves of Aquinnah.